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Biography of a Slave; Being the Experiences of Rev. Charles Thompson, a Preacher of the United Brethren Church, While a Slave in the South
			
            BIOGRAPHY OF A SLAVE.           35
be sure and not let any one see me.  Why not?
Why should I not study lessons in the school-
house for my young mistresses? Because it is
against the "law" for slaves to learn to read
and write.  Well, that  is curious.  A  person,
because he is a slave, must not study lessons;
must not learn to read and write because it is
against the "law."  What law?
  My mistress used often to read to the chil-
dren from a book which told about Jesus, and
Mary, and Lazarus, and Peter, and Paul;  and
how Jesus was our Savior, and shed his precious
blood for the redemption of all who  believed
him and would obey his commands; and how
Jesus said, "Suffer little children to come unto
me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Did the "law" prohibit me from studying les-
sons out of a book about Jesus, and learning to
read about Jesus as my mistress did?  When
my mistress sent my young mistresses to Jesus
wouldn't she send me along with them just the
same as she sent me to school with them? I
reckon so.  Such was my reasoning; and I de-
termined to assist my young mistresses in get-
ting their lessons, law or no law, let the con-
sequences be what they may.
  I received the book and went out from the
school-house a short distance, and secured my-




			
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Biography of a Slave; Being the Experiences of Rev. Charles Thompson, a Preacher of the United Brethren Church, While a Slave in the South


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