Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 190 pages of information about Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself.

On this same plantation I was compelled to stand and see my wife shamefully scourged and abused by her master; and the manner in which this was done, was so violently and inhumanly committed upon the person of a female, that I despair in finding decent language to describe the bloody act of cruelty.  My happiness or pleasure was then all blasted; for it was sometimes a pleasure to be with my little family even in slavery.  I loved them as my wife and child.  Little Frances was a pretty child; she was quiet, playful, bright, and interesting.  She had a keen black eye, and the very image of her mother was stamped upon her cheek; but I could never look upon the dear child without being filled with sorrow and fearful apprehensions, of being separated by slaveholders, because she was a slave, regarded as property.  And unfortunately for me, I am the father of a slave, a word too obnoxious to be spoken by a fugitive slave.  It calls fresh to my mind the separation of husband and wife; of stripping, tying up and flogging; of tearing children from their parents, and selling them on the auction block.  It calls to mind female virtue trampled under foot with impunity.  But oh! when I remember that my daughter, my only child, is still there, destined to share the fate of all these calamities, it is too much to bear.  If ever there was any one act of my life while a slave, that I have to lament over, it is that of being a father and a husband of slaves.  I have the satisfaction of knowing that I am only the father of one slave.  She is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; poor unfortunate child.  She was the first and shall be the last slave that ever I will father, for chains and slavery on this earth.


[2] The distinction among slaves is as marked, as the classes of society are in any aristocratic community.  Some refusing to associate with others whom they deem beneath them in point of character, color, condition, or the superior importance of their respective masters.


My first adventure for liberty.—­Parting Scene.—­Journey up the river.—­Safe arrival in Cincinnati.—­Journey to Canada.—­Suffering from cold and hunger.—­Denied food and shelter by some.—­One noble exception.—­Subsequent success.—­Arrival at Perrysburgh.—­I obtained employment through the winter.—­My return to Kentucky to get my family.

In the fall or winter of 1837 I formed a resolution that I would escape, if possible, to Canada, for my Liberty.  I commenced from that hour making preparations for the dangerous experiment of breaking the chains that bound me as a slave.  My preparation for this voyage consisted in the accumulation of a little money, perhaps not exceeding two dollars and fifty cents, and a suit which I had never been seen or known to wear before; this last was to avoid detection.

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Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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