Mrs. Madison and her Slaves


To the Editors of the Albany Patriot.

A number of slaves have lived with Mrs. Madison since she has resided in this city.. Some two or three years since, she found it necessary to raise money, and offered for sale a trust-worthy, valuable man.  He had been raised and nurtured on Mr. Madison’s old farm, and was his barber and dressing-man a quarter of a century.  To save himself from the dreaded fate of transportation to the cotton-fields or cane-brakes of the South, he induced a distinguished Northern  Senator to advance for him the purchase-money, and give him time to work it out.  He is now doing this, with his own free hands.  Among others, she owned a mother, fifty odd years of age, and her daughter of fifteen.  About three months ago, the old lady called this girl into her parlor, one day, nominally to bring her some water, but really to show her to a Georgian,  as the colored people call the slave-drivers.  The girl was quick on the scent, and at a glance perceived she was to be sold.  Her mistress (Mrs. Madison) agreed with the purchaser to send the unprotected child to the pump (in the street, of course) at a certain hour on a day fixed upon, when he could conveniently seize her and carry her off!    She embraced an early opportunity to retire behind the scenes, and has not made her appearance on the stage since. If in the Providence of God she has reached the North, I hope some good family will rejoice to befriend and protect her……….  Signed Hampden, Washington City, Feb. 19, 1848

(Liberator, Mar 31, 1848,  pg 1)