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We were now fellow-servants, and it was our || into custody, after he had seen them, and to lot to be carried up a small river or creek, which carry them to the work. They were brought by falls into Potomack river, about eight miles from a guard of seamen from the ship, and the second the great river. Here we were brought to the mate of the ship came with them, and delivered plantation, and put in among about hfty servants, them to our master, with the warrant for their as well negroes as others; and being delivered to transportation, as above. the head man, or director or manager of the plan When his worship had read over the warrants, tation, he took care to let us know that we must he called them over by their names, one by one, expect to work, and very hard too; for it was for and having let them know, by his reading the that purpose his master bought servants, and for warrants over again to each man respectively, no other. I told him, very submissively, that that he knew for what offences they were transsince it was our misfortune to come into such a ported, he talked to every one separately very miserable condition as we were in, we expected gravely; let them know how much favour they no other; only we desired we might be showed had received in being saved from the gallows, our business, and be allowed to learn it gradually, which the law had appointed for their crimes ; since he might be sure we had not been used to that they were not sentenced to be transported, labour; and, I added, that when he knew parti but to be hanged, and that transportation was cularly by what methods we were brought and granted them upon their own request and humble betrayed into such a condition, he would perhaps petition. see cause at least to show us that favour, if not Then he laid before them, that they ought to more. This I spoke with such a moving tone as look upon the life they were just agoing to enter gave him curiosity to inquire into the particulars upon as just beginning the world again; that if of our story, which I gave him at large, a little they thought fit to be diligent and sober, they more to our advantage, too, than ordinary. would (after the time they were ordered to serve
This story, as I hoped it would, did move him was expired) be encouraged by the constitution to a sort of tenderness; but yet he told us that of the country to settle and plant for themselves; his master's business must be done, and that he and that even he himself would be so kind to expected we must work as above; that he could | them, that, if he lived to see any of them serve not dispense with that upon any account what their time faithfully out, it was his custom to ever. Accordingly to work we went; and indeed assist his servants in order to their settling in that we had three hard things attending us ; namely, country, according as their behaviour might merit we worked hard, lodged hard, and fared hard. from him; and they would see and know several The first I had been an utter stranger to, the last planters round about them, who now were in very I could shift well enough with.
good circumstances, and who formerly were only During this scene of life I had time to reflect his servants in the same condition with them, and on my past hours, and upon what I had done in came from the same place that is to say), Newthe world ; and though I had no great capacity gate; and some of them had the mark of it in of making a clear judgment, and very little re their hands, but were now very honest men, and flection from conscience, yet it made some im I lived in very good repute. pression upon me; and, particularly, that I was Among the rest of his new servants he came to brought into this miserable condition of a slave, a young fellow not above seventeen or eighteen by some strange directing power, as a punishment years of age, and his warrant mentioned that he for the wickedness of my younger years; and this was, though a young man, yet an old offender; thought was increased upon the following occa that he had been several times condemned, but sion : the master, whose service I was now en had been respited or pardoned, but still he congaged in, was a man of substance and figure in tinued an incorrigible pickpocket ; that the crime the country, and had abundance of servants, as for which he was now transported, was for pickwell negroes as English ; in all, I think, he had || ing a merchant's pocket-book, or letter-case, out near two hundred, and among so many, as some of his pocket, in which were bills of exchange for grew every year infirm and unable to work, others || a very great sum of money; that he had after. went off upon their time being expired, and others wards received the money upon some of the bills; died; and by these and other accidents the num- || but that going to a goldsmith in Lombard-street ber would diminish if they were not often re with another bill, and having demanded the money, cruited and filled, and this obliged him to buy he was stopped, notice having been given of the more every year.
