Life of a Slave Girl
circumstances. I was born and reared in Slavery; and I remained in
a Slave State twenty-seven years. Since I have been at the North, it
has been necessary for me to work diligently for my own support,
and the education of my children. This has not left me much
leisure to make up for the loss of early opportunities to improve
myself; and it has compelled me to write these pages at irregular
intervals, whenever I could snatch an hour from household duties.
When I first arrived in Philadelphia, Bishop Paine advised me to
publish a sketch of my life, but I told him I was altogether
incompetent to such an undertaking. Though I have improved my
mind somewhat since that time, I still remain of the same opinion;
but I trust my motives will excuse what might otherwise seem
presumptuous. I have not written my experiences in order to attract
attention to myself; on the contrary, it would have been more
pleasant to me to have been silent about my own history. Neither
do I care to excite sympathy for my own sufferings. But I do
earnestly desire to arouse the women of the North to a realizing
sense of the condition of two millions of women at the South, still
in bondage, suffering what I suffered, and most of them far worse.
I want to add my testimony to that of abler pens to convince the
people of the Free States what Slavery really is. Only by
experience can any one realize how deep, and dark, and foul is that
pit of abominations. May the blessing of God rest on this imperfect
effort in behalf of my persecuted people!
Introduction By The Editor
The author of the following autobiography is personally known to
me, and her conversation and manners inspire me with confidence.
During the last seventeen years, she has lived the greater part of
the time with a distinguished family in New York, and has so
deported herself as to be highly esteemed by them. This fact is