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The master's house

a tale of Southern life




Page 93


Stoneyville is one of the most pleasant towns in the rural
State of Vermont. It is in an out-of-the-way nook, on
the very edge of the great currents of travel, yet not perceptibly
influenced by them, for it retains most of its old-times
features, a large number of its best houses having
been in existence at the time of the Revolution. Stoneyville
is also somewhat remarkable for possessing an old
ruin; a thing rare, indeed, in New England. Past the
edge of the village, flowed a spring-fed stream, which, at
the lower part of the town, widened into quite a deep lake.
Upon some rocks in the centre of this sheet of water, had
many years before, been built by an unsuccessful speculator,
a flour mill, now in decay; it having been discovered
when too late, that the enterprise needed two things to
make it succeed; enough swift-running water to turn the
mill, and enough wheat to keep it busy; both were wanted,
but what the disappointed miller lost, the town of Stoneyville
gained in the picturesque.

The traditions of Stoneyville are very interesting: the


Page 94
little boys can point out the very spot where they say
General Stark stood, when he made his famous address to
his soldiers; where the Green Mountain Boys bivouacked
a few days before the battle of Bennington. They also
have traditions of wounded soldiers, that were brought
into the town, and lodged in specified houses, and who died
encouraging the living never to surrender their liberties
until death.

These incidents are characteristic of the town of Stoneyville,
but in them was all the bloodshed and violence that
were familiar to the people, for no place was more peaceable,
more primitive, than this little village. The uses
of law were scarcely known, the poor-house and the jail
were alike almost destitute of tenants. But for the many
flourishing schools within its vicinity, and the consequent
visiting of anxious parents, to witness the progress of
their children, Stoneyville would have been forgotten, save
to the little world of which it was the centre.

Here it was the good fortune of Charles Broadnax, of
whom we have heard in another chapter, to find a retreat,
and here he had resided in peace, and would probably have
continued to do so to the end of his days, had not his
prosperity attracted the good-natured attention of the local
editor; who thus, while intending to compliment him,
brought a knowledge of his whereabouts to the eye of
Major Dixon, the bitter enemy of the African race.

The negro trader, in due course of time, for the accomplishment
of his plans, having informed himself in Washington
of the locality of Stoneyville, and also of the character
of its inhabitants, chuckled over the prospect of the


Page 95
“hell of a fuss he was going to kick up among the Yankees;”
and obtaining a temporary commission as
United States Marshal, for one of his “own men,” and
selecting two others, who hung about the slave depots in
Washington, for assistants; armed with the “solemn authority
of law,” and what they deemed necessary appendages,
revolvers and bowie knives; the four were soon in the
State of Vermont, and managed to remain long enough to
concoct their plans at the railroad station, some five miles
from Stoneyville, without, in the hurry and bustle of the
passing to and fro, attracting any particular attention.

Having secured a room at the railroad hotel, Dixon
made his companions place all their weapons in his trunk,
which he locked up; observing that if any of the inhabitants
saw any of their “playthings,” they would know that
they were Southerners negro-hunting, and give the alarm.
He then cautioned them not to swagger, or get intoxicated,
but behave themselves until he returned; for, ever intent
on business, he proposed at once to proceed on foot to Stoneyville;
reconnoitre the place, find out where Charles was,
lay all his plans; and then, with the assistance of his confederates,
make the capture.

With these ideas, he started up the road that led to
his place of destination. It was a pleasant September
afternoon; all nature smiled,—the naturally sterile hill
sides were mantled with ripening fruits,—and the hay
fields filled the air with fragrance. A long way off there
could be seen the modest spire of Stoneyville church, glistening
just above the intervening hills.

“I wonder how these ere people manage to live,”


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soliloquized Dixon, as he strode along; “cuss me!” he
continued, looking around, “if they don't seem to keep
fat on blue stone, for they've not much else to eat:” and
then looking ahead, and perceiving the spire of the church,
that for a moment came in full view, he said, “Thar's a
church; I suppose that's the shop Charles is sexton of;
why didn't they make him the preacher, or send him to

Just at this moment there came rattling along a two-horse
wagon, driven by a merry boy, some twelve years
old; the horses in perfect condition, and looking fairly
gay under their well-kept harness.

“Wal, I rayther guess you'd better ride,” said the
boy, holding up his steeds, to get Dixon's answer.

“How far are you going?” inquired Dixon, his hand
already on the fore wheel, ready to mount.

