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Life of a Slave Girl


sufficient, without further credentials of her character. I believe
those who know her will not be disposed to doubt her veracity,
though some incidents in her story are more romantic than fiction.
At her request, I have revised her manuscript; but such changes as
I have made have been mainly for purposes of condensation and
orderly arrangement. I have not added any thing to the incidents, or
changed the import of her very pertinent remarks. With trifling
exceptions, both the ideas and the language are her own. I pruned
excrescences a little, but otherwise I had no reason for changing
her lively and dramatic way of telling her own story. The names of
both persons and places are known to me; but for good reasons I
suppress them.
It will naturally excite surprise that a woman reared in Slavery
should be able to write so well. But circumstances will explain
this. In the first place, nature endowed her with quick perceptions.
Secondly, the mistress, with whom she lived till she was twelve
years old, was a kind, considerate friend, who taught her to read
and spell. Thirdly, she was placed in favorable circumstances after
she came to the North; having frequent intercourse with intelligent
persons, who felt a friendly interest in her welfare, and were
disposed to give her opportunities for self-improvement.
I am well aware that many will accuse me of indecorum for
presenting these pages to the public; for the experiences of this
intelligent and much-injured woman belong to a class which some
call delicate subjects, and others indelicate. This peculiar phase of
Slavery has generally been kept veiled; but the public ought to be
made acquainted with its monstrous features, and I willingly take
the responsibility of presenting them with the veil withdrawn. I do
this for the sake of my sisters in bondage, who are suffering
wrongs so foul, that our ears are too delicate to listen to them. I do
it with the hope of arousing conscientious and reflecting women at
the North to a sense of their duty in the exertion of moral influence
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