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Filing Cabinet - Underground Railroad

Mrs. Ellis

        It is more than a year ago, that I left slavery in Delaware, having been thirty-two years a slave. I was treated tolerably well, compared with others. I was brought up in ignorance. I felt put down--oppressed in spirit. I did a great deal of heavy out-door work,--such as driving team, hauling manure, etc. I have been whipped with a wagon whip and with hickories,--have been kicked and hit with fists. I have a bunch on my head from a blow my master gave me, and I shall carry it to my grave. I have had four children--two died there, and two I brought with me.

        I thought I had paid my master for raising me, and I wanted some time of my own: and when he threatened to sell me, and keep my children, I left him. I got off without much trouble. I suffered a great deal from wet and cold, on the first part of the way--afterwards, I was helped on by kind white men.

        Rents and provisions are dear here, and it takes all I can earn to support myself and children. I could have one of my children well brought up and taken care of, by some friends in Massachusetts, which would much relieve me,--but I cannot have my child go there on account of the laws, which would not protect her. This is a hardship: but had I to struggle much harder than at present, I would prefer it to being a slave, Now, I can lie down at night in peace,--there I had no peace even at night, on account of my master's conduct.

        Slavery is a wicked institution. I think if the whites were to free the slaves, they would incur no danger. I think the colored people would go to work without any trouble.

A North-Side View of Slavery, the Refugee:  or the Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada, Related by Themselves with an Account of the History and Condition of the Colored Population of Upper Canada, Benjamin Drew (Boston: John P. Jewett & Co., 1856)

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