“Wal, I'm goin' near tu Stoneyville, but not right tu
it,” said the little teamster, his eyes dancing with life and

Another moment, and the Major was hurried along at
a swinging trot; and being a good judge of a horse, “almost
as good,” to use his own language, “as he was of
niggers,” he appeared highly delighted with his unexpected
good fortune.

It seemed to Dixon but a few moments before the boy
stopped, and told him, although the town was entirely
hidden from view, that just beyond the spur of the hill
ahead, he would be at Stoneyville. Dixon jumped into
the road, and taking from his pocket a twenty-five cent
piece, offered it to the boy.


Page 97

“I hain't got no change,” said the little fellow, gathering
up the reins to move on.

“Never mind the change,” said Dixon, laughing.

“Wal, I hope you don't guess I'll take all that money
fur such a little ride, do you?”

“I guess you will,” sneeringly returned Dixon, all of
his hatred of the Yankee character being revived by the
nasal twang of the urchin; “I guess you will take it, and
you'd better buy one of these farms with part of it, and
keep the rest to build you a house.”

The boy took the money with evident surprise at the
liberality of the gift marked on his face, and laughed
heartily at Dixon's remark, for he understood it exactly
different from what it was intended; and then touching
up his horses, soon rattled on out of sight.

Now something in all this had annoyed Dixon, and he
strode on to the village in exceeding bad humor. Although
it was in the usual business hours of the day, he
saw no one in the streets; the houses set back from the
road,—the front doors were generally open,—but all was
still. He passed one or two modest-looking stores; the
inmates seemed to be absorbed in books, or half asleep.
At the extreme end of the town he discovered an old-fashioned
tavern sign, and to it he wended his way.

Suddenly he heard the hum of busy voices, merry
laughter, and other signs of life; and it appeared to him
that by a simultaneous movement, the heretofore quiet
streets were alive with children. The merry urchins
poured out from almost every house, and went whooping
in merry troops up and down the streets. Such a continued


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array of white faces, and rosy cheeks, depressed
Dixon; and at the moment, he would have looked upon a
negro, if legitimately in his presence, with all the sentiment
of suddenly seeing among strangers a familiar face.

Dixon soon made an interested friend of the landlord
of the “Farmer's Inn;” and although out of the usual
hour, he ordered some refreshments, and then asked to be
directed to the village barber. The landlord pointed him
out the shop, and then disappeared to attend to his unexpected
call for a dinner.

Charles Broadnax lived near the centre of the village,
and opposite the church. Over the door, in simple letters,
was the name; and on the inside, the negro man
could be seen busily dusting off the various articles that
composed his stock in trade. A dark and terrible expression
passed over the face of Dixon, as he saw the negro;
but by a great effort of will, he controlled himself, and
entered the “saloon.”

Charles, with professional courtesy, made the usual
bow; and asked what the gentleman would have. Dixon
signified his desire, and in another moment was undergoing
the necessary, but not very poetical infliction of being
shaved. Charles was at leisure, and took more than usual
pains to please; and when Dixon came from under his
manipulations, he looked vastly improved.

Before Dixon left, Charles's two children, of seven and
nine years of age, came into the shop, and leaving some
message, immediately went out again. Dixon paid his
bill, and casually inquired:

“You have some children, I see?”


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“Yes,” said Charles, “I have got four.”

“And how do you like living in this cold country?”
inquired Dixon, pretending to be very much interested
with a picture that ornamented the wall.

There was something in the tone of voice and manner
of Dixon that now alarmed Charles, yet he could not tell
why. The sound of the voice,—the cold, distrustful, and
evidently unsympathizing expression,—revived recollections
that had been slumbering in his memory for years;
and yet, while his heart sunk within him, nothing visible
to his eye seemed to justify his fears.

Dixon saw the mental agitation of his victim, and was
confirmed in his idea that he was talking to the fugitive;
but to place the matter beyond a doubt, he said:

“I rode up from the railroad depot with one of your
citizens, and I have heard your story with a great deal of

“Ah!” said Charles, instantly recovering his spirits
(for his escape from slavery was quite a familiar romance
in the vicinity); “many people do talk of my having come
from the South; but for that, I should almost forget it

Dixon said no more, but walked back to the “Farmers'
Inn,” and commenced in excellent spirits his plain, but
neatly dressed, and substantial dinner. The landlord
was a garrulous man, and talked about a thousand things
of no possible interest to Dixon; but upon that gentleman
mentioning what an excellent barber the town of Stoneyville
was blessed with, Boniface went into the whole details
of Charles's coming to the town,—his early struggle


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to maintain himself,—and his final triumphs; and then
launched off into a tirade against slavery, and wound up
with loud denunciations on the head of negro traders,
whom the landlord said he had Charles's authority for asserting
“were a pack of thieving scoundrels, who would
do any thing base to sell the souls and bodies of the unfortunate

“Did that nigger barber say that?” growled Dixon,
as well as he could, with his mouth full of excellent pudding.

