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When I first went upon Mr. Swan's plantation, I saw a slave in shackles or fetters, which were fastened around each ankle and firmly riveted, connected together by a chain. To the middle of this chain he had fastened a string, so as in a manner to suspend them and keep them from galling his ankles. This slave, whose name was Frank, was an intelligent, good looking man, and a very good mechanic. There was nothing vicious in his character, but he was one of those high-spirited and daring men, that whips, chains, fetters, and all the means of cruelty in the power of slavery, could not subdue. Mr. S. had employed a Mr. Beckwith to repair a boat, and told him Frank was a good mechanic, and he might have his services. Frank was sent for, his shackles still on. Mr. Beckwith set him to work making trunnels, &c. I was employed in putting up a building, and after Mr. Beckwith had done with Frank, he was sent for to assist me. Mr. Swan sent him to a blacksmith's shop and had his shackles cut off with a cold chisel. Frank was afterwards sold to a cotton planter.
"I was once visiting a sick slave in whose spiritual welfare peculiar circumstances had led me to be deeply interested. I knew that she had been early seduced from the path of virtue, as nearly all the female slaves are. I knew also that her mistress, though a professor of religion, had never taught her a single precept of Christianity, yet that she had had her severely punished for this departure from them, and that the poor girl was then ill of an incurable disease, occasioned partly by her own misconduct, and partly by the cruel treatment she had received, in a situation that called for tenderness and care. Her heart seemed truly touched with repentance for her sins, and she was inquiring, "What shall I do to be saved?" I was sitting by her as she lay on the floor upon a blanket, and was trying to establish her trembling spirit in the fulness of Jesus, when I heard the voice of her mistress in loud and angry tones, as she approached the door. I read in the countenance of the prostrate sufferer, the terror which she felt at the prospect of seeing her mistress. I knew my presence would be very unwelcome, but staid, hoping that it might restrain, in some measure, the passions of the mistress. In this, however, I was mistaken; she passed me without apparently observing that I was there, and seated herself on the other side of the sick slave. She made no inquiry how she was, but in a tone of anger commenced a tirade of abuse, violently reproaching her with her past misconduct, and telling her in the most unfeeling manner, that eternal destruction awaited her. No word of kindness escaped her. What had then roused her temper I do not know. She continued in this strain several minutes, when I attempted to soften her by remarking, that----was very ill, and she ought not thus to torment her, and that I believed Jesus had granted her forgiveness. But I might as well have tried to stop the tempest in its career, as to calm the infuriated passions nurtured by the exercise of arbitrary power. She looked at me with ineffable scorn, and continued to pour forth a torrent of abuse and reproach. Her helpless victim listened in terrified silence, until nature could endure no more, when she uttered a wild shriek, and casting on her tormentor a look of unutterable agony, exclaimed, 'Oh, mistress, I am dying!' This appeal arrested her attention, and she soon left the room, but in the same spirit with which she entered it. The girl survived but a few days, and, I believe, saw her mistress no more."
WITNESSES.TESTIMONY.William Toler, sheriff of Simpson county, Mississippi, in the "Southern Sun," Jackson, Mississippi, September 22, 1838."Was committed to jail, a yellow boy named Jim--had on a large lock chain around his neck."Mr. James R. Green, in the "Beacon," Greensborough, Alabama, August 23, 1838.Ranaway, a negro man named Squire--had on a chain locked with a house-lock, around his neck."Mr. Hazlet Loflano, in the "Spectator," Staunton, Virginia, Sept. 27, 1838."Ranaway, a negro named David--with some iron hobbles around each ankle."Mr. T. Enggy, New Orleans, Gallatin street, between Hospital and Barracks, N. O. "Bee," Oct. 27, 1837."Ranaway, negress Caroline--had on a collar with one prong turned down."Mr. John Henderson, Washington, county, Mi., in the "Grand Gulf Advertiser," August 29, 1838."Ranaway, a black woman, Betsey--had an iron bar on her right leg."William Dyer, sheriff, Claiborne, Louisiana, in the "Herald," Natchitoches, (La.) July 26, 1837."Was committed to jail, a negro named Ambrose--has a ring of iron around his neck."Mr. Owen Cooke, "Mary street, between Common and Jackson streets," New Orleans, in the N. O. "Bee," September 12, 1837."Ranaway, my slave Amos, had a chain attached to one of his legs."H. W. Rice, sheriff, Colleton district, South Carolina, in the "Charleston Mercury," September 1, 1838."Committed to jail, a negro named Patrick, about forty-five years old, and is handcuffed."W. P. Reeves, jailor, Shelby county, Tennessee, in the "Memphis Enquirer, June 17, 1837."Committed to jail, a negro--had on his right leg an iron band with one link of a chain."Mr. Francis Durett, Lexington, Lauderdale county, Ala., in the "Huntsville Democrat," August 29, 1837."Ranaway, a negro man named Charles--had on a drawing chain, fastened around his ankle with a house lock."Mr. A. Murat, Baton Rouge, in the New Orleans "Bee," June 20, 1837."Ranaway, the negro Manuel, much marked with irons."Mr. Jordan Abbott, in the "Huntsville Democrat," Nov. 17, 1838."Ranaway, a negro boy named Daniel, about nineteen years old, and was handcuffed."Mr. J. Alacoin, No. 177 Ann street, New Orleans, in the "Bee," August 11, 1838."Ranaway, the negress Fanny--had