The Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 63 pages of information about The Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave.
perfectly white, with straight light hair and blue eyes.  But it was not the whiteness of her skin that created such a sensation among those who gazed upon her—­it was her almost unparalleled beauty.  She had been on the boat but a short time, before the attention of all the passengers, including the ladies, had been called to her, and the common topic of conversation was about the beautiful slave-girl.  She was not in chains.  The man who claimed this article of human merchandize was a Mr. Walker,—­a well known slave-trader, residing in St. Louis.  There was a general anxiety among the passengers and crew to learn the history of the girl.  Her master kept close by her side, and it would have been considered impudent for any of the passengers to have spoken to her, and the crew were not allowed to have any conversation with them.  When we reached St. Louis, the slaves were removed to a boat bound for New Orleans, and the history of the beautiful slave-girl remained a mystery.

I remained on the boat during the season, and it was not an unfrequent occurrence to have on board gangs of slaves on their way to the cotton, sugar and rice plantations of the South.

Toward the latter part of the summer, Captain Reynolds left the boat, and I was sent home.  I was then placed on the farm under Mr. Haskell, the overseer.  As I had been some time out of the field, and not accustomed to work in the burning sun, it was very hard; but I was compelled to keep up with the best of the hands.

I found a great difference between the work in a steamboat cabin and that in a corn-field.

My master, who was then living in the city, soon after removed to the farm, when I was taken out of the field to work in the house as a waiter.  Though his wife was very peevish, and hard to please, I much preferred to be under her control than the overseer’s.  They brought with them Mr. Sloane, a Presbyterian minister; Miss Martha Tulley, a neice of theirs from Kentucky; and their nephew William.  The latter had been in the family a number of years, but the others were all new-comers.

Mr. Sloane was a young minister, who had been at the South but a short time, and it seemed as if his whole aim was to please the slaveholders, especially my master and mistress.  He was intending to make a visit during the winter, and he not only tried to please them, but I think he succeeded admirably.  When they wanted singing, he sung; when they wanted praying, he prayed; when they wanted a story told, he told a story.  Instead of his teaching my master theology, my master taught theology to him.  While I was with Captain Reynolds, my master “got religion,” and new laws were made on the plantation.  Formerly, we had the privilege of hunting, fishing, making splint brooms, baskets, &c. on Sunday; but this was all stopped.  Every Sunday, we were all compelled to attend meeting.  Master was so religious, that he induced some others to join him in hiring a preacher to preach to the slaves.

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The Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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