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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
			
90           BIOGRAPHY OF A SLAVE.
press or implied consent of their masters; and as
the masters did not regard the marriage of their
slaves as anything, wives and husbands were con-
stantly in danger of being separated forever.
  But the slaves themselves instituted a ceremony
which they considered morally binding, as far as
they were concerned; and the slave-owners deemed
it prudent to gratify their slaves by a recognition,
in some degree, of the marital relations that
might exist among them. Therefore a certain
set of rules came into operation, by general con-
sent, governing the visits of the husband to the
wife when owned by different masters. When
the wife of a slave lived not more than five miles
from his master he could visit her once a week
when she lived not more than ten miles away, he
could go to see her once in two weeks; and when
she lived twenty or more miles away he could go
to see her only once in two months.
  At the expiration of my term of service I was
loth to leave my wife at Thompson's, and go back
to Wilson's, and strenuously objected, knowing
that I could get to see her only once in two
months.
  Wilson having learned that I was not desirous
of returning to him, wrote to Mr. Thompson to
send me home as soon as the last day of my serv-
ice expired; but Mr. Thompson was desirous of




			
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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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