Status: Indexed


for life, punished for some transgression in which I had no lot or part; and
the other counselled me to manly endeavor to secure my freedom. This con-
test was now ended; my chains were broken, and the victory brought me
unspeakable joy. But my gladness was short lived, for I was not yet out of
the reach and power of the slaveholders. I soon found that New York was not
quite so free, or so safe a refuge as I had supposed, and a sense of loneliness
and insecurity again oppressed me most sadly. I chanced to meet on the
street a few hours after my landing, a fugitive slave whom I had once known
well in slavery. The information received from him alarmed me. The fugi-
tive in question was known in Baltimore as "Allender's Jake," but in New
he wore the more respectable name of ''William Dixon." Jake in law
was the property of Doctor Allender, and Tolly Allender, the son of the doc-
tor, had once made an effort to recapture Mr. Dixon, but had failed for want
of evidence to support his claim. Jake told me the circumstances of this
attempt, and how narrowly he escaped being sent back to slavery and tor-
ture. He told me that New York was then full of southerners returning from
the watering places north; that the colored people of New York were not to
be trusted; that there were hired men of my own color who would betray me
for a few dollars; that there were hired men ever on the lookout for fugitives;
that I must trust no man with my secret; that I must not think of going either
upon the wharves, or into any colored boarding-house, for all such places
were closely watched; that he was himself unable to help me; and, in fact, he
seemed while speaking to me to fear lest I myself might be a spy, and a
betrayer. Under this apprehension, as I suppose, he showed signs of wishing
to be rid of me, and with whitewash brush in hand, in search of work, he
soon disappeared. This picture, given by poor "Jake" of New York, was a
damper to my enthusiasm. My little store of money would soon be exhausted,
and since it would be unsafe for me to go on the wharves for work, and I had
no introductions elsewhere, the prospect for me was far from cheerful. I saw
the wisdom of keeping away from the ship-yards, for, if pursued, as I felt
certain I would be, Mr. Auld would naturally seek me there among the calk-
ers. Every door seemed closed against me, I was in the midst of an ocean of
my fellow-men, and yet a perfect stranger to every one. I was without home,
without acquaintance, without money, without credit, without work, and
without any definite knowledge as to what course to take, or where to look
for succor. In such an extremity, a man has something beside his new-born
freedom to think of. While wandering about the streets of New York, and
lodging at least one night among the barrels on one of the wharves, I was
indeed free—from slavery, but free from food and shelter as well. I kept my

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