|INTRODUCTORY LETTER FROM BISHOP MALLALIEU.|
There have been many histories written, but they do not tell a thousandth part of what has been done in the ages past. The unwritten histories would in the world. It is so with biographies: many have been written, but unnumbered millions have found no record outside of throbbing hearts. If we could now perfectly the inner life of almost any person; if we could only know the hopes and fears and loves and heartaches; if we could only know the conflicts, he defeats, the victories of the soul,--we should see that the humblest and most uneventful life is more thrillingly wonderful than any romance that was over written. All this is emphatically true of thousands upon thousands born and reared in slavery.
It was the lot of the subject of this brief biography to have been born in the same State as Washington the savior of his country, as Jefferson the author of the Declaration of Independence, and as Patrick Henry the sublime orator of freedom; and yet she was born a slave. She was born in a commonwealth that was nominally Christian, and yet she was born a slave. She was born in had of Bibles and sanctuaries and Sabbaths, and yet she was born a slave. a land all the people everywhere in all our borders thank God that the shame and Let and curse of slavery have been done away. Betty Veney may have been born sin and but the pure soul that looked out of her flashing eyes was never in a slave to any miserable being calling himself her master. Redeemed from bondage galling yoke her body was compelled for years to wear, she has lived a pure and spotless life. Though poor and unknown among men, the angels of God had camped around her for, lo! these many years; and she has been able, by the bounding grace of God, to walk the rough and dusty paths of a toilsome toe with garments spotless and wrinkleless.
The day is coming when slaveholders and their descendants will no more think of boasting of the fact, or even mentioning it, than the grandchildren of the slave-stealers and pirates of Newport, and other Northern seaports, now think of priding themselves on the unspeakable villany of their ancestors. In the time, the biographies of saintly, enduring spirits like that of Betty veney will be read, and will serve to inspire the discouraged and down-trodden to their trust in the almighty arm of Jehovah, who alone works deliverance and to all those who put their trust in him.
W. F. MALLALIEU.
New Orleans, La ., Jan. 30, 1889.