The landlord, perfectly delighted that he had at last
touched upon a subject that interested his guest, replied:

“Yes, he said that; and I'll add,” continued the
landlord, determined to be agreeable, “that a man that
will give himself up to make a trade of selling human
beings,—to separating parents and children,—deserves to
go down to the bottomless pit, where there is weeping and
wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

“That's your opinion, is it?” said Dixon, perfectly
strangled with wrath, and purple in his face.

“It is,” said the landlord, still unconscious of the
effect of his remarks; “and it's the opinion of every decent
man in the country;”—and then pausing a moment, and
giving his language great effect, he continued: “Charles
says, that in the South even, a nigger trader is despised
and loathed, and not allowed to sit at a gentleman's table;
and if such is the case —”

“Shut up your infernal gab!” finally roared Dixon,
almost in an apoplectic fit, “and the devil take Charles!—


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Can t you let a man eat a meal in your house, without insulting
him, you chuckle-headed fool?”

The landlord fell back against the wall, overcome with

“I hope I haven't offended you!” he said, the moment
he could speak.

Dixon, who had convulsively seized the carving knife
before him, and half risen in his chair, dropped the
weapon, and settling back in his seat, while his face was
still black with indignation, he begged the landlord to excuse
him, “as he was subject to flows of blood to the

In a few moments he paid his bill, and walked precipitately
into the street. The instant that he reached the
highway, and was beyond observation and hearing, he unloosed
his neck-kerchief, to let the air come to his
neck, for its veins were swelling and heaving as if heated
by an internal fire; and then throwing his arms about him
as if to obtain more relief, he poured out upon the landlord
of the “Farmers' Inn,” and upon Charles, curses
and maledictions that rivalled the fiends themselves; and it
was not until he had walked the whole five miles necessary
to reach the railroad station, that he was fairly self-possessed.

Dixon, on his arrival among his confederates, kept up
the discipline necessary for the best execution of his plans.
He would not allow them to appear much together in the
street, nor would he, when observed, have much to say to
them himself. It was not until ten o'clock at night, that
they met in their sleeping room, and discussed their plans.


Page 102

Dixon gave a graphic account of his adventures at
Stoneyville, and was further enraged by his friends' laughter,
as he detailed how the landlord, to use the deputy
United States marshal's language, “hit him under the
short ribs;” but the conclave finally concluded, that it
would be a great thing gained, if it were possible, “to
stake the landlord down, and give him a `hundred,' before
they carried off his nigger friend, Charles.”

“And how far is Stoneyville from this place?” inquired
the deputy marshal.

“Five miles,” said Dixon, sententiously.

“Five miles!” repeated the marshal, pulling out an
old watch; “why, Major Dixon,” he continued, “it is
now only eleven o'clock; we can get to Stoneyville by one,
and take the nigger in his den, asleep, and be back in time
for the three o'clock morning train.”

“I know that,” snarled Dixon, “I could go back alone
to Stoneyville, and take him myself, and bring him here;
but that isn't the thing,—I want a row,—I want some of
them guessing Yankees to interfere; I want that landlord
to get a rip with a bowie,—I want to make these fellows
feel what it is to infringe on Southern rights.

The two men, whom Dixon had hired to accompany
him, finally fell into a slumber, but the deputy marshal
seemed a little nervous about his “official capacity,” from
the fact, that his commission seemed to him a profound
delegation of terrible power, and he was constantly afraid
that it would either be infringed upon, or not sufficiently
exerted; so he kept wide awake, and continued in conversation
with Dixon.


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Now the major was exceedingly well skilled in his
business, and he had inculcated the deputy marshal with
the belief, that if he, the marshal, was successful in this
“particular hunt,” that he might get into a fine run of
business, and soon make himself rich; and to further stimulate
his confederate, Dixon gave several illustrations of
the profits of fugitive hunting; but the story he told with
most unction, ran as follows:—

“When I fust commenced this business, it was before
the abolitionists had created such a fuss against the South,
and before the slave States made the law, that a negro
was free, if his master took him voluntarily into the northern
States. The consequence was, that a great many gentlemen
owned niggers, who had by travel got to be pretty
considerable sort of gentlemen.

