To my friend and former slave,
I’m sorry you had to go through what you did. But may I say, and hopefully you will forgive me for saying this, for a slave, your life was better than most other slaves. After all, you became free. I must apologize for almost giving you away. I should not have trusted that man who told me you were going to run away, after all, you were a loyal slave and a good one. You saw the abuses that many slaves experienced. They had iron muzzles and thumbscrews. Though it must have been scary to watch, it is much worse to have to personally experience such abuses. You also survived the horrible slave ships, one of the many acts of God that fell upon you. Though this is not to say your life was easy. You lost your name, Olaudah Equiano, and became Gustavus Vassa, but you never lost your identity. Remember to be thankful to all the whites who helped you get to this point and those who graciously treated you as part of their family. In fact, I spent good money to send you to one of the best doctors in the area when you were near death from fever and beatings. You suffered many abuses and lost your family and the good life you could have had in Africa. I have no doubt that one day you would have become a chief. But this would have been meaningless if you did not become a Christian. You would have been eternally damned to hell. You would have made a great missionary to Africa and saved many Africans from eternal spiritual torment, but alas this was not meant to be. They sadly will have no respite, but you will not suffer the same fate. I may sound presumptuous but I think you were lucky to be my slave. Your old master, though from what you say was a nice man, he sneakily betrayed you and sold you to a cruel slave master. Luckily he got him to sell you to me, even though I paid less for you. Hopefully you do not take offense that I valued you less than his brother valued you, but what can you say, even a moral man likes to save money. But...
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