The Underground Railroad eBook

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

In the way of general treatment, however, Darius said that bodily he had escaped “abuses tolerably well.”  He left in slavery his father and mother, four brothers and one sister.  He arrived by one of the Richmond boats.

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The above-named escaped from a “Dutchman” by the name of Gallipappick, who was in the confectionery business.  For the credit of our German citizens, it may be said, that slave-holders within their ranks were very few.  This was a rare case.  The Committee were a little curious to know how the German branch of civilization conducted when given unlimited control over human beings.

In answering the requisite questions, and in making his statement, Townsend gave entire satisfaction.  His German master he spoke of as being a tolerably fair man, “considering his origin.”  At least he (Townsend), had not suffered much from him; but he spoke of a woman, about sixty, who had been used very badly under this Dutchman.  He not only worked her very hard, but, at the same time, he would beat her over the head, and that in the most savage manner.  His mistress was also “Dutch,” a “great swabby, fat woman,” with a very ill disposition.  Master and mistress were both members of the Episcopal Church.  “Mistress drank, that was the reason she was so disagreeable.”

Townsend had been a married man for about seven months only.  In his effort to obtain his own freedom he sought diligently to deliver his young wife.  They were united heart and hand in the one great purpose to reach free land, but unfortunately the pursuers were on their track; the wife was captured and carried back, but the husband escaped.  It was particularly with a view of saving his poor wife that Townsend was induced to peril his life, for she (the wife) was not owned by the same party who owned Townsend, and was on the eve of being taken by her owners some fifty miles distant into the country, where the chances for intercourse between husband and wife would no longer be favorable.  Rather than submit to such an outrage, Townsend and his wife made the attempt aforementioned.

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Edward, a youthful passenger about twenty-one years of age, slow of speech, with a stammering utterance, and apparently crushed in spirits, claimed succor and aid of the Committee.  At first the Committee felt a little puzzled to understand, how one, apparently so deficient, could succeed in surmounting the usual difficulties consequent upon traveling, via the Underground Rail Road; but in conversing with him, they found him possessed of more intelligence than they had supposed; indeed, they perceived that he could read and write a little, and that what he lacked in aptness of speech, he supplied as a thinker, and although he was slow he was sure.  He was owned by a man named John Lewis, who also owned about seventy head of slaves, whom he kept on farms near the mouth of the Sassafras River, in Sussex county.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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