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FD Masters

Rhys VK Nordstrom, Lee D Parkhill

   I have had two masters. My first master's name

was Anthony. I do not remember his first name.

He was generally called Captain Anthony -- a title

which, I presume, he acquired by sailing a craft on

the Chesapeake Bay. He was not considered a rich

slaveholder. He owned two or three farms, and about

thirty slaves. His farms and slaves were under the

care of an overseer. The overseer's name was

Plummer. Mr. Plummer was a miserable drunkard,

a profane swearer, and a savage monster. He always

went armed with a cowskin and a heavy cudgel. I

have known him to cut and slash the women's heads

so horribly, that even master would be enraged at

his cruelty, and would threaten to whip him if he

did not mind himself. Master, however, was not a

humane slaveholder. It required extraordinary bar-

barity on the part of an overseer to affect him. He

was a cruel man, hardened by a long life of slave-

holding. He would at times seem to take great pleas-

ure in whipping a slave. I have often been awakened

at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending shrieks

of an own aunt of mine, whom he used to tie up

to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she

was literally covered with blood. No words, no tears,

no prayers, from his gory victim, seemed to move

his iron heart from its bloody purpose. The louder

she screamed, the harder he whipped; and where

the blood ran fastest, there he whipped longest. He

would whip her to make her scream, and whip her

to make her hush; and not until overcome by fatigue,

would he cease to swing the blood-clotted cowskin.

I remember the first time I ever witnessed this hor-

rible exhibition. I was quite a child, but I well re-

member it. I never shall forget it whilst I remember

any thing. It was the first of a long series of such out-

rages, of which I was doomed to be a witness and a

participant. It struck me with awful force. It was

the blood-stained gate, the entrance to the hell of

slavery, through which I was about to pass. It was

a most terrible spectacle. I wish I could commit to

paper the feelings with which I beheld it.