Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Slavery and the Making of AmericaPolitical caricature depicting black and white men and women interacting
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

The Slave Experience: Men, Women & Gender
Intro Historical Overview Character Spotlight Slave Clothing Personal Narratives Original Docs
Original Documents Men, Women & Gender

THE LIFE OF JOSIAH HENSON, FORMERLY A SLAVE
1849
Courtesy of Library of Congress, General Collections
return to main documents page
Photo of an excerpt from THE LIFE OF JOSIAH HENSON, FORMERLY A SLAVE
view full-sized image
Document Description
In his autobiographical account of his life as a slave, Josiah Henson compares the condition of the male slave to the female slave. He writes about his sympathy for the suffering experienced by women under slavery.

Transcript
The condition of the male slave is bad enough, Heaven knows; but that of the female, compelled to perform unfit labor, sick, suffering, and bearing the burdens of her own sex unpitied and unaided, as well as the toils which belong to the other, has often oppressed me with a load of sympathy. And sometimes, when I have seen them starved, and miserable, and unable to help themselves, I have helped them, and which my companions had not the wit or the daring to procure.

email this page to a friend
About the Series K-12 Learning Feedback Support PBS
Go!