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 159 pages of information about Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself.

The language of Malinda was, “Oh! my dear little child is gone?  What shall I do? my child is gone.”  This most distressing sound struck a sympathetic chord through all the prison among the prisoners.  I was not permitted to go to my wife and inquire what had become of little Frances.  I never expected to see her again, for I supposed that she was sold.

That night, however, I had a short interview with my much abused wife, who told me the secret.  She said that Garrison had taken her to a private house where he kept female slaves for the basest purposes.  It was a resort for slave trading profligates and soul drivers, who were interested in the same business.

Soon after she arrived at this place, Garrison gave her to understand what he brought her there for, and made a most disgraceful assault on her virtue, which she promptly repeled; and for which Garrison punished her with the lash, threatening her that if she did not submit that he would sell her child.  The next day he made the same attempt, which she resisted, declaring that she would not submit to it; and again he tied her up and flogged her until her garments were stained with blood.

He then sent our child off to another part of the city, and said he meant to sell it, and that she should never see it again.  He then drove Malinda before him to the work-house, swearing by his Maker that she should submit to him or die.  I have already described her entrance in the prison.

Two days after this he came again and took Malinda out of the prison.  It was several weeks before I saw her again, and learned that he had not sold her or the child.  At the same time he was buying up other slaves to take to New Orleans.  At the expiration of three months he was ready to start with us for the New Orleans slave market, but we never knew when we were to go, until the hour had arrived for our departure.

One Sabbath morning Garrison entered the prison and commanded that our limbs should be made ready for the coffles.  They called us up to an anvill block, and the heavy log chains which we had been wearing on our legs during three months, were cut off.  I had been in the prison over three months; but he had other slaves who had not been there so long.  The hand-cuffs were then put on to our wrists.  We were coupled together two and two—­the right hand of one to the left hand of another, and a long chain to connect us together.

The other prisoners appeared to be sorry to see us start off in this way.  We marched off to the river Ohio, to take passage on board of the steamboat Water Witch.  But this was at a very low time of water, in the fall of 1839.  The boat got aground, and did not get off that night; and Garrison had to watch us all night to keep any from getting away.  He also had a very large savage dog, which was trained up to catch runaway slaves.

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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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