Embracing an account of his early life, the redemption by purchase of himself and family from slavery, And his banishment from the place of his birth for the crime of wearing a colored skin.
Published By Himself.
Printed for the Publisher:
J. G. Torrey, Printer.
The Slave Mother’s Address
I cannot tell how much I love
To look on thee, my child;
Nor how that looking rocks my soul
As on a tempest wild;
For I have borne thee to the world,
And bid thee breathe its air,
But soon to see around thee drawn
The curtains of despair.
Now thou art happy, child,
As little babe can be;
Thou dost not fancy in thy dreams
But thou art all as free
As birds upon the mountain winds,
(If thou hast thought of bird,)
Or anything thou thinkest of,
Or thy young ear has heard.
What are thy little thoughts
I cannot certain know,
Only there’s not a wing of them
Upon a breath of woe,
For not a shadow’s on thy face,
Nor billow heaves thy breast,—
All clear as any summer’s lake
With not a zephyr press’d.
I have been solicited by very many friends, to give my narrative to the public. Whatever my own judgment might be, I should yield to theirs. In compliance, therefore, with this general request, and in the hope that these pages may produce an impression favorable to my countrymen in bondage; also that I may realize something from the sale of my work towards the support of a numerous family, I have committed this publication to press. It might have been made two or three, or even six times larger, without diminishing from the interest of any one of its pages—indeed with an increased interest—but the want of the pecuniary means, and other considerations, have induced me to present it as here seen. Should another edition be called for, and should my friends advise, the work will then be extended to a greater length.
I have not, in this publication attempted or desired to argue anything. It is only a simple narration of such facts connected with my own case, as I thought would be most interesting and instructive to readers generally. The facts will, I think, cast some light upon the policy of a slaveholding community, and the effect on the minds of the more enlightened, the more humane, and the Christian portion of the southern people, of holding and trading in the bodies and souls of men.