Harriet Wilson


Nothing new under the sun.

A FEW years ago, within the compass of my
narrative, there appeared often in some of our
New England villages, professed fugitives from
slavery, who recounted their personal experi-
ence in homely phrase, and awakened the indig-
nation of non-slaveholders against brother Pro.
Such a one appeared in the new home of Frado;
and as people of color were rare there, was it
strange she should attract her dark brother; that
he should inquire her out; succeed in seeing
her; feel a strange sensation in his heart towards
her; that he should toy with her shining curls,
feel proud to provoke her to smile and expose
the ivory concealed by thin, ruby lips; that her
sparkling eyes should fascinate; that he should
propose; that they should marry? A short ac-
quaintance was indeed an objection, but she saw


him often, and thought she knew him. He
never spoke of his enslavement to her when
alone, but she felt that, like her own oppression,
it was painful to disturb oftener than was

He was a fine, straight negro, whose back
showed no marks of the lash, erect as if it never
crouched beneath a burden. There was a silent
sympathy which Frado felt attracted her, and
she opened her heart to the presence of love--
that arbitrary and inexorable tyrant.

She removed to Singleton, her former resi-
dence, and there was married. Here were Fra-
do's first feelings of trust and repose on human
arm. She realized, for the first time, the relief
of looking to another for comfortable support.
Occasionally he would leave her to "lecture."
Those tours were prolonged often to weeks.
Of course he had little spare money. Frado was
again feeling her self-dependence, and was at
last compelled to resort alone to that. Samuel
was kind to her when at home, but made no pro-
vision for his absence, which was at last unprece-

He left her to her fate--embarked at sea,


with the disclosure that he had never seen the
South, and that his illiterate harangues were
humbugs for hungry abolitionists. Once more
alone! Yet not alone. A still newer compan-
ionship would soon force itself upon her. No
one wanted her with such prospects. Herself
was burden enough; who would have an addi-
tional one?

The horrors of her condition nearly prostrated
her, and she was again thrown upon the public
for sustenance. Then followed the birth of her
child. The long absent Samuel unexpectedly
returned, and rescued her from charity. Recov-
ering from her expected illness, she once more
commenced toil for herself and child, in a room
obtained of a poor woman, but with better for-
tune. One so well known would not be wholly
neglected. Kind friends watched her when Sam-
uel was from home, prevented her from suffering,
and when the cold weather pinched the warmly
clad, a kind friend took them in, and thus pre-
served them. At last Samuel's business became
very engrossing, and after long desertion, news
reached his family that he had become a victim
of yellow fever, in New Orleans.


So much toil as was necessary to sustain Fra-
do, was more than she could endure. As soon
as her babe could be nourished without his
mother, she left him in charge of a Mrs. Capon,
and procured an agency, hoping to recruit her
health, and gain an easier livelihood for herself
and child. This afforded her better mainten-
ance than she had yet found. She passed into
the various towns of the State she lived in, then
into Massachusetts. Strange were some of her
adventures. Watched by kidnappers, maltreated
by professed abolitionists, who didn't want
slaves at the South, nor niggers in their own
houses, North. Faugh! to lodge one; to eat
with one; to admit one through the front door;
to sit next one; awful!

Traps slyly laid by the vicious to ensnare her,
she resolutely avoided. In one of her tours,
Providence favored her with a friend who, pity-
ing her cheerless lot, kindly provided her with a
valuable recipe, from which she might herself
manufacture a useful article for her maintenance.
This proved a more agreeable, and an easier way
of sustenance.
And thus, to the present time, may you see


her busily employed in preparing her merchan-
dise; then sallying forth to encounter many
frowns, but some kind friends and purchasers.
Nothing turns her from her steadfast purpose of
elevating herself. Reposing on God, she has
thus far journeyed securely. Still an invalid, she
asks your sympathy, gentle reader. Refuse not,
because some part of her history is unknown,
save by the Omniscient God. Enough has been
unrolled to demand your sympathy and aid.

Do you ask the destiny of those connected
with her early history? A few years only have
elapsed since Mr. and Mrs. B. passed into another
world. As age increased, Mrs. B. became more
irritable, so that no one, even her own children,
could remain with her; and she was accompa-
nied by her husband to the home of Lewis,
where, after an agony in death unspeakable, she
passed away. Only a few months since, Aunt
Abby entered heaven. Jack and his wife rest
in heaven, disturbed by no intruders; and Susan
and her child are yet with the living. Jane has
silver locks in place of auburn tresses, but she
has the early love of Henry still, and has never
regretted her exchange of lovers. Frado has
passed from their memories, as Joseph from the
butler's, but she will never cease to track them
till beyond mortal vision.