After the hunters had left the city in dismay, and the storm of excitement had partially subsided, the friends of William and Ellen concluded that they had better seek a country where they would not be in daily fear of slave-catchers, backed by the Government of the United States. They were, therefore, advised to go to Great Britain. Outfits were liberally provided for them, passages procured, and they took their departure for a habitation in a foreign land.
Much might be told concerning the warm reception they met with from the friends of humanity on every hand, during a stay in England of nearly a score of years, but we feel obliged to make the following extract suffice:
Fortunately, we have, at the present moment, in the British Metropolis, some specimens of what were once American “chattels personal,” in the persons of William and Ellen Craft, and William W. Brown, and their friends resolved that they should be exhibited under the world’s huge glass case, in order that the world might form its opinion of the alleged mental inferiority of the African race, and their fitness or unfitness for freedom. A small party of anti-slavery friends was accordingly formed to accompany the fugitives through the Exhibition. Mr. and Mrs. Estlin, of Bristol, and a lady friend, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Webb, of Dublin, and a son and daughter, Mr. McDonnell, (a most influential member of the Executive Committee of the National Reform Association—one of our unostentatious, but highly efficient workers for reform in this country, and whose public and private acts, if you were acquainted with, you would feel the same esteem and affection for him as is felt towards him by Mr. Thompson, myself and many others)—these ladies and gentlemen, together with myself, met at Mr. Thompson’s house, and, in company with Mrs. Thompson, and Miss Amelia Thompson, the Crafts and Brown, proceeded from thence to the Exhibition. Saturday was selected, as a day upon which the largest number of the aristocracy and wealthy classes attend the Crystal Palace, and the company was, on this occasion, the most distinguished that had been gathered together within its walls since its opening day. Some fifteen thousand, mostly of the upper classes, were there congregated, including the Queen, Prince Albert, and the royal children, the anti-slavery Duchess of Sutherland, (by whom the fugitives were evidently favorably regarded), the Duke of Wellington, the Bishops of Winchester and St. Asaph, a large number of peers, peeresses, members of Parliament, merchants and bankers, and distinguished men from almost all parts of the world, surpassing, in variety of tongue, character and costume, the description of the population of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost—a season of which it is