Mary Seacole Quotes

“I am a Creole, and have good Scotch blood coursing through my veins. Many people have traced to my Scottish blood that energy and activity which are not always found in the Creole race, and which have carried me to so many various scenes: and perhaps they are right.”

“I must say that I don’t appreciate your friend’s kind wishes with respect to my complexion. If it had been as dark as a nigger’s, I should have been just as happy and useful, and as much respected by those whose respect I value: and as to his offer of bleaching me, I should, even if it were practicable, decline it without any thanks.”

“I have a few shades of deeper brown upon my skin which shows me related to those poor mortals you once held enslaved, and whose bodies America still owns. Having this bond, and knowing what slavery is, having seen with my eyes and heard with my ears proof positive enough of its horrors, is it surprising that I should be somewhat impatient of the airs of superiority which many Americans have endeavoured to assume over me.”

“I have always noticed what actors children are……….whatever disease was most prevalent in Kingston, be sure my poor doll soon contracted it…….before long it was very natural that I should seek to extend my practice, and so I found other patients in the cats and dogs around me.”

“Doubts and suspicions rose in my heart for the first and last time, thank Heaven. Was it possible that American prejudices against colour had some root here? Did these ladies shrink from accepting my aid because my blood flowed beneath a somewhat duskier skin than theirs?”

My first experience of battle was pleasant enough….It was very pretty to see them advance and to watch how every now and then little clouds of white smoke puffed up from behind the bushes and crests of hills, and were answered by similar puffs from the long line of busy skirmishers that preceded the main body. This was my first experience of actual battle and I felt that strange excitement which I do not remember on future occasions, coupled with an earnest longing to see more of warfare, and to share in its hazards. It was not long before my wish was gratified.

“But the reader must not forget that all this time, although there might be only a few short and sullen roars of the great guns by day, few nights passed without some fighting in the trenches; and very often the news of the morning would be that one or other of those I knew had fallen.

These tidings often saddened me, and when I awoke in the night and heard the thunder of the guns fiercer than usual, I have quite dreaded the dawn which might usher in bad news.”

“And as often as the bad news came, I thought it my duty to ride up to the hut and do my woman’s work. But I felt it deeply. How could it be otherwise? There was one poor boy in the Artillery, with blue eyes and long golden hair, whom I nursed through a long and weary sickness, borne with all a man’s spirit, and whom I grew to love like a fond old fashioned mother. I thought if ever angels watched over any life, they would shelter his: but this one day, but a short time after he had left his sick bed, he was struck down on his battery, working like a young hero. It was along time before I could banish him from my mind and thought of him as I saw him last, the yellow hair, stiff and stained with his life blood, and the blue eyes closed in the sleep of death.”

“….and the grateful words and smile which rewarded me for binding up a wound or giving a cooling drink was a pleasure worth risking life for at any time.”

Mary Seacole Biography