loss of them; that he was condemned to die for It happened while I was here that a ship the felony, and being so well known for an old arrived from London with several servants, and offender, had certainly died, but the merchant, among the rest were seventeen transported felons, lupon his earnest application, had obtained that some burnt in the hand, others not; eight of || he should be transported, on condition that he whom my master bought for the time specified in / restored all the rest of his bills, which he had the warrant for their transportation respectively, || done accordingly. some for a longer, some a shorter term of years. | Our master talked a long time to this young
Our master was a great man in the country, || fellow; mentioned, with some surprise, that he so and a justice of peace, though he seldom came ll young should have followed such a wicked trade down to the plantation where I was; yet, as the so long as to obtain the name of an old offender new servants were brought on shore, and deli. at so young an age ; and that he should be style vered at our plantation, his worship came thither, I incorrigible, which is to signify that, notwith, in a kind of state, to see and receive them. When | standing his being whipt two or three times, and they were brought before him, I was called, among || several times punished by imprisonmeut, and once other servants, as a kind of guard, to take them ll burnt in the hand, yet nothing would do him any
good, but that he was still the same. He talked || true name is; but thus I have been called ever
Mast. “ Say you so ? tell it me at large then; Then he told him that, while he was a servant, I'll hear it, I promise that, if it be an hour long." he would have no opportunity to be dishonest, so This encouraged me, and I began at my being when he came to be for himself he would have no | a soldier, and being persuaded to desert at Duntemptation to it; and so, after a great many other bar, and gave him all the particulars, as they are kind things said to him and the rest, they were related above, to the time of my coming on shore, dismissed.
and the captain talking to me about my bill after I was exceedingly moved at this discourse of I arrived here. He held up his hands several our master's, as anybody would judge I must be, times as I went on, expressing his abhorrence of when it was directed to such a young rogue, born the usage I had met with at Newcastle, and ina thief and bred up a pickpocket, like myself ; for | quired the name of the master of the ship; “ For," I thought all my master said was spoken to me, said he, “that captain, for all his smooth words, and sometimes it came into my head, that sure must be a rogue.” So I told him his name, and the my master was some extraordinary man, and he name of the ship, and he took it down in his knew all things that ever I had done in my life. I book, and then we went on.
But I was surprised to the last degree, when Mast. “But pray answer me honestly, too, to my master, dismissing all the rest of us servants, another question ; what was it made you so much pointed at me, and speaking to his head clerk, | concerned at my talking to the boy there, the *Here,” says he, “bring that young fellow hither || pick pocket ?” to me."
Jack. “ An't please your honour, it moved me I had been near a year in the work, and I had to hear you talk so kindly to a poor slave.” plied it so well, that the clerk, or head man, either U Mast. “ And was that all; speak truly now ?" lattered me, or did really believe that I behavedl Jack. “ No, indeed, but a secret wish came Sery well; but I was terribly frightened to hear into my thoughts, that you that were so good to myself called out aloud, just as they used to call for such a creature as that, could but one way or such as had done some misdemeanor, and were other know my case, and that if you did, you to be lashed, or otherwise corrected.
would certainly pity me, and do something for I came in like a malefactor indeed, and thought I looked like one just taken in the fact, and car Mast, “ Well, but there was nothing in his ried before the justice; and indeed, when I came case that hit with your own, that made you so in, for I was carried into an inner room, or par- ll affected with it, for I saw tears come from your lour, in the house to him; his discourse to the leyes, and it was that made me call to speak to rest was in a large hall, where he sat in a seat like a lord judge upon the bench, or a petty king I Jack. “ Indeed, sir, I have been a wicked idle upon his throne.
boy, and was left desolate in the world; but that When I came in, I say, he ordered his man to boy is a thief, and condemned to be hanged; I withdraw, and I standing half naked and bare never was before a court of justice in my life.” headed, with my haugh, or boe, in my hand (the Mast.“ Well, I won't examine you too far; posture and figure I was in at my work), near the || if you were never before a court of justice, and door, he bade me lav down my hoe, and come near- || are not a criminal transported, I have nothing er; then he began to look a little less stern and farther to inquire of you. You have been ill terrible than I fancied him to look before, or, per- used, that's certain, and was it that that affected haps, both his countenance then and before might || you?" be, to my imagination, differing from what they || Jack. “ Yes, indeed, please your honour:" (we really were; for we do not always judge those all called him his honour or his worship.) things by the real temper of the person, but by | Mast. “ Well, now I do know your case, what the measure of our apprehensions.
can I do for you? You speak of a bill of 941. of “ Hark ye, young man, how old are you?” says which you would have given the captain 401. for my master, and so our dialogue began.
your liberty; have you that bill in your keeping Jack. “ Indeed, sir, I do not know."
still ? ' Mast. “ What is your name?"
