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Grade
8

For Robin nothing mattered except keeping her sister safe. Not the ongoing war for white Americans to be free from British rule, not even the fact that her father was gone and her mother passed. Robin’s father had been kidnapped from Africa bringing with him the scars of his people. Robin’s Father was sold away from them only half a year after Charlotte had come into the world. The family had been the only slaves to an elderly widow of 61, but when times got hard, the woman’s son refused to help her, and she was forced to sell Robin’s father to a young chap from Newport. Newport was a long trek from their farm, and Robin didn’t know if she would ever see her father again, and the her mother died of smallpox. Robin was sad at first, but the hardships of being a slave in 1772 carved her into a strength most men didn’t have.

Robin and Charlotte’s mistress was old and nearing the end of her life, but she was still friendly to the two lasses. Mrs. Finch only needed the two of them to clean and cook around the house; she did not have them doing the work that a man would do. Robin was glad for this because Charlotte was still a little girl of six and couldn’t sit still through the sorting of the peas or tending the fire that would be the job of a woman, but Robin was required to do the work for there was no one else to do them. So Robin put Charlotte to work on the cleaning of the house. The little girl would turn the actions into some sort of game to make them go by faster. Although the little girl could not reach the high shelves, she still managed to accomplish the job in record time. Ms. Finch also fed and clothed the two of them very well, she did not want her slaves looking indecent. Ms. Finch would allow Robin to use the extra cloth and thread to sew Charlotte her own little dolls or animals. And so this life went on for the three of them.

Almost a year had passed and by this time Robin had learned to take care of her sister very well. The two of them kept the house clean and did a great job, even if no one said so. On Ms. Finch’s deathbed, Robin was promised freedom. However, a day after Ms. Finch’s death, her son arrived. He called Robin and Charlotte to the parlor and them told to gather their things, as she was to be sold away in Charleston. She was confused, Robin knew the truth that she was to be let free, so she tried to argue with Mr. Finch, but he denied that there was any proof. The children could not fight back, nobody would believe them over a white male. Robin and Charlotte gathered their things and were forced to walk next to the old wagon of their former master’s son.

When the three of them reached their destination, the girls were sent to the tavern’s kitchen while their master discussed the detail of their selling. After about what seemed like an eternity of sitting quietly, the two girls were shoved out of the tavern and sent aboard a ship. They, were crammed into a jail cell like compartment, that barely had enough room for the both of them to lay down. They were fed very little, but the two girls had even littler appetites for the long journey.

After a long five days, with almost no food or water, the two girls were shoved off of the ship and had found themselves in the rising city of New York. During the 1770s New York City wasn’t as big as it is now, but it was one of the biggest cities in America and was full of British loyalists. It turns out that the sisters were sold to a rich loyalist family that owned many different plantations all over the rebellious colonies. The Longmire family was great friends to the king and had connections throughout London.

Charlotte was overjoyed at being off the ship, but Robin was smarter than that, she knew to stay orderly and quiet, for if she didn’t she could be beaten. Robin quickly got her sister to calm down, right before the Longmire couple was about to exit the ship. The lady wore an elegant gown with jewels hanging all around her neck. The man’s suit was of the most richest blue and had a gold lining all around it. He had the finest of powdered wigs with a little blue bow weaved into the back.

It had been two full moons since the girls  had arrived on the island of New York City. The two of them had learned to sit still and be silent around their masters. Robin had met different slaves and have figured out  her way around the city that she barely even knew existed before two months ago. One person, in particular, was fond of Robin. A young boy just one year older than Robin would help her carry the tea water from the pump in the middle of the courtyard to the big estate. Robin trusted the boy.  He was a slave for a very important man, William Paulding Jr. the proud mayor of New York City. Abija was a well dressed slave, like Robin, for both their masters were very rich. Abija would tell Robin all the news from his master so they would always seem to be in a state of debate when they were working together.

When Robin left to get water, Charlotte would prep the fire for tea and would stay out of trouble. Charlotte still had the child-like spirit from the farm, inside her, but she never dared show it to the Longmires. The way the two girls acted reflected how they were treated too.They were fed decently and dressed well. Even though the conditions of this new place were better than those at the farm, the two of them seemed to hate this place even more then there. They were real slaves here, they had no choices and the level of work was higher than that on the farm. Robin would go to sleep some nights hours after the sunset, just to wake up right before the sun did. All Robin wanted was a life without someone else's family name following her first.

