The Slave Trade



The public not long since was shocked by the announcement of an awful tragedy in the jail of Covington, Kentucky. A husband and wife, on their way to the Southern market, about to be torn from their only child, buried a knife in its heart, and then slew themselves. Who can imagine the intensity of the agony which drove them to such a deed as this? Two other instances of a similar kind, not indeed so horrible, but still lamentable, have just fallen under our notice.

The Rockville (Md.) Journal of September 30th, says -

"A negro man belonging to Mr. Philip Stone, who resides near this place, chopped his hand off with an axe on Wednesday last. He stated that he was induced to do so from a fear that his master would sell him. He had run off a few days previous, and had just been brought home."

The probability is that he had a wife or family in the neighborhood and resorted to this dreadful expedient to avoid the anguish of being separated from them.

The other case we find thus briefly reported in the Richmond (Va.) Whig:

"An inquest was held before Coroner Wicker yesterday evening, upon the body of Simon, a slave belonging to a gentleman in Surry county, who was brought to the city for sale, and was in the care of a gentleman of this city, who on yesterday, about sunrise, voluntarily threw himself down a well in the yard, and was drowned. Verdict - voluntary suicide."

The words we have italicized throw light upon the cause of this tragedy.


The National Era, November 2, 1848