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    Chapter 22

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    Chapter 23
    Previous Chapter
    _Liberty Attained_

    TRANSITION FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM--A WANDERER IN NEW YORK--
    FEELINGS ON REACHING THAT CITY--AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE MET--
    UNFAVORABLE IMPRESSIONS--LONELINESS AND INSECURITY--APOLOGY FOR
    SLAVES WHO RETURN TO THEIR MASTERS--COMPELLED TO TELL MY
    CONDITION--SUCCORED BY A SAILOR--DAVID RUGGLES--THE UNDERGROUND
    RAILROAD--MARRIAGE--BAGGAGE TAKEN FROM ME--KINDNESS OF NATHAN
    JOHNSON--MY CHANGE OF NAME--DARK NOTIONS OF NORTHERN
    CIVILIZATION--THE CONTRAST--COLORED PEOPLE IN NEW BEDFORD--AN
    INCIDENT ILLUSTRATING THEIR SPIRIT--A COMMON LABORER--DENIED WORK
    AT MY TRADE--THE FIRST WINTER AT THE NORTH--REPULSE AT THE DOORS
    OF THE CHURCH--SANCTIFIED HATE--THE _Liberator_ AND ITS EDITOR.

    There is no necessity for any extended notice of the incidents of
    this part of my life. There is nothing very striking or peculiar
    about my career as a freeman, when viewed apart from my life as a
    slave. The relation subsisting between my early experience and
    that which I am now about to narrate, is, perhaps, my best
    apology for adding another chapter to this book.

    Disappearing from the kind reader, in a flying cloud or balloon
    (pardon the figure), driven by the wind, and knowing not where I
    should land--whether in slavery or in freedom--it is proper that
    I should remove, at once, all anxiety, by frankly making known
    where I alighted. The flight was a bold and perilous one; but
    here I am, in the great city of New York, safe and sound, without
    loss of blood or bone. In less than a week after leaving
    Baltimore, I was walking amid the hurrying throng, and gazing
    upon the dazzling wonders of Broadway. The dreams of my
    childhood and the purposes of my manhood were now fulfilled. A
    free state around me, and a free earth under my feet! What a
    moment was this to me! A whole year was pressed into a single
    day. A new world burst upon my agitated vision. I have often
    been asked, by kind friends to whom I have told my story, how I
    felt when first I found myself beyond the limits of slavery; and
    I must say here, as I have often said to them, there is scarcely
    anything about which I could not give a more satisfactory answer.
    It was a moment of joyous excitement, which no words can
    describe. In a letter to a friend, written soon after reaching
    New York. I said I felt as one might be supposed to feel, on
    escaping from a den of hungry lions. But, in a moment like that,
    sensations are too intense and too rapid for words. Anguish and
    grief, like darkness and rain, may be described, but joy and
    gladness, like the rainbow of promise, defy alike the pen and
    pencil.

    For ten or fifteen years I had been dragging a heavy chain, with
    a huge block attached to it, cumbering my every motion. I had
    felt myself doomed to drag this chain and this block through
    life. All efforts, before, to separate myself from the hateful
    encumbrance, had only seemed to rivet me the more firmly to it.
    Baffled and discouraged at times, I had asked myself the
    question, May not this, after all, be God's work? May He not,
    for wise ends, have doomed me to this lot? A contest had been
    going on in my mind for years, between the clear consciousness of
    right and the plausible errors of superstition; between the
    wisdom of manly courage, and the foolish weakness of timidity.
    The contest was now ended; the chain was severed; God and right
    stood vindicated. I was A FREEMAN, and the voice of peace and
    joy thrilled my heart.

