The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
had a true friend, with whom he could communicate; one who was wide awake, and was on the alert to find a reliable captain from the North, who would consent to take this “property,” or “freight,” for a consideration.  He heard at last of a certain Captain, who was then doing quite a successful business in an Underground way.  This good news was conveyed to William, and afforded him a ray of hope in the wilderness.  As Providence would have it, his hope did not meet with disappointment; nor did his ten months’ trial, warring against the barbarism of Slavery, seem too great to endure for Freedom.  He was about to leave his cave and his animal and reptile neighbors,—­his heart swelling with gladness,—­but the thought of soon being beyond the reach of his mistress and master thrilled him with inexpressible delight.  He was brought away by Captain F., and turned over to the Committee, who were made to rejoice with him over the signal victory he had gained in his martyr-like endeavors to throw off the yoke, and of course they took much pleasure in aiding him.  William was of a dark color, stout made physically, and well knew the value of Freedom, and how to hate and combat Slavery.  It will be seen by the appended letter of Thomas Garrett, that William had the good luck to fall into the hands of this tried friend, by whom he was aided to Philadelphia: 

    WILMINGTON, 12th mo., 19th, 1855.

DEAR FRIEND, WILLIAM STILL:—­The bearer of this is one of the twenty-one that I thought had all gone North; he left home on Christmas day, one year since, wandered about the forests of North Carolina for about ten months, and then came here with those forwarded to New Bedford, where he is anxious to go.  I have furnished him with a pretty good pair of boots, and gave him money to pay his passage to Philadelphia.  He has been at work in the country near here for some three weeks, till taken sick; he is, by no means, well, but thinks he had better try to get farther North, which I hope his friends in Philadelphia will aid him to do.  I handed this morning Captain Lambson’s[A] wife twenty dollars to help fee a lawyer to defend him.  She leaves this morning, with her child, for Norfolk, to be at the trial before the Commissioner on the 24th instant.  Passmore Williamson agreed to raise fifty dollars for him.  As none came to hand, and a good chance to send it by his wife, I thought best to advance that much.

    [Footnote A:  Captain Lambson had been suspected of having aided
    in the escape of slaves from the neighborhood of Norfolk, and
    was in prison awaiting his trial.]

    Thy friend,




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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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