The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,197 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
slim built, tall man with whiskers.  He was a man of very good disposition.  I always belonged to him; he owned three.  He always said he would sell before he would use a whip.  His wife was a very mean woman; she would whip contrary to his orders.”  “Who was your father?” was further inquired.  “John Wesley Galloway,” was the prompt response.  “Describe your father?” “He was captain of a government vessel; he recognized me as his son, and protected me as far as he was allowed so to do; he lived at Smithfield, North Carolina.  Abram’s master, Milton Hawkins, lived at Wilmington, N.C.”  “What prompted you to escape?” was next asked.  “Because times were hard and I could not come up with my wages as I was required to do, so I thought I would try and do better.”  At this juncture Abram explained substantially in what sense times were hard, &c.  In the first place he was not allowed to own himself; he, however, preferred hiring his time to serving in the usual way.  This favor was granted Abram; but he was compelled to pay $15 per month for his time, besides finding himself in clothing, food, paying doctor bills, and a head tax of $15 a year.

[Illustration:  HON.  ABRAM GALLOWAY]

Even under this master, who was a man of very good disposition, Abram was not contented.  In the second place, he “always thought Slavery was wrong,” although he had “never suffered any personal abuse.”  Toiling month after month the year round to support his master and not himself, was the one intolerable thought.  Abram and Richard were intimate friends, and lived near each other.  Being similarly situated, they could venture to communicate the secret feelings of their hearts to each other.  Richard was four years older than Abram, with not quite so much Anglo-Saxon blood in his veins, but was equally as intelligent, and was by trade, a “fashionable barber,” well-known to the ladies and gentlemen of Wilmington.  Richard owed service to Mrs. Mary Loren, a widow.  “She was very kind and tender to all her slaves.”  “If I was sick,” said Richard, “she would treat me the same as a mother would.”  She was the owner of twenty, men, women and children, who were all hired out, except the children too young for hire.  Besides having his food, clothing and doctor’s expenses to meet, he had to pay the “very kind and tender-hearted widow” $12.50 per month, and head tax to the State, amounting to twenty-five cents per month.  It so happened, that Richard at this time, was involved in a matrimonial difficulty.  Contrary to the laws of North Carolina, he had lately married a free girl, which was an indictable offence, and for which the penalty was then in soak for him—­said penalty to consist of thirty-nine lashes, and imprisonment at the discretion of the judge.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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