"The Stolen Girls" is an apparently true piece about two enslaved African girls who are adopted by William Knibb, a fervent abolitionist. The piece alternates between sympathy for the girls' family, and satisfaction that at least the girls have found Christianity -- a theme well known to the readers of The Youth's Companion.


http://www.merrycoz.org/yc/STOLNGRL.HTM

[Variety] THE STOLEN GIRLS (reprinted from the Juvenile Missionary Herald; from the Youth's Companion, June 10, 1847, p. 24)

One day a ship which was full of slaves stolen from Africa, was seized near the coast of Jamaica, and brought into Falmouth harbor, where Mr. Knibb resided. He went on board, and whilst looking at the wretched negroes, he saw among them two young girls whom he pitied very much. They were sisters, and they were crying bitterly; Mr. Knibb got leave to take them home. He went up to them and laid hold of the hand of one of them, but she slunk away and cried the more. He afterwards said that he felt almost ashamed of being a white man, when he saw how these poor children had learned to expect all white men to be cruel and unjust. However he took them home in his chaise, and very soon they found that they had only friends, very kind friends, round them.

Mr. Knibb called them Catharine and Ann. He liked those names because they were the names of his own dear children. He took care of his negro girls in his own house, and sent them to the negro school. One day, when he visited the school, he heard a girl read from the Testament, "In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation and weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." Mr. Knibb saw that it was one of his own negro girls. He had never heard her read the Bible before. He could not help thinking whether some tender mother in Africa might not be weeping over the loss of those her stolen children. However it was a happy change for them, though it had separated them from their nearest earthly friends. They had found the Bible, and received it as a message from God to themselves, and asked for mercy through the Saviour of whom it told them. Mr. Knibb afterwards received them into the church, and I hope that God has received them into the list of his own family above.


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