18 Autobiography of
•illowed him so much for his work and a chance to make
'what extra he could for himself. So he used to make brooms
and husk mats and take them to market with the produce.
This work he would do nights after his day's work was
done for his mistress. He was a great lime burner. Then in
harvest time, after working for his mistress all day, he would
walk three and four miles, and work in the harvest field till one
and two o'clock in the morning, then go home and lie down and
sleep for an hour or two, then up and at it again. He had an
important and definite object before him, and was willing to sacri¬
fice sleep and rest in order to accomplish it. It was not his own
liberty alone, but the freedom of his wife and five children. For
this he toiled day and night. He was a strong man, with an
excellent constitution, and God wonderfully helped him in his
struggle. After he had finished paying for himself, the next was
to buy my mother and us children. There were thirteen children
in all, of whom only three girls are now living. Five were born ill
slavery. I was the oldest girl, and my brother, William Talbart,
the oldest boy. He was named after a gentleman named Talbart
Gossage, who was well known all through that part of the country.
I think he was some relation of Mr. Ned Gossage, who lost his life
at Carlisle, Pa., some time before the war, in trying to capture two
of his black boys who had run away for their freedom. I remem¬
ber distinctly the great excitement at the time. The law then
was that a master could take his slave anywhere he caught him.
These boys had been gone for a year or more, and were in Carlisle
when he heard of their whereabouts. He determined to go after
them. So he took with him the constable and one or two others.
Many of his friends did not want him to go, but he would not hear
them. I used to think how strange it was, he being a professed
Christian, and a class leader in the Methodist Church, and at the
time a leader of the colored people's class, that he should be so
blinded by selfishness and greed that he should risk his own life to
put into slavery again those who sought only for freedom. How
selfishness, when allowed to rule us, will drive us on, and make us
act in spirit like the great enemy of our soul, who ever seeks to
recapture those who have escaped from the bondage of sin How
we need to watch and pray, and on our God rely.
He did not capture the boys, but in the struggle he lost his
own life, and was brought home dead.