Autobiography Of An Ex-Colored Man Essay

Autobiography Of An Ex-Colored Man Essay-66
I know that in writing the following pages I am divulging the great secret of my life, the secret which for some years I have guarded far more carefully than any of my earthly possessions; and it is a curious study to me to analyze the motives which prompt me to do it.I feel that I am led by the same impulse which forces the unfound-out criminal to take somebody into his confidence, although he knows that the act is liable, even almost certain, to lead to his undoing.

I know that in writing the following pages I am divulging the great secret of my life, the secret which for some years I have guarded far more carefully than any of my earthly possessions; and it is a curious study to me to analyze the motives which prompt me to do it.I feel that I am led by the same impulse which forces the unfound-out criminal to take somebody into his confidence, although he knows that the act is liable, even almost certain, to lead to his undoing.I can remember, too, that behind the house was a shed under which stood two or three wooden wash-tubs.

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I can see in this half vision a little house,—I am quite sure it was not a large one;—I can remember that flowers grew in the front yard, and that around each bed of flowers was a hedge of vari-colored glass bottles stuck in the ground neck down.

I remember that once, while playing around in the sand, I became curious to know whether or not the bottles grew as the flowers did, and I proceeded to dig them up to find out; the investigation brought me a terrific spanking which indelibly fixed the incident in my mind.

I have only a faint recollection of the place of my birth.

At times I can close my eyes, and call up in a dream-like way things that seem to have happened ages ago in some other world.

I knelt on the seat and watched through the train window the corn and cotton fields pass swiftly by until I fell asleep.

When I fully awoke we were being driven through the streets of a large city—Savannah. At Savannah we boarded a steamer which finally landed us in New York.My admiration was almost equally divided between the watch and chain and the shoes.He used to come to the house evenings, perhaps two or three times a week; and it became my appointed duty whenever he came to bring him a pair of slippers, and to put the shiny shoes in a particular corner; he often gave me in return for this service a bright coin which my mother taught me to promptly drop in a little tin bank.I remember distinctly the last time this tall man came to the little house in Georgia; that evening before I went to bed he took me up in his arms, and squeezed me very tightly; my mother stood behind his chair wiping tears from her eyes.I remember how I sat upon his knee, and watched him laboriously drill a hole through a ten-dollar gold piece, and then tie the coin around my neck with a string.From New York we went to a town in Connecticut, which became the home of my boyhood.My mother and I lived together in a little cottage which seemed to me to be fitted up almost luxuriously; there were horse-hair covered chairs in the parlor, and a little square piano; there was a stairway with red carpet on it leading to a half second story; there were pictures on the walls, and a few books in a glass-doored case.I have worn that gold piece around my neck the greater part of my life, and still possess it, but more than once I have wished that some other way had been found of attaching it to me besides putting a hole through it.On the day after the coin was put around my neck my mother and I started on what seemed to me an endless journey.Always on Sunday evenings she opened the little square piano, and picked out hymns.I can recall now that whenever she played hymns from the book her tempos were always decidedly largo.

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