    Free and joyous, however, as I was, joy was not the only
    sensation I experienced. It was like the quick blaze, beautiful
    at the first, but which subsiding, leaves the building charred
    and desolate. I was soon taught that I was still in an enemy's
    land. A sense of loneliness and insecurity oppressed me sadly.
    I had been but a few hours in New
    York, before I was met in the streets by a fugitive slave, well
    known to me, and the information I got from him respecting New
    York, did nothing to lessen my apprehension of danger. The
    fugitive in question was "Allender's Jake," in Baltimore; but,
    said he, I am "WILLIAM DIXON," in New York! I knew Jake well,
    and knew when Tolly Allender and Mr. Price (for the latter
    employed Master Hugh as his foreman, in his shipyard on Fell's
    Point) made an attempt to recapture Jake, and failed. Jake told
    me all about his circumstances, and how narrowly he escaped being
    taken back to slavery; that the city was now full of southerners,
    returning from the springs; that the black people in New York
    were not to be trusted; that there were hired men on the lookout
    for fugitives from slavery, and who, for a few dollars, would
    betray me into the hands of the slave-catchers; that I must trust
    no man with my secret; that I must not think of going either on
    the wharves to work, or to a boarding-house to board; and, worse
    still, this same Jake told me it was not in his power to help me.
    He seemed, even while cautioning me, to be fearing lest, after
    all, I might be a party to a second attempt to recapture him.
    Under the inspiration of this thought, I must suppose it was, he
    gave signs of a wish to get rid of me, and soon left me his
    whitewash brush in hand--as he said, for his work. He was soon
    lost to sight among the throng, and I was alone again, an easy
    prey to the kidnappers, if any should happen to be on my track.

    New York, seventeen years ago, was less a place of safety for a
    runaway slave than now, and all know how unsafe it now is, under
    the new fugitive slave bill. I was much troubled. I had very
    little money enough to buy me a few loaves of bread, but not
    enough to pay board, outside a lumber yard. I saw the wisdom of
    keeping away from the ship yards, for if Master Hugh pursued me,
    he would naturally expect to find me looking for work among the
    calkers. For a time, every door seemed closed against me. A
    sense of my loneliness and helplessness crept over me, and
    covered me with something bordering on despair. In the midst of
    thousands of my fellowmen, and yet a perfect stranger! In the
    midst of human brothers, and yet more fearful of them than of
    hungry wolves! I was without home, without friends, without
    work, without money, and without any definite knowledge of which
    way to go, or where to look for succor.

    Some apology can easily be made for the few slaves who have,
    after making good their escape, turned back to slavery,
    preferring the actual rule of their masters, to the life of
    loneliness, apprehension, hunger, and anxiety, which meets them
    on their first arrival in a free state. It is difficult for a
    freeman to enter into the feelings of such fugitives. He cannot
    see things in the same light with the slave, because he does not,
    and cannot, look from the same point from which the slave does.
    "Why do you tremble," he says to the slave "you are in a free
    state;" but the difficulty is, in realizing that he is in a free
    state, the slave might reply. A freeman cannot understand why
    the slave-master's shadow is bigger, to the slave, than the might
    and majesty of a free state; but when he reflects that the slave
    knows more about the slavery of his master than he does of the
    might and majesty of the free state, he has the explanation. The
    slave has been all his life learning the power of his master--
    being trained to dread his approach--and only a few hours
    learning the power of the state. The master is to him a stern
    and flinty reality, but the state is little more than a dream.
    He has been accustomed to regard every white man as the friend of
    his master, and every colored man as more or less under the
    control of his master's friends--the white people. It takes
    stout nerves to stand up, in such circumstances. A man,
    homeless, shelterless, breadless, friendless, and moneyless, is
    not in a condition to assume a very proud or joyous tone; and in
    just this condition was I, while wandering about the streets of
    New York city and lodging, at least one night, among the barrels
    on one of its wharves. I was not only free from slavery, but I
    was free from home, as well. The reader will
    easily see that I had something more than the simple fact of
    being free to think of, in this extremity.

    I kept my secret as long as I could, and at last was forced to go
    in search of an honest man--a man sufficiently _human_ not to
    betray me into the hands of slave-catchers. I was not a bad
    reader of the human face, nor long in selecting the right man,
    when once compelled to disclose the facts of my condition to some
    one.

    I found my man in the person of one who said his name was
    Stewart. He was a sailor, warm-hearted and generous, and he
    listened to my story with a brother's interest. I told him I was
    running for my freedom--knew not where to go--money almost gone--
    was hungry--thought it unsafe to go the shipyards for work, and
    needed a friend. Stewart promptly put me in the way of getting
    out of my trouble. He took me to his house, and went in search
    of the late David Ruggles, who was then the secretary of the New
    York Vigilance Committee, and a very active man in all anti-
    slavery works. Once in the hands of Mr. Ruggles, I was
    comparatively safe. I was hidden with Mr. Ruggles several days.
    In the meantime, my intended wife, Anna, came on from Baltimore--
    to whom I had written, informing her of my safe arrival at New
    York--and, in the presence of Mrs. Mitchell and Mr. Ruggles, we
    were married, by Rev. James W. C. Pennington.

