When I was just four years old I began working for my mother’s master, Mr. Smith. My mother never told me who my father was, but I always wondered why my skin was light compared to all the other slaves who worked out on the field. We were lived in a small town in Mississippi in the year 1843 and my mother was the servant in Mr. Smith’s house, so she prepared all the meals and took care of the house. There were times when I thought that she was treated so kindly, contrary to how the fieldworkers were treated. My job was to help my mother clean the dishes and to gather up all the clothes to wash. For a while, I did not mind the job my mother and I had, but it was several years later that our master began to treat us differently, and that’s when things changed for us.
At the age of thirteen, Master Smith kicked me out of the room in his house where I stayed with my mother. Inevitably, I had to go live with all the fieldworkers and there I lived the worse time of my life. Because I had lived in the master’s house and my skin was lighter than theirs they treated me like trash. To them, I was the ‘favorite slave’ and they hated me for that. Only two years had passed when I decided I had had enough of their mistreatment. After hearing about runaway slaves from the older men working on the field I made a decision to flee from my master and from everyone in Mississippi. On November 28, 1854, I was on my way to the North to seek freedom, where there were other runaway slaves under the care of vigilance committees, who protected the slaves from any person seeking to turn them in.
When I arrived to Boston on December 11, just thirteen days later, I found a community of ten runaway slaves also from the South. We lived with a white Christian family who did not support slavery and very much cared about slaves. They took us into their home to care for us and to educate us. It was in the Wilsons’ home that we learned about Ralph