Jack. “ Yes, sir, here it is." (I pulled it out of Jack. “ They call me Colonel here, but my the waistband of my drawers, where I always name is Jack, an't please your worship."
found means to preserve it, wrapped up in a Mast. “But prythee what is thy name ?" piece of paper, and pinned to the waistband, and Jack. “ Jack."
yet almost worn out too with often pinning and Mast.“ What! is thy Christian name, then, I removing, so I gave it to him to read, and he Colonel, and thy sirname Jack?"
read it.) Jack. “Truly, sir, to tell your honour the truth, Mast. “ And is this gentleman in being that I know little or nothing of myself, nor what myll gave you the bill ?"
Jack. “ Yes, sir, he was alive, and in good gave me a dram of rum; when, in good manners, health, when I came from London, which you || I had taken but a little sup, he held it out to me may see by the date of the bill, for I came away again and bade me take another, and spoke wonthe next day."
drous civilly to me, quite otherwise than he used Mast.“ I do not wonder that the captain of || to do. the ship was willing to get this bill of you, when This encouraged me and heartened me very you came on shore here."
much; but yet I had no particular view of any. Jack. “ I would have given it into his posses- thing, or which way I should have any relief. sion, if he would have carried me and my brother A day or two after, when we were all going out back again to England, and have taken what he to our work in the morning, the overscer called asked for us out of it."
me to him again, and gave me a dram and a good Mast. “ Ay, but he knew better than that too ; || piece of bread, and bade me come off from my he knew, if he had any friends there, they would work about one o'clock, and come to him to the call him to an account for what he had done; but house, for he must speak with me. I wonder he did not take it from you while you! When I came to him, I came, to be sure, in were at sea, either by fraud or by force."
the ordinary habit of a poor half-naked slave. Jack. “ He did not attempt that indeed.” “ Come hither, young man,” says he, “and give
Mast. “ Well, young man, I have a mind to me your hoe.” When I gave it him, “Well,» try if I can do you any service in this case. On || says he, "you are to work no more in this planmy word, if the money can be paid, and you can tation." get it safe over, I might put you in a way how to I looked surprised, and as if I was frightened. be a better man than your master, if you will be “ What have i done, sir," said I, “and whither honest and diligent.”
am I to be sent away?" Jack. “ As I behave myself in your service, “ Nay, nay,” says he, and looked very pleasir, you will, I hope, judge of the rest."
santly; “ do not be frightened, 'tis for your good, Mast. “ But perhaps you hanker after return 'tis not to hurt you; I am ordered to make an ing to England.”
overseer of you, and you shall be a slave no Jack. “ No, indeed, sir, if I can but get my longer." bread honestly here, I have no mind to go to "Alas!" says I to him, “ I an overseer ! I am ! England, for I know not how to get my bread in no condition for it. I have no clothes to put there; if I had, I had not listed for a soldier," lon, no linen, nothing to help myself.”
Mast.“ Well, but I must ask you some ques “ Well, well,” says he," you may be better tions about that part hereafter; for 'tis indeed used than you are aware of; come hither with something strange that you should list for a sol me." So he led me into a vast great warehouse, dier when you had 941. in your pocket.”
or rather set of warehouses, one within another, Jack. “ 1 shall give your worship as particular and calling the warehouse-keeper, “ Here," says account of that as I have of the other part of my he, "you must clothe this man, and give him life, if you please, but 'tis very long."
everything necessary, upon the foot of number Mast. “ Well, we will have that another time ; || five, and give the bill to me; our master has but to the case in band; are you willing I should ordered me to allow it in the accompt of the west send to anybody at London, to talk with that | plantation." That was, it seems, the plantation gentleman that gave you the bill; not to take the where I was to go. money of him, but to ask him only whether he has so much money of yours in his hands ? and
CHAPTER IX. whether he will part with it when you shall give order, and send the bill, or a duplicate of it? I STUMBLE AT THE THRESHOLD OF MY NEW OFPICE that is,” says he, “ the copy;" and it was well he -I STUDY TO RENDER THE NEGROES OBEDIENT did say so, for I did not understand the word
WITHOUT PUNISHMENT, AND SUCCEED—-OCR MASduplicate at all.
