The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
hoped the Great Exhibition will prove a type, in the copious outpouring of the holy spirit of brotherly union, and the consequent diffusion, throughout the world, of the anti-slavery gospel of good will to all men.
In addition to the American exhibitors, it so happened that the American visitors were particularly numerous, among whom the experienced eyes of Brown and the Crafts enabled them to detect slave-holders by dozens.  Mr. McDonnell escorted Mrs. Craft, and Mrs. Thompson; Miss Thompson, at her own request, took the arm of Wm. Wells Brown, whose companion she elected to be for the day; Wm. Craft walked with Miss Amelia Thompson and myself.  This arrangement was purposely made in order that there might be no appearance of patronizing the fugitives, but that it might be shown that we regarded them as our equals, and honored them for their heroic escape from Slavery.  Quite contrary to the feeling of ordinary visitors, the American department was our chief attraction.  Upon arriving at Powers’ Greek Slave, our glorious anti-slavery friend, Punch’s ‘Virginia Slave’ was produced.  I hope you have seen this production of our great humorous moralist.  It is an admirably-drawn figure of a female slave in chains, with the inscription beneath, ’The Virginia Slave, a companion for Powers’ Greek Slave.’  The comparison of the two soon drew a small crowd, including several Americans, around and near us.  Although they refrained from any audible expression of feeling, the object of the comparison was evidently understood and keenly felt.  It would not have been prudent in us to have challenged, in words, an anti-slavery discussion in the World’s Convention; but everything that we could with propriety do was done to induce them to break silence upon the subject.  We had no intention, verbally, of taking the initiative in such a discussion; we confined ourselves to speaking at them, in order that they might be led to speak to us; but our efforts were of no avail.  The gauntlet, which was unmistakably thrown down by our party, the Americans were too wary to take up.  We spoke among each other of the wrongs of Slavery; it was in vain.  We discoursed freely upon the iniquity of a professedly Christian Republic holding three millions of its population in cruel and degrading bondage; you might as well have preached to the winds.  Wm. Wells Brown took ‘Punch’s Virginia Slave’ and deposited it within the enclosure by the ‘Greek Slave,’ saying audibly, ’As an American fugitive slave, I place this ‘Virginia Slave’ by the side of the ‘Greek Slave,’ as its most fitting companion.’  Not a word, or reply, or remonstrance from Yankee or Southerner.  We had not, however, proceeded many steps from the place before the ‘Virginia Slave’ was removed.  We returned to the statue, and stood near the American by whom it had been taken up, to give him an opportunity of making any remarks he chose upon the matter.  Whatever were his feelings, his policy was to keep his lips closed. 
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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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