The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,197 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
in Philadelphia, as was his intention, for some reason or other (the schooner may have been disabled), he landed them on the New Jersey coast, not a great distance from Cape Island.  He directed them how to reach Philadelphia.  Sam knew of friends in the city, and straightway used his ready pen to make known the distress of himself and partners in tribulation.  In making their way in the direction of their destined haven, they reached Salem, New Jersey, where they were discovered to be strangers and fugitives, and were directed to Abigail Goodwin, a Quaker lady, an abolitionist, long noted for her devotion to the cause of freedom, and one of the most liberal and faithful friends of the Vigilance Committee of Philadelphia.

This friend’s opportunities of witnessing fresh arrivals had been rare, and perhaps she had never before come in contact with a “chattel” so smart as “Sam.”  Consequently she was much embarrassed when she heard his story, especially when he talked of his experience as a “Dentist.”  She was inclined to suspect that he was a “shrewd impostor” that needed “watching” instead of aiding.  But her humanity forbade a hasty decision on this point.  She was soon persuaded to render him some assistance, notwithstanding her apprehensions.  While tarrying a day or two in Salem, “Sam’s” letter was received in Philadelphia.  Friend Goodwin was written to in the meantime, by a member of the Committee, directly with a view of making inquires concerning the stray fugitives, and at the same time to inform her as to how they happened to be coming in the direction found by her.  While the mind of the friend was much relieved by the letter she received, she was still in some doubt, as will be seen by the appended extract from a letter on the subject: 

LETTER FROM A. GOODWIN.

    SALEM, 3 mo., 25, ’55.

    DEAR FRIEND:—­Thine of the 22d came to hand yesterday noon.

I do not believe that any of them are the ones thee wrote about, who wanted Dr. Lundy to come for them, and promised they would pay his expenses.  They had no money, the minister said, but were pretty well off for clothes.  I gave him all I had and more, but it seemed very little for four travelers—­only a dollar for each—­but they will meet with friends and helpers on the way.  He said they expected to go away to-morrow.  I am afraid, it’s so cold, and one of them had a sore foot, they will not get away—­it’s dangerous staying here.  There has been a slave-hunter here lately, I was told yesterday, in search of a woman; he tracked her to our Alms-house—­she had lately been confined and was not able to go—­he will come back for her and his infant—­and will not wait long I expect.  I want much to get her away first—­and if one had a C.C.  Torney here no doubt it would be done; but she will be well guarded.  How much I wish the poor thing could be secreted in some safe place till
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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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