From African to Yankee: Narratives of Slavery and Freedom in Antebellum New England

By Robert J. Cottrol | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III.
CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF HIS LIFE FROM THE TIME OF PURCHASING HIS FREEDOM TO THE PRESENT DAY.

MY wife and children were yet in bondage to Mr. Thomas Stanton. About this time I lost a chest, containing, besides clothing, about thirty-eight pounds in paper money. It was burnt by accident. A short time after I sold all my possessions at Stonington, consisting of a pretty piece of land and one dwelling house thereon, and went to reside at Long Island. For the first four years of my residence there, I spent my time in working for various people on that and at the neighboring islands. In the space of six months I cut and corded upwards of four hundred cords of wood. Many other singular and wonderful labors I performed in cutting wood there, which would not be inferior to the one just recited, but for brevity's sake I must omit them. In the aforementioned four years, what wood I cut at Long Island amounted to several thousand cords, and the money which I earned thereby amounted to two hundred and seven pounds ten shillings. This money I laid up carefully by me. Perhaps some may inquire what maintained me all the time I was laying up my money. I would inform them that I bought nothing which I did not absolutely want. All fine clothes I despised in comparison with my interest, and never kept but just what clothes were comfortable for common days, and perhaps I would have a garment or two which I did not have on at all times, but as for superfluous finery, I never thought it to be compared with a decent homespun dress, a good supply of money and prudence. Expensive gatherings of my mates. I commonly shunned, and all kinds of luxuries I was perfectly a stranger to; and during the time I was employed in cutting the aforementioned quantity of wood, I never was at the expense of six pence worth of spirits. Being after this labor forty years of age, I worked at various places, and in particular on Ram Island, where I purchased Solomon and Cuff, two sons of mine, for two hundred dollars each.

-18-

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From African to Yankee: Narratives of Slavery and Freedom in Antebellum New England
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • TABLE OF CONTENTS vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • A NARRATIVE -OF THE- LIFE AND ADVENTURES -OF- VENTURE 1
  • Preface 3
  • Chapter I - Containing an Account of His Life, from His Birth to the Time of His Leaving His Native Country 4
  • Chapter II - Containing an Account of His Life from the Time of His Leaving Africa to That of His Becoming Free 10
  • Chapter III - Containing an Account of His Life from the Time of Purchasing His Freedom to the Present Day 18
  • MEMOIRS OF ELLEANOR ELDRIDGE 33
  • Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge 35
  • Chapter IV 43
  • LIFE OF JAMES MARS, a SLAVE BORN AND SOLD IN CONNECTICUT 49
  • Appendix 69
  • THE LIFE OF WILLIAM J. BROWN, OF PROVIDENCE, R. I WITH PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF INCIDENTS IN RHODE ISLAND 73
  • Preface 75
  • Chapter I 76
  • Chapter II 83
  • Chapter III 91
  • Chapter IV 114
  • Chapter V 124
  • Chapter VI 127
  • Chapter VII 130
  • Chapter VIII 141
  • Chapter IX 148
  • Chapter X 154
  • Chapter XIII 161
  • Chapter XIV 165
  • Chapter XV 171
  • Chapter XVI 176
  • Chapter XVII 178
  • Chapter XVIII 187
  • Chapter XIX 191
  • Chapter XIV - Another Voyage and Other Occupations 205
  • Chapter V - Watering and Cleaning Streets 208
  • Chapter XVI - Serving on the Jury 211
  • SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY ON THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN NEW ENGLAND 215
  • Index 217
  • About the Editor 223
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