I began to feel the happiness liberty of which i knew

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“I Began to Feel the Happiness, Liberty, of which I Knew Nothing Before”: Boston King Chooses Freedom and the Loyalists during the War for Independence:
[Boston King was born a slave outside Charleston, South Carolina. In 1792 he wrote this account of hisescape from slavery, and his service with the British Army. At the time he was living in Sierra Leone, an African country, where he worked as a carpenter and a Methodist minister.] When 16 years old, I was bound apprentice to a trade. After being in the shop about two years, I had the charge of my master’s tools, which being very good, were often used by the men, if I happened to be outof the way: When this was the case, or any of them were lost, or misplaced, my master beat me severely,striking me upon my head, or any other part without mercy. One time in the holy-days, my master and the men being from home, and the care of the house devolving upon me and the younger apprentices, the house was broke open, and robbed of many valuable articles, thro‘ the negligence of the apprentice who had then the charge of it. When I came home in the evening, and saw what had happened, my consternation was inconceivable, as all that we had in the world could not make good the loss. The weekfollowing, when the master came to town, I was beat in the most unmerciful manner, so that I was not able to do any thing for a fortnight. About eight months after, we were employed in building a store- house, and nails were very dear at that time, it being in the American war, so that the work-men had theirnails weighed out to them; on this account they made the younger apprentices watch the nails while theywere at dinner. It being my lot one day to take care of them, which I did till an apprentice returned to his work, and then I went to dine. In the mean time he took away all the nails belonging to one of the journeymen, and he being of very violent temper, accused me to the master with stealing of them. For this offense I was beat and tortured most cruelly, and was laid up three weeks before I was able to do any work. My proprietor, hearing of the bad usage I received, came to town, and severely reprimanded my master for beating me in such a manner, threatening him, that if he ever heard the like again, he would take me away and put me to another master to finish my time, and make him pay for it. This had agood effect and he behaved much better to me, the two succeeding years, and I began to acquire a properknowledge of my trade. My master being apprehensive that Charles-Town was in danger on account of the war, removed into the country, about 38 miles off. Here we built a large house for Mr. Waters, duringwhich time the English took Charles-Town. Having obtained leave one day to see my parents, who had lived about 12 miles off, and it being late before I could go, I was obliged to borrow one of Mr. Waters’s horses; but a servant of my master’s, took the horse from me to go a little journey, and stayed two or

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