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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
        SKETCH OR BIOGRAPHY OF MY LIFE.             281

Fletcher, Captain Benson, or even the purser of the S. S. "Ma-
tura."  I looked about for Mr. Hall, but he did not appear and
time was passing.  A great number had been called in.  Some
came out, while others looked quite crest fallen.  One said to
me, "you need not apply as you will stand no chance."  Find-
ing Mr. Hall not present as he promised, I thought I would
make one attempt, at least, and thought of the old saying,
"'Heaven helps the man that helps himself." I had, a few days
before this, a dozen cards printed with my name on, one of
which I sent in. I was called into a room where a man sat at a
desk, asked for my certificates and, returning them, said, with
a smile, "I don't think you will suit Captain Cadell." I then
understood that this was only a clerk. I asked him to for-
ward my certificates to the captain. He said it was useless,
as he was sure I would not suit and that I need not stay.
I took up my certificates and left the room, and had scarcely
got outside amongst the other applicants, when my name
was called out by a liveried servant.  To the astonishment of
myself and the others, I was shown into a beautiful drawing-
room, where were Mr. Hall and Captain Cadell.  A great
many questions were asked me. my certificates examined,
etc. I was then asked what I knew about providing for a ship's
crew of one hundred people for twelve months. Now, when I
was purser's steward on board "Matura.," I often made myself
inquisitive about such matters, and often saw the chief steward
going over his accounts with the purser. This enabled me to
say, "If you give me a few minutes, I shall be able to give a
reply." I was shown into the clerk's room which I had just left
a few minutes before. I asked him for some paper and a pencil,
and soon found the provisions required for 20 officers and 80
seamen for one month, and took it to Captain Cadell.
  He and Mr. Hall, after examining it, told me to call again at
the Club on the following Monday, which I did. The footman in
attendance had given the news outside that I had been accepted.
On my going outside, those who were laughing at me at first now
came around me and asked me, in case of an assistant being
wanted, to give them a chance. I was invited to some of their
houses, introduced to their friends, invited to dinners, teas, and
even to picnics and parties.
  On the following Monday, I called at the Club, and was told
by the clerk that he had been directed to inform me that I
had been appointed second steward of H. M. S. "Eagle," and a
very respectable-looking man (white), who was sitting with him,
was my chief. My salary was fixed at six pounds sterling per
month, and Mr. Slater's (that was my chief's name) was fixed at
ten pounds sterling per month. This was at the end of Febru-
ary, 1867, and we were told to be on board by the 1st of March,
on which day our salary commenced.
  On going on board, I found the ship in a state of disorder,
guns being put in their places, carpenters at work, etc. About
the 15th of March, the deck being cleared, and things being in


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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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