TER VISITS THE PLANTATION - CONVERSATION Jack. “ Yes, sir, I will give you the bill itself, WITH HIM-I GAIN HIS GOOD GRACES MORE AND if you please, I can trust it with you, though I MORE_FIDELITY OF A NEGRO.. could not with him."
ACCORDINGLY, the warehouse-keeper carried me Mast. “ No, no, young man, I won't take it into an inner warehouse, where were several suits
of clothes of the sort his orders mentioned, which Jack. “ I wish your worship would please to were plain, but good sort of clothes, ready made, keep it for me, for, if I should lose it, then I am being of a good broad-cloth, about lls. a yard in quite undone."
England, and with this he gave me three good Mast. “ I will keep it for you, Jack, if you shirts, two pair of shoes, stockings and gloves, a. will, but then you shall have a note under my hat, six neckcloths, and, in short, everything I hand, signifying that I have it, and will return it could want; and when he had looked everything you upon demand, which will be as safe to you out, and fitted them, he lets me into a little room as the bill; I won't take it else.”
by itself. “Here,” says he, “go in there a slave, So I gave my master the bill, and he gave me and come out a gentleman;" and with that car. his note for it; and he was a faithful steward for ried everything into the room, and, shutting the me, as you will hear in its place. After this con door, bid' me put them on, which I did most will. ference I was dismissed, and went to my work, || ingly; and now you may believe that I began to but, about two hours after, the steward, or the hope for something better than ordinary. overseer of the plantation, came riding by, and, In a little while after this came the overseer, coming up to me as I was at work, pulled a 1 and gave me joy of my new clothes, and told me bottle out of his pocket, and, calling me to him, ll I must go with him ; so I was carried to another
plantation, larger than that where I worked be- | naged; that they did not take the best course fore, and where there were two overseers, or with them to make them sensible either of mercy clerks, one within doors and two without. This or punishment; and it was evident to me that last was removed to another plantation, and I was even the worst of those tempers might be brought placed there in his room ; that is to say, as the to a compliance without the lash, or, at least, clerk without doors, and my business was to look without so much of it as they generally inflicted. after the servants and negroes, and take care that our master was really a man of humanity himthey did their business, provide their food, and, self, and was sometimes so full of tenderness that in short, both govern and direct them.
he would forbid the severities of his overseers and I was elerated to the highest degree in my stewards; but he saw the necessity of it, and was thoughts at this advancement, and it is impossible obliged at last to leave it to the discretion of his for me to express the joy of my mind upon this upper servants; yet he would. often bid them be occasion ; but there came a difficulty upon me merciful, and bid them consider the difference of that shocked me so violently, and went so against the constitution of the bodies of the negroes; my very nature, that I really had almost forfeited some being less able to bear the tortures of their
my place about it, and, in all appearance, the il punishment than others, and some of them less I favour of our master, who had been so generous obstinate too than others.
to me; and this was, that when I entered uponi However, somebody was so officious as to inmy office, I had a horse given me, and a long form him against me upon this occasion ; and horse-whip, like what we call in England a hunt- let him know that I neglected his affairs, and ing-whip. The horse was to ride up and down that the servants were under no government; by all over the plantation to see the servants and which means his plantation was not duly managed, negroes did their work, and the plantation being and that all things were in disorder.
