Joseph Knight - A Scottish Slave's Journey
An Historic Fictional Novel by Robert Lewis Heron.
Joseph Knight was the first Scottish slave to gain freedom. Kidnapped from Africa as a child, bought by a Scottish sugar plantation owner in Jamaica before eventually returning to Scotland as an adult, but still a slave. He vanished soon after obtaining his freedom through the Scottish Courts. This is the tale of what happened to Joseph Knight.
Copyright © 2016 by Robert Lewis Heron. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
My name is Joseph Knight, born a free man, and enslaved at the age of fourteen. Enslaved and transported across a great water to a far of place called Jamaica. And, sold to the Scottish owner of a sugar plantation. His name—John Wedderburn. But I must start my story where my world ended, my identity erased, and my rebirth as Joseph Knight commenced. My tale started in the year of seventeen sixty two in the lands known as Africa. I shall endeavor to recall as much as I can, and, hopefully not over embellish the facts. For this is a tale of unbearable heartbreak, the discovery of true love, and a testament to the survival of the human condition.
A village somewhere in Africa.
The day they came was the same day locusts paid my village a visit. Large clouds so thick they darken the sky. The intense drone drowned out every shout of warning—run, hide, be free. Guns fired, chains clanged, and with a sting from a whip I was reborn as a slave. We walked for several days through the jungle before arriving at an encampment where they said we were to be processed. My friend Jojo explained what was happening. He had been to a christian mission several days walk from my village. He could speak two tongues.
We passed a fly infested slave woman with child, both shot and stabbed, and lying dead beside our trail. Jojo said, because she was unable to walk any longer, an Arab who passed early that morning had done it in anger at losing the price he had given her. I shall never forgive Jojo, for it was he who led the slavers to my village. But no matter, the slavers also chained him. He never survived the long water crossing. He lies far beneath the waves, eyes eaten by crabs, limbs by other such creatures. But I must not get ahead of myself. I shall tell as much as I can remember. It was long ago and much has changed. I have changed, but I shall never forget nor forgive.