The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.

Jack was aware that a trap of this kind would most likely be set for him, and that the large quantity of Anglo-Saxon blood in his veins would not save him.  He was aware, too, that he was the reputed son of a white gentleman, who was a professional dentist, by the name of Dr. Peter Cards.  The Doctor, however, had been called away by death, so Jack could see no hope or virtue in having a white father, although a “chivalric gentleman,” while living, and a man of high standing amongst slave-holders.  Jack was a member of the Baptist church, too, and hoped he was a good Christian; but he could look for no favors from the Church, or sympathy on the score of his being a Christian.  He knew very well were it known, that he had the love of freedom in his heart, or the idea of the Underground Rail Road in his head, he would be regarded as having committed the “unpardonable sin.”  So Jack looked to none of these “broken reeds” in Richmond in the hour of his trial, but to Him above, whom he had not seen, and to the Underground Rail Road.  He felt pretty well satisfied, that if Providence would aid him, and he could get a conductor to put him on the right road to Canada, he would be all right.  Accordingly, he acted up to his best light, and thus he succeeded admirably, as the sequel shows.

JOHN HENRY PETTIFOOT.  John is a likely young man, quite bright in color and in intellect also.  He was the son of Peter Cards, a dentist by profession, and a white man by complexion.  As a general thing, he had been used ‘very well;’ had no fault to find, except this year, being hired to McHenry & McCulloch, tobacconists, of Petersburg, Va., whom he found rather more oppressive than he agreed for, and supposing that he had ‘no right’ to work for any body for nothing, he ’picked up his bed and walked.’  His mistress had told him that he was ‘willed free,’ at her death, but John was not willing to wait her “motions to die.”

He had a wife in Richmond, but was not allowed to visit her.  He left one sister and a step-father in bondage.  Mr. Pettifoot reached Philadelphia by the Richmond line of steamers, stowed away among the pots and cooking utensils.  On reaching the city, he at once surrendered himself into the hands of the Committee, and was duly looked after by the regular acting members.

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EMANUEL was about twenty-five years of age, with seven-eighths of white blood in his veins, medium size, and a very smart and likely-looking piece of property generally.  He had the good fortune to escape from Edward H. Hubbert, a ship timber merchant of Norfolk, Va.  Under Hubbert’s yoke he had served only five years, having been bought by him from a certain Aldridge Mandrey, who was described as a “very cruel man,” and would “rather fight than eat.”  “I have licks that will carry me to my grave, and will be there till the flesh rots off my bones,”

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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