The Liberator
Boston: 22 September 1854


  ...A Slave Whipped to Death.--We have just received a letter from a gentleman who has been observing men and things at the South. It was written on the 20th ult., and we extract the following account of a horrid affair which occurred in Nelson county, Va., on the 18th, two days before the letter was written:

  'I had not thought that so heart-rending a scene from 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' would come under my own observation. Day before yesterday, a slave, a young man in the prime of his life, was whipped to death by the overseer of a plantation in this neighborhood. "He was worth $1000." The overseer tied him in the barn and beat him for four hours. I am told that he was whipped for a very trifling offence. When so exhausted that he fainted, the poor fellow was washed with brine; then whipped and washed again. This was repeated six times. He was tied soon after breakfast, and released about 4 o'clock, and sent to the field to work. He fainted in the field. A shower came up, and he contrived to get into the barn, where he died. While the overseer was beating him, he begged him to shoot him. While he could speak, he kept moaning, 'Oh! pray, massa! Oh! pray, massa!' His master and mistress were not at home. There is great indignation in the neighborhood against the overseer, but what they will do about it, I cannot say. This is not the first Legree case I have 'heard tell about,' but it is the first genuine Legree case that has fallen under my observation. The overseer has not been arrested, and moves about as if he had done nothing uncommon.'

  A Live Legree.--A correspondent of the Middletown, (N. Y.) Whig Press, who is travelling South, relates the following:--

  'While at Winnsborough, (N. C.) about 2 o'clock on Sunday morning, I was awakened by the cry of suffering, and soon learned the cause. Immediately underneath my window a negro was receiving the lashes of his master. He was stripped entirely naked, and his master was flogging him with a harness trace. The night watch has found him asleep in the back yard of the hotel, and therefore concluded that he was there intending to commit burglary. His master was called, and the whipping commenced to make him confess. At no time during the Inquisition was more cruelty displayed; his feet were fastened to the ground, and his body stretched over an outside market stall, and the lash fell with an unsparing hand. His back was literally pounded to a jelly, and at every stroke the blood oozed out and trickled to the ground, and still his simple tale was, 'Massa, I wasn't going to do anything.' For one hour and a half this inhuman treatment was continued, till the victim begged that they would take a gun and kill him, and fainted from pure exhaustion; then it was discontinued, and in the morning I head them say he received 277 lashes. There were some scenes connected with this punishment too revolting to write, much more to be believed; therefore I refrain from writing more upon the subject. Suffice it to say, it reminded me forcibly of one of the scenes in Uncle Tom's Cabin, with Legree for principal actor.'