Narrative of William W. Brown, An American Slave

By William Wells Brown | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III.

I WAS soon after taken from Mr. Colburn’s, and hired to Elijah P. Lovejoy, who was at that time publisher and editor of the “St. Louis Times.” My work, while with him, was mainly in the printing office, waiting on the hands, working the press, &c. Mr. Lovejoy was a very good man, and decidedly the best master that I had ever had. I am chiefly indebted to him, and to my employment in the printing office, for what little learning I obtained while in slavery.

Though slavery is thought, by some, to be mild in Missouri, when compared with the cotton, sugar and rice growing states, yet no part of our slave-holding country is more noted for the barbarity of its inhabitants than St. Louis. It was here that Col. Harney, a United States officer, whipped a slave woman to death. It was here that Francis McIntosh, a free colored man from Pittsburg, was taken from the steamboat Flora and burned at the stake. During a residence of eight years in this city, numerous cases of extreme cruelty came [Page 27]under my own observation;—to record them all would occupy more space than could possibly be allowed in this little volume. I shall, therefore, give but a few more in addition to what I have already related.

Capt. J. B. Brant, who resided near my master, had a slave named John. He was his body servant, carriage driver, &c. On one occasion, while driving his master through the city—the streets being very muddy, and the horses going at a rapid rate—some mud spattered upon a gentleman by the name of Robert More. More was determined to be revenged. Some three or four months after this occurrence, he purchased John, for the express purpose, as he said, “to tame the d — d nigger.” After the purchase he took him to a blacksmith’s shop, and had a ball and chain fastened to his leg, and then put him to driving a yoke of oxen, and kept him at hard labor,

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Narrative of William W. Brown, An American Slave
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • About This Edition 3
  • Narrative of William W. Brown, an American Slave 6
  • Preface 8
  • Narrative 17
  • Chapter I 18
  • Chapter II 22
  • Chapter III 25
  • Chapter IV 30
  • Chapter V 33
  • Chapter VI 42
  • Chapter VII 44
  • Chapter VIII 48
  • Chapter IX 51
  • Chapter X 57
  • Chapter XI 60
  • Chapter XII 67
  • From the Liberty Bell of 1848 74
  • Flight of the Bondman 77
  • Freedom’s Star 79
  • Lament of the Fugitive Slave 80
  • Appendix 83
  • Testimonials 106
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