Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Harriet Jacobs

The Old Enemy Again

Page 1 of 3

Table Of Contents: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

My young mistress, Miss Emily Flint, did not return any answer to my letter requesting her to consent to my being sold. But after a while, I received a reply, which purported to be written by her younger brother. In order rightly to enjoy the contents of this letter, the reader must bear in mind that the Flint family supposed I had been at the north many years. They had no idea that I knew of the doctor's three excursions to New York in search of me; that I had heard his voice, when he came to borrow five hundred dollars for that purpose; and that I had seen him pass on his way to the steamboat. Neither were they aware that all the particulars of aunt Nancy's death and burial were conveyed to me at the time they occurred. I have kept the letter, of which I herewith subjoin a copy:--

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

    Your letter to sister was received a few days ago. I gather from
    it that you are desirous of returning to your native place, among
    your friends and relatives. We were all gratified with the
    contents of your letter; and let me assure you that if any
    members of the family have had any feeling of resentment towards
    you, they feel it no longer. We all sympathize with you in your
    unfortunate condition, and are ready to do all in our power to
    make you contented and happy. It is difficult for you to return
    home as a free person. If you were purchased by your grandmother,
    it is doubtful whether you would be permitted to remain, although
    it would be lawful for you to do so. If a servant should be
    allowed to purchase herself, after absenting herself so long from
    her owners, and return free, it would have an injurious effect.
    From your letter, I think your situation must be hard and
    uncomfortable. Come home. You have it in your power to be
    reinstated in our affections. We would receive you with open arms
    and tears of joy. You need not apprehend any unkind treatment, as
    we have not put ourselves to any trouble or expense to get you.
    Had we done so, perhaps we should feel otherwise. You know my
    sister was always attached to you, and that you were never
    treated as a slave. You were never put to hard work, nor exposed
    to field labor. On the contrary, you were taken into the house,
    and treated as one of us, and almost as free; and we, at least,
    felt that you were above disgracing yourself by running away.
    Believing you may be induced to come home voluntarily has induced
    me to write for my sister. The family will be rejoiced to see
    you; and your poor old grandmother expressed a great desire to
    have you come, when she heard your letter read. In her old age
    she needs the consolation of having her children round her.
    Doubtless you have heard of the death of your aunt. She was a
    faithful servant, and a faithful member of the Episcopal church.
    In her Christian life she taught us how to live--and, O, too high
    the price of knowledge, she taught us how to die! Could you have
    seen us round her death bed, with her mother, all mingling our
    tears in one common stream, you would have thought the same
    heartfelt tie existed between a master and his servant, as
    between a mother and her child. But this subject is too painful
    to dwell upon. I must bring my letter to a close. If you are
    contented to stay away from your old grandmother, your child, and
    the friends who love you, stay where you are. We shall never
    trouble ourselves to apprehend you. But should you prefer to come
    home, we will do all that we can to make you happy. If you do not
    wish to remain in the family, I know that father, by our
    persuasion, will be induced to let you be purchased by any person
    you may choose in our community. You will please answer this as
    soon as possible, and let us know your decision. Sister sends
    much love to you. In the mean time believe me your sincere friend
    and well wisher.

Page 1 of 3 Previous Chapter   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Harriet Jacobs

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004