Now, this was all originally made to be one long segment that I had to
write for a Social Studies project. My teacher liked it so I decided to
post it up on here. This is dedicated to my Social Studies teacher Mrs.
Duzjy. Please review and tell me if you want me to post some more of my
stories on here that I had to do for school because I have one that is Boo
Radley's diary from To Kill a Mockingbird. Enjoy the diary!
April 15, 1853
I was born a slave, and I will die a slave. My parents have long
since passed away even though I am 18 years old, my mother and father died
at ages unknown to me, and their graves remain unmarked. I have just come
back from a day of working in the cotton fields. My back hurts and it
stings from the overseer's whip. He had seen me trying to take a break from
cotton picking to give my ailing back a rest and he started whipping me. To
hurt me even more, he threw salt all over my back. Oh how it stung! My
tears fell in abundance to the field as I went back to work. To add to the
insult he dared to say, "Slave, you best do your work, or you'll feel the
sting of the whip. Look, it cries." Here he rubbed salt into my open
wounds, "You'll die a slave and you aren't even human. You're just a
stinking piece of property." He went so far as to spit in my wounds,
saying, "You aren't even worth the spit I spit on you."
I wonder why I write in my little ledger book. I know that no one
will ever read this, but it does give me comfort and reassurance when there
is none to be offered by the other slaves. Here, I can write all my true
thoughts. If anyone is reading this, I know that they are probably
wondering why I can write fluently. The fact is that I was taught by the
master's son; that is I was before he grew up and decided that associating
with me was wrong because I was a piece of property. And to think that I
had actually thought that he had been my friend. However, I know that this
diary will probably never be read by eyes other than my own.
I want to be free. I want to shed these bonds of slavery and be free.
The worst thing about slavery to me is the fact that
April 18, 1853
I'm sorry about the unfinished diary entry, but I had meant to say
that the worst thing about slavery to me is the fact that I'm a piece of
property. It is a thought damaging to the mind and soul. It doesn't seem as
though it would be but it is. It hurts me mentally.
I know that whoever is reading this probably doesn't care but I was
interrupted from writing my last entry by my dear friend Angelina. She came
with terrible news. She had come to my slave hut, which I happen to share
with about eight other people. It's a horrific way of life. These are the
members of my adopted family that my parents had asked to take me in if
they were to die. I love them, but I can't help but wish that I lived with
them in a bigger cabin. It's not as though there are any slave families
that live in bigger cabins though. All of the slave huts are about the same
size, 16 or 18 feet by 16 feet, but they were still too small for most of
the slave families. Anyway, Angelina had rushed into our cabin, and asked
for me to come immediately to her cabin. My other friend, Victoria, was
Angelina had told me about how Victoria had to suffer through an
encounter with the overseer, and he had decided that she was being
impertinent. I ask you, how is picking cotton and answering interrogation
meekly being impertinent? She had the kindest soul possible, and the
overseer had thought her impertinent. He had her stripped bare and tied to
a pole, and then, he had started whipping her with his dreaded whip, the
one with the broadest straps attached to it. She had just married a
respectable black blacksmith, Tom, who was called to the whipping.
Victoria's husband had to watch his wife whipped. The cruelty of it all! He
truly loved her with all his soul, and he couldn't do anything to help her.
He had to hear her shrieks for help, and watch as she was flayed, unable to
do anything to help herself. Finally, after being hit 39 times by the whip,
the overseer released her.
By this time, my blood was already boiling, but Angelina had more to
tell. She went on to tell me how Victoria was unable to walk, and had to be
carried to the shack that she and Tom shared. Angelina told me how Tom had
ran to Angelina's shack and asked for her assistance. Angelina arrived to
find Victoria "in ruins". I was terrified at what I might find.
It was terrible. The sight was horrific. My dear friend Victoria
looked horrendous. The whipping had been brutal, and it had left her truly
in ruins. The whipping had left many raw wounds on her back, shoulders,
arms, and basically everywhere. The overseer had been particularly fond of
whipping her back and shoulders, and her shoulders were whipped to the
point where you could see a tiny bit of her bone. It was simply horrific,
and I hoped that I could do something to help Victoria, who had long since
passed into a fevered consciousness. I had a feeling that Victoria wasn't
going to live through this, and that I should try to make her journey to
death as easy and comfortable as possible. I headed to my hut and looked
for a cloth. I tried to find fresh water, but my efforts proved fruitless.
