The following annotations to A Slave Girl were compiled in the fall 2000 by Tiffany Hall and Bruke Sullivan, first-year students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a class project in Professor William L. Andrews's First-Year Seminar on Slavery and Freedom in African American Literature and Film. We welcome any corrections, additions, or suggested revisions of these annotations. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Land of Egypt—A comparison of the South during the slavery era to Egypt when the ancient Israelites were held in bondage there. See Exodus 1-12.
the Valley—the Valley of Virginia.
Petersburg—a city in south central Virginia.
the war—The Civil War (1861-1865).
white mother—Mrs. Bettie House.
Richmond, Virginia—the state capitol and later the capitol of the Confederate States of America.
Brooklyn—a borough of the city of New York, on western Long Island.
war of 1865—The Civil War.
Castle Thunder—a large tobacco warehouse in Richmond, Virginia, mainly for the incarceration of prisoners; those males suspected of spying or disloyalty and Union sympathizers were sent here.
"true child of the King"—a faithful Christian.
Lamb's Book of Life—the promise of resurrection and eternal life for a faithful Christian.
House of God—the church.
the Lord has called her away from her child to be with Him—death.
blessed land—the Christian heaven.
those that have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb—those Christians whose sins God has forgiven through the sacrifice of Christ.
Doctor Jesus—the Christian Savior.
Honor our fathers and our mothers—Exodus 20:12.
the One—Jesus Christ.
blessed mansion—the Christian heaven.
Followed my Lord and Master in the Jordan—baptism.
Peace, be still—Mark 4:39.
Jesus Savior Pilot Me—lines from a popular nineteenth-century Protestant hymn.
First Reader—a primer, a book for beginning readers, probably in the McGuffey series.
smallpox—a disease, often fatal in the nineteenth century, caused by a virus that produces a red rash that develops into blisters.
for God so loved the world of sinful men that He gave his only begotten son—John 3:16.
Ethiopia shall yet stretch forth her hand—Psalm 68:31.
Moses—Hebrew prophet who led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage.
the Messiah—In the Christian religion, Jesus.
Wayland Seminary—a Baptist theological school located in northwest Washington, D.C., founded in 1867 for the formal education of newly freed slaves.
Bangor, Maine—small city in central Maine.
Harper's Ferry—a small town in northeastern West Virginia located at the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.
typhoid fever—an infectious, often fatal disease that affects the intestinal tract and the blood.
yellow jaundice—a yellowish skin and eye discoloration.
God the father Holy Ghost—the Christian trinity, the three divisions of the godhead.
Peter—an apostle of Christ who tried to walk on water when invited by Jesus. See Matthew 14: 25-33.
Abraham Lincoln—(1809-1865). the sixteenth US president, author of the Emancipation Proclamation, which granted freedom to slaves in the Confederacy on January 1, 1863.
Ethiopian—the African American.
jublilee—misspelling of jubilee, a season of celebration after the freeing of slaves.
John Brown—(1800-1859), a white abolitionist whose execution following his abortive raid on the Harper's Ferry arsenal made him a martyr to the cause of freedom during the Civil War.
Ulysses S. Grant—(1822-1885), 18th president of the US who was General in Chief of the Union armies at the close of the Civil War.
Charles Sumner—(1811-1874), U.S. Senator who strongly advocated the end of slavery.
Civil Rights Bill—a law guaranteeing basic property and legal rights to African Americans, passed by Congress in 1866, overriding the veto of President Andrew Johnson.
Frederick Douglass—(1818-1895), African American abolitionist, civil rights advocate, and statesman.
Well done thou, good and faithful servant, enter thou in the joys of the Lord.—Matthew 25:21.
Pilgrim Fathers—the founders of the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts in 1620.
Confederate money—currency developed by the Confederate States of American during the Civil War.
Coreans—perhaps a misspelling of Koreans.
Saratoga Springs—a city in eastern New York.
the Lord's day—Sunday, the Christian Sabbath.
Blessed assurance—a verse from a popular nineteenth-century Protestant hymn, "Blesse Assurance."
mites—small amounts of money.
Praise the Lord, Oh, my soul, and all that is within me praise His holy name—See Psalm 103: 1.
other ground sand—Rephrasing of a line from a popular nineteenth-century Protestant hymn, "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less."
Y.M.C.—The Y.M.C.A., the Young Men's Christian Association.
W.V.—abbreviation of West Virginia.
gratefnl—a misspelling of grateful.
B&O railroad—The Baltimore and Ohio railroad begun in 1829, the first common railroad in the United States.
Holy, holy, holy...—The Doxology in many Protestant churches, the last verse of the seventeenth-century hymn, "Awake My Soul and with the Sun."
Quaker—a member of the Society of Friends, a Christian denomination known for their opposition to slavery.
Hillsdale College—a college in central Michigan founded by Freewill Baptists.