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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
			
42           BIOGRAPHY OF A SLAVE.
is that if any negro shall be found writing, his
forefinger shall be cut off at the first joint."
  My time had now come for my first punish-
ment, I thought.  A day or two after I heard
Wilson, while in conversation with the overseer,
say, "It will not do to let Charles stay with the
rest of the negroes, or he will learn them all to
read and write, and then we might as well set
them free."
  What was to be done with me for my un-
pardonable crime?  All kinds of surmises and
speculations entered my mind. What was to be
my fate?  Belonging to Mrs. Wilson--her prop-
erty-I was placed in charge of her son James,
who employed me  at teaming, that is, hauling-
cotton, lumber, etc.
  In this occupation I became pretty well ac-
quainted with the surrounding country and the
people, and was very well satisfied with matters
generally as they then stood. But I was soon
to learn that my young master was only anxious
to carry out the plans of his father, and was
determined to punish, or, as  they pleased to
term it, "break me," merely because I was relat-
ed to Ben--because I was able to read and write
as well if not better than James Wilson himself.
  I was told one day by James that he had
hired me to a man in Pontotoc to work in a




			
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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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