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“Wishing Mr. Criswell health and happiness, I am truly his friend, and obedient servant,

“ H. CLAY."

Washington, Jan. 30, 1850.

As an evidence of the estimate Mr. Clay put upon this relic, he, in his will, left a ring containing a part of it, to one of his dearest friends.



The Author in laying this work before the public has but one motive in view, which is to contribute his mite in endeavoring to allay the great agitation on the Slavery Question between the North and South, which threatens to dissolve our glorious Union; and as that talented authoress, Mrs. Stowe, inUncle Tom's Cabin," has increased that agitation, the author hopes to modify it somewhat, by representing the Planter and Slave in a more favorable light.

Though living in the North, he has travelled extensively through the South, (having visited nine of the Southern States,) he therefore flatters himself that he gives a fair and impartial statement of both sides of the question.

Many of the incidents and stories related in the book came under his own observation, while others were given him by acquaintances.

If his motive is realized in the least degree, if the. book proves to be one drop of oil cast upon the tempestuous sea of agitation, his wishes will be accomplished.






“ There is a Divinity that shapes our ends,
“ Rough hew them as we will."

Colonel George Buckingham was a wealthy planter, whose residence was near Charleston, South Carolina. IIis whole establishment exhibited a style and magnificence uncommon in that place. Being descended from some portion of the English nobility, the Colonel made it a point to adopt their manners: and customs in his own domain. Therefore, Buckingham Hall, which was situated in the centre of a fine park, adorned with stately forest trees and various kinds of ornamental shrubbery, was a splendid building of the Columbian Order, furnished with almost Oriental magnificence. He never went abroad without four horses to his carriage, and his household servants--all slaves—were, without exception, dressed in livery

The Colonel was justly proud of his beautiful vil.. la, from the cupola of which he could enjoy a delightful view of the fine harbor of Charleston, with Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney in the distance. In this observatory was fitted up his library, with telescopes and other astronomical instruments, for though not a learned man, in the strict sense of the word, he was fond of literature and science, and employed a good part of his time reading and studying.

Although a man of sterling worth and good qualities, Colonel Buckingham had his weak points, especially in regard to his ancestral blood, which, he often boasted, had not “Crept through scoundrels ever since the flood," but was pure and aristocratic in its descent. From the researches he had made in the English books of Peerage, he had discovered that his grandfather's grandfather was a brother of one of the Dukes of Buckingham, therefore, he flattered himself that a few drops of noble blood were coursing through his veins; and on this was based the haughtiness and unbending pride of his character. However, to his slaves, he was uniformly kind and humane, and in return they loved him with all the native simplicity of their hearts. Colonel Buckingham had several plantations in Georgia and Alabama, on which were four or five hundred slaves, which he was in the habit of visiting at different periods of the year. All of them, and especially those near his person, were so attached to him, that if offered their freedom they would not accept of it if it would separate them from their master. They would have said that their condition was far better than that of the free negroes around them, that they had all the necessaries of life,

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