Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

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.

Another man was called up whose wife followed him with her infant in her arms, beseeching to be sold with her husband, which proved to be all in vain.  After the men were all sold they then sold the women and children.  They ordered the first woman to lay down her child and mount the auction block; she refused to give up her little one and clung to it as long as she could, while the cruel lash was applied to her back for disobedience.  She pleaded for mercy in the name of God.  But the child was torn from the arms of its mother amid the most heart-rending shrieks from the mother and child on the one hand, and bitter oaths and cruel lashes from the tyrants on the other.  Finally the poor little child was torn from the mother while she was sacrificed to the highest bidder.  In this way the sale was carried on from beginning to end.

There was each speculator with his hand-cuffs to bind his victims after the sale; and while they were doing their writings, the Christian portion of the slaves asked permission to kneel in prayer on the ground before they separated, which was granted.  And while bathing each other with tears of sorrow on the verge of their final separation, their eloquent appeals in prayer to the Most High seemed to cause an unpleasant sensation upon the ears of their tyrants, who ordered them to rise and make ready their limbs for the caffles.  And as they happened not to bound at the first sound, they were soon raised from their knees by the sound of the lash, and the rattle of the chains, in which they were soon taken off by their respective masters,—­husbands from wives, and children from parents, never expecting to meet until the judgment of the great day.  Then Christ shall say to the slaveholding professors of religion, “Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these little ones, my brethren, ye did it unto me.”

Having thus tried to show the best side of slavery that I can conceive of, the reader can exercise his own judgment in deciding whether a man can be a Bible Christian, and yet hold his Christian brethren as property, so that they may be sold at any time in market, as sheep or oxen, to pay his debts.

During my life in slavery I have been sold by professors of religion several times.  In 1836 “Bro.”  Albert G. Sibley, of Bedford, Kentucky, sold me for $850 to “Bro.”  John Sibley; and in the same year he sold me to “Bro.”  Wm. Gatewood of Bedford, for $850.  In 1839 “Bro.”  Gatewood sold me to Madison Garrison, a slave trader, of Louisville, Kentucky, with my wife and child—­at a depreciated price because I was a runaway.  In the same year he sold me with my family to “Bro.”  Whitfield, in the city of New Orleans, for $1200.  In 1841 “Bro.”  Whitfield sold me from my family to Thomas Wilson and Co., blacklegs.  In the same year they sold me to a “Bro.” in the Indian Territory.  I think he was a member of the Presbyterian Church.  F.E.  Whitfield was a deacon in regular standing in the Baptist Church.  A. Sibley was a Methodist exhorter of the M.E.  Church in good standing.  J. Sibley was a class-leader in the same church; and Wm. Gatewood was also an acceptable member of the same church.

Follow Us on Facebook