CHAPTER XXVII

TRUE FREEDOM

THE history of the African race is God's illuminated clock, set in the dark steeple of time. The negro has been made the hewer of wood and the drawer of water for nearly all other nations. The people of the United States, however, will have an account to settle with God, owing to their treatment of the negro, which will far surpass the rest of mankind.

Jerome, on reaching Canada, felt for the first time that personal freedom which God intended that all who bore his image should enjoy. That same forgetfulness of self which had always characterized him now caused him to think of others. The thoughts of dear ones in slavery were continually in his mind, and above all others, Clotelle occupied his thoughts. Now that he was free, he could better appreciate her condition as a slave. Although Jerome met, on his arrival in Canada, numbers who had escaped from the Southern States, he nevertheless shrank from all society, particularly that of females. The soft, silver-gray tints on the leaves of the trees, with their snow-spotted trunks, and a biting air, warned the new-born freeman that he was in another climate. Jerome sought work, and soon found it; and arranged with his employer that the latter should go to Natchez in search of Clotelle. The good Scotchman, for whom the fugitive was laboring, freely offered to go down and purchase the girl, if she could be bought, and let Jerome pay him in work. With such a prospect of future happiness in view, this injured descendent of outraged and bleeding Africa went daily to his toil with an energy hitherto unknown to him. But oh, how vain are the hopes of man!


BACK | FORWARD