    Mr. Ruggles[7] was the first officer on the under-ground railroad
    with whom I met after reaching the north, and, indeed, the first
    of whom I ever heard anything. Learning that I was a calker by
    trade, he promptly decided that New Bedford was the proper

    [7] He was a whole-souled man, fully imbued with a love of his
    afflicted and hunted people, and took pleasure in being to me, as
    was his wont, "Eyes to the blind, and legs to the lame." This
    brave and devoted man suffered much from the persecutions common
    to all who have been prominent benefactors. He at last became
    blind, and needed a friend to guide him, even as he had been a
    guide to others. Even in his blindness, he exhibited his manly
    character. In search of health, he became a physician. When
    hope of gaining is{sic} own was gone, he had hope for others.
    Believing in hydropathy, he established, at Northampton,
    Massachusetts, a large _"Water Cure,"_ and became one of the most
    successful of all engaged in that mode of treatment.

    place to send me. "Many ships," said he, "are there fitted
    out for the whaling business, and you may there find work at your
    trade, and make a good living." Thus, in one fortnight after my
    flight from Maryland, I was safe in New Bedford, regularly
    entered upon the exercise of the rights, responsibilities, and
    duties of a freeman.

    I may mention a little circumstance which annoyed me on reaching
    New Bedford. I had not a cent of money, and lacked two dollars
    toward paying our fare from Newport, and our baggage not very
    costly--was taken by the stage driver, and held until I could
    raise the money to redeem it. This difficulty was soon
    surmounted. Mr. Nathan Johnson, to whom we had a line from Mr.
    Ruggles, not only received us kindly and hospitably, but, on
    being informed about our baggage, promptly loaned me two dollars
    with which to redeem my little property. I shall ever be deeply
    grateful, both to Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Johnson, for the lively
    interest they were pleased to take in me, in this hour of my
    extremest need. They not only gave myself and wife bread and
    shelter, but taught us how to begin to secure those benefits for
    ourselves. Long may they live, and may blessings attend them in
    this life and in that which is to come!

    Once initiated into the new life of freedom, and assured by Mr.
    Johnson that New Bedford was a safe place, the comparatively
    unimportant matter, as to what should be my name, came up for
    considertion{sic}. It was necessary to have a name in my new
    relations. The name given me by my beloved mother was no less
    pretentious than "Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey." I had,
    however, before leaving Maryland, dispensed with the _Augustus
    Washington_, and retained the name _Frederick Bailey_. Between
    Baltimore and New Bedford, however, I had several different
    names, the better to avoid being overhauled by the hunters, which
    I had good reason to believe would be put on my track. Among
    honest men an honest man may well be content with one name, and
    to acknowledge it at all times and in all NAME>places; but toward fugitives, Americans are not honest.
    When I arrived at New Bedford, my name was Johnson; and finding
    that the Johnson family in New Bedford were already quite
    numerous--sufficiently so to produce some confusion in attempts
    to distinguish one from another--there was the more reason for
    making another change in my name. In fact, "Johnson" had been
    assumed by nearly every slave who had arrived in New Bedford from
    Maryland, and this, much to the annoyance of the original
    "Johnsons" (of whom there were many) in that place. Mine host,
    unwilling to have another of his own name added to the community
    in this unauthorized way, after I spent a night and a day at his
    house, gave me my present name. He had been reading the "Lady of
    the Lake," and was pleased to regard me as a suitable person to
    wear this, one of Scotland's many famous names. Considering the
    noble hospitality and manly character of Nathan Johnson, I have
    felt that he, better than I, illustrated the virtues of the great
    Scottish chief. Sure I am, that had any slave-catcher entered
    his domicile, with a view to molest any one of his household, he
    would have shown himself like him of the "stalwart hand."

