"The Author noting down the narratives..."

Jesse Torrey, A Portraiture of Domestic Slavery in the United States

On the 4th day of December, 1815, (the day on which the session of congress commenced,) being at the seat of government of the United States, I was preparing to enjoy the first opportunity that had occurred to me, of beholding the assembled representatives of the American republic. As I was about to proceed to the building where the session was opened, my agreeable reverie was suddenly interrupted by the voice of a stammering boy, who, as he was coming into the house, from the street, exclaimed, "There goes the Ge-Ge-orgy men with a drove o' niggers chained together two and two." What's that, said I,--I must see,--and, going to the door, I just had a distant glimpse of a light covered waggon, followed by a procession of men, women and children, resembling that of a funeral. I followed them hastily; and as I approached so near as to discover that they were bound together in pairs, some with ropes, and some with iron chains, (which I had hitherto seen used only for restraining beasts,) the involuntary successive heavings of my bosom became irrepressible."

Overtaking the caravan, just opposite to the old capitol, I inquired of one of the drivers (of whom there were two) "what part of the country they were taking all these people to?" "To Georgia," he replied. "Have you not, said I, enough such people in that country yet ?" "Not quite enough," he said. I found myself incapable of saying more, and was compelled to avert my eyes immediately from the heart-rending scene!

A portraiture of domestic slavery, in the United States, by Jesse Torrey
Philadelphia: Published by the author. John Bioren, printer, 1817.


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