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.

After the first day, I laid by in the day and traveled by night for several days and nights, passing in this way through several tribes of Indians.  I kept pretty near the boundary line.  I recollect getting lost one dark rainy night.  Not being able to find the road I came into an Indian settlement at the dead hour of the night.  I was wet, wearied, cold and hungry; and yet I felt afraid to enter any of their houses or wigwams, not knowing whether they would be friendly or not.  But I knew the Indians were generally drunkards, and that occasionally a drunken white man was found straggling among them, and that such an one would be more likely to find friends from sympathy than an upright man.

So I passed myself off that night as a drunkard among them.  I walked up to the door of one of their houses, and fell up against it, making a great noise like a drunken man; but no one came to the door.  I opened it and staggered in, falling about, and making a great noise.  But finally an old woman got up and gave me a blanket to lie down on.

There was quite a number of them lying about on the dirt floor, but not one could talk or understand a word of the English language.  I made signs so as to let them know that I wanted something to eat, but they had nothing, so I had to go without that night.  I laid down and pretended to be asleep, but I slept none that night, for I was afraid that they would kill me if I went to sleep.  About one hour before day, the next morning, three of the females got up and put into a tin kettle a lot of ashes with water, to boil, and then poured into it about one quart of corn.  After letting it stand a few moments, they poured it into a trough, and pounded it into thin hominy.  They washed it out, and boiled it down, and called me up to eat my breakfast of it.

After eating, I offered them six cents, but they refused to accept it.  I then found my way to the main road, and traveled all that day on my journey, and just at night arrived at a public house kept by an Indian, who also kept a store.  I walked in and asked if I could get lodging, which was granted; but I had not been there long before three men came riding up about dusk, or between sunset and dark.  They were white men, and I supposed slaveholders.  At any rate when they asked if they could have lodging, I trembled for fear they might be in pursuit of me.  But the landlord told them that he could not lodge them, but they could get lodging about two miles off, with a white man, and they turned their horses and started.

The landlord asked me where I was traveling to, and where I was from.  I told him that I had been out looking at the country; that I had thought of buying land, and that I lived in the State of Ohio, in the village of Perrysburgh.  He then said that he had lived there himself, and that he had acted as an interpreter there among the Maumee tribe of Indians for several years.  He then asked who I was acquainted with there?  I informed him that I knew Judge Hollister, Francis Hollister, J.W.  Smith, and others.  At this he was so much pleased that he came up and took me by the hand, and received me joyfully, after seeing that I was acquainted with those of his old friends.

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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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