Henson_1858

Henson_1858 - Give Me Liberty! Sources of Freedom History...

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Give Me Liberty! Sources of Freedom History Center Sources of Freedom: Father Henson's Story of His Own Life (1858) This excerpt is from the classic autobiography of former slave Josiah Henson, which was published in 1858 with a forward by the abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe. Henson described the cruel treatment of his father at the hands of the overseer and his master. Like other slave autobiographies, this narrative contributed to a growing revulsion to slavery in the North. As you read this opening chapter, consider what an account like this revealed about the system of slavery and the culture that developed around slaves and whites involved the institution. What kept the slaves on the plantation? What rights did husbands and wives have over themselves or their children? What effect might such a narrative have had on northern and southern readers? 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 the Mr. Newman to whom my father belonged. The only incident I can remember which occurred while my mother continued on Mr. Newman'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 suffering. The explanation I picked up from the conversation of others only partially explained the matter to my mind; but as I grew older I understood it all. It seemed the overseer had sent my mother away
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Henson_1858 - Give Me Liberty! Sources of Freedom History...

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