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The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,197 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
“No, not till the day of the Great I am!” “Did you ever have any chance of schooling?” “Not a day in my life.”  “Can you read?” “No, sir, nor write my own name.”  “What do you think of Slavery any how?” “I think it’s a great curse, and I think the Baptists in Richmond will go to the deepest hell, if there is any, for they are so wicked they will work you all day and part of the night, and wear cloaks and long faces, and try to get all the work out of you they can by telling you about Jesus Christ.  All the extra money you make they think you will give to hear talk about Jesus Christ.  Out of their extra money they have to pay a white man Five hundred dollars a year for preaching.”  “What kind of preaching does he give them?” “He tells them if they die in their sins they will go to hell; don’t tell them any thing about their elevation; he would tell them obey their masters and mistresses, for good servants make good masters.”  “Did you belong to the Baptist Church?” “Yes, Second Baptist Church.”  “Did you feel that the preaching you heard was the true Gospel?” “One part of it, and one part burnt me as bad as ever insult did.  They would tell us that we must take money out of our pockets to send it to Africa, to enlighten the African race.  I think that we were about as blind in Richmond as the African race is in Africa.  All they want you to know, is to have sense enough to say master and mistress, and run like lightning, when they speak to you, to do exactly what they want you to do,” “When you made up your mind to escape, where did you think you would go to?” “I made up my mind not to stop short of the British protection; to shake hands with the Lion’s paw.”  “Were you not afraid of being captured on the way, of being devoured by the abolitionists, or of freezing and starving in Canada?” “Well, I had often thought that I would be in a bad condition to come here, without money and clothes, but I made up my mind to come, live or die.”  “What are your impressions from what little you have seen of Freedom?” “I think it is intended for all men, and all men ought to have it.”  “Suppose your master was to appear before you, and offer you the privilege of returning to Slavery or death on the spot, which would be your choice?” “Die right there.  I made up my mind before I started.”  “Do you think that many of the slaves are anxious about their Freedom?” “The third part of them ain’t anxious about it, because the white people have blinded them, telling about the North,—­they can’t live here; telling them that the people are worse off than they are there; they say that the ‘niggers’ in the North have no houses to live in, stand about freezing, dirty, no clothes to wear.  They all would be very glad to get their time, but want to stay where they are.”  Just at this point of the interview, the hour of midnight admonished us that it was time to retire.  Accordingly, said Mr. Thompson, “I guess we had better close,” adding, if he “could only write, he could give seven volumes!” Also, said he, “give my best respects to Mr. W.W.  Hardwicke, and Mr. Perry in the National American office, and tell them I wish they will pay the two boys who carry the papers for me, for they are as ignorant of this matter as you are.”

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