The Underground Railroad eBook

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

Thus in company with Andrew they embarked for an unknown shore, their entire interests entrusted to a stranger who was to bring them through difficulties and dangers seen and unseen.

Andrew was about twenty-four years of age, very tall, quite black, and bore himself manfully.  He too was of the same estate that William belonged to.  He had served on the farm as a common farm laborer.  He had had it “sometimes rough and sometimes smooth,” to use his own language.  The fear of what awaited the slaves prompted Andrew to escape.  He too was entangled with a wife and one child, with whom he parted only as a friend parts with a companion when death separates them.  Catharine was the name of Andrew’s wife; and Anna Clarissa the name of his child left in chains.

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These passengers came from the field where as slaves very few privileges had been afforded them.

Jim was about thirty-five years of age, a dark brown skin with average intellect for one in his condition.  He had toiled under John Burnham, in Dorchester county, from whom he had received hard treatment, but harder still from his mistress.  He averred that she was the cause of matters being so hard with the slaves on the place.  Jim contented himself under his lot as well as be could until within a short time of his escape when he learned that measures were on foot to sell him.  The fear of this change brought him directly to meditate upon a trip to Canada.  Being a married man he found it hard to leave his wife, Mary, but as she was also a slave, and kept in the employment of her owners at some distance from where he lived, he decided to say nothing to her of his plans, but to start when ready and do the best he could to save himself, as he saw no chance of saving her.

“GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON.”  When the above “article” gave the Committee his name they were amused and thought that he was simply jesting, having done a smart thing in conquering his master by escaping; but on a fuller investigation they found that he really bore the name, and meant to retain it in Canada.  It had been given him when a child, and in Slavery he had been familiarly called “Andy,” but since he had achieved his freedom he felt bound to be called by his proper name.

General Andrew was about twenty-seven years of age, a full black, and a man of extraordinary muscular powers, with coarse hard features, such as showed signs that it would not be safe for his master to meddle with him when the General’s blood was up.

He spoke freely of the man who claimed him as a slave, saying that his name was Shepherd Houston, of Lewistown, Delaware, and that he owned seven head of “God’s poor,” whom he compelled to labor on his farm without a cent of pay, a day’s schooling, or an hour’s freedom; furthermore, that he was a member of the Ebenezer Methodist Church, a class-leader, and an exhorter, and in outward show passed for a good Christian.  But in speaking of his practical dealings with his slaves, General said that he worked them hard, stinted them shamefully for food, and kept them all the time digging.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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