The Life of John Thompson, a Fugitive Slave: Containing His History of 25 Years in Bondage, and His Providential Escape. Written by Himself

Overview

I was born in Maryland, in 1812, and was slave to a Mrs. Wagar. She had four sons and two daughters. The sons were all farmers, owning large tracts of land; which were well stocked with slaves, and other animal property!
When her youngest son, James H., was about forty or forty-five years of age, he owned the plantation upon which he and his mother lived, and on which I was born. On this plantation were about two hundred slaves, young and old; ...
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Overview

I was born in Maryland, in 1812, and was slave to a Mrs. Wagar. She had four sons and two daughters. The sons were all farmers, owning large tracts of land; which were well stocked with slaves, and other animal property!
When her youngest son, James H., was about forty or forty-five years of age, he owned the plantation upon which he and his mother lived, and on which I was born. On this plantation were about two hundred slaves, young and old; of which fifty belonged to him, and the remainder to his mother; but all were in his charge.
Mr. J. H. W. had two children, John and Elizabeth. His wife died before I could remember, leaving the children under the supervision of the Grandmother. Elizabeth was about thirteen, and John ten years of age.
My parents had seven children, five sons and two daughters. My father and mother were field hands. My younger sister was house girl and ladies' maid, while the elder was given to one of the sons. The rest of us were too small to work, the eldest being only eleven years old.
The first act of slavery which I recorded in my memory, was the sale of my elder sister, who belonged to Henry Wagar, brother to J. H., and who lived three miles from our plantation. My mother heard of the sale, which was on Saturday, and on Sunday took us with her to see our beloved sister, who was then in the yard with the trader's drove, preparatory to being removed far south, on the Monday following. After travelling six miles, we arrived at our place of destination. Mother, approaching the door of the trader's house, fell upon her knees, in tears begging to be permitted to see her imprisoned daughter, who was soon to be dragged away from her embrace, probably to be seen no more in the flesh. It was not his custom to admit slaves into his yard to see their friends; but at this time, his heart seemed to be moved with compassion, for he opened the door, telling us to go in, which we did.
Here, the first thing that saluted my ears, was the rattling of the chains upon the limbs of the poor victims. It seemed to me to be a hell upon earth, emblematical of that dreadful dungeon where the wicked are kept, until the day of God's retribution, and where their torment ascends up forever and ever.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781477412268
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 5/6/2012
  • Pages: 166
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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