“A young man, by the name of Pinckney, who at about
twenty-one, came in possession of a large estate, took it
into his head to have in Europe a grand “spludge,” so he
took his body servant, Benson, about as white as niggers
ever get to be, and started off. I think Benson told me
that his master stayed abroad about ten years, and visited
all the kings and queens, and courted duchesses, and all
that sort of thing; Benson half the time passing for his
companion, and all the time treated as if he was, no mistake,

“When Pinckney got back home again, he found his
funds rather low; and having got a taste for cards and
horses, he went down South, and commenced the genteel
gambler, and figured on the race track; and it was generally
given in, that if it hadn't been for Benson's smartness,


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he'd a gone to the dogs in less time than it takes to brand
a nigger.

“Now a race track, Mr. Deputy Marshal, is a bad
place for fools,—a bad place for a man that loses his
senses in drinking too much—I never do that,—and a bad
place for a bird, any way, that is rather loose in his
feathers. Be that as it may, Pinckney soon had fastened
on him a shrewd man, who determined to get Benson from
him, by fair means or foul; and so he stuck to him with
“marked cards,” and pisening his race horses, and bribing
their riders, until Pinckney put up Benson against fifteen
hundred dollars, and lost him on the race track, easier
than a turtle rolls off a log.

“Now, the man that won Benson didn't live in a palace,
or have any duchesses about him, I tell you. He occupied
a log-cabin, eat corned pork, and amused himself
drinking whiskey, running horses, and hunting niggers. He
was a real spirited gentleman, but rather imprudent in
whipping, for he used to lay it on when he got mad, so that
the nigger never got over it, and that is a foolish wasting
of property, for you see Mr. Deputy, there is no feeling in a
nigger's hide below the skin, and if you will take time, you
can get it all out of his body without touching a vital—but
howsomever, the man had a right to kill 'em if he could
afford to, for a person should do as he pleases with his

“As soon as this man won Benson, who stood by, dressed
up in the very clothes he brought from France, and a
gold watch in his pocket, he said very mildly: `Benson,
my boy, that half neck ahead of my horse as they came out


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at the stand, made me your master; now I have a prejudice
agin dandy niggers, agin learned niggers, and agin
white niggers; and as I don't fancy the airs Mr. Pinckney
puts on, I think I'll commence your education by whipping
out of your hide all the gyrations he's larned you; and if
you live through it, maybe you'll make a good cotton picker
at last,' and as the winner said this, he commenced without
further ceremony belting Benson with a heavy whip,
every stroke of which cut the broadcloth into flinders.

“Now, Pinckney (who was drunk when he put up Benson
as a stake, for he would have sacrificed his life for the
boy had he been sober), seeing the man strike Benson, he
drew a knife, and demanding how any one dared to strike
his nigger, rushed in, and a general fight ensued; but as
might be expected, the gamblers got the advantage, for
they cut up Pinckney awful, so he died the next day, but
the nigger disappeared, and wasn't seen afterwards.

“Now Benson understood that he had been lost on a
bet, and determining not to go with his new master, the
moment the fight commenced, he slipped out of sight, hid
away in the woods, and hailed the first boat going to Cincinnati
after he got to the Mississippi River, and was taken
on board and treated all the way like a gentleman, no
one on the boat even suspecting that he was a darkee,
much less a runaway slave.

“Benson found his way of course to the British possessions,
and if our government at Washington had any spunk,
it would declare war on Canada, just to get the runaways;
that's the way it sarved the Seminoles, and a very pretty
thing we made of it. Benson once on English sile, set himself


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up for a gentleman at large, and as he could talk about
crowned heads, picters and all that sort of nonsense, he was
looked upon as the perlitest man ever was seen, and you'd
scarcely believe it, set up a perfumery store and married an
English woman, as handsome I'm told as any in the country.”

The deputy marshal, who had listened up to this moment
in profound silence; at the statement of the marriage,
rolled up his eyes in astonishment, and said:—

“Oh, Major! You're going it too strong.”

“Not a bit of it; for you see Benson was a white nigger,
and it took a good judge to show the cross. I have,”
he continued, “paid a heap of money out to settle this very
question of how white a nigger can be.

