The Underground Railroad eBook

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

    Also, Hanson, copper complexion, well made, sickly look, medium
    height, stoops when walking, quick when spoken to; aged about 30
    years.

Three hundred dollars will be paid for the apprehension and delivery of Bill, if caught out of the State, and two hundred if in the State.  Two hundred dollars for Hanson if out of the State, and one hundred dollars if in the State.

    W. BAKER DORSEY,

    HAMMOND DORSEY,

    Savage P.O., Howard county, Md.

Such notoriety as was given them by the above advertisement, did not in the least damage Bill and Hanson in the estimation of the Committee.  It was rather pleasing to know that they were of so much account as to call forth such a public expression from the Messrs. Dorsey.  Besides it saved the Committee the necessity of writing out a description of them, the only fault found with the advertisement being in Reference to their ages.  Bill, for instance, was put down ten years younger than he claimed to be.  Which was correct, Bill or his master?  The Committee were inclined to believe Bill in preference to his master, for the simple reason that he seemed to account satisfactorily for his master’s making him so young:  he (the master) could sell him for much more at thirty-seven than at forty-seven.  Unscrupulous horse-jockies and traders in their fellow-men were about on a par as to that kind of sharp practice.

Hanson, instead of being only thirty, declared that he was thirty-seven the fifteenth of February.  These errors are noticed and corrected because it is barely possible that Bill and Hanson may still be lost to their relatives, who may be inquiring and hunting in every direction for them, and as many others may turn to these records with hope, it is, therefore, doubly important that these descriptions shall be as far as possible, correct, especially as regards ages.

Hanson laughed heartily over the idea that he looked “sickly.”  While on the Underground Rail Road, he looked very far from sickly; on the contrary, a more healthy, fat, and stout-looking piece of property no one need wish to behold, than was this same Hanson.  He confessed, however, that for some time previous to his departure, he had feigned sickness,—­told his master that he was “sick all over.”  “Ten times a day Hanson said they would ask him how he was, but was not willing to make his task much lighter.”  The following description was given of his master, and his reason for leaving him: 

“My master was a red-faced farmer, severe temper, would curse, and swear, and drink, and sell his slaves whenever he felt like it.  My mistress was a pretty cross, curious kind of a woman too, though she was a member of the Protestant Church.  They were rich, and had big farms and a good many slaves.  They didn’t allow me any provisions hardly; I had a wife, but they did not allow me to go see her, only once in a great while.”

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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