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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.             53
about making preparations for my trip to Mem-
phis, with a prayerful heart. Two of us were
going in company, each with a load of cotton.
We started on Monday morning, and traveled
along without unusual trouble or delay for three
days over hilly and rough roads, when we camp-
ed for the night within a mile of Holly Springs,
in Mississippi, and about fifty-five miles from
home.
  It will be remembered that uncle Ben was
sold by Wilson to a man who lived in and near
Holly Springs.  I was anxious to see uncle Ben,
if possible, and began making inquiries regard-
ing his whereabouts. A colored man came along
the road, driving a team, of whom I inquired.
After a little time he said a preacher named
Ben Harris lived in a house close by, at the
same time pointing to it. Upon further inquiries
I learned that Ben had taken another wife.
This may seem rather criminal, and may appear
to be a clear case of bigamy against uncle Ben;
but when it is remembered that masters com-
pelled their slaves to live together as man and
wife, without ceremony, for the purpose only of
breeding children, and that Ben had no say in
the matter, he will be held blameless. The laws
of the southern states did not recognize the
legal relations of man and wife between slaves,




			
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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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