“'Twas only six years ago, I bought, near Richmond,
for a friend of mine in Orleans, a real blue-eyed white nigger
girl; and after I got her on the ship, a habeas corpus
was got out, to prove she was clear white. Her lawyer
took the ground that she was free—for, you see it was argued
according to the Virginny statute, `that every person
who had one fourth negro blood should be deemed a nigger,
and that every person who had less than that should have
a certificate of being white. 'Twas a hard struggle for
twenty hundred dollars, I tell you, for the man I bought
the girl of, had taken the money and left.

“Fortunately the girl hadn't any education; she looked
beautiful, and being only fifteen, was worth to a young fellow
with plenty of money, three thousand as she stood, and
as she couldn't plead her case, and didn't seem to care,—
when I showed them that the inside of her hands was


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a little smoother than ordinary white folks, and the dark
line down the spine; the justice give in and I took her off;
but for that, it would have been as good as losing six ordinary
niggers, as things then stood.

“But as I was saying about Benson; he took to the perfumery
business, and married a white wife, and got to be a
great man in his way, I tell you. There he lived, not even
his fellow-runaways suspecting that he had ever seen a slave
State. But a Southern man, who had seen Benson on the
race track, recognized him in Canada, and it got to my ears,
and the first time I was down in Louisiana after I heard
of his whereabouts, I bought out his master's interest for
fifty dollars, and took a regular bill of sale.

“I expected to have a deal of trouble, if I ever got
Benson at all, but he walked into the trap I set for him
like a bumble-bee into a sugar hogshead. Just one letter,
pretending to be from a New York merchant, that wanted
to see him in Detroit, brought him under the American flag
and into a pair of handcuffs.”

“And what became of him at last?” asked the deputy

“Why,” said Dixon, rising up and walking about the
room, “as a mere money speculation, Benson turned out
badly. I spent three hundred dollars to get him to St.
Louis, and carried him gagged and tied all the way, and
when I got him fairly in limbo, after all my trouble, he had
the ingratitude to hang himself to the rafters, and so give
me the slip after all.”

“And what became of his wife?” asked the marshal with
more interest than he had at any other time displayed.


Page 108

“I don't know,” said Dixon, with an equivocal smile on
his face, “but I remember that the papers and the abolitionists
at the time made a great deal of fuss about it, and
said the woman went crazy; but the idea of a white woman
going crazy for a nigger, was working the sentimental with
too much steam on, and I never thought about the subject

A few orders in the morning were given by Dixon, and
the men walked rapidly on their way. At this moment you
could scarcely distinguish the quiet story-teller of the previous
night, with the man as he appeared under the growing
excitement of making a capture. He seemed to be a
head taller; there was an erectness about his figure, a fire
in his eye, and an expression in his face that was really impressive,
and he seemed to inspire his followers with his
own defiant spirit.

The streets of Stoneyville, as the men entered at different
points, were alive with children going to school, and
with citizens on their way to their daily avocations. Dixon,
always in sight of his fellow laborers, walked straight up
to Charles's shop, and peeping in at the window, discovered
the object of his search busily employed in dressing the
hair of a reverend-looking gentleman. Raising his finger,
the deputy marshal, white with fear and excitement, came
within a few yards of him, while the hired assistants had
reached stations near Dixon equidistant up and down the

The moment that every thing was ready, Dixon tapped
on the door, and Charles, comb in hand, stepped forward
and opened it, and as he put his head out, Dixon seized him


Page 109
with his left hand by the collar and jerked him into the
street, at the same instant striking him a stunning blow on
his head with a heavy club.

The negro reeled, staggered against the side of the
house, and fell on his knees.

“Where the hell are the handcuffs?” said Dixon to the
deputy, while his other assistants rushed up, and according
to instructions, with loud voices and imprecations warned
the citizens, who were gathering round, not to interfere
with the officers of the United States. The moment, however,
that the iron touched Charles, he seemed to comprehend
his situation, and ere the four men had succeeded in
perfectly securing both of his wrists, with a herculean
effort he broke his hold, and rising on his feet, the blood
streaming down his forehead and cheeks, he dashed the
dangling handcuffs in Dixon's face, broke from the grasp
of his enemies, and amid a shower of bullets, and almost
stripped of his clothing, ran a short distance and plunged
into the deep but narrow river that flowed by the town.
Dixon followed him to the river bank, the deputy marshal
meantime waving his commission over his head, and calling
on the people to assist him in carrying into effect the sacred
laws of the land and stand by the constitution.

