The Underground Railroad eBook

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

Bazil was only seventeen years of age.  About as near a kin to the “white folks” as to the colored people, and about as strong an opponent of slavery as any “Saxon” going of his age.  He was a brother-in-law of Israel, and accompanied him on the Underground Rail Road.  Bazil was held to service or labor by Thornton Pool, a store-keeper, and also farmer, and at the same time an ardent lover of the “cretur,” so much so that “he kept about half-drunk all the time.”  So Bazil affirmed.  The good spirit moved two of Bazil’s brothers to escape the spring before.  A few months afterwards a brother and sister were sold south.  To manage the matter smoothly, previous to selling them, the master pretended that he was “only going to hire them out a short distance from home.”  But instead of doing so he sold them south.  Bazil might be put down at nine hundred dollars.

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Both of these passengers came from Maryland.  Ordee was about thirty-five years of age, gingerbread color, well made, and intelligent.  Being allowed no chances to make anything for himself, was the excuse offered for his escape.  Though, as will appear presently, other causes also helped to make him hate his oppression.

The man who had daily robbed him, and compelled him to call him master, was a notorious “gambler,” by the name of Elijah Thompson, residing in Maryland.  “By his bad habits he had run through with his property, though in society he stood pretty tolerably high amongst some people; then again some didn’t like him, he was a mean man, all for himself.  He was a man that didn’t care anything about his servants, except to get work out of them.  When he came where the servants were working, he would snap and bite at them and if he said anything at all, it was to hurry the work on.”

“He never gave me,” said Ordee, “a half a dollar in his life.  Didn’t more than half feed, said that meat and fish was too high to eat.  As for clothing, he never gave me a new hat for every day, nor a Sunday rag in his life.”  Of his mistress, he said, “She was stingy and close,—­made him (his master) worse than what he would have been.”  Two of his brothers were sold to Georgia, and his uncle was cheated out of his freedom.  Left three brothers and two sisters in chains.  Elijah Thompson had at least fifteen hundred dollars less to sport upon by this bold step on the part of Ordee.

Richard was about twenty-two years of age, well grown, and a very likely-looking article, of a chestnut color, with more than common intelligence for a slave.

His complaints were that he had been treated “bad,” allowed “no privileges” to make anything, allowed “no Sunday clothing,” &c.  So he left the portly-looking Dr. Hughes, with no feeling of indebtedness or regret.  And as to his “cross and ill-natured” mistress, with her four children, they might whistle for his services and support.  His master had, however, some eighteen or twenty others to rob for the support of himself and family, so they were in no great danger of starving.

Project Gutenberg
The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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