The Underground Railroad eBook

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


This party united to throw off the yoke in Haverford county, Md.

James, Samuel and Tolbert had been owned by William Hutchins.  They agreed in giving Hutchins the character of being a notorious “frolicker,” and a “very hard master.”  Under him, matters were growing “worse and worse.”  Before the old master’s death times were much better.

Henry did not live under the same authority that his three companions were subjected to, but belonged to Philip Garrison.  The continual threat to sell harassed Henry so much, that he saw no chance of peace or happiness in the future.  So one day the master laid the “last straw on the camel’s back,” and not another day would Henry stay.  Many times it required a pretty heavy pressure to start off a number of young men, but in this instance they seemed unwilling to wait to be worn out under the yoke and violent treatment, or to become encumbered with wives and children before leaving.  All were single, with the exception of James, whose wife was free, and named Charlotte; she understood about his going to Canada, and, of course, was true to him.

These young men had of course been reared under circumstances altogether unfavorable to mental development.  Nevertheless they had fervent aspirations to strike for freedom.

Lewis Giles belonged, in the prison-house of bondage, in the city of Richmond, and owed service to a Mr. Lewis Hill, who made it a business to keep slaves expressly to hire out, just as a man keeps a livery stable.  Lewis was not satisfied with this arrangement; he could see no fair play in it.  In fact, he was utterly at variance with the entire system of Slavery, and, a long time before he left, had plans laid with a view of escaping.  Through one of the Underground Rail Road Agents the glad tidings were borne to him that a passage might be procured on a schooner for twenty-five dollars.  Lewis at once availed himself of this offer, and made his arrangements accordingly.  He, however, made no mention of this contemplated movement to his wife, Louisa; and, to her astonishment, he was soon among the missing.  Lewis was a fine-looking “article,” six feet high, well proportioned, and of a dark chestnut color, worth probably $1200, in the Richmond market.  Touching his slave life, he said that he had been treated “pretty well,” except that he “had been sold several times.”  Intellectually he was above the average run of slaves.  He left on the twenty-third of April, and arrived about the second of June, having, in the meantime, encountered difficulties and discouragements of various kinds.  His safe arrival, therefore, was attended with unusual rejoicing.

Daniel Bennett and his wife and children were the next in order.  A woman poorly clad with a babe just one month old in her arms, and a little boy at her side, who could scarcely toddle, together with a husband who had never dared under penalty of the laws to protect her or her little ones, presented a most painfully touching picture.  It was easy enough to see, that they had been crushed.  The husband had been owned by Captain James Taylor—­the wife and children by George Carter.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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