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350   DOUGLASS' MONTHLY   October, 1860.
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seemed likely to turn out disastrously for us.--We addressed the mother. She seemed to be 'wrapped up' in her children. 'They wos fuss-rate-chillen; never complain when they didn't have nothin' to eat, and layin' down eery night wrapped up in her shawl like good boys. Deir father was drunk and no good nohow, and the man that owned the yard let 'em have the empty corner for ten cents a week. (Magnanimous owner!) She had been troubled once with the rheumatism, when it rained, but them 'ar chillen war better of in the yard than in the low, damp cellars--yes they war.' We asked if she would part with one of the boys, and to try her, selected one of the children and offered to take him away at once.

'I want to see 'um right often,' said the woman.

'Once every six months,' said we.

'I won't let him go if I can't see him oftener.'

'Once a month, then ?'

'Will ah take care of 'um right well?'

'Yes! Shall I have him?'

Here, the young idea, seeing the turn affairs were taking with his destiny,began to bawl very loudly, when the woman seized him in her arms, kissed him, and said that he should not leave muzzy no how.


We were next gratified with something previously new to us--a case of practical amalgamation. We had wrought up our feelings to such abhorrence of the intermarriage of races, that nothing short of the absolute misery of families so produced was expected.--The chronicle, however, must be true to the experience, and we are compelled to state that this single case of wedded amalgamation was not so repulsive in its effects as we had wished it to be.

Being cautioned by the officer to say nothing of our prejudices, we passed through a cleanly-arched alley, and trod by a row of rear brick dwellings. Hastily glancing thro' an open door, we saw a thin, neat-looking white woman industriously sewing. At her feet a negro child was playing, and she stooped to kiss it as the door post hid her from view. A black man was chopping wood in the yard. Three yellow children clustered around him, and at the moment the child which had been gambolling at the woman's feet tottered from the house and called him 'Pappy!'

The man looked angrily  at us, but said nothing.

'Do your children still help you at the market, Tom ?' said the officer.

'Yes, sir,' said the man, chopping away at the stick of wood. AS he seemed averse to making any reply, the officer said:

'Such children as these I never knew--up at five o'clock every morning, and wheeling a heavy go-cart through the streets; they are going some day to be richer than their father.'

'I hope so,' said the man. 'God knows I am poor enough.' He continued to chop.

'Nonsense,' said the officer. 'Why, Tom, you take care of your money, never drink.--How much better off are you than your neighbors!'

'I know that,' said the man, interestedly, leaning upon his axe, 'but I want to be right leaning upon his axe, 'but I want to be rich enough to leave this street. I don't want these boys to grow up with low people or to live in this unhealthy neighborhood. They are good boys, though I don't like to tell them so. They make--the three of them--as much wages as I do.'

We understood from our guide that the negro and the woman were legally married; that she had been poor, and his attention to her in poverty had placed her under obligations which ended in wedlock. As we passed out and peeped stealthily again at the woman fondling her negro babe, she espied us and looked straightforwardly into our faces--There was no shame upon her cheeks. She seemed to clasp her child still closer, and as we passed out of view we heard her singing.

'Afer all,' said the officer, 'these children are better off than those miserable mulattoes [[/column 1]]

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who have no recognized fathers. If amalgamation is to become an institution, I prefer it sanctioned by marriage.'

We looked forward to that women's career. With the existing feelings of society, thrift and integrity will benefit her little; for the life she has chosen will ever cling to her, and every social advantage she may make with her dusky husband will make her more opprobrious and abhorred. It is a hard case.'


Of the scenes among the wretched that day witnessed, we cannot speak at length. We saw ebony women, types of the most degraded Ethiops, of Amazon form and more than manly strength. Some of them were drunk, some quarreling; one was tusseling with two white men, whom she seemed to be in a fair way of demolishing, and many were stupefied with rum and helpless with disease. In one shanty we found a negro regaling himself with a bottle of strychnine, and endeavoring, in the pauses of imbibtion, to convince two half drunken mulattoes of the "Postolical' nature of his church. He gave vent to some ingenious and fearful theology.

There were negroes in all degrees of bodily mutilation. We saw one afflicted with a tumor nearly a foot in diameter; one with a ghastly scar across his jaw, made by an axe in the hands of an enemy; one whose leg was almost fleshless from a scalding received when stupefied with rum; many one-eyed, some deaf, some entirely blind.

In the latter class was a white girl nineteen years of age, who was the mother of four children, all born out of wedlock, and none of them white. She was entirely blind, and spoke with a heart-broken manner of the agony she had endured when her children were taken from here. We asked her where and why they have been removed. She believed to the almshouse--perhaps brought up to be thieves. 'God knows,' said she at last, looking up to the feathery-clouded sky with blank and sightless orbs.

