THE HEIRESS OF BELLEVUE.
A Tale of the Mississippi and the South-west
Warren T. Ashton.
B. B. Mussey and Company,
R. B. Fitts and Company
Reprinted 1972 from a copy in the
Fisk University Library Negro Collection
New World Book Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Hallandale, Florida 33009
“Here is a man, setting his fate aside, Of comely virtues.”
“Is this the daughter of a slave?”
In the summer of 1848 the author of the following tale was a passenger on board a steamboat from New Orleans to Cincinnati. During the passage—one of the most prolonged and uncomfortable in the annals of western river navigation—the plot of this story was arranged. Many of its incidents, and all its descriptions of steamboat life, will be recognized by the voyager of the Mississippi.
The tale was written before the appearance of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,”—before negro literature had become a mania in the community. It was not designed to illustrate the evils or the blessings of slavery. It is, as its title-page imports, a tale; and the author has not stepped out of his path to moralize upon Southern institutions, or any other extraneous topic. But, as its locale is the South, and its principal character a slave, the story incidentally portrays some features of slavery.
With these explanations, the author submits the tale to the public, hoping the reader will derive some portion of the pleasure from its perusal which he experienced in its preparation.
Boston, November 18, 1852.
The guardian slave.
You grow presumptuous.
Ventidius. I take the privilege of plain love to speak.
Antony. Plain love!—Plain arrogance! plain insolence!”
On the second floor of a lofty building in —— street, New Orleans, was situated the office of Anthony Maxwell, Esq., Attorney and Counsellor at Law, Commissioner for Georgia, Alabama, and a dozen other states. His office had not the usual dusty, business-like aspect of such places, but presented more the appearance of a gentleman’s drawing-room; and, but for the ponderous cases of books bound in law-sheep, and a table covered with tin boxes and bundles of papers secured with red tape, the visitor would easily have mistaken it for such. The space on the walls not occupied by book-cases was hung with rich paintings, whose artistic beauty and elevated themes betokened