1 I do not recollect of ever seeing my mother by the light of day.
2 I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same privilege.
3 They are, in the first place, a constant offence to their mistress.
4 She was the daughter of Isaac and Betsey Bailey, both colored, and quite dark.
5 Called thus suddenly away, she left me without the slightest intimation of who my father was.
6 He deemed all such inquiries on the part of a slave improper and impertinent, and evidence of a restless spirit.
7 She made her journeys to see me in the night, travelling the whole distance on foot, after the performance of her day's work.
8 It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age.
9 The opinion was also whispered that my master was my father; but of the correctness of this opinion, I know nothing; the means of knowing was withheld from me.
10 It was doubtless in consequence of a knowledge of this fact, that one great statesman of the south predicted the downfall of slavery by the inevitable laws of population.
11 By far the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs, and it is the wish of most masters within my knowledge to keep their slaves thus ignorant.
12 For what this separation is done, I do not know, unless it be to hinder the development of the child's affection toward its mother, and to blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child.
13 Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of her death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger.
14 Frequently, before the child has reached its twelfth month, its mother is taken from it, and hired out on some farm a considerable distance off, and the child is placed under the care of an old woman, too old for field labor.
15 She is ever disposed to find fault with them; they can seldom do any thing to please her; she is never better pleased than when she sees them under the lash, especially when she suspects her husband of showing to his mulatto children favors which he withholds from his black slaves.
16 If the lineal descendants of Ham are alone to be scripturally enslaved, it is certain that slavery at the south must soon become unscriptural; for thousands are ushered into the world, annually, who, like myself, owe their existence to white fathers, and those fathers most frequently their own masters.
17 Whether this prophecy is ever fulfilled or not, it is nevertheless plain that a very different-looking class of people are springing up at the south, and are now held in slavery, from those originally brought to this country from Africa; and if their increase do no other good, it will do away the force of the argument, that God cursed Ham, and therefore American slavery is right.
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