... such is the horrible idea that I entertain respecting a life of servitude, that if I conceived of there being no possibility of my rising above the condition of servant, I would gladly hail death as a welcome messenger.
Maria Stewart (1803–1879), African American abolitionist and schoolteacher. As quoted in Black Women in Nineteenth-Century American Life, part 3, by Bert James Loewenberg and Ruth Bogin (1976).
Stewart, a free African American, said this in a September 21, 1832 speech delivered at Franklin Hall in Boston. She was arguing for education for Northern African Americans, especially girls, so that they would have career choices beyond that of servant.