“Much interest was awakened—large meetings assembled. Many came, no doubt from curiosity to hear what a negro could say in his own cause. I was generally introduced as a “chattel,”—a “thing”—a piece of southern property—the chairman assuring the audience that it could speak. Fugitive slaves were rare then, and as a fugitive slave lecturer, I had the advantage of being a “brand new fact”— the first one out. Up to that time, a colored man was deemed a fool who confessed himself a runaway slave, not only because of the danger to which he exposed himself of being retaken, but because it was a confession of a very low origin.”
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