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Joshua D. Rothman @rothmanistan
, 12 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Charles Ball was born enslaved in Maryland around 1780. Enslavers tore his family apart when he was five years old. He remembered: “My mother had several children, my brothers and sisters, and we were all sold on the same day to different purchasers.” 1/
“Our new master took us away, and I never saw my mother, nor any of my brothers and sisters afterwards. This was, I presume, about the year 1785.” 2/
“I learned subsequently, from my father, that my mother was sold to a Georgia trader, who soon after that carried her away from Maryland. Her other children were sold to slave-dealers from Carolina, and were also taken away.” 3/
At the time I was sold I was quite naked, having never had any clothes in my life; but my new master had brought with him a child's frock or wrapper, belonging to one of his own children.” 4/
“and after he had purchased me, he dressed me in this garment, took me before him on his horse, and started home; but my poor mother, when she saw me leaving her for the last time, ran after me.” 5/
“took me down from the horse, clasped me in her arms, and wept loudly and bitterly over me. My master seemed to pity her, and endeavoured to soothe her distress by telling her that he would be a good master to me, and that I should not want any thing.” 6/
“She then, still holding me in her arms, walked along the road beside the horse as he moved slowly, and earnestly and imploringly besought my master to buy her and the rest of her children, and not permit them to be carried away by the negro buyers.” 7/
“But whilst thus entreating him to save her and her family, the slave-driver, who had first bought her, came running in pursuit of her with a raw hide in his hand.” 8/
“When he overtook us he told her he was her master now, and ordered her to give that little negro to its owner, and come back with him. My mother then turned to him and cried, "Oh, master, do not take me from my child!" 9/
“Without making any reply, he gave her two or three heavy blows on the shoulders with his raw hide, snatched me from her arms, handed me to my master, and seizing her by one arm, dragged her back towards the place of sale.” 10/
“My master then quickened the pace of his horse; and as we advanced, the cries of my poor parent became more and more indistinct-- at length they died away in the distance, and I never again heard the voice of my poor mother.” 11/
“Young as I was, the horrors of that day sank deeply into my heart, and even at this time, though half a century has elapsed, the terrors of the scene return with painful vividness upon my memory.” 12/12
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