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American Slavery as It Is
Digital History ID 286



The Rev. John H. Curtiss, a native of Keep Creek, Norfolk county, Virginia, now a local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Portage Co., Ohio, testifies as follows:--

"In 1829 or 30, one of my father's slaves was accused of taking the key to the office and stealing four or five dollars; he denied it. A constable by the name of Hull was called; he took the Negro, very deliberately tied his hands, and whipped him till the blood ran freely down his legs. By this time Hull appeared tired, and stopped; he then took a rope, put a sleep noose around his neck, and told the Negro he was going to kill him, at the same time drew the rope and began whipping: the Negro fell; his cheeks looked as though they would burst with strangulation. Hull whipped and kicked him, till I really thought he was going to kill him...."

Most of our readers are familiar with the horrible atrocities perpetrated in New Orleans, in 1834, by a certain Madame La Laurie, upon her slaves.... The New Orleans Mercantile Advertiser says: "Seven poor unfortunate slaves were found--some chained to the floor, others with chains around their necks, fastened to the ceiling; and one poor man, upwards of sixty years of age, chained hand and foot, and made fast to the floor, in a kneeling position. His head bore the appearance of having been beaten until it was broken, and the worms were actually to be seen making a feast of his brains!! A woman had her back literally cooked (if the expression may be used) with the lash; the very bones might be seen projecting through the skin."

Source: Gilder Lehrman Institute

Additional information: Theodore Dwight Weld, ed., American Slavery as It Is

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