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Death is better than slavery.
– Harriet Ann Jacobs
The slave girl is reared in an atmosphere of licentiousness and fear.
There is something akin to freedom in having a lover who has no control over you, except that which he gains by kindness and attachment.
If you want to be fully convinced of the abominations of slavery, go on a southern plantation, and call yourself a negro trader. Then there will be no concealment; and you will see and hear things that will seem to you impossible among human beings with immortal souls.
When they told me my new-born babe was a girl, my heart was heavier than it had ever been before. Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women.
When my babe was born, they said it was premature. It weighed only four pounds; but God let it live.
If a slave is unwilling to go with his new master, he is whipped, or locked up in jail, until he consents to go, and promises not to run away during the year.
The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.
Southern women often marry a man knowing that he is the father of many little slaves. They do not trouble themselves about it.
But to the slave mother New Year’s day comes laden with peculiar sorrows. She sits on her cold cabin floor, watching the children who may all be torn from her the next morning; and often does she wish that she and they might die before the day dawns.
No pen can give an adequate description of the all-pervading corruption produced by slavery.
The secrets of slavery are concealed like those of the Inquisition.
DURING the first years of my service in Dr. Flint’s family, I was accustomed to share some indulgences with the children of my mistress.
For years, my master had done his utmost to pollute my mind with foul images, and to destroy the pure principles inculcated by my grandmother, and the good mistress of my childhood.
Dr. Flint had sworn that he would make me suffer, to my last day, for this new crime against him, as he called it; and as long as he had me in his power he kept his word.
When I was six years old, my mother died; and then, for the first time, I learned, by the talk around me, that I was a slave.
There is a great difference between Christianity and religion at the south. If a man goes to the communion table, and pays money into the treasury of the church, no matter if it be the price of blood, he is called religious.
I WAS born a slave; but I never knew it till six years of happy childhood had passed away.
Always it gave me a pang that my children had no lawful claim to a name.
When I was nearly twelve years old, my kind mistress sickened and died.
Cruelty is contagious in uncivilized communities.
But I now entered on my fifteenth year – a sad epoch in the life of a slave girl. My master began to whisper foul words in my ear. Young as I was, I could not remain ignorant of their import.
I would rather drudge out my life on a cotton plantation, till the grave opened to give me rest, than to live with an unprincipled master and a jealous mistress.
Every where the years bring to all enough of sin and sorrow; but in slavery the very dawn of life is darkened by these shadows.