The Underground Railroad eBook

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

Ebenezer had served his time in the barber’s shop.  On escaping he forsook his parents, and eight brothers and sisters.  As he was so intelligent, the Committee believed he would make his mark in life some time.

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John was a sturdy-looking chattel, but possessed far less intelligence than the generality of passengers.  He was not too old, however, to improve.  The fact that he had spirit enough to resent the harsh treatment of one Albert Lewis, a small farmer, who claimed to own him, showed that he was by no means a hopeless case.  With all his apparent stupidity he knew enough to give his master the name of a “free whiskey drinker,” likewise of “beating and fighting the slaves.”  It was on this account that John was compelled to escape.

Ann Mountain arrived from Delaware with her child about the same time that John did, but not in company with him; they met at the station in Philadelphia.  That Slavery had crippled her in every respect was very discernible; this poor woman had suffered from cuffing, etc., until she could no longer endure her oppression.  Taking her child in her arms, she sought refuge beyond the borders of slave territory.  Ann was about twenty-two years of age, her child not quite a year old.  They were considered entitled to much pity.

William was forty-one years of age, dark, ordinary size, and intelligent.  He fled from Richmond, where he had been held by Alexander Royster, the owner of fifteen slaves, and a tobacco merchant.  William said that his master was a man of very savage temper, short, and crabbed.  As to his social relations, William said that he was “a member of nothing now but a liquor barrel.”

Knowing that his master and mistress labored under the delusion that he was silly enough to look up to them as kind-hearted slave-holders, to whom he should feel himself indebted for everything, William thought that they would be sadly puzzled to conjecture what had become of him.  He was sure that they would be slow to believe that he had gone to Canada.  Until within the last five years he had enjoyed many privileges as a slave, but he had since found it not so easy to submit to the requirements of Slavery.  He left his wife, Nancy, and two children.

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The subject of this sketch was a young mulatto woman, twenty-three years of age, who fled from the City of Baltimore.  Both before and after her escape Roberta appeared to appreciate her situation most fully.  Her language concerning freedom had in it the ring of common sense, as had her remarks touching her slave life.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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