"O, What is life if love be lost,
If man's unkind to man?"
employed on board the steamer "Otto," where his new master placed him,
William had his own feelings often lacerated, by seeing his fellow-creatures carried in large
gangs down the Mississippi to the Southern market. These dark and revolting pictures of slavery
frequently caused him to question the refinement of feeling and goodness of heart so bountifully
claimed by the Anglo-Saxon, and, in the language of the poet, he would think to
"Say, flows not in the negro's vein,
Unchecked and free, without control,
A tide as pure, and clear from stain,
As feeds and warms the white man's soul?
Continued intercourse with educated persons, and meeting on the steamer so many travellers from the free States, caused the slave to feel more keenly his degraded and unnatural situation. He gained much information respecting the North and Canada, that was valuable to him in his final escape.
In his written narrative, Mr. Brown says,-- "The anxiety to be a freeman would not let me rest day nor night. I would think of the Northern cities I had heard so much about,-- of Canada, where many of my
`I would think of Victoria's domain,
In a moment I seemed to be there;
But the fear of being taken again,
Soon hurried me back to despair.'
Thoughts of the future, and my heart yearning for liberty, kept me always planning to escape."
After remaining more than a year the property of Mr. Willi, William was sold to Capt. Enoch Price, also a resident of St. Louis. This change was the turning-point in the young slave's life.