The Underground Railroad eBook

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

In reference to the church relations of her master and mistress, she represented the former as a backslider, and added that money was his church; of the latter she said, “she would go and take the sacrament, come back and the old boy would be in her as big as a horse.”  Belinda could see but little difference between her master and mistress.

Joseph Winston.  In the Richmond Dispatch, of June 9th, the following advertisement was found: 

    ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.—­Ran away from the subscriber,
    RUNAWAY.—­$200 REWARD will be given if taken in the state, and
    $500 if taken out of the state.

    [Illustration:  ]

Run away, my negro boy JOE, sometimes called JOE WINSTON; about 23 years old, a little over 5 feet high, rather stout-built, dark ginger-bread color, small moustache, stammers badly when confused or spoken to, took along two or three suits of clothes, one a blue dress coat with brass buttons, black pants, and patent leather shoes, white hat, silver watch with gold chain; was last seen in this city on Tuesday last, had a pass to Hanover county, and supposed to be making his way towards York River, for the purpose of getting on board some coasting vessel.


The passenger above described reached the Underground Rail Road station, June 6th, 1857.

“Why did you leave your master?” said a member of the Committee to Joe.  “I left because there was no enjoyment in slavery for colored people.”  After stating how the slaves were treated he added, “I was working all the time for master and he was receiving all my money for my daily labor.”  “What business did your master follow?” inquired the Committee.  “He was a carpenter by trade.”  “What kind of a looking man was he?” again inquired the Committee.  “He was a large, stout man, don’t swear, but lies and cheats.”  Joe admitted that he had been treated very well all his life, with the exception of being deprived of his freedom.  For eight years prior to his escape he had been hired out, a part of the time as porter in a grocery store, the remainder as bar-tender in a saloon.  At the time of his escape he was worth twenty-two dollars per month to his master.  Joe had to do overwork and thus procure clothing for himself.

When a small boy he resolved, that he never would work all his days as a slave for the white people.  As he advanced in years his desire for freedom increased.  An offer of fifteen hundred dollars was made for Joe, so he was informed a short time before he escaped; this caused him to move promptly in the matter of carrying out his designs touching liberty.

His parents and three brothers, slaves, were to be left; but when the decisive hour came he was equal to the emergency.  In company with William Naylor secreted in a vessel, he was brought away and delivered to the Committee for aid and counsel, which he received, and thus ended his bondage.  The reward offered by his master, Samuel Ellis, proved of no avail.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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