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Step by Step; or Tidy's Way to Freedom   By:

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"Woe to all who grind Their brethren of a common Father down! To all who plunder from the immortal mind Its bright and glorious crown!" WHITTIER.

[colophon omitted]

Published By The

American Tract Society,

28 Cornhill, Boston.

Transcriber's Note: I have removed page numbers; all italics are emphasis only. I have omitted running heads and have closed contractions, e.g. "she 's" becoming "she's"; in addition, on page 180, stanza 3, line 1, I have changed the single quotation mark at the beginning of the line to a double quotation mark.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by THE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

Riverside, Cambridge:

Stereotyped And Printed By H. O. Houghton.



I. INTRODUCTION. . . . . . 5 II. THE BABY. . . . . 13 III. SUNSHINE. . . . . 24 IV. SEVERAL EVENTS. . . . 36 V. A NEW HOME. . . . . 43 VI. BEGINNINGS OF KNOWLEDGE. 50 VII. FRANCES. . . . . 62 VIII. PRAYER. . . . . 75 IX. THE FIRST LESSON. . . . 87 X. LONY'S PETITION. . . . . 95 XI. ROUGH PLACES. . . . . 105 XII. A GREAT UNDERTAKING. . 112 XIII. A LONG JOURNEY. . . . 127 XIV. CRUELTY. . . . . 137 XV. COTTON. . . . . 147 XVI. RESCUE. . . . . 154 XVII. TRUE LIBERTY. . . . 165 XVIII. CROWNING MERCIES. . . 174




MY DEAR CHILDREN, All of you who read this little book have doubtless heard more or less of slavery. You know it is the system by which a portion of our people hold their fellow creatures as property, and doom them to perpetual servitude. It is a hateful and accursed institution, which God can not look upon but with abhorrence, and which no one of his children should for a moment tolerate. It is opposed to every thing Christian and humane, and full of all meanness and cruelty. It treats a fellow being, only because his skin is not so fair as our own, as though he were a dumb animal or a piece of furniture. It allows him no expression of choice about any thing, and no liberty of action. It recognizes and employs all the instincts of the lower, but ignores and tramples down all the faculties of his higher, nature. Can there be a greater wrong?

It is said by some, in extenuation of this wrong, that the slaves are well fed and clothed, and are kindly, even affectionately, looked after. This is true, in some cases, with the house servants, particularly, but, as a general thing, their food and clothing are coarse and insufficient. But supposing it was otherwise; supposing they were provided for with as much liberality as are the working classes at the North, what is that when put into the balance with all the ills they suffer? What comfort is it, when a wife is torn from her husband, or a mother from her children, to know that each is to have enough to eat? None at all. The most generous provision for the body can not satisfy the longings of the heart, or compensate for its bereavements.

They suffer, also, a constant dread and fear of change, which is not the least of their torturing troubles. A kind owner may be taken away by death, and the new one be harsh and cruel; or necessity may compel him to sell his slaves, and thus they may be thrown into most unhappy situations. So they live with a heavy cloud of sorrow always before them, which their eyes can not look through or beyond. There is no hope no EARTHLY hope for this poor, oppressed race.

Their minds, too, are starved. No education, not even the least, is allowed. It is a criminal offense in some of the States to teach a slave to read. Now, if they could be made to exist without any consciousness of intellectual capacity, it would not be so bad... Continue reading book >>

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