Slave Narratives (Library of America, Volume 114)
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The ten works collected in this volume demonstrate how a diverse group of writers challenged the conscience of a nation and laid the foundations of the African American literary tradition by expressing their in anger, pain, sorrow, and courage.
Included in the volume: Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw; Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; The Confessions of Nat Turner; Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Narrative of William W. Brown; Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb; Narrative of Sojouner Truth; Ellen and William Craft's Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom; Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Narrative of the Life of J. D.Green.
and children in want pierc’d me to the heart.—I now blam’d myself for bringing her from London, as doubtless had we continued there we might have found friends to keep us from starving. The snow was at this season remarkably deep; so that we could see no prospect of being relieved. In this melancholy situation, not knowing what step to pursue, I resolved to make my case known to a Gentleman’s Gardiner that lived near us, and entreat him to employ me: but when I came to him, my courage failed me,
in that place; and said, ‘she must go over and identify him.’ She went to the office, but at sight of her the boy cried aloud, and regarded her as some terrible being, who was about to take him away from a kind and loving friend. He knelt, even, and begged them, with tears, not to take him away from his dear master, who had brought him from the dreadful South, and been so kind to him. When he was questioned relative to the bad scar on his forehead, he said, ‘Fowler’s horse hove him.’ And of the
allowance they chuse out of this produce of their daily work to their slaves for subsistence; this allowance is often very scanty. My master often gave the owners of these slaves two and a half of these pieces per day, and found the poor fellows in victuals himself, because he thought their owners did not feed them well enough according to the work they did. The slaves used to like this very well; and, as they knew my master to be a man of feeling, they were always glad to work for him in
the thoughts of my not sailing with him, he always became mild on my threats. I therefore continued with him; and, from my great attention to his orders and his business, I gained him credit, and through his kindness to me I at last procured my liberty. While I thus went on, filled with the thoughts of freedom, and resisting oppression as well as I was able, my life hung daily in suspense, particularly in the surfs I have formerly mentioned, as I could not swim. These are extremely violent
had killed him, and prayed to God, who gave me a mind which rested solely on himself. I prayed for resignation, that his will might be done; and the following two portions of his holy word, which occurred to my mind, buoyed up my hope, and kept me from taking the life of this wicked man. ‘He hath determined the times before appointed, and set bounds to our habitations,’ Acts xvii. 26. And, ‘Who is there amongst you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in