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The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,197 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.

“Would your owner be apt to pursue you?” said a member of the Committee.  “I don’t think he will.  He was after two uncles of mine, one time, saw them, and talked with them, but was made to run.”

Richard left behind his mother, step-father, two sisters, and one brother.  As a slave, he would have been considered cheap at sixteen hundred dollars.  He was a fine specimen.

* * * * *

ARRIVAL FROM CAMBRIDGE, 1857.

Silas Long and Solomon Light.  Silas and Solomon both left together from Cambridge, Md.

Silas was quite black, spare-built and about twenty-seven years of age.  He was owned by Sheriff Robert Bell, a man about “sixty years of age, and had his name up to be the hardest man in the county.”  “The Sheriff’s wife was about pretty much such a woman as he was a man—­there was not a pin’s point of difference between them.”  The fear of having to be sold caused this Silas to seek the Underground Rail Road.  Leaving his mother, one brother and one cousin, and providing himself with a Bowie-knife and a few dollars in money, he resolved to reach Canada, “or die on the way.”  Of course, when slaves reached this desperate point, the way to Canada was generally found.

Solomon was about twenty-three years of age, a good-natured-looking “article,” who also left Cambridge, and the protection of a certain Willis Branick, described as an “unaccountable mean man.”  “He never gave me any money in his life,” said Sol., “but spent it pretty freely for liquor.”  “He would not allow enough to eat, or clothing sufficient.”  And he sold Sol.’s brother the year before he fled, “because he could not whip him.”  The fear of being sold prompted Sol. to flee.  The very day he escaped he had a serious combat with two of his master’s sons.  The thumb of one of them being “badly bit,” and the other used roughly—­the ire of the master and sons was raised to a very high degree—­and the verdict went forth that “Sol. should be sold to-morrow.”  Unhesitatingly, he started for the Underground Rail Road and Canada—­and his efforts were not in vain.  Damages, $1,500.

* * * * *

“THE MOTHER OF TWELVE CHILDREN.”

OLD JANE DAVIS—­FLED TO ESCAPE THE AUCTION-BLOCK.

The appended letter, from Thomas Garrett, will serve to introduce one of the most remarkable cases that it was our privilege to report or assist: 

    WILMINGTON, 6 mo., 9th, 1857.

ESTEEMED FRIEND—­WILLIAM STILL:—­We have here in this place, at Comegys Munson’s an old colored woman, the mother of twelve children, one half of which has been sold South.  She has been so ill used, that she was compelled to leave husband and children behind, and is desirous of getting to a brother who lives at Buffalo.  She was nearly naked.  She called at my house on
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