The Underground Railroad eBook

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

Although Joe left his wife and children, he did not forget them, but had strong faith they would be reunited.  After going to Canada, he addressed several letters to the Secretary of the Committee concerning his family, and as will be seen by the following, he looked with ardent hopes for their arrival: 

    TORONTO, Nov. 7th, 1857.

DEAR MR. STILL:—­As I must again send you a letter fealing myself oblidge to you for all you have done and your kindness.  Dear Sir my wife will be on to Philadelphia on the 8th 7th, and I would you to look out for her and get her an ticket and send her to me Toronto.  Her name are May Ball with five children.  Please send her as soon as you can.

    Yours very truly,

    JOSEPH BALL.

    Will you please to telegrape to me, No. 31 Dummer st.

Jake, another member of the company of nine, was twenty-two years of age, of dark hue, round-made, keen eyes, and apparently a man of superior intelligence.  Unfortunately his lot had been of such a nature that no helping opportunity had been afforded for the cultivation of his mind.

He condemned in very strong terms a man by the name of Benjamin B. Chambers, who lived near Elkton, but did not there require the services of Jake, hiring Jake out just as he would have hired a horse, and likewise keeping his pay.  Jake thought that if justice could have been awarded him, Chambers would either have had to restore that of which he had wronged him, or expiate the wrong in prison.

Jake, however, stood more in awe of a young master, who was soon likely to come into power, than he did of the old master.  This son had already given Jake to understand that once in his hands it “wouldn’t be long before he would have him jingling in his pocket,” signifying, that he would sell him as soon as his father was gone.

The manner of the son stirred Jake’s very blood to boiling heat it seemed.  His suffering, and the suffering of his fellow-bondsmen had never before appeared so hard.  The idea that he must work, and be sold at the pleasure of another, made him decide to “pull up stakes,” and seek refuge elsewhere.  Such a spirit as he possessed could not rest in servitude.

Mary Ann, the wife of Jake, who accompanied him, was a pleasant-looking bride.  She said that she was owned by “Elias Rhoads, a farmer, and a pretty fair kind of a man.”  She had been treated very well.

John and Henry Dade, ages twenty and twenty-five years, were from Washington.  They belonged to the class of well-cared for slaves; at least they said that their mistress had not dealt severely with them, and they never would have consented to pass through the severe sufferings encountered on their journey, but for the strong desire they had to be free.  From Canada John wrote back as follows: 

    ST. CATHARINES, Canada.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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