—— College, —— — ——.
MY DEAR AUNT,—
I have not heard from you but once since your arrival at the South. It is because sister is more unwell? or because you are very busy with your arrangements for the winter? or is it because, as I more than half suspect, you are so much overcome by your first observation and experience of slavery, that you have but little strength left to write to me from that “—— post of observation, darker every hour”? Perhaps you are mustering courage to tell me of the sights which you have seen, the little while that you have been among the poor, enslaved children of the sun in our Southern house of bondage. “Afraid to ask, yet much concerned to know,” I wait impatiently for a letter from you. I expect to make great use of its details among my fellow-students, many of whom, I mourn to say, have their hearts case-hardened against the story of oppression. They will show an interest in everybody and everything sooner than in the slave and his wrongs. They are not only callous on that subject, but they laugh at your zeal and call it hard names.
No one can tell what I suffer in the cause of freedom, through my well-meant endeavors to interest and instruct others on the subject which absorbs my thoughts. I know that I shall have your sympathy; and when I come to hear from you what your own eyes have seen, ere this, in slavery, I shall esteem all my sufferings in the cause of the slave as light as air.
I employ the intervals of study in walking among the beautiful scenery of the village and its environs, if haply I may meet with some to whom I may open my mind on this great theme. The last time that I went out for this purpose, I met with a sad sight. A horse was running away with a buggy, while between the body of the carriage and the wheel I saw depending a foot, which I at once inferred was that of a lady. The horse rushed by, and sure enough, a young lady had fallen on the floor of the buggy, holding the reins, evidently entangled and embarrassed in her posture, uttering the most heart-rending cries and shrieks, with intermingled calls to the horse to stop.
I could not help looking at the horse, as he passed, with feelings of strong displeasure. To think that anything having an ear to hear and a sensibility to feel should be so heedless of the cries of distress, roused up my soul to indignation. As I reflected, however, it occurred to me that no doubt this horse had been subjected to unkind treatment from his youth up. I began to blame his owners. Had the law of kindness been observed in the early management of this horse, doubtless he would have regarded the first appeal of this young lady to him. May we not hope, dear Aunt, that a new era is dawning upon us with regard to the universal triumph of love and kindness over oppression of every kind, and that the brute creation will partake of its benign influences? The tone and manner in which horses are spoken to often sends a chill to my heart.