so large, it could not be done on foot, at least so This was a heavy charge for a young oversecr, I often and so effectually as was required; and the and his honour came like a judge, with all his
horse-whip was given me to correct and lash the attendants, to look into things, and hear the
slaves and servants when they proved negligent || cause. However, he was so just to me, as that, 1 or quarrelsome, or, in short, were guilty of any before he censured me, he resolved to hear me 1, offence. This part turned the very blood within fully, and that not only publicly but in private 'my veins, and I could not think of it with any I too; and the last part of this was my particular
temper, that I, who was but yesterday a servant good fortune; for as he had formerly allowed me or slave like them, and under the authority of the to speak to him with freedom, so I had the like same lash, should lift up my hand to the cruel work freedom now, and had full liberty to explain and which was my terror but the day before. This, | defend myself. i lay, I could not do; insomuch that the negroes I knew nothing of the complaint against me
perceived it, and I had soon so much contempt till I had it from his own mouth ; nor anything i upog my authority that we were all in disorder. ll of his coming till I saw him in the very planta1 The ingratitude of their return for the com- | tion, viewing his work, and viewing the several I passion I showed them provoked me, I confess, l pieces of ground that were ordered to be new ! and a little hardened my heart; and I began with 'planted; and after he had rode all round, and
the negroes, two of whom I was obliged to cor- seen things in the condition which they were to rert, and I thought I did it most cruelly; but be seen in ; how everything was in its due order, after I lashed them till every blow I struck them and the servants and negroes were all at work, hurt myself, and I was ready to faint at the work, and everything appearing to his mind, he went the rogues laughed at me, and one of them had into the house. the impudence to say behind my back, that, if he As I saw him come up the walks I ran towards had the whipping of me, he would show me better him, and made my homage, and gave him my how to whip a negro.
humble thanks for the goodness he had showed 1 Well, however, I had no power to do it in such me, in taking me from the miserable condition I , a barbarous manner as I found it was necessary || was in before, and employing and entrusting me
to have it done, and the defect began to be a de- || in his business; and he looked pleasant enough, triment to our master's business, and now I began though he did not say much at first, and I indeed to see that the cruelty so much talked of attended him through the whole plantation, gave used in Virginia and Barbadoes and other colo- || him an account of everything as he went along, i nies, in whipping the negro slaves, was not so ll answered all his objections and inquiries everymuch owing to the tyranny and passion and | where in such a manner, as it seems, he did not
cruelty of the English as had been reported; the expect, and, as he acknowledged afterwards, | English not being accounted to be of a cruel dis- | everything was very much to his satisfaction.
position, and really are not so; but that it is There was an overseer, as I observed, belongowing to the brutality and obstinate temper of the ling to the same plantation, who was, though not negroes, who cannot be managed by kindness and over me, yet in a work superior to mine ; for his courtesy, but must be ruled with a rod of iron, business was to see the tobacco packed up, and beaten with scorpions, as the Scripture calls it, | deliver it either on board the sloops, or otherand must be used as they do use them, or they wise, as our master ordered, and to receive would rise and murder all their masters, which, || English goods from the grand warehouse, which their numbers considered, would not be hard for I was at the other plantation, because that was them to do if they had arms and ammunition nearest the water side ; and, in short, to keep suitable to the rage and cruelty of their nature. the accompts.
But I began to see at the same time that this This overseer, an honest and upright man, brutal temper of the negroes was not rightly ma-ll made no complaint to him of his business being neglected, as above, or of anything like it, though thc house; when, after he had been sat down a he inquired of him about it, and that very strictly i while, he called me to him; and, not suffering too.
