The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
his hire, and threatened him with immediate sale.  He had lived in North Carolina with the doctor about two years.  As a slave, his general treatment had been favorable, except for a few months prior to his flight, which change on the part of his master led him to fear that a day of sale was nigh at hand.  In fact the seventh of July had been agreed upon when he was to be in Richmond, to take his place with others in the market on sale day; his hasty and resolute move for freedom originated from this circumstance.  He was well-known in Norfolk, and had served almost all his days in that city.  These passengers averaged about six feet, and were of uncommonly well-developed physical structure.

The pleasure of aiding such men from the horrors of Carolina Slavery was great.

* * * * *


The loss of this party likewise falls on Maryland.  With all the efforts exerted by slave-holders, they could not prevent the Underground Rail Road from bringing away passengers.

Alfred was twenty-eight years of age, with sharp features, dark color, and of medium size.  He charged one Elijah J. Johnson, a commissioner of Baltimore Co., with having deprived him of the fruits of his labor.  He had looked fully into his master’s treatment of him, and had come to the conclusion that it was wrong in every respect, for one man to make another work and then take all his wages from him; thus decided, Alfred, desiring liberty, whereby he could do better for himself felt that he must “took out” and make his way to Canada.  Nevertheless, he admitted that he had been “treated pretty well” compared with others.  True, he had “not been fed very well;” Elijah, his master, was an old man with a white head, tall and stout, and the owner of fifteen head of slaves.  At the same time, a member of St. John’s church.

Alfred had treasured up the sad remembrance against him of the sale of his mother from him when a little boy, only three years old.  While he was then too young to have retained her features in his memory, the fact had always been a painful one to reflect upon.

George was twenty-six years of age, stout, long-faced, and of dark complexion.  He looked as though he might have eagerly grasped education if the opportunity had been allowed him.  He too belonged to Elijah J. Johnson, against whom he entertained much more serious objections than Alfred.  Indeed, George did not hesitate to say with emphasis, that he neither liked his old master, mistress, nor any of the family.  Without recording his grievances in detail, a single instance will suffice of the kind of treatment to which he objected, and which afforded the pretext for his becoming a patron of the Underground Rail Road.

It was this, said George:  “I went into the corn-field and got some corn.  This made my master and mistress very mad, and about it Dr. Franklin Rodgers, my young mistress’ husband, struck me some pretty heavy blows, and knocked me with his fist, etc.”  Thus, George’s blood was raised, and he at once felt that it was high time to be getting away from such patriarchs.  It was only necessary to form a strong resolution and to start without delay.

Project Gutenberg
The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook