Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Lincoln Ought To Know

This entry is from the Letters of Lydia Maria Child.  In a letter to John Greenleaf Whittier, Child mentions Harriet Tubman, a slave who escaped to freedom and who helped many others also escape.  She did that  -- and much more.  Words of wisdom she has for the President are disclosed here.

January 21  1862

 . . . You have doubtless heard of Harriet Tubman, whom they call Moses, on account of the multitude she has brought out of bondage by her courage and ingenuity. She talks politics sometimes, and her uncouth utterance is wiser than the plans of politicians. 

She said the other day: "Dey may send de flower ob dair young men down South, to die ob de fever in de summer, and de agoo in de winter. (Fur 't is cold down dar, dough 't is down South.) Dey may send dem one year, two year, tree year, till dey tired ob sendin', or till dey use up all de young men. All no use! God's ahead ob Massa Linkum. God won't let Massa Linkum beat de South till he do de right ting. Massa Linkum he great man, and I'se poor nigger ; but dis nigger can tell Massa Linkum how to save de money and de young men. He do it by setting de niggers free. S'pose dar was awfu' big snake down dar, on de floor. He bite you. Polks all skeered, cause you die. You send for doctor to cut de bite; but snake he rolled up dar, and while doctor dwine it, he bite you agin. De doctor cut out dat bite; but while he dwine it, de snake he spring up and bite you agin, and so he keep dwine, till you kill him. Dat's what Massa Linkum orter know."  

Harriet Tubman, from the Library of Congress Digital Collection

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