This sweeping statement of the worried lieutenant must nevertheless not be allowed to pass unquestioned. In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and in Ontario, as we have seen, were owners of slaves who did not forget that those under their control were human beings. If there were masters like one at Maugerville, N. B., whose slaves, on a slight pretext tied up in the barn and vigorously whipped, as the emancipated " Cato" was wont to describe, were ready to desert him at the first distinct whisper of freedom, there were others like his neighbor, Elijah Miles, whose kindness had so attached his Negroes to himself and to his place that only the lapse of years could detach them from their former master. To the Negro the word " • freedom" had an intense attraction ;' and when the word was being translated into fact many copied the conduct of the slave at Yarmouth who rushed into his master's kitchen with the exclamation, " M'e'se free", and, proof against any offer of wages, sought a shanty for himself and wife, in preference to the previous comfortable shelter. Yet not a few of these, by the frequent acceptance of refuge in old haunts, and by their dependence upon their former owners and upon their children after them, bore witness that the period of bondage had not been wholly without its sunshine.
The lives of Canadian slaves were without annals. Their existence was passed on one of the lowest levels, references to them in contemporary records being only occasional and as brief as possible, except
1 T. W. Higginson, of Cambridge, Maws., tells of the influences which predisposed him to be an Abolitionist : •• My own strongest impulse came incidentally from my mother". The acquaintance of his father, who was steward at Harvard, and also "patron'', led to several visits to Southern families. „ Being once driven from place to place by an intelligent Negro driver, my mother said to him that she thought him very well situated after all ; on which be turned and looked at her, simply saying : • Ah, missis ! free breath is good'. It impressed her greatly, and she put it into her diary'. Cheerful Yesterdays”, p. t23.