The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.—­Ran away from the subscriber, living in Rockville.  Montgomery county, Md., on Saturday, 31st of May last, NEGRO MAN, ALFRED, about twenty-two years of age; five feet seven inches high; dark copper color, and rather good looking.

    [Illustration:  ]

    He had on when he left a dark blue and green plaid frock coat,
    of cloth, and lighter colored plaid pantaloons.

I will give the above reward if taken out of the county, and in any of the States, or fifty dollars if taken in the county or the District of Columbia, and secured so that I get him again.  JOHN W. ANDERSON.


A man calling himself Alfred Homer, answering to the above description, came to the Vigilance Committee in June, 1856.  As a memorial we transferred the advertisement of John W. Anderson to our record book, and concluded to let that suffice.  Alfred, however, gave a full description of his master’s character, and the motives which impelled him to seek his freedom.  He was listened to attentively, but his story was not entered on the book.

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William was about twenty years of age, black, usual size, and a lover of liberty.  He had heard of Canada, had formed a very favorable opinion of the country and was very desirous of seeing it.  The man who had habitually robbed him of his hire, was a “stout-built, ill-natured man,” a farmer, by the name of William Hyson.

To meet the expenses of an extensive building enterprise which he had undertaken, it was apparent that Hyson would have to sell some of his property.  William and some six others of the servants got wind of the fact that they would stand a chance of being in the market soon.  Not relishing the idea of going further South they unanimously resolved to emigrate to Canada.  Accordingly they borrowed a horse from Dr. Wise, and another from H.K.  Tice, and a carriage from F.J.  Posey, and Joseph P. Mong’s buggy (so it was stated in the Baltimore Sun, of May 27th), and off they started for the promised land.  The horses and carriages were all captured at Chambersburg, a day or two after they set out, but the rest of the property hurried on to the Committee.  How Mr. Hyson raised the money to carry out his enterprise, William and his “ungrateful” fellow-servants seemed not to be concerned.

Belinda Bivans.  Belinda was a large woman, thirty years of age, wholly black, and fled from Mr. Hyson, in company with William, and those above referred to, with the idea of reaching Canada, whither her father had fled eight years before.

She was evidently pleased with the idea of getting away from her ill-natured mistress, from poor fare and hard work without pay.  She had experienced much hardship, and had become weary of her trial in bondage.  She had been married, but her husband had died, leaving her with two little girls to care for, both of whom she succeeded in bringing away with her.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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