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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
                      A RAY OF LIGHT.       353

days after Mr. Ashley's arrival, he drove over to Oakland, to
see what improvements were being made there.  He delighted
in improvements, was something of a horticulturist and always
gave his advice and expressed his opinions freely.  He found
the young man leisurely taking a survey of his grounds.
  Mr. Chapin introduced himself, and immediately commenced
conversation. He admired  Mr. Ashley's improvements, gave
him much hit valuable information concerning his trees, plants and
shrubs, advising him about everything in general. In fact he
spent the entire forenoon with him; and on his departure ex-
pressed himself highly pleased with his visit, and cordially in-
vited ihe young man to return the same at his earliest con-
  At dinner, Mr. Chapin entertained his family by relating what
he had seen and heard at Oakland, giving them a minute descrip-
tion of the young man's appearance and manners, and concluded
by saying, that he was one of the finest and most intelligent
young men he had ever met with, and that American young men
could take pattern from him, without doing themselves the least
  "But he's black, with all," said Mrs. Chapin, glancing at her
marriageable daughters. "What a pity! he must be vastly rich."
  This dampened the ardor of the young ladies, who seemed to
have forgotten his color in their eagerness to learn all about him.
  But Frederic Ashley needed none of their pity.
  But probably, by this time, the reader is desirous of knowing
somnething of Mr. Ashley's early life. Frederic Ashley was
a native of the United States; he was born a slave. His father
was shot for the crime of trying to gain his freedom.  From that
hour. Ellen, his wife, resolved to have liberty for herself and
child, or die. "Liberty or death," was the spirit of the Revo-
lutionists.  If it was right for them, it must be right for all.
  Frederic's mother was an heroic woman; the threats of the
cowardily slaveholder failed to intimidate her; and at midnight,
in company with a fellow slave, and with her babe in her arms,
she started northward, guided only by the north star to find
liberty. After a wearisome and perilous journey, travelling
nights, and hiding days, such as every one has heard the trem-
bling fugitive relate, they reached a so-called free state, foot-
sore and hungry.
  The inhabitants of the first village they entered seemed afraid
of them; they not only refused them food, but drove them
from their doors.  But fortunately in wandering on they came
across a good Quaker family, who took them in, administered
to their wants, and kept them as long as they thought safe.
(For the North was then a hunting-ground for chivalry.)
  The fugitives were then sent northward, Ellen and her babe
stopping in New England; and in a town not far from the city
of B----she found employment and received her first wages.
  But the southern hounds stil pursued her, and: she was
forced to fly to the British dominions for protection.  By the


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OHS/National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center Serial Collection

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3

Volume:  06
Issue Number:  03
Date:  01/1890


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