John Thompson was a black man who lived in slavery for all of his early life. He escaped when he was in his twenties, so he saw and knew the entire system. This adds interest into his autobiography and it excites the sympathy of the reader.
He grew up surrounded by hardship. His sister was sold when he was very young. He describes how sad his mother was. It is a touching scene.
He described the beatings and whippings that took place almost daily, depending on the master. He got whipped a few times. His mother got whipped. His father got whipped. His descriptions are vividly horrific. If it truly was like that, I can understand why the Civil War was fought.
He learned to read when he was a young boy. He carried the books of a white boy to school, and the white boy taught him how to read and write. This later proved both useful and life-threatening. (more…)