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Biography of a Slave Being the Experiences of Rev. Charles Thompson   By: (1833-)

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Being The Experiences Of Rev. Charles Thompson, A Preacher Of The United Brethren Church,


Together With Startling Occurrences Incidental To Slave Life.



In publishing this book I hope to do good not only to my own race, but to all who may read it. I am not a book maker, and make no pretensions to literary attainments; and I have made no efforts to create for myself a place in the literary, book making ranks. I claim for my book truthfulness and honesty of purpose, and upon that basis it must succeed or fail. The Biography of a Slave is called for by a very large number of my immediate acquaintances, and, I am assured, will meet with such reception as to justify the expense I have incurred in having it printed and bound. To the members of the United Brethren Church, white as well as colored, I look for help in the sale and circulation of my work, yet I am satisfied I will receive commendable patronage from members of all Christian churches everywhere.

The book is written in the narrative style, as being much better suited to the tastes and capacities of my colored readers, and I have used simple and plain English language, discarding the idiomatic and provincial language of the southern slaves and ignorant whites, expecting thereby to help educate the blacks in the use of proper language.

I am indebted to William H. Rhodes, Esq., attorney at law, of Newman, Douglas County, Illinois, for his valuable assistance in the preparation of my manuscript for the printer. He has re written the whole of it for me, and has otherwise assisted me in the matter of placing the book before the public.


Newman, Illinois, Aug., 1874.



Charles Thompson, born in Atala County, Mississippi Division of Kirkwood's slaves among his six Children The writer and his two sisters fall to Mrs. Wilson The parting between mother and child Deprived of a fond mother forever Old Uncle Jack Wilson buys Uncle Ben from Strucker Uncle Ben runs away and is hunted with blood hounds Two hundred dollars reward.


Not sent to hell by Wilson Mrs. Wilson protects me, to whom I belong Sent to school with the children The school children teach me to read and write What came of it Mount that mule or I'll shoot you I mounted the mule A start for the railroad to work I dismount and take to the woods I owe allegiance to God and my country only.


Caught, tried, and taken back home to James Wilson My mistress saves me from being whipped I go to the railroad and work one month precisely Go back home Wilson surprised Left the railroad at 3 o'clock A.M. Did not want to disturb Leadbitter's rest Sent to Memphis with a load of cotton Afraid of the slave pens and slave auction Start for home Not sold Pray, sing, and shout Get home and ordered to hire myself out.


Start out on my travels to hunt a new master Find Mr. Dansley Hire to him Thirty dollars per month for my master and five dollars for myself Wilson astonished Appointed superintendent of Dansley's farm Rules and regulations Peace and tranquillity My moral labors successful Prayer and social meetings Meetings in the woods Quarrel and fight like very brothers Time comes to be moved to another field of labor.


James Wilson comes along Wants me to go with him to Saulsbury, Tennessee, to help build a house for a grocery store Takes me along with him Wilson taken sick I take care of him He gels well I make another attempt to escape from slavery What came of it.


Was hired to Mr. Thompson, and adopted his name Opened regular meetings, and preached on the plantation and other places Took unto myself a wife Was purchased by Thompson, duly installed on the plantation, and invested with authority Various means and plans resorted to by the overseer to degrade me in the eyes of Mr... Continue reading book >>

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