    The reader will be amused at my ignorance, when I tell the
    notions I had of the state of northern wealth, enterprise, and
    civilization. Of wealth and refinement, I supposed the north had
    none. My _Columbian Orator_, which was almost my only book, had
    not done much to enlighten me concerning northern society. The
    impressions I had received were all wide of the truth. New
    Bedford, especially, took me by surprise, in the solid wealth and
    grandeur there exhibited. I had formed my notions respecting the
    social condition of the free states, by what I had seen and known
    of free, white, non-slaveholding people in the slave states.
    Regarding slavery as the basis of wealth, I fancied that no
    people could become very wealthy without slavery. A free white
    man, holding no slaves, in the country, I had known to be the
    most ignorant and poverty-stricken of men, and the laughing
    stock even of slaves themselves--called generally by them, in
    derision, _"poor white trash_." Like the non-slaveholders at the
    south, in holding no slaves, I suppose the northern people like
    them, also, in poverty and degradation. Judge, then, of my
    amazement and joy, when I found--as I did find--the very laboring
    population of New Bedford living in better houses, more elegantly
    furnished--surrounded by more comfort and refinement--than a
    majority of the slaveholders on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
    There was my friend, Mr. Johnson, himself a colored man (who at
    the south would have been regarded as a proper marketable
    commodity), who lived in a better house--dined at a richer
    board--was the owner of more books--the reader of more
    newspapers--was more conversant with the political and social
    condition of this nation and the world--than nine-tenths of all
    the slaveholders of Talbot county, Maryland. Yet Mr. Johnson was
    a working man, and his hands were hardened by honest toil. Here,
    then, was something for observation and study. Whence the
    difference? The explanation was soon furnished, in the
    superiority of mind over simple brute force. Many pages might be
    given to the contrast, and in explanation of its causes. But an
    incident or two will suffice to show the reader as to how the
    mystery gradually vanished before me.

    My first afternoon, on reaching New Bedford, was spent in
    visiting the wharves and viewing the shipping. The sight of the
    broad brim and the plain, Quaker dress, which met me at every
    turn, greatly increased my sense of freedom and security. "I am
    among the Quakers," thought I, "and am safe." Lying at the
    wharves and riding in the stream, were full-rigged ships of
    finest model, ready to start on whaling voyages. Upon the right
    and the left, I was walled in by large granite-fronted
    warehouses, crowded with the good things of this world. On the
    wharves, I saw industry without bustle, labor without noise, and
    heavy toil without the whip. There was no loud singing, as in
    southern ports, where ships are loading or unloading--no loud
    cursing or swearing--but everything went on as
    smoothly as the works of a well adjusted machine. How different
    was all this from the nosily fierce and clumsily absurd manner of
    labor-life in Baltimore and St. Michael's! One of the first
    incidents which illustrated the superior mental character of
    northern labor over that of the south, was the manner of
    unloading a ship's cargo of oil. In a southern port, twenty or
    thirty hands would have been employed to do what five or six did
    here, with the aid of a single ox attached to the end of a fall.
    Main strength, unassisted by skill, is slavery's method of labor.
    An old ox, worth eighty dollars, was doing, in New Bedford, what
    would have required fifteen thousand dollars worth of human bones
    and muscles to have performed in a southern port. I found that
    everything was done here with a scrupulous regard to economy,
    both in regard to men and things, time and strength. The maid
    servant, instead of spending at least a tenth part of her time in
    bringing and carrying water, as in Baltimore, had the pump at her
    elbow. The wood was dry, and snugly piled away for winter.
    Woodhouses, in-door pumps, sinks, drains, self-shutting gates,
    washing machines, pounding barrels, were all new things, and told
    me that I was among a thoughtful and sensible people. To the
    ship-repairing dock I went, and saw the same wise prudence. The
    carpenters struck where they aimed, and the calkers wasted no
    blows in idle flourishes of the mallet. I learned that men went
    from New Bedford to Baltimore, and bought old ships, and brought
    them here to repair, and made them better and more valuable than
    they ever were before. Men talked here of going whaling on a
    four _years'_ voyage with more coolness than sailors where I came
    from talked of going a four _months'_ voyage.

    I now find that I could have landed in no part of the United
    States, where I should have found a more striking and gratifying
    contrast to the condition of the free people of color in
    Baltimore, than I found here in New Bedford. No colored man is
    really free in a slaveholding state. He wears the badge of
    bondage while nominally free, and is often subjected to
    hardships to which the slave is a stranger; but here in New
    Bedford, it was my good fortune to see a pretty near approach to
    freedom on the part of the colored people. I was taken all aback
    when Mr. Johnson--who lost no time in making me acquainted with
    the fact--told me that there was nothing in the constitution of
    Massachusetts to prevent a colored man from holding any office in
    the state. There, in New Bedford, the black man's children--
    although anti-slavery was then far from popular--went to school
    side by side with the white children, and apparently without
    objection from any quarter. To make me at home, Mr. Johnson
    assured me that no slaveholder could take a slave from New
    Bedford; that there were men there who would lay down their
    lives, before such an outrage could be perpetrated. The colored
    people themselves were of the best metal, and would fight for
    liberty to the death.

