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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.             41
the neighborhood, in which I was very much
interested on my own account and on account
of my fellow-slaves.  I prayed to God to direct
me right.  The overseer used a slate on which
to set down the weights of cotton, which was
hanging in his cabin. I took the slate down,
made the entries of weights with the names of
the pickers, and hung it up again.  During the
next day (Sunday) the overseer came home, and
found the slate with the entries on it I had
made.   He was somewhat surprised.   When
Wilson came home he was duly informed of the
fact.  I was called, and ordered into the presence.
I knew it was unlawful for me to know how
to write, and I dreaded the consequences of my
rash act, yet I unhesitatingly, and with a cour-
age that surprised me, went to the house.
  "Who wrote these names and weights on this
slate, Charles?" asked Mr. Wilson.
   "I did it, sir," I answered.
  "How and when did you learn to write?"
  "During the time I attended my young mis-
tresses to school, sir."
  Wilson looked at me long and angrily, and
remarked that I had kept that fact secret for a
long time, and that as I had learned to read
and write he could not help it.  "But you must
remember, Charles," he continued, "that the law




			
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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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