I had to soak the cloth in stale water, and I hurried back to Victoria's
shack. I arrived to find Tom sobbing his heart out and Angelina crying
silently. I looked over at Victoria's limp form on the dirt floor of the
cabin and saw that she had opened her eyes. She turned her head towards me
when she heard my footsteps, and she gave a small smile. "Dahlia, go find
freedom with Tom and Angelina. I know that I will find freedom when I leave
for the Lord, and I don't want to leave you three behind. Please do this
for me?" were the last words uttered by Victoria before she died.
What do I do? She wants me to lead Tom and Angelina to the North; to
be free. However, I'm full of fears. Do I have the strength and
determination to do this? What if I lead them the wrong way, and we get
caught? There are so many things that could go wrong.
April 21, 1853
I can't stand it anymore. To know that I'm the property of someone
else, that I'm not even considered human is terrible. I thought that I
might be able to bear it, but I can't. Victoria's last words are haunting
me. Tom was nearly whipped today for letting Victoria die, but it wasn't
his fault. The master can be so inconsiderate. Plus, I realized that if I
fly for freedom, I could possibly die or I could reach freedom. However, I
realized that if I stay here, I will die too.
as a captive.
I am running away, but the question is how am I going to run away?
I have no clue, whatsoever, about how to get to freedom.
April 22, 1853
I told Tom and Angelina about my plan. It seems a bit strange that I,
a mere 18 year old, am leading Tom, already 25, and Angelina, 21, to
freedom. I don't think that I'm particularly brave but that's not for me to
decide. Why hadn't I been able to protect Victoria?
It's miraculous. Somebody up there heard my prayers and pleas.
An Underground Railroad conductor has sneaked onto the plantation
grounds. It's amazing how she is of the same skin color as us. She had
hidden by the slave huts, waiting for a chance to talk to all of us. When
all of us, excepting the house slaves, had gotten back, she came out of her
hiding place, a crate of rotten potatoes, and we all gathered around her.
She was the first person to speak to me as an equal, for I was the first to
speak up. I hadn't meant to say anything, but I had. I blurted out, "When
are you leaving, for I wish to go with you, along with my two friends."
However, all three of us have a means of escaping now, because she is
taking us along with her back up North! However, we are the only three
going, because the rest of the slaves have decided that the journey would
be too risky.
Right now, I'm writing by the weak, wavering light, provided by a
fire burning in a dish of oil. I know that it is dangerous and could easily
tip over and set the cabin on fire, but I want to write in my diary. There
are so many things that I must do. First, I must gather up the small amount
of belongings that I do have. However, all my belongings, no matter the
small number, are precious beyond all reason to me. They range from a
beautiful flower that I had preserved between two small sheets of linen,
snitched by yours truly, and my mother's kerchief. I guess I better stop
writing and start packing now for I leave at sundown tomorrow. One more day
of bondage left.
April 23, 1853
I have my belongings packed. I have to go, right now, to the fields,
but I will be back to collect you along the rest of my belongings.
I feel a twinge of pride regarding the brilliant way in which I had
packed up my belongings. At first, I couldn't figure out a way to bring all
my belongings with me, because it was impossible for me to carry it all.
However, I figured out a way of folding my mother's kerchief so it carries
everything. Thank the heavens that I don't have any large-sized/heavy
belongings. The kerchief looks like a decent sack now, amazingly enough.
Oh, I'm late. I see the sun rising. I better go now.
My back aches, and my head spins from the heat of the sun. I was
late, so I had to work an extra hour longer than the rest of the slaves,
but I believe that it was worth it. I will be on my way to freedom soon, as
soon as I see the signal from the Underground Railroad conductor; a glint
of light from the forest.
I think I will go and check on Tom and Angelina.
Even Later today
Still no signal, and trust me, I haven't missed it. I've been
watching. Angelina and Tom are sitting right next to me, Angelina on my
right and Tom on my left. Wait, nevermind, I think I see it! It is the
Underground Railroad conductor.
April 24, 1853
We've been walking for half a day now. Apparently, it had been
midnight when we left, and the sun is just beginning to dare peak its head
above the horizon.
We've been walking with Harriet Tubman, a truly blessed thing. She
says that we need to learn a little about the terrain that we are walking
on. She says that we are escaping from Mississippi, the place where we were
enslaved, and she says that we are to head to Tennessee. She cannot say
exactly where because someone might overhear our plans. She has told us of
the terrible things that have happened to the slaves that have been caught
while trying to escape. It has made me feel quite skittish. Every leaf's
crackle and twig snap is very nerve-racking. I fear for my two companions.
Angelina looks exhausted and Tom looks pale. Is he actually scared? I must
stop writing because we must start walking again.
However, I can't help but wonder about how little I know about the
rest of the world.
