[Home] [Book] [Expand] [Collapse] [Help]

Clear Search Expand Search


    CHAPTER 1.   Table of Contents     CHAPTER III.

Brown, Josephine
Biography of an American Bondman

- CHAPTER II.

CHAPTER II.



"Waft,waft, ye winds, his story,
And you, ye waters, roll,
Till, like a sea of glory,
It spreads from pole to pole."

On Dr. Young's leaving home the second time, to attend the State Legislature, William was taken from his master's office and placed under Cook, the negro driver, to work in the field. Not more than twelve years of age, and of a tender constitution, he found his new situation a most unpleasant and difficult one to fill. Seeing William neatly dressed and doing light work about the office, the overseer had often expressed a wish to have the "white nigger" under his charge. "I will tan your yellow jacket for you," said the negro driver, as William took his hoe and followed the other slaves to the field. It was with pain that Elizabeth saw her son in the hands of this drunken man. William had been in the field scarcely a week, when Cook, for a pretended offence, took the young slave to the barn, tied him up, and inflicted a severe whipping upon him. In vain the mother pleaded for her child, and reminded the overseer that the boy was too young to perform the heavy labors given to him.

In punishing the slaves, the overseer was always inventing new modes of chastisement. On one occasion, Cook, in a fit of anger, because William did not

raster
13
keep up with the older hands in hoeing, gave the boy a flogging, and then took him into a pasture, where the sheep were grazing, and made him get down on his hands and knees in front of an old ram, noted for his butting qualities. As soon as the ram saw the boy in the butting attitude, he prepared himself for a fight, and, squaring off, he gave a bleat, and sprang forward, hitting William in the forehead, and knocking him upon the ground. The wound inflicted upon the poor boy caused the blood to gush from his nose. The overseer, and a few of his friends who were present to see the fun, laughed heartily, and the boy was sent back to work.

In the Doctor's absence, Cook ruled the slaves with an iron hand, using the negro-whip on all occassions where he was the least provoked. On the return of the Doctor from the Legislature, William was again removed from the field to his master's office.

Dr. Young was, without doubt, one of the most religious men south of "Mason and Dixon's line." He had family worship every night and morning, and on Sabbath morning, he spent an hour in reading and explaining Scripture to the blacks. If he punished a slave, he did it religiously. Quotations from the Bible, and a moral lecture, always accompanied the whip. "Servants, obey your masters," was continually on the Doctor's tongue. "He that knoweth his master's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes," was a part of his moral lecture to his slaves.

raster
14

    CHAPTER 1.   Table of Contents     CHAPTER III.