The Underground Railroad eBook

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


On the fourth of April, the Marshal of Macon called at the jail in Newcastle, and demanded him as a fugitive slave, but the Sheriff refused to give him up until a fair hearing could be had according to the laws of the State of Delaware.  The Marshal has returned to Georgia, and will probably bring the claimant on the next trip of the Keystone State.  The authorities of Delaware manifest no disposition to deliver up a man whose freedom has been so clearly proved; but every effort will be made to reduce him again to slavery by the man who claims him, in which, it seems, he has the hearty co-operation of Capt.  Hardie.  A trial will be had before U.S.  Commissioner Guthrie, and we have every reason to suppose it will be a fair one.  The friends of right and justice should remember that such a trial will be attended with considerable expense, and that the imprisoned man has been too long deprived of his liberty to have money to pay for his own defence.

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The passenger answering to the above name, left Indian Creek, Chester Co., Md., where he had been held to service or labor, by Dr. James Muse.  One week had elapsed from the time he set out until his arrival in Philadelphia.  Although he had never enjoyed school privileges of any kind, yet he was not devoid of intelligence.  He had profited by his daily experience as a slave, and withal, had managed to learn to read and write a little, despite law and usage to the contrary.  Sam was about twenty-five years of age and by trade, a blacksmith.  Before running away, his general character for sobriety, industry, and religion, had evidently been considered good, but in coveting his freedom and running away to obtain it, he had sunk far below the utmost limit of forgiveness or mercy in the estimation of the slave-holders of Indian Creek.

During his intercourse with the Vigilance Committee, while rejoicing over his triumphant flight, he gave, with no appearance of excitement, but calmly, and in a common-sense like manner, a brief description of his master, which was entered on the record book substantially as follows:  “Dr. James Muse is thought by the servants to be the worst man in Maryland, inflicting whipping and all manner of cruelties upon the servants.”

While Sam gave reasons for this sweeping charge, which left no room for doubt, on the part of the Committee, of his sincerity and good judgment, it was not deemed necessary to make a note of more of the doctor’s character than seemed actually needed, in order to show why “Sam” had taken passage on the Underground Rail Road.  For several years, “Sam” was hired out by the doctor at blacksmithing; in this situation, daily wearing the yoke of unrequited labor,

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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