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They Have Not Wit Enough To Take Care Of Themselves

They Have Not Wit Enough To Take Care Of Themselves image
Parent Issue
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OCR Text

xouror five years since, a Tennes9ee planter yisited an acquaintance, who lived ome thirty or forty miles frotn his residence. Rambling through the field3 whüe the ganga were at work, he inquired if he any "niggers" to sell. "Perhaps I have," was ïhe reply. What do you want? The planTeftfijUed to a fine looking, athletic mulatto, andsaïtf; ijlikethe looks of that boy. What vvill you takeluFiïin; ?' t'He'a worth the higheat price; for he's a prime hand.' "Has he no badtricks?" "To be frank with you, he has one deviliah bad trick. He'a very slippery about his freedom. If you take him you must look well to t, or he'll slip through your fingere." With a significant compression of his lip, anda flourish of his cane, the planter answered, "Leave me to take care of that j ï'll manage him." After some further conversation, it was agreed that the slave should be transferred to anew maater; and that he should be sent fcy a baggaga waggon, which at stated seaaons went round a certain section for the accommodation of the citizens. A wrítteu order was to begiven for the money, which was to be paid on the delivery of the slave. Now t chanced that the negro as he toiled, in the field overheard the conversation of the two gentlemen concernuig himself, and drew shrewd inferences therefrom, though he gave nosign of intelligence. He was asked no questions concerning the transfer of himself to other hand; tho' naturally enough it might be supposed to bea 8ubjectof some interest to him. The baggage waggon carne at the appointed time, and he was ordered to stow hirnself in it. This he did withcheerful acquiesceoce, and soon entered into friendly chat with the driver, who was a mulatto, of about his size and height. They beguiled Ihe way wiih multifarious discourse, until they carne to a path, which branched from the main road, aad led to the planter's house. The slave knewitwell; for he had heard accurate directioos given concerning his own removal. The moment he saw the horses' heads turned in that direction, he sprang suddenly upon the 'driver, tied his hands behind him wilh a cord he had purposely bro't in hÍ3 pocket, and then fusten ed hita tight toastake in the waggon. The man was taken 80 entirely by surprise, that before he comprehended the nature of his situ atioo, it was too late to help himself. - The slave rifled his pocket of the order for money, and then boldly irottedup to the planter's gate, saying, "Herc sir, is aalave Mr. told me to deliver to you, and at the same time he presentec the order for the money. "It's bo auch thing," said the enraged priaonerj"te is the slave and I am the driver of this waggon. He took me by surprise, and mastered me before I though of it." "Ah," said lhe8lave,you'll have troub Ie with that fellow. His master told me eo whenl took him, that ho had playei many a slippery trick for his freedom and I found him slipper)', sure enough I never should have got him here, if I hac ot Ued hm liand and footj and now thecunning rascal wanls to palm me off for the slave." The joke appeared to himsogood that he laughed heartily. The planter had a very dim recollection of the drivcr, and the slave he had never seenbut once, amid a gang of sable and brown face?. - He was really unable to determine for himself which was the driver and which the slave; bui recollecting what had been said about slippery tricka to obtain íree dom, he thought that the prisoner was a all probability the slave. He accordirf ly paid the money, and deiained him, in spileof his furious protostations. The real slave jogged on to Canada, horses, waggon, money, and all. Sla very so reverses all moral rules, that it requires an efíbrt to blamehim, so soverely as we ought, for thus seizing payment due for unrequited toil. The drivcr, luckily for himself, was able to prove his freedom by white witnesses; so one planter lost hts money and the