14 MRS. H. BEECHER STOWE's " UNCLE TOM."
tempered by Him in so fiery a furnace and under
such heavy blows.
I was born June "15th, 1789, in Charles county,
Maryland, on a farm belonging to Mr. Francis
Newman, about a mile from Port Tobacco. My
mother was a slave of Dr. Josiah McPherson, but
hired to Mr. Newman, to whom my father be¬
longed. The only incident I can remember which
occurred while my mother continued on Mr. New¬
man's farm, was the appearance one day of my
father with his head bloody and his back lacerated.
He was beside himself with mingled rage and suffer¬
ing. The overseer had brutally assaulted my mother,
when my father sprang upon him like a tiger. In
a moment the overseer was down, and, mastered by
rage, my father would have killed him but for the
entreaties of my mother, and the overseer's own
promise that nothing should ever be said of the
matter. The promise was kept—like most promises
of the coward]y and debased—as long as the danger
The laws of slave states provide means and oppor¬
tunities for revenge so ample, that miscreants like
him never fail to improve them. " A nigger has
struck a white man;" that is enough to set a whole
county on fire; no question is asked about the pro¬
vocation. The authorities were soon in pursuit of
my father. The penalty was one hundred lashes on
the bare back, and to have the right ear nailed to
the whipping-post, and then severed from the body.
For a time my father kept out of the way, hiding in
the woods, and at night venturing into some cabin