on an iron band about her neck."Menard Brothers, parish of Bernard, Louisiana, in the N. O. "Bee," August 18, 1838."Ranaway, a negro named John--having an iron around his right foot."Messrs. J. L. and W. H. Bolton, Shelby county, Tennessee, in the "Memphis Enquirer," June 7, 1837."Absconded, a colored boy named Peter--had an iron round his neck when he went away."H. Gridly, sheriff of Adams county, Mi., in the "Memphis (Tenn.) Times," September, 1834."Was committed to jail, a negro boy--had on a large neck iron with a huge pair of horns and a large bar or band of iron on his left leg."Mr. Lambre, in the "Natchitoches (La.) Herald," March 29, 1837."Ranaway, the negro boy Teams--he had on his neck an iron collar."Mr. Ferdinand Lemos, New Orleans, in the "Bee," January 29, 1838."Ranaway, the negro George--he had on his neck an iron collar, the branches of which had been taken off."Mr. T. J. De Yampert, merchant, Mobile, Alabama, of the firm of De Yampert, King & Co., in the "Mobile Chronicle," June 15, 1838."Ranaway, a negro boy about twelve years old--had round his neck a chain dog-collar, with 'De Yampert engraved on it."J. H. Hand, jailor, St. Francisville, La., in the "Louisiana Chronicle," July 26, 1837."Committed to jail, slave John--has several scars on his wrists, occasioned, as he says, by handcuffs."Mr. Charles Curcner, New Orleans, in the "Bee," July 2, 1838."Ranaway, the negro, Hown--has a ring of iron on his left foot. Also, Grise, his wife, having a ring and chain on the left leg."Mr. P. T. Manning, Huntsville, Alabama, in the "Huntsville Advocate," Oct. 23, 1838."Ranaway, a negro boy named James--said boy was ironed when he left me."Mr. William L. Lambeth, Lynchburg, Virginia, in the "Moulton [Ala.] Whig," January 30, 1836."Ranaway, Jim--had on when he escaped a pair of chain handcuffs." Page 74Mr. D. F. Guex, Secretary of the Steam Cotton Press Company, New Orleans, in the "Commercial Bulletin," May 27, 1837."Ranaway, Edmund Coleman--it is supposed he must have iron shackles on his ankles."Mr. Francis Durett, Lexington, Alabama, in the "Huntsville Democrat," March 8, 1838."Ranaway----, a mulatto--had on when he left, a pair of handcuffs and a pair of drawing chains."B. W. Hodges, jailor, Pike county, Alabama, in the "Montgomery Advertiser," Sept. 29, 1837."Committed to jail, a man who calls his name John--he has a clog of iron on his right foot which will weigh four or five pounds."P. Bayhi, captain of police, in the N. O. "Bee," June 9, 1838."Detained at the police jail, the negro wench Myra--has several marks of lashing, and has irons on her feet."Mr. Charles Kernin, parish of Jefferson, Louisiana, in the N. O. "Bee," August 11, 1837."Ranaway, Betsey--when she left she had on her neck an iron collar."
which Major Harney commenced torturing him, until the man broke from him, and ran into the Mississippi and drowned himself. The man was a pious and very industrious slave, perhaps not surpassed by any in this place. The woman has been in the family of John Shackford, Esq., the present doorkeeper of the Senate of the United States, for many years; was considered an excellent servant--was the mother of a number of children--and I believe was sold into the family where she met her fate, as matter of conscience, to keep her from being sent below."
REV. WM. DICKEY'S LETTER. "In the county of Livingston, Ky. near the mouth of Cumberland River, lived Lilburn Lewis, a sister's son of the celebrated Jefferson. He was the wealthy owner of a considerable gang of negroes, whom he drove constantly, fed sparingly, and lashed severely. The consequence was, that they would run away. Among the rest was an ill-thrived boy of about seventeen, who, having just returned from a skulking spell, was sent to the spring for water, and in returning let fall an elegant pitcher: it was dashed to shivers upon the rocks. This was made the occasion for reckoning with him. It was night, and the slaves were all at home. The master had them all collected in the most roomy negro-house, and a rousing fire put on. When the door was secured, that none might escape, either through fear of him or sympathy with George, he opened to them the design of the interview, namely, that they might be effectually advised to stay at home and obey his orders. All things now in train, he called up George, who approached his master with unreserved submission. He bound him with cords; and by the assistance of Isham Lewis, his youngest brother, laid him on a broad bench, the meat-block. He then proceeded to hack off George at the ankles! It was with the broad axe! In vain did the unhappy victim scream and roar! for he was completely in his master's power; not a hand among so many durst interfere: casting the feet into the fire, he lectured them at some length.--He next chopped him off below the knees! George roaring out and praying his master to begin at the other end! He admonished them again, throwing the legs into the fire--then, above the knees, tossing the joints into the fire--the next stroke severed the thighs from the body; these were also committed to the flames--and so it may be said of the arms, head, and trunk, until all was in the fire! He threatened any of them with similar punishment who should in future disobey, run away, or disclose the proceedings of that evening. Nothing now remained but to consume the flesh and bones; and for this purpose the fire was brightly stirred until two hours after midnight; when a coarse and heavy back-wall, composed of rock and clay, covered the fire and the remains of George. It was the Sabbath--this put an end to the amusements of the evening. The negroes were now permitted to disperse, with charges to keep this matter among themselves, and never to whisper it in the neighborhood, under the penalty of a like punishment. 2b1af7f3a8