The firing of the pistols brought the whole population
into the streets, at the head of which, and close to Dixon's
heels, was the clergyman who was under Charles's professional
care at the moment of the arrest. By the time the
deputy marshal had finished his call upon the people to
stand by the constitution, the clergyman had recovered from
his astonishment and comprehended the scene before him,


Page 110
and jumping upon an old horse-block near by, he said in a
loud voice:—

Men and brethren, Thou shalt not deliver unto his
master the servant which is escaped from his master
unto thee. The fugitive, he shall dwell with thee, even
among you, in that place which he shall choose in one
of thy gates, where it liketh him best; thou shalt not
oppress him.

This appeal to the crowd was unnecessary, for no one
had yet by word or deed offered to assist, or interfere
with, the “officers of justice;” and the victim was momentarily
out of sight; but he was soon discovered climbing
up the timbers of the old dam, which once formed part
of the ruined and neglected mill. The moment Dixon saw
him he raised his revolver, and sang out:

“Come back here and surrender yourself, you infernal
black d—l, or I'll make a honeycomb of your kinky
brains; come here, I say,”—and at the same time Dixon
fired one or two ineffectual shots.

“Gentlemen,” continued the clergyman, “in the name
of humanity,—in the name of our blessed Saviour,—have

“Stand out of the way, you miserable, canting, abolition
towhead!” fiercely denunciated Dixon, and with the
side of his pistol-barrel rudely thrusting the clergyman

Charles meanwhile seemed to somewhat recover himself,
and half walked and half crawled along the old dam,
and got into the mill; and in a moment more, reached the


Page 111
top, and passing out upon a long piece of naked timber,
seemed for the instant to be suspended in the air.

“Now fire away, you human tigers!” he cried, shaking
his manacled arm over his head; “I don't want to
live any longer, since this disgrace has been put upon me.
Fire away, I say!”

“Obey the laws of the United States, you treason-loving
renegade,” replied the deputy marshal, shaking his
documents frantically towards Charles.

“God have mercy on the makers of such laws!”
faintly murmured the fugitive, as his body swayed to and
fro, and he fell headlong down; apparently striking against
the projecting logs, and disappeared amid the singing,
surging waters, that foamed and gurgled in the abyss

An exclamation of horror went up from the crowd,
mingled with the cries of “shame! shame!” when Dixon
turned coolly round to his assistants, and said:

“Dead niggers are not worth taking South, anyhow;”
and replacing his revolver in his belt, he turned to the
minister, now entirely petrified with horror, and reminded
him that there was a funeral on hand, that demanded his

Several men stripped themselves of their coats, and
plunged into the river, and swam toward the mill; a feeling
of bitter indignation began to show itself. Mr. Pendleton,
Charles's old friend, asked of Dixon his authority
for his acts, and then read with care the deputy's commission.

Threats now grew loud among the excited throng,


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demanding that Dixon should be arrested; but he, with
his companions, unmolested, retreated slowly, keeping at
bay, and were soon out of sight, and for the moment forgotten
in the excitement to learn the fate of Charles.

“Well,” said Dixon to his companions, as he proceeded
down the road, “we have seen more white livers to-day
than would feed all the hounds in Texas. If four Northeners
had come into a Southern town with a federal commission,
or any other commission, and attempted to cut up
the devil as we did to-day at Stoneyville, what would have
been the effect?”

“Why,” said the deputy promptly, “they'd a got
ducked in the river, or rode out of town on a rail.”

“They'd a got worse than that,” said Dixon, with a
leer; “Southern people would never stand by and see
strangers serve a dog so! but these Yankees,—talk to 'em
about the law, and show 'em a bowie or a pistol, and they
wilt up like tobacco leaves touched with frost.”

The negro, though nearly dead when found, seemed
by a miracle to have escaped with life. His body lay
bleeding, mutilated, and insensible,—not in the water, as
was supposed, but among the matted logs. With difficulty
he was restored to consciousness, and then only to
rave about the manacle on his wrist, and express a desire
to die.

Never was there before within the memory of the oldest
inhabitant, so sad a day at Stoneyville. Citizens proverbially
of the mildest and most unexcitable dispositions,
seemed each hour to become more and more incensed, and
were ready at any future occasion to resist by violence, all


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laws where their execution involved such outrages as had
been witnessed that day; and at nightfall, there went up
from the firesides of Stoneyville, a deep and bitter denunciation
of slavery.

In spite of every exertion of Mr. Pendleton, Dixon and
his men got to the railroad station, and escaped without
interruption; and one or two hours taking them beyond
the jurisdiction of Vermont, they wended their way rapidly,
and without fear, toward the protecting walls of the
Federal Capitol.