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Biography Drama Fiction History Journal/Diary Short Story

Braziel Robinson: Possessed of Two Spirits

By Roland Steiner, 1900

BRAZIEL ROBINSON POSSESSED OF TWO SPIRITS: Braziel Robinson, recently deceased, is a negro of about seventy-five years of age, and came to our plantation immediately after the war to test the question whether he was really free or not, and had the right to move from his former master’s place. He soon established a reputation as a foreseer of events, as a rootdoctor, would advise negroes when to plant their garden, when to expect rain, administered in a medical way to the many wants of the community in which he lived. Braziel had a peculiar habit, when any one asked him a question, of asking you please to give him a chew of tobacco, so that he could collect his thoughts before answering you. The following statement is given in his own words – “I am not a preacher, but a member of the church, but I can make a. few remarks in church, I have a seat in conference, I can see spirits, I have two spirits, one that prowls around, and one that stays in my body. The reason I have two spirits is because I was born with a double caul. People can see spirits if they are born with one caul, but nobody can have two spirits unless they are born with a double caul, very few people have two spirits. I was walking along and .met a strange spirit, and then I heard a stick crack behind me and turned round and heard my prowling spirit tell the strange spirit it was me, not to bother me, and then the strange spirit went away and left me alone. My two spirits are good spirits, and have power over evil spirits, and unless my mind is evil, can keep me from harm. If my mind is evil my two spirits try to win me, if I won’t listen to them, then they leave me and make room for evil spirits and then I ‘m lost forever, mine have never left me, and they won’t if I can help it, as I shall try to keep in the path.”

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