    Soon after my arrival in New Bedford, I was told the following
    story, which was said to illustrate the spirit of the colored
    people in that goodly town: A colored man and a fugitive slave
    happened to have a little quarrel, and the former was heard to
    threaten the latter with informing his master of his whereabouts.
    As soon as this threat became known, a notice was read from the
    desk of what was then the only colored church in the place,
    stating that business of importance was to be then and there
    transacted. Special measures had been taken to secure the
    attendance of the would-be Judas, and had proved successful.
    Accordingly, at the hour appointed, the people came, and the
    betrayer also. All the usual formalities of public meetings were
    scrupulously gone through, even to the offering prayer for Divine
    direction in the duties of the occasion. The president himself
    performed this part of the ceremony, and I was told that he was
    unusually fervent. Yet, at the close of his prayer, the old man
    (one of the numerous family of Johnsons) rose from his knees,
    deliberately surveyed his audience, and then said, in a tone of
    solemn resolution, _"Well, friends, we have got him here, and I
    would now_ _recommend that you
    young men should just take him outside the door and kill him."_
    With this, a large body of the congregation, who well understood
    the business they had come there to transact, made a rush at the
    villain, and doubtless would have killed him, had he not availed
    himself of an open sash, and made good his escape. He has never
    shown his head in New Bedford since that time. This little
    incident is perfectly characteristic of the spirit of the colored
    people in New Bedford. A slave could not be taken from that town
    seventeen years ago, any more than he could be so taken away now.
    The reason is, that the colored people in that city are educated
    up to the point of fighting for their freedom, as well as
    speaking for it.

    Once assured of my safety in New Bedford, I put on the
    habiliments of a common laborer, and went on the wharf in search
    of work. I had no notion of living on the honest and generous
    sympathy of my colored brother, Johnson, or that of the
    abolitionists. My cry was like that of Hood's laborer, "Oh! only
    give me work." Happily for me, I was not long in searching. I
    found employment, the third day after my arrival in New Bedford,
    in stowing a sloop with a load of oil for the New York market.
    It was new, hard, and dirty work, even for a calker, but I went
    at it with a glad heart and a willing hand. I was now my own
    master--a tremendous fact--and the rapturous excitement with
    which I seized the job, may not easily be understood, except by
    some one with an experience like mine. The thoughts--"I can
    work! I can work for a living; I am not afraid of work; I have
    no Master Hugh to rob me of my earnings"--placed me in a state of
    independence, beyond seeking friendship or support of any man.
    That day's work I considered the real starting point of something
    like a new existence. Having finished this job and got my pay
    for the same, I went next in pursuit of a job at calking. It so
    happened that Mr. Rodney French, late mayor of the city of New
    Bedford, had a ship fitting out for sea, and to which there was a
    large job of calking and coppering to be done. I applied to that
    noblehearted man for employment, and he promptly told me to
    go to work; but going on the float-stage for the purpose, I was
    informed that every white man would leave the ship if I struck a
    blow upon her. "Well, well," thought I, "this is a hardship, but
    yet not a very serious one for me." The difference between the
    wages of a calker and that of a common day laborer, was an
    hundred per cent in favor of the former; but then I was free, and
    free to work, though not at my trade. I now prepared myself to
    do anything which came to hand in the way of turning an honest
    penny; sawed wood--dug cellars--shoveled coal--swept chimneys
    with Uncle Lucas Debuty--rolled oil casks on the wharves--helped
    to load and unload vessels--worked in Ricketson's candle works--
    in Richmond's brass foundery, and elsewhere; and thus supported
    myself and family for three years.