One night Charlotte had an accident; she suffered a seizure. They were a thing that would hit Charlotte every once in a long while. However their mistress who was blinded by the thought that Charlotte had demons inside her.

Two days passed and Robin thought nothing of the experience. That night after Robin had brought the tea water that Madam Longmire wanted, she came home to a warm glass of milk. Robin thought nothing of the glass and was very tired so she gulped the glass without question. After about two minute of sitting in the kitchen, Robin’s eyes began to drop. She knew it was late enough and her master didn’t need her so she went into the cellar to her cold makeshift bed, too tired to even tuck Charlotte in.

The next day she awoke with the feeling of something missing, she didn’t know what but she felt as if her life was messed up. Robin turned over to see the small pile of covers that must have been her sister asleep under them. She shoved the idea into the back of her mind and headed up to start the morning chores.

Two hours passed and by now the sun was up and the birds were chirping, yet her little Charlotte never came up the old stairs to help. Robin was growing worried that her little sister had yet to come to help her. Their mistress would be mad, and it could be life threatening for the girl of seven. After putting the pot on the stove for morning tea, Robin headed into the room where she and her sister were kept. She lifted the pill of cloth to find nothing. Charlotte, wasn’t there!

The next two minutes had to be the worst of Robin’s life. At first she thought that her sister could be out or somewhere up in the huge house, but after a few seconds of calling and looking she knew what happened. She  had been sold. Mrs. Longmire had taken the only thing that Robin cared about. The little girl she promised to take care of to their mother. The little girl that couldn’t manage on her own.

Robin wasn’t one to cry for long.She was off the chair soon and looking for her mistress. As soon as the two met in the ballroom Robin was told, that her sister had been sent to  down south to help on another plantation of the Longmires. Robin’s mood swung in a different direction. now she was ready to get her revenge. She lost all control and screamed at her mistress. It wasn’t long before she felt the strong arms of the man who had been alerted by the screams.

She awoke ten days later, still locked away with almost no hope of escape. She knew she was to go back to her master and could be branded, or worse killed. Robin didn’t care. All she wanted was to find Charlotte.

Two days later he mistress called for her release, Robin was visited by the guards and pulled from her corner and brought to the last place she wanted to be, with the people who were as of last week, on the top of her list for the people she hated. Robin entered the familier house with bruises, she entered with the sorrow, and she entered with a plan.

By now Christmas was coming, and that meant that the town would be holding a ball for the loyalists. The Longmire couple would be sure to be there, so she would have the house to herself. Robin knew she would need to gain back the trust of the mistress in order to be left alone with the other slaves on that night. Since her rebellion she was deprived of being able to get the tea water, and she couldn’t leave the house without someone with her. In order for this plan to work Robin needed to be on the best behavior and keep her eyes out for extra work.

Two weeks passed, and Robin was the perfect slave; she kept her anger to herself, she stuck with her promise of not talking, she accomplished every need with haste and perfection so she had seemed to change. The same girl who had talked back to her mistress a month ago was now the perfect model for most slaves, so she was allowed to stay during the ball and her plan took action.

An hour after the masters left,Robin set out. She bolted through the alleys, straight past the drunken guards and set out in a row boat for the land ahead.She rowed with newfound energy, an energy that would help her find her sister.  Once she hit the shore, she managed to pull the heavy boat up on land, jumped in and fell asleep.

The next few months was very rough for Robin.  She left on Christmas eve, so the snow that came was harsh. She had brought her a little blanket and some rations, but they didn't last long. Her only focus was moving, she wasn’t going to stay in one place for to long.  She would sneak aboard wagons and hike through the night to get to the next town. She had to steal food and went hungry most days. She ran on fumes, barely sleeping at all. She didn't have the time to sleep between surviving  and searching.

When she got closer to Charleston she began searching the slave quarters of the plantations. She waited until the moon came out and darkness was around her. She would watch for the overseer to leave and then, she would get close to the buildings and search the dark farms for her sister.

One night, five months after she escaped, Robin did her usual and scouted out the area. There wasn’t many slaves in sight. But suddenly, someone very important walked out through the barn door, the girl she had been searching for for almost half a year, the one reason she spoke against her mistress, the one reason that she had run south from New York, the oner reason for her journey, her sister.

 

State
MN
Zip Code
04363