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Incidents In The Life Of A Blind Girl

Creator: Mary L. Day (author)
Date: 1859
Publisher: James Young, Baltimore
Source: Available at selected libraries
Figures From This Artifact: Figure 2

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In offering this little volume to the public, and soliciting for it countenance and patronage, it may be fitting to state, the incidents narrated are facts simply given, with no over-wrought coloring of fancy. The design, in its issue, is one highly commendable to its author -- a laudable desire to obtain a livelihood independent of those kind friends who fain would render personal effort, in this respect, quite unnecessary.


The beneficent can but favor such an effort, and tender the most practical approval. Unto those whom God has seen fit to afflict, is it not our duty to lend a helping hand? They are travelling earth's beaten paths, as are we; if obscured the sun, shall we not drive away the mists by kindly word or cheering smile?


Of the numerous dispensations it is our lot to bear, that of blindness seems, indeed, the most severe -- the helplessness and dependence it induces should appeal to every heart. It is true, orbs of vision closed on light of sun or moon, the more may celestial light shine inward; yet, to tread Earth's garden-paths, forever veiled the beauty of sky or flower, is a heavy cross to bear. There are avenues of happiness which afford intense enjoyment, forever closed to the unfortunate who can not see the greatness of God in tinting the violet's velvet lining, or in the delicate rose-leafs mystic loveliness -- who may not gaze on his goodness in arching the heavens with the beautiful covenant bow, w in spreading the earth with a soil yielding, in unbounded luxuriance, herb, tree, fruit, and flower.


Wishing the little book God-speed, we commend it to the consideration of the generous and sympathetic.


S. S. R.




Is respectfully and gratefully inscribed this Memoir.


OFTEN unto her, of whose life-history it is a transcript, has this cherished friend proven counsellor, guide, consoler -- ever prompt to lend an ear, if sorrow palled the heart, and, with words of pious cheer, to point from things that are to the rich fruition of blessings in store for those who unmurmuringly drink the cup He hath given.


God fashioned the eloquent lip to speak His praise, and the tender heart to feel for the woes of humankind -- ever may it be, as now, thy holy office to portray, in burning words, His omnipotence who reigneth from everlasting to everlasting, yet of whom we are told, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him."


This feeble tribute is affection's prompting, and with it bears earnest petitions that the life which has heretofore been a bright and shining light, may continue to grow brighter and still brighter, till it be lost in the effulgence of glory, radiating from the throne of the Most High.






"I WILL a round, unvarnished tale deliver." -- Shakespeare.


"THE web of our life is a mingled yarn, made up of good and ill together." -- SHAKESPEARE.


GENTLE reader, although this will be a sad, painful story, yet it is truthful. I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in the year 1836. My father was a tin-smith by trade, and at the age of twenty, married Sarah Henniman, a beautiful girl of eighteen summers. She was the youngest of a large family, and so loved and caressed that her youthful days passed like some fairy dream. In her girlhood she was surrounded by many admiring suitors, among whom was Dr G---, a very wealthy gentleman, whose offer she rejected, preferring to share the fortunes of him whom she loved with all the warmth and ardor of her heart.


After her marriage her sister sent her a faithful colored servant, who remained with her until after my birth. My father was a man of pleasing address, and the sociality of his manner won for him scores of friends. Every opportunity was offered him in Baltimore to have realized for himself and family a fortune, which he doubtless would have done, had it not been for his roving disposition. He was ever imagining he could double his means in some new location. He left Baltimore for New-York when I was but nine months old; two months after he sent for his family to join him. This was a trying time for my mother, to leave her relations and friends to go among strangers. Uncle Jesse, mother's youngest brother, accompanied us to the boat, carrying me in his arms. After securing us every comfort procurable, he embraced us all, and left with a fond adieu.


As we pushed from the dock, mother went on deck to gaze back upon the city where dwelt so many beloved friends, and where had been passed so many happy hours. She covered her face with her hands and wept. Little did she think she was looking for the last time upon the home of her youth. The Monumental City quickly disappeared in the distance, and she returned to the cabin to watch over her four little ones. "With the details of this journey, I, of course, am not familiar, but I can recall hearing my mother say it was very fatiguing. In due time, however, we reached our destination, and were met by father at the wharf. He took us to uncle Henry W. Deems', where we remained a month.

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