    The first winter was unusually severe, in consequence of the high
    prices of food; but even during that winter we probably suffered
    less than many who had been free all their lives. During the
    hardest of the winter, I hired out for nine dolars{sic} a month;
    and out of this rented two rooms for nine dollars per quarter,
    and supplied my wife--who was unable to work--with food and some
    necessary articles of furniture. We were closely pinched to
    bring our wants within our means; but the jail stood over the
    way, and I had a wholesome dread of the consequences of running
    in debt. This winter past, and I was up with the times--got
    plenty of work--got well paid for it--and felt that I had not
    done a foolish thing to leave Master Hugh and Master Thomas. I
    was now living in a new world, and was wide awake to its
    advantages. I early began to attend the meetings of the colored
    people of New Bedford, and to take part in them. I was somewhat
    amazed to see colored men drawing up resolutions and offering
    them for consideration. Several colored young men of New
    Bedford, at that period, gave promise of great usefulness. They
    were educated, and possessed what seemed to me, at the time, very
    superior talents. Some of them have been cut down by death, and
    others have removed to different parts of the
    world, and some remain there now, and justify, in their present
    activities, my early impressions of them.

    Among my first concerns on reaching New Bedford, was to become
    united with the church, for I had never given up, in reality, my
    religious faith. I had become lukewarm and in a backslidden
    state, but I was still convinced that it was my duty to join the
    Methodist church. I was not then aware of the powerful influence
    of that religious body in favor of the enslavement of my race,
    nor did I see how the northern churches could be responsible for
    the conduct of southern churches; neither did I fully understand
    how it could be my duty to remain separate from the church,
    because bad men were connected with it. The slaveholding church,
    with its Coveys, Weedens, Aulds, and Hopkins, I could see through
    at once, but I could not see how Elm Street church, in New
    Bedford, could be regarded as sanctioning the Christianity of
    these characters in the church at St. Michael's. I therefore
    resolved to join the Methodist church in New Bedford, and to
    enjoy the spiritual advantage of public worship. The minister of
    the Elm Street Methodist church, was the Rev. Mr. Bonney; and
    although I was not allowed a seat in the body of the house, and
    was proscribed on account of my color, regarding this
    proscription simply as an accommodation of the uncoverted
    congregation who had not yet been won to Christ and his
    brotherhood, I was willing thus to be proscribed, lest sinners
    should be driven away form the saving power of the gospel. Once
    converted, I thought they would be sure to treat me as a man and
    a brother. "Surely," thought I, "these Christian people have
    none of this feeling against color. They, at least, have
    renounced this unholy feeling." Judge, then, dear reader, of my
    astonishment and mortification, when I found, as soon I did find,
    all my charitable assumptions at fault.

    An opportunity was soon afforded me for ascertaining the exact
    position of Elm Street church on that subject. I had a chance of
    seeing the religious part of the congregation by themselves; and
    although they disowned, in effect, their black brothers and
    sisters, before the world, I did think that where none but the
    saints were assembled, and no offense could be given to the
    wicked, and the gospel could not be "blamed," they would
    certainly recognize us as children of the same Father, and heirs
    of the same salvation, on equal terms with themselves.

    The occasion to which I refer, was the sacrament of the Lord's
    Supper, that most sacred and most solemn of all the ordinances of
    the Christian church. Mr. Bonney had preached a very solemn and
    searching discourse, which really proved him to be acquainted
    with the inmost secerts{sic} of the human heart. At the close of
    his discourse, the congregation was dismissed, and the church
    remained to partake of the sacrament. I remained to see, as I
    thought, this holy sacrament celebrated in the spirit of its
    great Founder.

    There were only about a half dozen colored members attached to
    the Elm Street church, at this time. After the congregation was
    dismissed, these descended from the gallery, and took a seat
    against the wall most distant from the altar. Brother Bonney was
    very animated, and sung very sweetly, "Salvation 'tis a joyful
    sound," and soon began to administer the sacrament. I was
    anxious to observe the bearing of the colored members, and the
    result was most humiliating. During the whole ceremony, they
    looked like sheep without a shepherd. The white members went
    forward to the altar by the bench full; and when it was evident
    that all the whites had been served with the bread and wine,
    Brother Bonney--pious Brother Bonney--after a long pause, as if
    inquiring whether all the whites members had been served, and
    fully assuring himself on that important point, then raised his
    voice to an unnatural pitch, and looking to the corner where his
    black sheep seemed penned, beckoned with his hand, exclaiming,
    "Come forward, colored friends! come forward! You, too, have an
    interest in the blood of Christ. God is no respecter of persons.
    Come forward, and take this holy sacrament to your SACRAMENT>comfort." The colored members poor, slavish souls went
    forward, as invited. I went out, and have never been in that
    church since, although I honestly went there with a view to
    joining that body. I found it impossible to respect the
    religious profession of any who were under the dominion of this
    wicked prejudice, and I could not, therefore, feel that in
    joining them, I was joining a Christian church, at all. I tried
    other churches in New Bedford, with the same result, and finally,
    I attached myself to a small body of colored Methodists, known as
    the Zion Methodists. Favored with the affection and confidence
    of the members of this humble communion, I was soon made a
    classleader and a local preacher among them. Many seasons of
    peace and joy I experienced among them, the remembrance of which
    is still precious, although I could not see it to be my duty to
    remain with that body, when I found that it consented to the same
    spirit which held my brethren in chains.

