Excursion Through the Slave States: From Washington on the Potomac, to the Frontier of Mexico, Volume 1

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Page 122 - Old Virginia never tire," to the banjo. The poor negro slave is naturally a cheerful, laughing animal, and even when driven through the wilderness in chains, if he is well fed and kindly treated, is seldom melancholy; for his thoughts have not been taught to stray to the future, and his condition is so degraded, that if the food and warmth his desires are limited to are secured to him, he is singularly docile. It is only when he is ill-treated and roused to desperation, that his vindictive and savage...
Page 122 - ... contained the children and some that were lame, whilst the scows, or flat-boats, crossed the women and some of the people belonging to the caravan. There was much method and vigilance observed, for this was one of the situations where the gangs — always watchful to obtain their liberty — often show a disposition to mutiny, knowing that if one or two of them could wrench their manacles off, they could soon free the rest, and either disperse themselves or overpower and slay their sordid keepers,...
Page 281 - Wherever I go, with the fewest exceptions, this is the all-prevailing passion. The word ' money' seems to stand as the representative of the word ' happiness' of other countries. In other lands we see rank, distinction in society, scientific and literary acquirements, with the other elevating objects that embellish and dignify human life, pursued by great numbers with constancy and ardour; but here all other avenues to advancement, except the golden one, seem nearly untrod — the shortest cut, coute...
Page 122 - I could not but be struck with the monstrous absurdity of such fellows putting on any symbol of sorrow whilst engaged in the exercise of such a horrid trade; so wishing them in my heart all manner of evil to endure, as long as there was a bit of crape to be obtained, we drove on, and having forded the river in a flat-bottomed boat, drew up on the road, where I persuaded the driver to wait until we had witnessed the crossing of the river by the "gang,
Page 170 - Alexandria tells him not to eat sich lots of ingeons; but when he sees 'em he can't stand it, and den he eats 'em, and dey makes him sick, and den he carries on just like a house on fire; and den he drinks brandy upon 'em, and dat makes him better; and den he eats ingeons agin, and so he keeps a carrying on.
Page 194 - ... his pockets or under his waistcoat. To loll back in his rocking-chair, to talk about geology, and pat the head of a large snake, when twining itself about his neck, is to him supreme felicity.
Page 120 - The female slaves were, some of them, sitting on logs of wood, while others were standing, and a great many little black children were warming themselves at the fires of the bivouac. In front of them all, and prepared for the march, stood, in double files, about two hundred male slaves, manacled, and chained to each other. I had never seen so revolting a sight before! Black men in fetters, torn from the lands where they were born, from the ties they had formed, and from the comparatively easy condition...
Page 169 - I reckon that's what I mean," said he. "Why General Lafayette," I replied, "gloried in making all men free, without respect of colour; and what are you, who I understand are a negro-driver, in mourning for him for? Such men as you ought to go into mourning only when the price of black men falls. I remember seeing you cross your gang in chains at New River; and I shouldn't be at all sur3.
Page 195 - Doctor and his rattlesnakes on the top. But the Doctor, not entering into the general alarm, quietly placed his greatcoat over the basket, and tied it down with his handkerchief, which, when he had done, he said, " Gendlemen, only don't let dese poor dings pite you, und dey won't hoort you.
Page 287 - ... and raised a small mound over his remains. When the nation returned from the hunt, this mound was enlarged at intervals, every man assisting to carry materials, and thus the accumulation of earth went on for a long period, until it reached its present height, when they dressed it off at the top in a conical form. The old chief further said that he had been informed and believed that all the mounds had a similar origin.