April 26, 1853
We've had so many close calls. There was one time when we were
walking in the forest when we heard the barking of dogs. General Tubman, as
we jokingly call her, led us across a creek. I asked her why she had us
walk through a creek and she told us that it was so that the dogs could not
pick up our scent.
Despite the challenges and dangers that we have had to overcome, we
are now in Tennessee! I'm so glad that I didn't take a lot of things with
me, unlike Angelina, because Angelina looks exhausted. I have lightened the
load for her by carrying her beloved Bible and her cooking pots, but she
still looks frightfully weary. I mentioned this to the General, and we are
now taking a break just for Angelina. I look over at Tom to see how he is
faring, and I wish that I hadn't. He looks sad and forlorn, so he is
obviously thinking about his beloved Victoria. I have a feeling that he is
reminded of Victoria everyday. My heart is seriously bleeding for Tom,
because I certainly am reminded about Victoria every single day. We should
pass through Tennessee in another day or so.
Oh, the General says it's time for the troops to start moving again.
May 3, 1853
It took a little longer than expected to get through Tennessee
because of a few mishaps such as a huge thunderstorm, which we happened to
have to endure outside in ineffective shelter consisting of a log and a few
bushes. There is also the fact that there are slavehunters combing the area
for us. Who knew that we were so important? I certainly didn't. We were
walking by a farm, more like crawling, when I looked up and saw a poster of
us nailed to the tree. It was a most unflattering likeness of me, but
Angelina looked beautiful and Tom looked handsome as ever. I thought that
this might cheer Angelina up, so I ripped the poster from the tree.
Unfortunately, I was spotted by a farmhand, and the slavehunters were after
us in a flash. We came so close to capture, but the General's expertise
saved us from certain death. There as a wonderful little beaver dam in the
middle of a creek, and we all fit in it. The beaver happened to be outside,
fixing the dam, and we had managed to sneak in. We sat there for what
seemed like hours before the barks disappeared in the distance. We decided
that it was no longer safe for us to travel in broad daylight, even in the
forest. So, we are now traveling by darkness. I have shoved the poster into
the back of this diary. I will wait for the opportune moment to give
Angelina the poster.
May 4, 1853
I am wet, soggy, and downright miserable. We have been walking
through this godforsaken spit of trees for what seems like an eternity. We
are trying to head to Evansville, somewhere in Indiana, but we are having
trouble getting out of Tennessee. The General remains as optimistic as
usual, and it looks like Tom and Angelina are as frustrated as me with our
slow progress. The dozen mosquito bites must also be a contributing factor.
Plus, my back hurts. The old whip wounds have started acting up again.
However I know for a fact that we were still going only because we
felt that we owed it to Victoria, who had to die in the chains of bondage.
She was the one who had sent us on this journey to freedom. To ignore her
last wishes would be like denying an unshakeable oath. This was something
that we had to do, and we would either make it to freedom or die trying.
It seems so strange that I could ever have such profound thoughts.
We'll get out of Tennessee soon.
May 16, 1853
The General has led her troops successfully into Evansville. We are
finally here! We are finally in Northern territory. It's amazing. The air
feels freer here, although we still must travel by night. My back still
acts up with dull throbs of pain, but I think that it is healing as I am.
I remember one particular conversation with her. Tom and Angelina
had already fallen asleep, and the General and I were still awake. I know
for certain that I was unable to sleep because of my anxiety resulting from
an earlier skirmish the day before. I have no clue, whatsoever, why the
General couldn't sleep, but she was unable to. We talked about my adopted
family, and her family. She told me how she had rescued her very own
parents from slavery! I can hardly believe it, but it's true.
I cannot hold my head up any longer, and my eyes feel as though they
are weighted down by rocks.
May 18, 1853
We are in forests bordering Indianapolis. I have read over the pages
of my diary, and I realized that I have never mentioned how the General has
managed to keep all four of us decently fed. I guess it was so mundane an
everyday task that I hardly noticed it. However, I shall mention it now.
General Tubman has found different herbs and roots for us to feed on, and
she has done so throughout the journey. We have not dared cooking the herbs
and roots over an open fire because we all fear that someone will smell the
food cooking, or detect a trace of the smoke; be it in scent or sight.
I fear that we will turn into rabbits, what with all the herbs that
we are eating and all.
May 21, 1853
May 31, 1853
Sorry about the lack of diary entries, dearest diary. We are in
Toledo, and there was no time for me to write before we got here because
General Tubman had decided that we needed to hurry. She felt that the
sooner we got to the North, the better. I trust her instincts, because they
have never failed her yet.
