The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
you will write to me soon I want you to send me word how you and all the family are and all the news you can, you must excuse my short letter, as it is now near one o’clock and I must attend to business, but I have not written half what I intended to, as time is short, hoping to hear from you soon I remain yours sincerely,

    JOHN HALL.

    Mr. and Mrs. Hill desire their best respects to you and Mrs.
    Still.

It cannot be denied that this is a most extraordinary occurrence.  In some respects it is without a parallel.  It was, however, no uncommon thing for white men (slave-holders) in the South to have colored wives and children whom, they did not hesitate to live with and acknowledge by their actions, with their means, and in their wills as the rightful heirs of their substance.  Probably there is not a state in the Union where such relations have not existed.  Seeing such usages, Mary might have reasoned that she had as good a right to marry the one she loved most as anybody else, particularly as she was in a “free country.”

* * * * *

“SAM” NIXON ALIAS DR. THOMAS BAYNE.

THE ESCAPE OF A DENTIST ON THE U.G.R.R.—­HE IS TAKEN FOR AN IMPOSTOR—­ELECTED A MEMBER OF CITY COUNCIL IN NEW BEDFORD—­STUDYING MEDICINE, ETC.  But few could be found among the Underground Rail Road passengers who had a stronger repugnance to the unrequited labor system, or the recognized terms of “master and slave,” than Dr. Thomas Bayne.  Nor were many to be found who were more fearless and independent in uttering their sentiments.  His place of bondage was in the city of Norfolk, Va., where he was held to service by Dr. C.F.  Martin, a dentist of some celebrity.  While with Dr. Martin, “Sam” learned dentistry in all its branches, and was often required by his master, the doctor, to fulfil professional engagements, both at home and at a distance, when it did not suit his pleasure or convenience to appear in person.  In the mechanical department, especially, “Sam” was called upon to execute the most difficult tasks.  This was not the testimony of “Sam” alone; various individuals who were with him in Norfolk, but had moved to Philadelphia, and were living there at the time of his arrival, being invited to see this distinguished professional piece of property, gave evidence which fully corroborated his.  The master’s professional practice, according to “Sam’s” calculation, was worth $3,000 per annum.  Full $1,000 of this amount in the opinion of “Sam” was the result of his own fettered hands.  Not only was “Sam” serviceable to the doctor in the mechanical and practical branches of his profession, but as a sort of ready reckoner and an apt penman, he was obviously considered by the doctor, a valuable “article.”  He would frequently have “Sam” at his books instead of a book-keeper.  Of course, “Sam” had never received, from Dr. M., an hour’s schooling in his life, but having perceptive faculties naturally very large,

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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