The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
of communicating with him, he was kept fully awake to the love of Freedom.  The Underground Rail Road expense the Committee gladly bore.  No further record of Jackson was made.  Jackson found his poor old father here, where he had resided for a number of years in a state of almost total blindness, and of course in much parental anxiety about his boys in chains.  On the arrival of Jackson, his heart overflowed with joy and gratitude not easily described, as the old man had hardly been able to muster faith enough to believe that he should ever look with his dim eyes upon one of his sons in Freedom.  After a day or two’s tarrying, Jackson took his departure for safer and more healthful localities,—­her “British Majesty’s possessions.”  The old man remained only to feel more keenly than ever, the pang of having sons still toiling in hopeless servitude.

In less than seven months after Jackson had shaken off the yoke, to the unspeakable joy of the father, Isaac and Edmondson succeeded in following their brother’s example, and were made happy partakers of the benefits and blessings of the Vigilance Committee of Philadelphia.  On first meeting his two boys, at the Underground Rail Road Depot, the old man took each one in his arms, and as looking through a glass darkly, straining every nerve of his almost lost sight, exclaiming, whilst hugging them closer and closer to his bosom for some minutes, in tears of joy and wonder, “My son Isaac, is this you? my son Isaac, is this you, &c.?” The scene was calculated to awaken the deepest emotion and to bring tears to eyes not accustomed to weep.  Little had the old man dreamed in his days of sadness, that he should share such a feast of joy over the deliverance of his sons.  But it is in vain to attempt to picture the affecting scene at this reunion, for that would be impossible.  Of their slave life, the records contain but a short notice, simply as follows: 

“Isaac is twenty-eight years of age, hearty-looking, well made, dark color and intelligent.  He was owned by Mrs. Ann Colley, a widow, residing near Petersburg, Va.  Isaac and Edmondson were to have been sold, on New Year’s day; a few days hence.  How sad her disappointment must have been on finding them gone, may be more easily imagined than described.”

Edmondson is about twenty-five, a brother of Isaac, and a smart, good-looking young man, was owned by Mrs. Colley also.  “This is just the class of fugitives to make good subjects for John Bull,” thought the Committee, feeling pretty well assured that they would make good reports after having enjoyed free air in Canada for a short time.  Of course, the Committee enjoined upon them very earnestly “not to forget their brethren left behind groaning in fetters; but to prove by their industry, uprightness, economy, sobriety and thrift, by the remembrance of their former days of oppression and their obligations to their God, that they were worthy of the country to which they were going, and so to help break the bands of the

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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