The Underground Railroad eBook

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

“Soon after putting us in his barn, himself and daughter prepared us a nice breakfast, which cheered our spirits, as we were hungry.  For this kindness we paid him one dollar.  He next told us to hide on the mow till eve, when he would safely direct us on our road to Gettysburg.  All, very much fatigued from traveling, fell asleep, excepting myself; I could not sleep; I felt as if all was not right.

“About noon men were heard talking around the barn.  I woke my companions up and told them that that man had betrayed us.  At first they did not believe me.  In a moment afterwards the barn door was opened, and in came the men, eight in number.  One of the men asked the owner of the barn if he had any long straw.  ‘Yes,’ was the answer.  So up on the mow came three of the men, when, to their great surprise, as they pretended, we were discovered.  The question was then asked the owner of the barn by one of the men, if he harbored runaway negroes in his barn?  He answered, ‘No,’ and pretended to be entirely ignorant of their being in his barn.  One of the men replied that four negroes were on the mow, and he knew of it.  The men then asked us where we were, going.  We told them to Gettysburg, that we had aunts and a mother there.  Also we spoke of a Mr. Houghman, a gentleman we happened to have some knowledge of, having seen him in Virginia.  We were next asked for our passes.  We told them that we hadn’t any, that we had not been required to carry them where we came from.  They then said that we would have to go before a magistrate, and if he allowed us to go on, well and good.  The men all being armed and furnished with ropes, we were ordered to be tied.  I told them if they took me they would have to take me dead or crippled.  At that instant one of my friends cried out—­’Where is the man that betrayed us?’ Spying him at the same moment, he shot him (badly wounding him).  Then the conflict fairly began.  The constable seized me by the collar, or rather behind my shoulder.  I at once shot him with my pistol, but in consequence of his throwing up his arm, which hit mine as I fired, the effect of the load of my pistol was much turned aside; his face, however, was badly burned, besides his shoulder being wounded.  I again fired on the pursuers, but do not know whether I hit anybody or not.  I then drew a sword, I had brought with me, and was about cutting my way to the door, when I was shot by one of the men, receiving the entire contents of one load of a double barreled gun in my left arm, that being the arm with which I was defending myself.  The load brought me to the ground, and I was unable to make further struggle for myself.  I was then badly beaten with guns, &c.  In the meantime, my friend Craven, who was defending himself, was shot badly in the face, and most violently beaten until he was conquered and tied.  The two young brothers of Craven stood still, without making the least resistance.  After we were fairly captured, we were taken to Terrytown, which was in sight of

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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