This little book, now offered to the many kind friends of Bethany Veney, contains the simple story of one of the five millions of human beings who, less than thirty years ago, were bought and sold like beasts of burden, in fifteen out of thirty-two, States of our American Republic.
Already, this fact in our national history is largely overlooked, and to the generation now coming upon the stage of action is almost unknown.
Compared with the lives of many of her class, Betty's was uneventful. Yet in it was much of tragic adventure and tender pathos. Her endurance under hardship, her fidelity to trust, and, withal, her religious faith, commend her as a fit subject, not only to impress the lesson of slavery in the past, but to inspire and deepen a sense of responsibility toward the wronged and persecuted race which she represents.
Beyond these considerations is this: her days have already far outrun the allotted threescore years and ten, and her natural strength is much abated. If sold, these pages may help to render her declining years easier and freer from care.
It is greatly to be regretted that the language and personal characteristics of Bethany cannot be transcribed. The little particulars that give coloring and point, tone and expression, are largely lost. Only the outline can be given. As it is, possessing only the merit of a "plain, unvarnished tale," it asks for generous consideration and extended sale.
East Greenwich , R. I., 1889.