I understand the criminal charges conferred against me by the state and the colonel who was once my master. I am hereby charged with running away from slavery and crossing the River into Canada where slavery is illegal. I am also charged with running away with other people, myself being the main sponsor of their action. Finally, I understand that my master was mightily angered by my actions which include breaking of the trust he had in me, mocking him while on the boat and depriving him unjustly his property including myself. I however beg the court to listen to my defensive evidence before coming into conclusion of whether I was justified to run away or not.
I served my master from the time I was a young boy. I got married as a slave, bore children, and developed my family and relations at this place. This I did with consummate loyalty and commitment and no single day did I resist or rebel my masters orders. I became a trusted slave my all the members of the family and ran errands some which affected this family directly. I took care of his son, whom the judge in this court has conquered that is lazy and needs a whip of determination to wake him up. I never complained of his diminishing and disrespectful actions towards the blacks and his father’s slaves (Chesnutt 46).
My master and his sons have not so far regarded me as a member of the family despite my efforts to make their family better. They have in no way tried to shape my life or family to make it better. They have never recognized any of relatives, including my wife. This makes me feel deprived off happiness; I therefore felt that I needed freedom, happiness and appreciation.
I travelled with Dick, my masters’ son to the North. I carried his entire luggage, did all his errands and ensured his health was stable all through the journey. My master’s son kept on tempting me to run into freedom. This he did not for my sake but for his woman. He wanted to get married and live happily. He wanted to proof to his woman that he can do something heroic. He never considered my wife and family. He wanted me to live them in slavery and go alone to freedom. He thought because I am a slave of his father I have no love, emotions and brains. He had allowed me to go to freedom, but I had to do something heroic for my wife, just like he did to his.
The journey to the north was a show of extravagance and spendthrift acts. Dick carried with him thousands of dollars. Money generated by the efforts of the black slaves. He spent it in his parties with his friends. He never considered me, he never gave me anything willingly, and he tempted me to steal from. He destroyed my loyalty, manners and commitments. He gave me a taste of new things that I have never thought of as a slave. He caused me the strong desire to escape and thus he should be held responsible.
My return to my masters’ home was never welcomed by Dick. He treated me in the most inhumane manner. He thought my royalty was a sign of foolishness. This combined with my ascent and language makes him think I am foolish, but I know I am not. I am human and have the wisdom of humans; I understand the importance of freedom, appreciation and family. I should be given the rights to have these, even as a slave. To sum up my defense, I would pledge that the court considers my past loyalty and the circumstances I have mentioned that led to change in my character.