Wednesday, December 04, 2013


SELF-EXCUSE by John Leland (1754-1841)
In the year 1785, there lived in the city of Richmond (VA) a free negro woman who by her parsimony obtained money enough to purchase her husband, who was a slave. The woman being a member of the Baptist church in that city, was complained of before the church, for allowing of lewd conduct in her house. She did not deny the truth of the charge, but excused herself thus, "Pray how can I help it? My husband is the head, and does as he pleases; and I, who am his wife, cannot help it." At the same meeting, another charge was brought against her, for whipping her husband; to which she replied, "I bought him with my own money — he is my legal property, and he shall mind me; otherwise, I will whip him."
As printed in The Baptist Waymark, Vol. IV, No. 5, Sept-Oct 1996, p. 4

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