American Slavery as It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses

By Theodore Dwight Weld | Go to book overview

TESTIMONY OF THE REV. WILLIAM T. ALLAN,
LATE OF ALABAMA.

Mr. ALLAN is a son of the Rev. Dr. Allan, a slaveholder and pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Huntsville, Alabama. He has recently become the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Chatham, Illinois.

“I was born and have lived most of my life in the slave states, mainly in the village of Huntsville, Alabama, where my parents still reside. I seldom went to a plantation, and as my visits were confined almost exclusively to the families of professing Christians, my personal knowledge of slavery, was consequently a knowledge of its fairest side, (if fairest may be predicated of foul.)

“There was one plantation just opposite my father’s house in the suburbs of Huntsville, belonging to Judge Smith, formerly a Senator in Congress from South Carolina, now of Huntsville. The name of his overseer was Tune. I have often seen him flogging the slaves in the field, and have often heard their cries. Sometimes, too, I have met them with the tears streaming down their faces, and the marks of the whip, (‘whelks,’) on their bare necks and shoulders. Tune was so severe in his treatment, that his employer dismissed him after two or three years, lest, it was said, he should kill off all the slaves. But he was immediately employed by another planter in the neighborhood. The following fact was stated to me by my brother, James M. Allan, [Page 46] now residing at Richmond, Henry county, Illinois, and clerk of the circuit and county courts. Tune became displeased with one of the women who was pregnant, he made her lay down over a log, with her face towards the ground, and beat her so unmercifully, that she was soon after delivered of a dead child.

“My brother also stated to me the following, which occurred near my father’s house, and within sight and hearing of the academy and public

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