Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy, Late a Slave in the United States of America

Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy, Late a Slave in the United States of America

Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy, Late a Slave in the United States of America

Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy, Late a Slave in the United States of America

Synopsis

Born into slavery in North Carolina around 1786, Moses Grandy was bequeathed to his young playmate, his original owner's son, when they were both eight years old. Hired out until he was twenty-one, Grandy describes each of his temporary masters--some cruel and some kind. His first wife is sold shortly after they marry, and he never sees her again. After saving his money whenever possible and buying his freedom for $600, Grandy is betrayed by his childhood friend, who sells him. Grandy marries again and purchases his freedom a second time, only to be once again betrayed. With the assistance of white friends, Grandy buys his freedom a third time and moves north. He is also able to purchase the freedom of his second wife, but their children remain in slavery. Grandy wrote this Narrative to raise funds for the freedom of his children.

A DOCSOUTH BOOK. This collaboration between UNC Press and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library brings selected classic works from the digital library of Documenting the American South back into print. DocSouth Books uses the latest digital technologies to make these works available as downloadable e-books or print-on-demand publications. DocSouth Books are unaltered from the original publication, providing affordable and easily accessible editions to a new generation of scholars, students, and general readers.

Excerpt

About a fortnight ago, the subject of the following brief memoir came to me, bearing with him a letter from a dear friend and distinguished abolitionist in the United States, from which the following, is an extract:— “I seize my pen in haste to gratify a most worthy coloured friend of mine, by giving him a letter of introduction to you, as he intends sailing this week (August 8th, 1842,) for Liverpool and London, via New Orleans. His name is Moses Grandy He knows what it is to have been a slave, and what are the tender mercies of the southern slave-drivers. His history is not only authentic, but most extraordinary, and full of thrilling [Page iv] interest. Could it published, it would make a deep sensation in every quarter. He was compelled to buy his freedom three times over! He paid for it 1850 dollars (nearly £400 sterling). He has since bought his wife, and one or two of his children; and before going, to England will first go to New Orleans, to purchase some of his other children if he can find them, who are still held in captivity. His benevolence, affection, kindness of heart, and elasticity of spirit are truly remarkable. He has a good head, a fine countenance, and a great spirit, notwithstanding his education has been obtained in the horrible school of slavery. Just get him to tell you his narrative, and if you happen to have an Anti-slavery Meeting, let him tell his tale to a British audience.” in the letter of another highly esteemed friend, he is spoken of as “unsurpassed for faithfulness and perseverance.” in the letter [Page v] of a third, as “a worthy and respectable man.” On examining a book containing a list of the donations made him by American friends, in aid of his noble design to rescue from the miseries of slavery his relations, I found the names and certificates of persons of the highest respectability. It will be amply sufficient with those who are acquainted with the abolitionists of the United States, for me to name General Fessenden, and Nathan Winslow, Esq., of Portland, Maine; the Rev. A. A. Phelps, Ellis Gray Loring, and Samuel E. Sewall, Esqs., of Boston, Massachusetts. Being, satisfied, by these indubitable vouchers, of Moses Grandy’s title to credit, I listened to his artless tale with entire confidence, and with a feeling of interest which all . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.