"In violent thunder-storms, when the whites have got between feather beds to be safe from the lightning, I have often seen negroes, the aged as well as others, go out, and lifting up their hands, thank God that judgment was coming at last."
Moses Grandy became a well-known name in abolitionist circles for his testament to the harsh conditions of his enslavement. Born in 1846, he worked in captivity along North Carolina’s Albemarle Sound and Dismal Swamp, where he became a proficient seaman and navigator. He suffered serious abuse and witnessed the break-up of his own family including the selling of his wife, before he successfully purchased his own freedom. (On two prior attempts, his owner pocketed Grandy’s freedom money and then retained Grandy as a slave.)
Grandy orated his Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy; Late a Slave in the United States of America to abolitionist George Thompson, in an effort to inform a wider public about the cruelties of slavery. The Massachusetts Historical Society reading room features a first American edition of the Narrative, which is available for public viewing.