tiresomely long; seemingly without end
Large cotton and sugar plantations line each shore, extending back to the borders of
very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
She had grown feeble and
emaciated, and was still mourning for her children.
a rude expression intended to offend or hurt
An unfriended, helpless slave—what could I do, what could I say, to justify, in the remotest manner, the heinous act I had committed, of resenting a white man's
contumely and abuse.
characterized by propriety and dignity and good taste
"Cross your hands," commanded Tibeats, with the addition of such a shuddering expression of blasphemy as is not
decorous to repeat.
insistent solicitation and entreaty
importunity altogether vain, I crossed my hands, submitting humbly to whatever disposition they might please to make of me.
I was in great misery—all sore and swollen—the slightest movement producing
make clear and comprehensible
"That nigger that don't take care—that don't obey his lord—that's his master—d'ye see?—that 'ere nigger shall be beaten with many stripes. Now, 'many' signifies a great many—forty, a hundred, a hundred and fifty lashes. That's Scripter!" and so Peter continued to
elucidate the subject for a great length of time, much to the edification of his sable audience.
having self-possession upset; thrown into confusion
If it were only deeper, they might lose the scent, and thus
disconcerted, afford me the opportunity of evading them.
full of trivial conversation
My midnight intrusion had awakened the feathered tribes, which seemed to throng the morass in hundreds of thousands, and their
garrulous throats poured forth such multitudinous sounds—there was such a fluttering of wings—such sullen plunges in the water all around me—that I was affrighted and appalled.
a deceptive maneuver, especially to avoid capture
I was too wearied to run again, and too desperate to be taken, and therefore adopted a
ruse that proved entirely successful.
originating where it is found
Oranges, peaches, plums, and most other fruits are
indigenous to the rich, warm soil of Avoyelles; but the apple, the most common of them all in colder latitudes, is rarely to be seen.
an annoying or frustrating or catastrophic event
In prosperity, and when there is nothing to injure or make him afraid, he remembers Him not, and is ready to defy Him; but place him in the midst of dangers, cut him off from human aid, let the grave open before him--then it is, in the time of his
tribulation, that the scoffer and unbelieving man turns to God for help, feeling there is no other hope, or refuge, or safety, save in his protecting arm.
This is no way of dealing with them, when first brought into the country. It will have a
pernicious influence, and set them all running away.
producing or capable of producing an intended result
A little kindness would be far more
effectual in restraining them, and rendering them obedient, than the use of such deadly weapons.
injurious to physical or mental health
noxious weeds had overspread the once cultivated field—serpents sunned themselves on the doorway of the crumbling cabin.
not admitting of passage or capable of being affected
We were now in the midst of trees of enormous growth, whose wide-spreading branches almost shut out the light of the sun, while the space between the trunks was an
impervious mass of cane, with here and there an occasional palmetto.
look at critically or searchingly, or in minute detail
Those having the air and appearance of gentlemen, whose dress indicated the possession of wealth, frequently took no notice of me whatever; but a shabby fellow, an unmistakable loafer, never failed to hail me, and to
scrutinize and examine me in the most thorough manner.
spend a certain length of time; reside temporarily
There are no inns along the highways in that portion of the State where I
in deplorable condition
She became at length, they said, utterly helpless, for several weeks lying on the ground floor in a
dilapidated cabin, dependent upon the mercy of her fellowthralls for an occasional drop of water, and a morsel of food.
admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding
His manners are repulsive and coarse, and his language gives speedy and
unequivocal evidence that he has never enjoyed the advantages of an education.
If it falls short, it is considered evidence that he has been
laggard, and a greater or less number of lashes is the penalty.
a rate that is rapid
Some of them seem to have a natural knack, or quickness, which enables them to pick with great
celerity, and with both hands, while others, with whatever practice or industry, are utterly unable to come up to the ordinary standard.
difficult to handle or use because of size or weight
I made havoc also with the branches, loaded with the yet unbroken bolls, the long,
cumbersome sack swinging from side to side in a manner not allowable in the cotton field.
adjust in size relative to other things
The delinquent, whose weight had fallen short, was taken out, stripped, made to lie upon the ground, face downwards, when he received a punishment
proportioned to his offence.
Usually his whip was in his hand, ready to fall about the ears of the
presumptuous thrall, who dared to rest a moment, or even stop to catch his breath.
in a wild or reckless manner
With a slash, and crack, and flourish of the whip, he would shout again, "Dance, niggers, dance," and away they would go once more,
pell-mell, while I, spurred by an occasional sharp touch of the lash, sat in a corner, extracting from my violin a marvelous quick-stepping tune.
express criticism towards
The mistress often
upbraided him, declaring she would return to her father's house at Cheneyville; nevertheless, there were times she could not restrain a burst of laughter, on witnessing his uproarious pranks.
act of withholding food or money or rights
deprivations in order to gratify the whim of an unreasonable master, we had to be in the field as soon as it was light, and during the day perform the ordinary and accustomed task.
stubbornly resistant to authority or control
He is known as a "nigger breaker," distinguished for his faculty of subduing the spirit of the slave, and priding himself upon his reputation in this respect, as a jockey boasts of his skill in managing a
uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing
In his youth he was renowned for his great strength, but age and
unremitting toil have somewhat shattered his powerful frame and enfeebled his mental faculties.
lacking moral discipline
Her back bore the scars of a thousand stripes; not because she was backward in her work, nor because she was of an unmindful and rebellious spirit, but because it had fallen to her lot to be the slave of a
licentious master and a jealous mistress.
separation resulting from hostility
In the great house, for days together, there were high and angry words, poutings and
estrangement, whereof she was the innocent cause.
something that compensates
It is well understood that all hands must labor on the Sabbath, and it is equally well understood that those especially who are hired, as I was to Judge Turner, and others in succeeding years, shall receive
remuneration for it.
give encouragement to
emboldened to risk the hazard of such a step, from overhearing a conversation, in the course of which I ascertained he was a native of the North.
impossible to satisfy
In his sober moments he could not always be prevailed upon to indulge his wife's
insatiable thirst for vengeance.
reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth
Thus did pride, and jealousy, and vengeance war with
avarice and brute-passion in the mansion of my master, filling it with daily tumult and contention.
a deliberately offensive act
About the time of which I am now writing, an event occurred in our immediate neighborhood, which made a deep impression upon me, and which shows the state of society existing there, and the manner in which
affronts are oftentimes avenged.
declared not guilty of a specific offense or crime
A sort of trial or investigation was had at Marksville, when he was
acquitted, and returned to his plantation, rather more respected, as I thought, than ever, from the fact that the blood of a fellow being was on his soul.
motivation deriving from ethical or moral principles
Not through cowardice, nor from any conscientious
scruples, in my opinion, but through the influence of his wife, he was restrained from accepting the challenge of his enemy.
fitting or appropriate and deserved
Such occurrences, which would bring upon the parties concerned in them merited and
condign punishment in the Northern States, are frequent on the bayou, and pass without notice, and almost without comment.