Ex-slave J.W. Loguen writes to his former master Mrs. Sarah Logue.
You say you have offers to buy me, and that you shall sell me if I do not send your $1000, and in the same breath and almost in the same sentence, you say "You know we raised you as we did our own children." Woman, did you raise your own children for the market? Did you raise them for the whipping post? Did you raise them to be driven off, bound to a coffle in chains?...Shame on you! But you say I am a thief, because I took the old mare along with me. Have you got to learn that I had a better right to the old mare, as you call her, than Manasseth Logue has to me? Is it a greater sin for me to steal his horse, than it was for him to rob my mother's cradle, and steal me?...Have you got to learn than human rights are mutual and reciprocal, and if you take my liberty and life, you forfeit your own liberty and life? Before God and high heaven, is there a law for one man which is not a law for every other man?
Loguen, J. W. from The Liberator, 1850's, reprinted in American Odyssey: The United States in the 20th Century. New York: Glencoe McGraw Hill, 1997.
My American Experience
Of America's first 25 presidents, who is your favorite? From George Washington to William McKinley, which of the new country's leaders most helped shape America in its first century of existence?