August 2d, 1855, Robert Jones and wife, arrived from Petersburg, Va. Robert is about thirty-five, chestnut color, medium size, of good manners, intelligent, had been owned by Thomas N. Lee, “a very hard man.” Robert left because he “wanted his liberty—always had from a boy.” Eliza, his wife, is about forty years of age, chestnut color, nice-looking, and well-dressed. She belonged to Eliza H. Richie, who was called a “moderate woman” towards her slaves. Notwithstanding the limited space occupied in noting them on the record book, the Committee regarded them as being among the most worthy and brave travelers passing over the Underground Rail Road, and felt well satisfied that such specimens of humanity would do credit in Canada, not only to themselves, but to their race.
Robert had succeeded in learning to read and write tolerably well, and had thought much over the condition and wrongs of the race, and seemed to be eager to be where he could do something to lift his fellow-sufferers up to a higher plane of liberty and manhood. After an interview with Robert and his wife, in every way so agreeable, they were forwarded on in the usual manner, to Canada. While enjoying the sweets of freedom in Canada, he was not the man to keep his light under a bushel. He seemed to have a high appreciation of the potency of the pen, and a decidedly clear idea that colored men needed to lay hold of many enterprises with resolution, in order to prove themselves qualified to rise equally with other branches of the human family. Some of his letters, embracing his views, plans and suggestions, were so encouraging and sensible, that the Committee was in the habit of showing them to friendly persons, and indeed, extracts of some of his letters were deemed of sufficient importance to publish. One alone, taken from many letters received from him, must here suffice to illustrate his intelligence and efforts as a fugitive and citizen in Canada.
Hamilton, C.W., August 9th, 1856.
MR. WM. STILL;—Dear
Friend:—I take this opportunity of
writing you these few lines to inform you of my health, which is
good at present, &c. * * * *
I was talking to you about going to Liberia, when I saw you last, and did intend to start this fall, but I since looked at the condition of the colored people in Canada. I thought I would try to do something for their elevation as a nation, to place them in the proper position to stand where they ought to stand. In order to do this, I have undertaken to get up a military company amongst them. They laughed at me to undertake such a thing; but I did not relax my energies. I went and had an interview with Major J.T. Gilepon, told him what my object was, he encouraged me to go on, saying that he would do all he could for the accomplishment of my object. He referred to Sir Allan McNab, &c. * * * * I took with me Mr. J.H. Hill to see him—he told me that it should be done, and required us