The Abolitionist Weekly
by Natalie, Roshna, Matt, and Ashlyn
Seasick and Homesick
By Roshna Cherugail Ramadoss
They were crammed in every available space. No room to move or function at all. The ceilings were about 18 inches high, less than the distance between each shoulder. Because of this, the poor beings couldn’t turn over, much less change position. These slaves were captured and chained to a slave ship known as the Feloz. It carried 336 males and 226 females, making up a total of 562 slaves altogether. The slaves were all shackled at their ankles and hands. Many of them had different kind of devices on them, to prevent any attempts at suicide.
The Feloz had horrible hygiene and sanitation. The slaves weren’t bathed daily, and as a result, a horrific odor rose from the barracks. The captors did not provide a proper chamber pot for every person. Rather, there were only a few placed here and there. Those lucky enough to reach it were okay. However there were people who couldn’t reach the pots. Those people just relieved themselves on the spot. This helped disease spread faster. If there was a sick slave, nobody really did anything to help them. Once the slave died, there were no rituals or funerals or anything like that done. The bodies were simply thrown overboard.
In order to escape all this misery, some slaves thought about jumping overboard to end their torture. When this didn’t work out, they decided to just stop eating, in hopes of starving themselves to death. As soon as the captors learning of this plot, they introduced a device to forcefully open the mouths of those refusing to eat. In other words, they were force-fed. Despite all of this, there were still some slaves that died from “fixed melancholy”
Overall, the slaves aboard the Feloz were treated brutally. They weren’t seen upon as humans, but mere property that anyone could own. The slaves already endure so much pain and suffering, just on their passage to America. How is it fair that we imprison them once again upon their arrival?
Where is the humanity in this?
A slave is tied to a pole and is being whipped. Despite the blood gushing out, the owner shows no mercy and continues to beat his "property".
Letter to the Editor
By Ashlyn Franey
I am here to talk to you about the last writing piece on the South Carolina Newspaper. I read this document about slavery and the slave owners in the South and the way that the owners treated the slaves. I would like to discuss the way that you made the slaves work and the way that they are treated.
I would like to introduce myself to you as Martha Chandler. And as an abolitionist I would like to stop slavery and this article is completely outrageous. Also, owning slaves and using them as your personal slaves is wrong and a violation of the basic human rights. Within the movement that the abolitionists are trying to perform needs the people and the newspapers to help with advertising and producing articles about why slavery should be banned all throughout the states.
In this article that was featured in your latest newspaper addition the slave owners made practical but cruel jokes about the slaves that they bought. Speaking for all the people involved with this abolitionist movement, these slaves are humans, just as you are. These slaves should have the right to pursue their basics rights of being a human, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And with the way that you are treating your slaves, working from dawn to dusk with little sleep and horrid temperatures and tasks, there will be no way that can take advantage of their rights.
Though I am sure that your newspaper is very much against the movement to ban slavery, on behalf of all the abolitionists, I would like to pay to have the South Carolina Newspaper Company turned into a propaganda resource for our movement.To recap, my name is Martha Chandler, abolitionist, please get back to me about your newspaper company. You can send me letters at the following address, 84 Script Road.
Fugitive Slaves are Free Slaves
Ripped From Freedom
The Fugitive Slave Act is a law that was enforced in 1793. It states that slaves who have fled to free states must be surrendered to their owners if found. This law was made in the southern colonies when slaves started escaping to the north. Many of us northern colonists think of it as an excuse for kidnapping. We eventually passed “personal liberty” laws to protect alleged fugitive slaves. However, anyone who helped a slave escape in any way would be fined or even executed. Northerners and southerners get into many disputes about slavery because of this. Northern colonists often assist slaves, despite the harsh consequences. If someone happened to obstruct an owner from taking their slave back, that person would be charged $500.
A Small Change
Not long ago, in 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act was edited. Now, people have to attend hearings, where owners attempt to convince the commissioner to give them the certificate for their slave. Astonishingly, though, slaves are not permitted to speak a word at these hearings. It is quite a foolish thing to hold a hearing where the victim is not allowed to share their part. Not only that, but if a commissioner allows the owner to keep the slave, they’ll get more money than if they deny them. A fugitive slave named Frederick Wilkins, who was from Virginia, was kidnapped while he was free and forcefully taken to a Boston courtroom for a hearing. He was rescued by someone, though it is currently unknown whom, and helped to escape to Canada. This Fugitive Slave Act has forced many free slaves to be dragged back into the labor of serving for a master or mistress. Us abolitionists believe that no one deserves such inhumane torture that is found in slavery and that everyone should be treated equally.
*****As seen below, a mother's desperate struggle to stay with her children *****
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Edward Prigg, an attorney and a small farmer, was convicted of kidnapping for transporting a mother and her children from Pennsylvania to Maryland. Though this family was free, they were unable to prove it, so they were unjustly kidnapped. In the end, Edward Prigg was not arrested or punished.
By Matt Hou
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on a plantation in Maryland. He later had to work with Edward Covey who was known to be very cruel. His experience of being a slave and knowing how evil it is made him become an abolitionist later in his life.
Sophia Auld teaching Frederick Douglass the alphabet greatly shaped his future as a abolitionist. Douglass tells us that the The Columbian Orator cleared up his views on slavery and why it is wrong. His speaking skills got other slaves and slave owner’s attention as he would teach other slaves to read the Bible when he was hired out to William Freeman. Local slave owners would later disband the readings violently with stones and clubs.
Freedom At Last
Douglass’ escape to the North was not easy. He had tried to escape on two separate occasion but these attempts failed. His third and final attempt was successful as he had the help of a free black woman in Baltimore, Anna Murray, who he is currently married to. A man in the Underground Railroad sheltered him in New York. Marrying in 1838, he adopted the name of Johnson to hide his identity from people trying to find him, as he was a runaway slave. His current home is in a town in Massachusetts which has a large black community.
A New Beginning
At abolitionist meetings, many people would ask Douglass about his journey to freedom. William Lloyd Garrison, writer of the daily journal,The Liberator, wrote about Douglass in his paper. Soon Douglass delivered his first speech on abolitionism. WIlliam Lloyd Garrison, the man who first wrote of Douglass’ story, told him to write an autobiography. He wrote one and titled it Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave which is currently a best-selling book. You can pick a copy up at your local bookstore. With his increasing fame, Douglass had to travel to Europe to evade recapture. In Europe, he was able to raise enough money to buy his freedom in America. Frederick Douglass writes his own newspaper called The North Star which supports abolitionism. Douglass continues to support abolitionism and women's rights.
Working, all day-y,
Working all night-t-.
Madam asked me for new bread so I shall not go to bed,
I’m almost snoring as I try to make the bread raise.
I’ve just been, working, working, all day-y,
Working, oh working, all night-t.
Stolen from my own family,
Just wishing for new skin.
Working, working all day-y,
Working, working all night-t.
It was pitch black, back in the the Carolinas,
Just want to be se-et free.
Working, oh working,
I’ve just been working,
All day, all night, working.
I can't be beaten bloody,
or bellowed at by Master.
I just wanna stop working,
All day, all night.