The first paroxysm of grief was scarcely over,
when a carriage stopped in front of the house;
Mrs. Le Bourgois, one of my kind patrons, got
out of it and entered the door. She seemed to
bring sunshine with her handsome cheery face.
She came to where I was, and in her sweet way
said :

"Lizzie, I hear that you are going to New
York to beg for money to buy your freedom. I
have been thinking over the matter, and told Ma
it would be a shame to allow you to go North to
beg for what we should give you. You have
many friends in St. Louis, and I am going to
raise the twelve hundred dollars required among
them. I have two hundred dollars put away for
a present ; am indebted to you one hundred dollars ;
 mother owes you fifty dollars, and will add

another fifty to it; and as I do not want the
present, I will make the money a present to you.
Don t start for New York now until I see what
I can do among your friends."

Like a ray of sunshine she came, and like a ray
of sunshine she went away. The flowers no
longer were withered, drooping. Again they
seemed to bud and grow in fragrance and beauty.
Mrs. Le Bourgois, God bless her dear good heart,
was more than successful. The twelve hundred
dollars were raised, and at last my son and my
self were free. Free, free ! what a glorious ring
to the word. Free! the bitter heart-struggle
was over. Free ! the soul could go out to heaven
and to God with no chains to clog its flight or
pull it down. Free ! the earth wore a brighter
look, and the very stars seemed to sing with joy.
Yes, free ! free by the laws of man and the smile
of God and Heaven bless them who made me

From: "Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House"
by Elizabeth Keckley