The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
If he had felt that the act was wrongful, would he not have appealed to the sense of justice of the British bystanders, who are always ready to resist an insult offered to a foreigner in this country?  If it was an insult, why not resent it, as became high-spirited Americans?  But no; the chivalry of the South tamely allowed itself to be plucked by the beard; the garrulity of the North permitted itself to be silenced by three fugitive slaves....  We promenaded the Exhibition between six and seven hours, and visited nearly every portion of the vast edifice.  Among the thousands whom we met in our perambulations, who dreamed of any impropriety in a gentleman of character and standing, like Mr. McDonnell, walking arm-in-arm with a colored woman; or an elegant and accomplished young lady, like Miss Thompson, (daughter of the Hon. George Thompson, M.C.), becoming the promenading companion of a colored man?  Did the English peers or peeresses?  Not the most aristocratic among them.  Did the representatives of any other country have their notions of propriety shocked by the matter?  None but Americans.  To see the arm of a beautiful English young lady passed through that of ’a nigger,’ taking ices and other refreshments with him, upon terms of the most perfect equality, certainly was enough to ‘rile,’ and evidently did ‘rile’ the slave-holders who beheld it; but there was no help for it.  Even the New York Broadway bullies would not have dared to utter a word of insult, much less lift a finger against Wm. Wells Brown, when walking with his fair companion in the World’s Exhibition.  It was a circumstance not to be forgotten by these Southern Bloodhounds.  Probably, for the first time in their lives, they felt themselves thoroughly muzzled; they dared not even to bark, much less bite.  Like the meanest curs, they had to sneak through the Crystal Palace, unnoticed and uncared for; while the victims who had been rescued from their jaws, were warmly greeted by visitors from all parts of the country.

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Brown and the Crafts have paid several other visits to the Great Exhibition, in one of which, Wm. Craft succeeded in getting some Southerners “out” upon the Fugitive Slave Bill, respecting which a discussion was held between them in the American department.  Finding themselves worsted at every point, they were compelled to have recourse to lying, and unblushingly denied that the bill contained the provisions which Craft alleged it did.  Craft took care to inform them who and what he was.  He told them that there had been too much information upon that measure diffused in England for lying to conceal them.  He has subsequently met the same parties, who, with contemptible hypocrisy, treated “the nigger” with great respect.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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