my accusers to come near, till he had heard my I should have said, that as he rode over the defence, he began with me thus. plantation, he came in his round to the place | Mast. “ Hark ye, young man, I must have where the servants were usually corrected, when some discourse with you. Your conduct is comthey had done any fault; and there stood two plained of since I set you over this plantation; negroes, with their hands tied behind them, as it I thought your sense of the obligation I had laid were under sentence; and when he came near on you would have secured your diligence and them, they fell on their knees, and made pitiful | faithfulness to me." signs to him for mercy. “ Alas! alas !" says he, Jack. “I am very sorry any complaint should turning to me," why did you bring me this way? be made of me, because the obligation I am under I do not love such sights, what must I do now? to your honour (and which I freely confess) does I must pardon them; prithee, what have they bind me to your interest in the strongest manner done?" I told him the particular offences which imaginable ; and, however I may have mistaken they were brought to the place for ; one had my business, I am sure I have not willingly stolen a bottle of rum, and had made himself neglected it." drunk with it, and when he was drunk, had done Mast.“ Well, I shall not condemn you witba great many mad things, and had attempted to out hearing you, and therefore I called you in knock one of the white servant's brains out with now to tell you of it." a handspike; but that the white man had Jack. “ I humbly thank your honour; I have avoided the blow, and, striking up the negro's but one petition more, and that is, that I may heels, had seized him, and brought him prisoner know my accusation; and, if you please, my thither, where he had lain all night ; and that I accusers.' had told him he was to be whipped that day, and Mast. “ The first you shall, and that is the law the next three days, twice every day.
reason of my talking to you in private; and if “And could you be so cruel ?" says his there is any need of a further hearing, you shall honour, “ why you would kill the poor wretch; know your accusers too. What you are charged and so, besides the blood which you would have with is just contrary to what appeared to me to answer for, you would lose me a lusty man just now, and therefore you and I must come to negro, which cost me at least 301. or 401. and a new understanding about it, for I thought I bring a reproach upon my whole plantation; nay, l was too cunning for you, and now I think you and more than that, some of them in revenge have been too cunning for me." would murder me, if ever it was in their power.” Jack. “I hope your honour will not be offended
“ Sir,” says I, “ if those fellows are not kept that I do not fully understand you." under by violence, I believe you are satisfied Mast. “ I believe you do not; come, tell me nothing is to be done with them; and it is re- honestly, did you really intend to whip the poor ported, in your works, that I have been rather negro twice a day for four days together, that is their jest than their terror, for want of using to say, to whip him to death, for that would have them as they deserve ; and I was resolved, how | been the English of it, and the end of it." much soever it is against my own disposition, Jack. “ If I may be permitted to guess, sir, ! that your service should not suffer for my un-believe I know the charge that is brought against seasonable forbearance; and therefore, if I had me; and that your honour has been told, that I scourged him to death_"_“ Hold,” says he,“ no, have been too gentle with the negroes, as well as no, by no means, no such severity in my bounds ; with other servants; and that when they deserved remember, young man, you were once a servant, to be used with the accustomed severity of the deal as you would acknowledge it would be just country, I have not given them half enough: to deal with you in his case, and mingle always and that by this means they are careless of your li some mercy; I desire it, and let the consequence business, and that your plantation is not well of being too gentle be placed to my account.” I looked after, and the like."
This was as much as I could desire, and the Mast. “ Well, you guess right; go on." more, because what passed was in public, and Jack. “ The first part of the charge I confess several, both negrocs and white servants, as well but the last I deny; and appeal to your honour) as the particular persons who had accused me, strictcst examination into every part of it." heard it all, though I did not know it. “A cruell Mast. “ If the last part could be true, I would dog of an overseer,” says one of the white ser- | be glad the first were : for it would be an infinite vants behind,“ he would have whipped poor satisfaction to me that, my business not being bullet-head (so they called the negro that was to neglected nor our safety endangered, those poor be punished) to death, if his honour had not wretches could be used with more humanity; for happened to come to-day.”
cruelty is the aversion of my nature, and it is the However, I urged the notorious crime this fel- only uncomfortable thing that attends me in all low was guilty of, and the danger there was in my prosperity." such forbearance, from the refractory and incor- | Jack. ** I freely acknowledge, sir, that at first rigible temper of the negroes, and pressed a little it was impossible for me to bring myself to that the necessity of making examples; but he said, terrible work. How could I, that was but just “ Well, well, do it the next time, but not now;" come out of the terror of it myself, and had but so I said no more,
the day before been a poor, naked, miserable serThe other fellow's crime was trilling compared vant myself, and might be to-morrow reduced to with this ; and the master went forward, talking the same condition again; how could I use this of it to me, and I following him, till we came to' (showing a horsewhip) terrible weapon on the