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Mr. Pollard's “Mammy.”

there are many instances of filial piety recorded, and very properly recorded, in history. The reader will please recall that which has most warmly touched his sensibilities, or most closely captivated his memory — of some Athenian son or Roman daughter, illustrious [64] for obedience or devotion — and when contemplation has warmed him into an admiration of the Ancients and an inclination to depreciate the Moderns, we shall triumphantly bring forward Edward Pollard, of Washington, in the District of Columbia, Esq., as the champion, in this behalf, of the present day. Mr. Pollard has printed a pamphlet in defence of the proposition to re-open what may be most properly called the African Man-trade. Of Mr. Pollard's arguments in this production we cannot speak, for many reasons, the chief of which is that we have not seen them. But what Mr. Pollard may think of the slave-trade is of small consequence when compared with his filial devotion; and the expression of that feeling we have seen, for it has been disintegrated, if we may say so, from the main work, and, in the highly respectable character of an Elegant Extract, is now making a fashionable tour through the newspapers.

We trust that the Reverend Doctor Adams has seen this wandering small paragraph; that it has rendered moist his venerable eyes, and warmed the cockles of his ancient heart. For it appears that when Mr. Edward Pollard was a boy, his father had not merely the happiness to possess such a son, but in addition to this blessing in tunics, Mr. Edward Pollard's father — not to put too fine a point upon it — owned niggers. As Mr. Edward Pollard lives in Washington, and is therefore, prima facie, an impoverished office-holder, the presumption is that the black diamonds are no longer retained as heir-looms in the Pollard family, but have been sold by papa Pollard, [65] and sent to enjoy themselves upon the sugar-plantations, or to paddle and plash in the rice-swamps. Edward Pollard, Esq., has therefore the inestimable privilege of indulging in the Pleasures of Memory, and the way in which he does it is creditable to his heart. He sighs not for the stalwart field-hands, worth one thousand dollars apiece; he mourns not for the yellow hand-maidens with taper waists and languishing eyes; he weeps not for the coachman who guided his father's chariot; the laundress who got up his infant linen; the cook who prepared the domestic hominy; or the scullion who scrubbed the ancestral floor.

From these treasures, worth, in the aggregate, a very handsome sum of money, Edward Pollard, Esq., turns to drop a tear upon the grave of his “mammy.” “Mammy” was Edward Pollard's nurse. From the sable heart of “mammy” he first drew his snowy sustenance. In the dark arms of “mammy” he tasted the titillation of his first dandle. From the black hand of “mammy” he received his initial corn-cake. Her voice chanted his vesper lullaby and summoned him to his matin ablutions. Mr. Pollard “confesses” --although, under the circumstances, we do not see the necessity of the qualification — that he is not ashamed of his affection for his “mammy.” She died; for all “mammies” --even the “mammy” of Mr. Pollard--were or are mortal. Then came her sepulchral honors. Wiping the copious tears from his eyes), Mr. Pollard informs us that “in his younger days” he made “little monuments over the grave of his mammy.” [66] How many he made he does not inform us. What material he used, we are not told; but we know that infant architects have a partiality for mud.

And now Mr. Pollard, discarding the sentimental, waxes savage. Standing over the grave of his “mammy,” and suddenly getting angry without any apparent occasion, he cries : “Do you think I could ever have borne to see her consigned to the demon abolitionists?” There is really no need of all this vehemence. We perfectly understand the case. We appreciate Mr. Pollard's feelings. We know that he could not have borne it. For who then would have ministered to his necessities? Who would have darned his juvenile hose? Who would have rocked his cradle? Who would have “run to catch him when he fell, and kissed the place to make it well?” And, moreover, had “the demon abolitionists” caught Mr. Pollard's “mammy,” he is perfectly certain that they would have “consigned her lean, starved corpse to a pauper grave.” From which we infer that in addition to the mud memorials heretofore mentioned, as erected by Mr. Pollard, in the first gush of childhood's sorrow, he has since placed over the grave of “mammy” something very splendid in the way of a mausoleum. For, as we have already noticed, “mammy” is no more; and Edward Pollard, Esq., to use his own most charming language, can “only look at her through the mist of long years.” She died without the aid, assistance or cruel commerce of “the demon abolitionists,” and Mr. Pollard, who appears to be an elderly gentleman, has to pay a washing-bill [67] every Saturday, and as he d — ns the laundress in respect of buttons, remembers “mammy” and conjures up the image of “the dear old slave.” He recalls how, when his “mother” scolded him, his “mammy” protected and humored him; and seems, in his desolation to have come to the conclusion that this is rather a weary world. There appears to be nothing to do but to put Edward Pollard, Esq., out to nurse — dry-nurse or wet-nurse, according to circumstances — and and to strive by every tender art to divert his mind from the distracting memory of the original “mammy.” Of all the poor white people in Washington, he seems to be in the lowest spirits — if we except Mr. James Buchanan.

Whether the result of Mr. Edward Pollard's grief for his “mammy” will re-open the African Man-trade, is more than we can determine. The connection between his bereavement and that branch of commerce we have been somewhat at a loss to discover. We have been able to conclude only that there now exists at the South a dearth of “mammies,” and that Mr. Pollard, having felt through long years the want of that most useful article, seeks to replenish the market by the importation of what we may call the raw material. Left himself an orphan in respect of “mammy,” at a tender age, with his locks unkempt, with his face dirty, with his mouth pitifully gaping for gruel, and with his trousers torn, he looks forward to future Pollards — still, if we may use the figure, mere shrubs — in a like condition of emptiness and squalor. He seeks, like a true philanthropist, to provide for [68] their great want; and when the importation commences, “mammies” will, we suppose, be regularly quoted in the Prices Current. Meanwhile, Mr. Pollard's case must be attended to by the charitable. A pair of “mammies” --one for him and one for the White House--should be purchased at once by a subscription.

May 18, 1859.

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