History ; Slave entry.

My name is Rosemary Tocali, and I am 22 years old. I have been ‘free’ from slavery for 6 years now, and am getting my life sorted out. I now have a partner and a beautiful baby girl. I am going to be telling you about my lifetime experience; that will haunt me forever, as a child born into slavery. To start at the very beginning, when I was first born. My mother was a slave to quite a wealthy family. There was my mother’s mistress and master. As a child I thought of my mother’s mistress as a second mother as she cared for me and taught me, like a teacher. At the age of 10 my mother became very ill with cholera and was sent away by her master. I did not understand at the time what was happening but they told me she was going to be okay and one day I would be with her again. Later that year I realised that my mother was gone forever, and I would not see her; she was dead. When my mother died her mistress decided to keep looking after me as I would be helpful around the house like my mother was; as I got older. The year was 1801, and I had started to realise that my new master was not as nice as I thought he was. I was growing more and more suspicious as the years went on. In 1806; on my 15th birthday I was shocked at what was about to happen. My mistress had gone out to a social gathering after wishing me a happy birthday. I was left alone to read my book; as a birthday treat. It was just me and my master. It was about an hour since my mistress left and I knew that something was off, with my master. He kept on looking at me a funny way, smiling ever so slightly; like he was considering an evil plan. Then it happened he asked me to assist him in his bedroom to look for something; and as he was my master I had to obay. He locked the door and then it happened; it was the most horrible thing that would or could; ever happen. He abused me in a way that should have been

illegal. Once he had had his fun, he realised his wife, and my mistress was about to arrive home. He said “you must tell no one of this. Or else.” I did as he said, and told no one of what had happened. Every time my mistress left it happened again; I wanted to say no, for there to be a way to make it stop. However, I knew I was defensless. After a year I was fed up, and then my life was saved. In 1807 slavery was abolished in Britain. I felt overwhelmed with joy. When I was little my mistress taught me how to read and write and all the basic skills I needed. It wasn’t untill then that I fully appreciated it. I would be able to have a ‘future’ and maybe help people troughout my life. The day that slavery was banned I wasn’t sure how my mistress and master would have taken it. At the time this was happening my master was out of town; a business trip. My mistress was stressing out and knew that he would not take this news very well (and mostly take it out on me or her). She struggled all of that day thinking of ways that this would work out. As we had a bond she decided that she loved me like a daughter. There was only one thing that she could do. She gave me money from her savings; at first I refused to do this to her but she toldme it was the only way. I accepted this, and left. She told me to get out of the city and go far away and start a new life. I told her I would always remember her and this gift of a new start in life. My mistress for the last time gave me a hug and sent me on my way. I knew what this meant, and so did she. He- her husband - my old master, would not like what she did and she would be hurt because of this. She cared to much for me; and should not be treated by him the way he did. After knowing what he was capable of I feared for her - for her life. So I ran and kept on running untill I was far away, and this is when I met my world - my new life; which had just begun. My childhood was not nice; there was ups and downs.

Although, what Mrs.Baner ; my old mistress did for me was the best gift in the world. I will always remember what she did, how no one else would have but she cared so much; my beautiful and elegant mistress.

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