Press enter after choosing selection

Antislavery: Henry Clay's Slave: To The Editor Of The Observ...

Antislavery: Henry Clay's Slave: To The Editor Of The Observ... image Antislavery: Henry Clay's Slave: To The Editor Of The Observ... image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
Letter to the Editor
OCR Text

I request you to pubíish the : nying testimoniáis ín relat ion to Lewis Richardson, (a fugitive slave of. Mr. -; Clay.) His case has been made ; casion of an unmerited attack upon Mr. Clay. íot he, bat I am jlístly chargeable with any blame, if there be any, in ' ihe trcatment o f Lewis. These tesümonials will show to all candid and impartial persons whelher any wrong has been done. Tliey embrace, !So. 1'. M.y own certifícate, No. 2. The statement of Mr. J. Mu lobinsón, No. 3 That of Col. Thomas Russell, No. 4. E. A. Dudley, Esq. áñd No. 5. Dr. Ilalstead. Tl our obedient servant, AMBROSE II. BARNETT. Mu. Barnett's Statement. l'nderstanding that publications are going the. rounds of the Abolition papers, fsome of which have been shown to me) repvesenting that I, as the overscer of tiio Ilon. H. Clay, had treated Lewis, his siave (who calis himself Lewis Richordson) with severity, with Mr. Clay's sanction, I ihink t duCto myself ar.d to truth lo malee a full statement of thecircumstances out of whioh these publications have grown. They are founded upon Lewib' own account of the matter, and of course il is maierial to know his goneral chnracter and conduct. I ihink 1 havo i.ever known a worse negro. Drinking, gambling, disordorly and riotous, he lias been ever forbiddun i by fí.o jniiabitants to oppear in certain neighborhoods, to which lic had been in ! the habit of resorting on the Sabbath and telling wlii.lvcy and créatin disöriféri Helias been put in tlie watch house for disortierly coiuluct in Lexinglun, whcre his wife resides. And he hasoften given me the most provokiugand insulling lan"mge, and even struck mo. On the day when f corrected bitnj (and wlien he says 1 gave him one hundredand fifty l;hes;) Mr. J. G. Hutchinson, Mr. Wicklille's overseer. was presont, and his itateinent accompanies lliii. Í chastised hiJ for aecumulntion of faults and acts of disobedience pasaed over by me from time to time, amotig wliich iliat of his negieet to cuiiieat i!-ï time nppointed, accordin to nv; i orders, to kill liogs was tlio least. His vvife, living in town, only about a uule and a half from Ashland, he might have attended, nsotiier slnves who had wives in townj did altend a: ihe urne appointed. But the truth was, that hei had been the previous dny, whicli was the SabUali, in one oC hisdrunken frolics, and when he did come he shovved the eiTects of dii-sipation. When I rebuked birn for his ;urdiness, instead of apologisinghe gave me insulting language. Knowingthat it tfasagainsl llr. Clay's wishes that Tshould ever wnip a servainof his, X bore as long as it was possible with Lewis' misconduct. Disagreeablë as it was, I feit it to be my duty ai lastto' correct him, and Mr. Hutchison baving :omo over, I requestcd him to remain, whilst I corrected him. I was entireíy fre2 froni passion, perfectly cool, and performed the painful duty asduliboralcly as I would have done any othor. Iostead of one hu nú red and fifiy lashes, I iid not give hirn more than sixteen, and stopt under acknowledgemonts made by hun of liis roisconjduct ani promises of amendmcht in future. The publications to which I iiave allu3ed abound in :he grossest exnggerations ind faisehoods. It is not true ihat any areparations were mado on the Sabba:!i xr killing hogs at Ashland. It is not true hat Lewis was ignorant of fne intention, 0 enter on ihat busir.css upoü Monday norning. 11e was well iuformed of it and knew ww important and usual it is to com nence early in the mor ai Dg on sucii iccasions. It is not true that he asked nc to go to see bis wife the previous Saturday riight. He went, or might, i f ie pleased, go every night of the week vithou.t any particular request. ' The ale ofhis being struck wilh a handspiks y me, &c, is unfounded. Il is whülly lestitute of truth that Mr. Clay and I had my interview on the subject ofthechas.isement of Lev. is, and conseqüently uniruelhat we agrecd that "the irnpudent refractory slavo must bc curbed and broko in by three hundred lasiics well laid on." Mr. Clay on the contrary, as faras I know or believe, was unapprized of thecorrection I gave Lowis uiitil after it happened; and the ta!e of the mannef in which itwas inflictcd is a fabrication from beginning to end. When Mr. Clay was infurmed of his liaving eloped, he prevenled my pursuing liim, and expressed a hope ihat he would neveragairi apjieaV at Ashland. When, in his last winter, one of hia sons was informed by a letter from ühio, ihat Lew is could Le taken and brought back, he answered; as he told me, that his father ai '1 his family vere glad that ho had left his service, hoped he never would return, and that no eflbrt would be made to bring him home. Far from any severitv being practised at Ashland, 1 have never known a moro tndulgent master than Mr. Clay, and his slaves are well treated in tx respects. - Their clothing is good, and iheir foood abundant. The adulls are allowed one pound of bacon per day, and the young in that proportion. They have bread1 without hmitation, and vegetables. Several of the families raise fowls and vegtables.' Nobody, black or white, al Ashland, [ believe regrets Lewis' absence ; amf f the Queen of England'.s subjects at Amherstburg(vho appear to have beéli' edified by his public speaking) can derive any benefit from his presenco and society, I amsure they wül not be envicd. As to the charactèr óf Lewis, I have on cjred the accompanying statements from Col. Thomas A. llussell and E. A. Dudley, ('bjlh gentlemen of the highest espectability wiio have been members. of the Legislature of KenluckyjJ and oí Dr. IlaNlend. AMBROSE II. BARNETT. Aiu. ITlttchinson's I haveseen a publication in the Cleveland American, under the signature of Q. F. Atkins, relating to Lewis, or Les Richardson, runuwüv slavo of tlie Hon: llenrv Clay; and as 1 am the overseer of Mr. WicklitK), referredto in that publication, 1 think right to correct the extravagant niisrepresentutions which it containsbv preseuting a truc statement of the transactions which it groasly. pervtrts. My reöklenco i.s al Mr. Wicklifib's farm, separated from that of Mr. Clay only by a rond. I have been frequently iit Mr. Gloy's aud have beard an ex-' tremely bad charneter of Lewis. Cne morning jn November or December last, l was at Ashianü. in corapnhy ithMr. Barnetl, Air. Clay's overseer. He remarked that he haü a vory painful duty to perform thal m jrning ; Umi Lewis had been guilty of froquent ujisconduct ; tiuit he liad rernoi.stiated with him, btit ihat instead of hls iiuproving, he had grown worse aiivl vt;y insolent and oflensive ; tuid ihat ie v.ould have to l:ike atnore jigiilcoirs course with i.;.. ?.Ir. Barnetl requested me to be prtsént at hiá correction;, as lie miglit oíT;r rasistance, in u-hich case he might b3 compelled ta resort to more violent meaaüfea ihan he wi.lied to enploy. I was present. Mr. Barnelt was free from angcr, cool and delibérate, and talked and reasoned vith 1 Lewis about his rppcatcd iustauces of misconduct. cahbJisemeut was in flicted with a switch of moderate size, ti and' so far one JiuaaVed ad ñiiy