Many of the miserable beings we visited were partially insane. There was one woman white as leprosy, who had sixteen cats. She had them named by all manner of fantastic titles, and every cat, at her call, came up to her feet. She spoke with a singing tone, and occasionally broke out into bits of music.

In one yard, we found a gray-haired white man, resting his head in the lap of a black woman He seemed to have been kicked down the stairway of a miserable tenement.

The officer touched him with his foot.

'I'm drunk,' said the man, with a leer of idiocy ; 'Gi' me a fip to get some gin.'

The officer made a light reply.

'Go to -----,' said the man, grinning. He was of large frame, and looked as though eh had once been handsome ; there was something very desolate in his white hairs.

It is useless to recapitulate scenes like these. Our observations convinced us that the white population was less degraded than the negro. Both were degraded beyond all speech--mere animals, without hopes beyond sensuality ; without mind beyond bare perception ; without enjoyment beyond wickedness ; without souls beyond instinct.  They were buried in filth and degradion; beyond all missionary toil--dead in mind, in thought, in goodness, as the swine which made habitation with them. Unfit for future joy ; callous and unworthy of future punishment, they have made their lives in corruption and will die like the dogs.


In strange contrast to such scenes of misery, we lay before our readers the particulars of a final visit, attended by more of gentlemanly geniality and evidences of a most refined taste. The object of these remarks is [[italics]] with [[/italics]] the colored people, yet scarcely [[italics]] of [[/italics]] them.--We refer to Mr. Robert Purvis, more widely known than any man of color in America, excepting, perhaps, Frederick Douglass. Mr. Purvis has figured very prominently, at sundry times, as an anti slavery orator. In such guise he does not appear to the best advantage, being very violent in delivery, and ex- [[/column 2]]

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tremely radical in sentiment. During the excitement attendant upon the John Brown raid, Mr. Purvis excited great enmity by irreverently comparing his hero with the Savior. AS a private gentleman, however, Mr. Purvis is pleasant and exceedingly interesting. We visited him last week. He resides in Byberry township, about twelve miles above the city proper, and in the Twenty-third Ward.

The stage put us down at his gage, and we were warned to be ready to return in an hour and a half. His dwelling stands some distance back from the turnpike. It is approached by a broad lawn, and shadowed with ancient trees. In the rear stands a fine series of barns. There are magnificent orchards connected with his farm, and his live stock I of the most approved breeds. We understand that he receives numbers of premiums annually from agriculture societies. In this fine old mansion Mr. Purvis has resided many years.

We were ushered, upon our visit, into a pleasant dining room, hung with a number of paintings. Upon one side of an old-fashioned mantel was a large portrait of a swarthy negro. Above these old John Brown looked gloomily down like a bearded patriarch.

In a few minutes Mr. Purvis came in. We had anticipated a suborn-looking negro, with a swagger, and a tone of bravado. In place of such, we saw a tall, beautifully knit gentleman, almost white, and handsomely dressed. His foot and hand were symmetrical, and, although his hair was gray with years, every limb was full and every movement supple and easy. He saluted us with a decorous dignity, and began to converse.

It was difficult to forget that the man before us was not of our own race. The topics upon which he spoke were chiefly personal. He related some very amusing anecdotes of his relations with Southern gentlemen. On one occasion he applied for a passage to Liverpool in a Philadelphia packet. Some Southern gentlemen, unacquainted with Purvis, save as a man of negro blood, protested he should not be received. Among these was a Mr. Hayne, a near relative of Hayne, the orator.

Purvis accordingly went to Liverpool by another vessel. He met Hayne and the Southerners as they were about returning home, and took passage with them, passing for a white man. He gained their esteem, was cordially invited by each to visit him in the South, and no entertainment was complete without his joke and his presence. At a final dinner, given to the party by the captain of the vessel, Mr. Hayne, who had all along violently spoken of the negro race, publicly toasted Mr. Purvis, as the finest type of the Caucasian race he had ever met. Mr. Purvis rose to reply.

'I am not a Caucasian,' said he; 'I belong to the degraded tribe of Africans.'

The feelings of the South Carolinians need not be described.

Mr. Purvis has written a number of free-soil pamphlets, and is regarded by rumor, as the president of the U. G. R. R. He has figured in many slave-rescue cases ; some of which he relates with graphic manner of description.

He is the heaviest tax-payer in the township, and owns two very valuable farms. By his influence the public schools of the township have been thrown open to colored children. He has also built, at his own expense, a hall of free debate. We left him with feelings of higher regard than we have yet felt for any of his people. It is proper to remark that Mr. Purvis is the grandchild of a blackamoor, who was taken a slave to South Carolina. 
A correspondent of the Auburn [[italics]] Journal [[/italics]], after giving a graphic account of the celebration at Geneva on the 1st of August, thus alludes to the speech delivered by Mr. Douglass on that occasion:

I hardly need say that a great desire was [[/column 3]]
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