Hatchie, the Guardian Slave

Warren T. Ashton
Hatchie, the Guardian Slave

The Project Gutenberg eBook, Hatchie, the Guardian Slave; or, The
of Bellevue, by Warren T. Ashton
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Title: Hatchie, the Guardian Slave; or, The Heiress of Bellevue
Author: Warren T. Ashton
Release Date: January 19, 2005 [eBook #14731]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text prepared by Robert Shimmin, Charlie Kirschner, and the Project
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A Tale of the Mississippi and the South-west

Boston: B. B. Mussey and Company, and R. B. Fitts and Company
Reprinted 1972 from a copy in the Fisk University Library Negro
Collection New World Book Manufacturing Co., Inc. Hallandale,
Florida 33009

"Here is a man, setting his fate aside, Of comely virtues."
"Is this the daughter of a slave?"

In the summer of 1848 the author of the following tale was a passenger
on board a steamboat from New Orleans to Cincinnati. During the
passage--one of the most prolonged and uncomfortable in the annals of
western river navigation--the plot of this story was arranged. Many of
its incidents, and all its descriptions of steamboat life, will be
recognized by the voyager of the Mississippi.
The tale was written before the appearance of "Uncle Tom's
Cabin,"--before negro literature had become a mania in the community.
It was not designed to illustrate the evils or the blessings of slavery. It
is, as its title-page imports, a _tale_; and the author has not stepped out
of his path to moralize upon Southern institutions, or any other
extraneous topic. But, as its locale is the South, and its principal
character a slave, the story incidentally portrays some features of
With these explanations, the author submits the tale to the public,
hoping the reader will derive some portion of the pleasure from its
perusal which he experienced in its preparation.
BOSTON, November 18, 1852.



"Antony. You grow presumptuous. Ventidius. I take the privilege of
plain love to speak. Antony. Plain love!--Plain arrogance! plain
On the second floor of a lofty building in ---- street, New Orleans, was
situated the office of Anthony Maxwell, Esq., Attorney and Counsellor
at Law, Commissioner for Georgia, Alabama, and a dozen other states.
His office had not the usual dusty, business-like aspect of such places,
but presented more the appearance of a gentleman's drawing-room; and,
but for the ponderous cases of books bound in law-sheep, and a table
covered with tin boxes and bundles of papers secured with red tape, the
visitor would easily have mistaken it for such. The space on the walls
not occupied by book-cases was hung with rich paintings, whose
artistic beauty and elevated themes betokened a refined taste. The floor
of the room was covered by a magnificent tapestry carpet. The chairs,
lounges and tables, were of the most costly and elegant description.
The windows were hung with graceful and brilliant draperies. Every
arrangement of the office betokened luxury and indolence, rather than
the severe toil and privation to which the aspirant for legal honors must
so often submit. The costly appurtenances of the apartment seemed to
indicate that the young lawyer's path to fame was over a velvet lawn,
bedecked with beautiful flowers, rather than the rough road, steep and
crooked, over which the greatest statesmen and most eminent jurists
have trodden.
The occupant of this chamber was stretched at full length upon one of
the luxurious lounges, puffing, with an abstracted air, a fragrant regalia.
He was a young man, not more than five-and-twenty years of age, and
what ladies of taste would have styled decidedly handsome. His face
was pale, with a certain haggard appearance, which indicates the earlier
stages of dissipation. His complexion was of a delicate white,
unbrowned by the southern sun, and the skin was so transparent that the
roots of his black beard were visible beneath its surface. His jet-black
hair hung in rich, wavy curls, which seemed to be the especial care of
some renowned tonsorial artist, so gracefully and accurately were they

arranged. His black eye was sharp and expressive when his mind was
excited in manly thought; but now it was a little unsteady,--disposed to
droop, and wander, as
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