The Underground Railroad eBook

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

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This mother and daughter had been the “chattels personal” of Daniel Coolby of Harvard, Md.  Their lot had been that of ordinary slaves in the country, on farms, &c.  The motive which prompted them to escape was the fact that their master had “threatened to sell” them.  He had a right to do so; but Hetty was a little squeamish on this point and took great umbrage at her “kind master.”  In this “disobedient” state of mind, she determined, if hard struggling would enable her, to defeat the threats of Mr. Daniel Coolby, that he should not much longer have the satisfaction of enjoying the fruit of the toil of herself and offspring.  She at once began to prepare for her journey.

She had three children of her own to bring, besides she was intimately acquainted with a young man and a young woman, both slaves, to whom she felt that it would be safe to confide her plans with a view of inviting them to accompany her.  The young couple were ready converts to the eloquent speech delivered to them by Hetty on Freedom, and were quite willing to accept her as their leader in the emergency.  Up to the hour of setting out on their lonely and fatiguing journey, arrangements were being carefully completed, so that there should be no delay of any kind.  At the appointed hour they were all moving northward in good order.

Arriving at Quakertown, Pa., they found friends of the slave, who welcomed them to their homes and sympathy, gladdening the hearts of all concerned.  For prudential reasons it was deemed desirable to separate the party, to send some one way and some another.  Thus safely, through the kind offices and aid of the friends at Quakertown, they were duly forwarded on to the Committee in Philadelphia.  Here similar acts of charity were extended to them, and they were directed on to Canada.

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THIS PASSENGER AVAILS HIMSELF OF HOLIDAY WEEK, BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S, TO MAKE HIS NORTHERN TRIP.  Robert was about thirty years of age, dark color, quite tall, and in talking with him a little while, it was soon discovered that Slavery had not crushed all the brains out of his head by a good deal.  Nor was he so much attached to his “kind-hearted master,” John Edward Jackson, of Anne Arundel, Md., or his old fiddle, that he was contented and happy while in bondage.  Far from it.  The fact was, that he hated Slavery so decidedly and had such a clear common sense-like view of the evils and misery of the system, that he declared he had as a matter of principle refrained from marrying, in order that he might have no reason to grieve over having added to the woes of slaves.  Nor did he wish to be encumbered, if the opportunity offered to escape.  According to law he was entitled to his freedom at the age of twenty-five.

Project Gutenberg
The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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