A slave story

The following extraordinary case occurred in Mississippi, under the slave law of that state. A planter was afflicted with a loathsome disease. So offensive were the ulcers that he was deserted by his white friends: and while thus afflicted and forsaken, a girl whom he owned as a slave kindly and patiently waited upon him, dressed his ulcers, cleaned his person, and watched over him until he finally recovered.

With gratitude and affection to his benefactress, he took her to Cincinnati, Ohio, executed to her a deed of manumission, had it recorded, returned to Mississippi, and there married her in legal form.

They lived together affectionately for many years, reared a family of children, and, as he lay upon his deathbed, by will he divided his property between his wife and children.

His brothers, hearing of his death, came forward and demanded the property. The widow and children were indignant at the demand. They, too, were, seized; and the validity of that marriage was tried before Judge Sharkley, of that state, who decided that the whole matter was a fraud upon the law of slavery – that the property belonged to the collateral heirs.

His widow was sold by the surviving brothers, the children were bid off at public auction, and now both mother and children now toil in chains or sleep in servile graves.

The Staffordshire Sentinel, September 2, 1854

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