This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
‘  he will not part with his negroes,—no, not while he lives.’ The far greater number, however, confess the wrong of slavery, and agree to take measures for freeing their slaves.1
1 An incident occurred during this visit of Isaac Jackson which impressed him deeply. On the last evening, just as he was about to turn homeward, he was told that a member of the Society whom he had not seen owned a very old slave who was happy and well cared for. It was a case which it was thought might well be left to take care of itself. Isaac Jackson, sitting in silence, did not feel his mind quite satisfied; and as the evening wore away, feeling more and more exercised, he expressed his uneasiness, when a young son of his host eagerly offered to go with him and show him the road to the place. The proposal was gladly accepted. On introducing the object of their visit, the Friend expressed much surprise that any uneasiness should be felt in the case, but at length consented to sign the form of emancipation, saying, at the same time, it would make no difference in their relations, as the old man was perfectly happy. At Isaac Jackson's request the slave was called in and seated before them. His form was nearly double, his thin hands were propped on his knees, his white head was thrust forward, and his keen, restless, inquiring eyes gleamed alternately on the stranger and on his master. At length he was informed of what had been done; that he was no longer a slave, and that his master acknowledged his past services entitled him to a maintenance so long as he lived. The old man listened in almost breathless wonder, his head slowly sinking on his breast. After a short pause, he clasped his hands; then spreading them high over his hoary head, slowly and reverently exclaimed, ‘Oh, goody Gody, oh!’—bringing his hands again down on his knees. Then raising them as before, he twice repeated the solemn exclamation, and with streaming eyes and a voice almost too much choked for utterance, he continued, ‘I thought I should die a slave, and now I shall die afree man’It is a striking evidence of the divine compensations which are sometimes graciously vouchsafed to those who have been faithful to duty, that on his death-bed this affecting scene was vividly revived in the mind of Isaac Jackson. At that supreme moment, when all other pictures of time were fading out, that old face, full of solemn joy and devout thanksgiving, rose before him, and comforted him as with the blessing of God.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.