Slave Life

May 8, 2010
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-1851 July 17




It’s nearly dark out. We always had to wait for the dark. It just wasn’t safe to travel in broad daylight. So I reluctantly got up from the mud and grass, which had been my bed for that night. We always slept during the day, however if you got three hours of sleep you were lucky. The group that I traveled with had been hesitant in letting me join them. They believed that because I was young girl I couldn’t make it all the way. But I’m determined to show them, I already made it out of Virginia, the state that I am from, unharmed and ready for the journey.
I was the only one that could go on the journey to freedom in my family. My mother and older sister had died of some disease still unknown to me, and my father was being sold to a new master. So as he was being taken away he told me to make it to Canada where I could live a good life. And so that is what I must do, no matter what. We walked for about an hour following the North Star the whole way. As we walked I imagined what it was going to be like in this new place that was talked about all the time by the other slaves that I had known back home.
But it was the crack of a twig that caught my attention and snapped me out of my daydreaming. It came from behind, but I brought up the rear of those of us, who were running off, so who could it be. I quietly told the person ahead of me of it, but they thought I was crazy. They claimed that we were in a farm owned by someone that was part of the Underground Railroad, yet we were eight miles from their front door. I told the person that I was going to hide until I was sure it was safe. They didn’t argue, but I could tell from the look on his face that he was glad I was leaving. I tried to get some others to come, but the only one that listened was a mother with her child. They came with me as I ran a few yards west.
One concealed in a clove of trees we stopped to look. And it was true for there I saw it the light of a group of men with their dogs; they were gaining on the escaped slaves that I had been following just moments ago. I knew the men saw them when he raised his gun. The man with the rifle didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. It was too late for the saves who had just noticed them now, they we all going to be gone within a moments time. I starred at what was happening with eagerness, hoping that somehow through a miracle of God that they would be saved, but no the four that were there were all shot down there. I guess though that it was a gift from God, I mean just imagine if they hadn’t been shot they would have been beaten to death, so they were lucky.
I must have sat there for an hour before I was absolutely sure they were gone. After that I knew what I must do. I had to get to Canada; I must make it, for my father. So the mother and her child, who must have been about two, came with me. It felt kind of awkward being the leader at first, but after a while I started to enjoy it. I soon saw a house up ahead; this must be the farmer that helped slaves escape. So I went up to the door and knocked, but no one answered. I looked threw the window. I was horrified at the sight that I saw. Never had I seen so much blood before. The farmer was lying on the floor dead. Thank goodness his face was on the floor face down, because it looked like someone had whipped him and attempted to burn him alive. The chard skin around his face and on his bare back scared me, so I walked away. I didn’t dare go inside the house; for fear that someone might be in there. So once I came to a swamp I sat down, still followed by the woman and child, whose names I didn’t even know yet. But they didn’t hesitate, they quickly started to conceal themselves with mud so as not to be seen. It was almost light not so I did as they did. As I drifted off careful not to dare go into a deep sleep, I organized my plan for freedom, a few men dead, that wasn’t going to stop me.





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