Before Fort Sumter, Gordon, a lawyer, defended slavery as “the hand-maid of civil liberty.”
late 14c., from hand (n.) in the sense in close at hand + maid. Cf. Old English handþegn "personal attendant."
servant (Gen. 16:1; Ruth 3:9; Luke 1:48). It is probable that Hagar was Sarah's personal attendant while she was in the house of Pharaoh, and was among those maid-servants whom Abram had brought from Egypt.