|LOUISA PICQUET, -- THE OCTOROON SLAVE. -- CHAPTER I. -- ILLUSTRIOUS BIRTH AND PARENTAGE.|
Louisa Picquet , the subject of the following narrative, was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and is apparently about thirty-three years of age. She is a little above the medium height, easy and graceful in her manners, of fair complexion and rosy cheeks, with dark eyes, a flowing head of hair with no perceptible inclination to curl, and every appearance, at first view, of an accomplished white lady. *
(*) The cut on the outside title-page is a tolerable representation of the features of Mrs. P., though by no means a flattering picture. No one, not apprised of the fact, would suspect that she had a drop of African blood in her veins; indeed, few will believe it, at first, even when told of it.
But a few minutes' conversation with her will convince almost any one that she has, at least, spent most of her life in the South. A certain menial-like diffidence, her plantation expression and pronunciation, her inability to read or write, together with her familiarity with and readiness in describing plantation scenes and sorrows, all attest the truthfulness of her declaration that she has been most of her life a slave. Besides, her artless simplicity and sincerity are sufficient to dissipate the last doubt. No candid person can talk with her without becoming fully convinced that she is a truthful, conscientious, and Christian
But, notwithstanding the fair complexion and lady-like bearing of Mrs. Picquet, she is of African descent on her mother's side--an octoroon, or eighth blood--and, consequently, one of the four millions in this land of Bibles, and churches, and ministers, and "liberty," who "have no rights that white men are bound to respect."
The story of her wrongs and sorrows will be recited, to a large extent, in her own language, as taken from her lips by the writer, in Buffalo, N.Y., in May, 1860.