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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made acquainted with its monstrous features, and I willingly take the responsibility of presenting them with the veil withdrawn.
This fact is 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.
In consequence of numerous requests of this kind, she asked permission of her mistress to bake crackers at night, after all the household work was done; and she obtained leave to do it, provided she would clothe herself and her children from the profits.
Upon these terms, after working hard all day for her mistress, she began her midnight bakings, assisted by her two oldest children.
I have often heard her tell how hard she fared during childhood.
I had one brother, William, who was two years younger than myself — a bright, affectionate child.
I do it with the hope that every man who reads this narrative will swear solemnly before God that, so far as he has power to prevent it, no fugitive from Slavery shall ever be sent back to suffer in that loathsome den of corruption and cruelty. My father was a carpenter, and considered so intelligent and skilful in his trade, that, when buildings out of the common line were to be erected, he was sent for from long distances, to be head workman.
On condition of paying his mistress two hundred dollars a year, and supporting himself, he was allowed to work at his trade, and manage his own affairs.
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.