    In four or five months after reaching New Bedford, there came a
    young man to me, with a copy of the _Liberator_, the paper edited
    by WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, and published by ISAAC KNAPP, and
    asked me to subscribe for it. I told him I had but just escaped
    from slavery, and was of course very poor, and remarked further,
    that I was unable to pay for it then; the agent, however, very
    willingly took me as a subscriber, and appeared to be much
    pleased with securing my name to his list. From this time I was
    brought in contact with the mind of William Lloyd Garrison. His
    paper took its place with me next to the bible.

    The _Liberator_ was a paper after my own heart. It detested
    slavery exposed hypocrisy and wickedness in high places--made no
    truce with the traffickers in the bodies and souls of men; it
    preached human brotherhood, denounced oppression, and, with all
    the solemnity of God's word, demanded the complete emancipation
    of my race. I not only liked--I _loved_ this paper, and its
    editor. He seemed a match for all the oponents{sic} of
    emancipation, whether they spoke in the name of the law, or the
    gospel. His words were few, full of holy fire, and straight
    to the point. Learning to love him, through his paper, I was
    prepared to be pleased with his presence. Something of a hero
    worshiper, by nature, here was one, on first sight, to excite my
    love and reverence.

    Seventeen years ago, few men possessed a more heavenly
    countenance than William Lloyd Garrison, and few men evinced a
    more genuine or a more exalted piety. The bible was his text
    book--held sacred, as the word of the Eternal Father--sinless
    perfection--complete submission to insults and injuries--literal
    obedience to the injunction, if smitten on one side to turn the
    other also. Not only was Sunday a Sabbath, but all days were
    Sabbaths, and to be kept holy. All sectarism false and
    mischievous--the regenerated, throughout the world, members of
    one body, and the HEAD Christ Jesus. Prejudice against color was
    rebellion against God. Of all men beneath the sky, the slaves,
    because most neglected and despised, were nearest and dearest to
    his great heart. Those ministers who defended slavery from the
    bible, were of their "father the devil"; and those churches which
    fellowshiped slaveholders as Christians, were synagogues of
    Satan, and our nation was a nation of liars. Never loud or
    noisy--calm and serene as a summer sky, and as pure. "You are
    the man, the Moses, raised up by God, to deliver his modern
    Israel from bondage," was the spontaneous feeling of my heart, as
    I sat away back in the hall and listened to his mighty words;
    mighty in truth--mighty in their simple earnestness.

    I had not long been a reader of the _Liberator_, and listener to
    its editor, before I got a clear apprehension of the principles
    of the anti-slavery movement. I had already the spirit of the
    movement, and only needed to understand its principles and
    measures. These I got from the _Liberator_, and from those who
    believed in that paper. My acquaintance with the movement
    increased my hope for the ultimate freedom of my race, and I
    united with it from a sense of delight, as well as duty.

    Every week the _Liberator_ came, and every week I made myself
    master of its contents. All the anti-slavery meetings held in
    New Bedford I promptly attended, my heart burning at every true
    utterance against the slave system, and every rebuke of its
    friends and supporters. Thus passed the first three years of my
    residence in New Bedford. I had not then dreamed of the
    posibility{sic} of my becoming a public advocate of the cause so
    deeply imbedded in my heart. It was enough for me to listen--to
    receive and applaud the great words of others, and only whisper
    in private, among the white laborers on the wharves, and
    elsewhere, the truths which burned in my breast.
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