June 3, 1853
The nights are hot and humid, and most uncomfortable. We have long-
since left Toledo behind, and General Tubman is trying to take us to Canada
via a route through Detroit. We are somewhere in between Toledo and Detroit
right now. The General says that we are very fortunate to have made this
journey in nearly less than 2 months. She says that it usually takes from
two months to one year, if the weather is particularly troublesome. I
secretly think, and I know that this sounds so stupid, that we have a
guardian angel, namely Victoria, who is watching over us.
June 4, 1853
We are walking, still. Now, I know how the children of Jerusalem felt
walking around in the desert. We just passed a small town. The General has
been able to go into some a small town, populated mostly by Africans, and
buy some fresh groceries for us.
I've noticed that my recent entries have been getting shorter and
shorter. The reason why is mainly because the fever of freedom is upon all
of us, excepting the General. I am trying to write less so I can sleep
more, which leads to me having more strength to walk in the night, which
means that we'll be able to reach Canada quicker. And that is my excuse, as
pitiful as it may be, but it is the truth.
Angelina seems to be in much better spirits. She joined the General
and me in humming spirituals. Angelina is much better colored, and
definitely not feeling as sick as she did before. Tom is still a bit
withdrawn, because he never talks about his feelings. I think that
Victoria's death is still killing him inside, but he won't seek help. It's
so frustrating, because I know that Angelina and I would be able to help
him bear the burden, but he refuses to share his burden with us, lest we
should be crushed under its enormous weight. However, a bundle of sticks is
not so hard to break when divided.
I must sleep now.
June 12, 1853
We have been in Detroit for a long time; about three of four days.
Can you believe that Tom slipped down a ravine and broke his leg? So, we
have been very busy for the past two days, trying to treat him.
Do you know what the worst thing is?
Tom has also fallen into an unconscious state, and has been
struggling to overcome fever. The General has been trying to help; making
mashed willow bark and herb stews, but nothing has helped, yet. We've all
been so busy trying to make sure that we don't get caught by the
slavehunters that search the forest frequently.
We were so close to getting caught yesterday. Angelina heard the dogs
barking in the distance, and she was sure that they were coming closer.
Angelina and I were carrying Tom, Angelina carried him by his ankles and I
had his wrists in my hands, and we scurried down a shallow ravine. We had
to run, with him in between us, after the General. The General led us
across a creek, and up the other side of the ravine. Then, Harriet decided
that we should climb up a tree. It was very difficult and I was sure that
the dogs would sniff us out, but the General had a certain herb with her
that she scattered around the bottom of the tree. Then, I clambered up the
tree, and Angelina lifted up Tom, a very difficult feat. I grabbed his
arms, and I had to practically drag him up the tree. Angelina climbed up
after her, and then, the General lifted herself up. We sat there, waiting
with bated breath. One of the dogs came up to the tree that we were hiding
in and sniffed the trunk, but it couldn't find us.
Later, I found out that the herb did not naturally hide our scent.
The General told me, with a laugh, "Chillun, you must realize that the
plant wasn't given the gift of blocking our scent by God, chillun! I have
some friends who had created a chemical that temporarily numbed the dog's
sense of smell. They had soaked the herbs that I had in that chemical, and
I have a handkerchief soaked in that too, and I will use the handkerchief
when we run out of herbs."
However, we survived. Now, the question is, will Tom live to see his
June 13, 1853
It is with great pleasure and gratefulness that I pen these words.
Tom has beaten the fever! He has gained consciousness! He can walk a bit,
more like crawl, but we have decided that we will continue walking
tomorrow. We cannot loose anymore time.
June 14, 1853
The walk continues, however, Tom will have to use crutches, and he
has to be carried at times because his leg is still at a crucial stage; it
can still break.
June 15, 1853
Angelina and I have had a very pleasant chat with General Tubman. It
also turns out that I have given Angelina that poster of Tom, her, and I.
She loved it. She found her picture simply stunning.
As she said it, "I can't believe that that is how I look like! It's
We're one big happy traveling crew aren't we? I'm happy that she's
delighted with the gift. I flipped through the last few pages, and I
discovered, much to my distress, that there are only a few more pages in
you. I must take care not to write entries that are too long, so I must
conserve the pages and reserve my pointless thoughts until after the trip.
For now, I shall only write about things that are of importance.
June 18, 1853
I shall not waste time getting into the subject. WE ARE IN CANADA!
As General Tubman said, "Free at last, praise be to God that you
three are free at last!"
I can't believe it. I can open a shop, publish my diary, write
poetry, and do basically anything I want. We all live in a wonderful house.
The question that remains is what will be the first thing that I do
now that I'm free.
May the rest of us be freed from bondage.