The Underground Railroad eBook

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

    I will pay the above reward no matter where taken, if secured in
    jail so that I get him again.



Nace, advertised by Miss Sarah Ann Talburtt, was a remarkably good-natured looking piece of merchandise.  He gave a very interesting account of his so called mistress, how he came to leave her, etc.  Said Nace:  “My mistress was an old maid, and lived on a farm.  I was her foreman on the farm.  She lived near Marlborough Forest, in Prince George’s county, Md., about twelve miles from Washington; she was a member of the Episcopal Church.  She fed well, and quarrelled a caution, from Monday morning till Saturday night, not only with the slaves, but among the inmates of the big house.  My mistress had three sisters, all old maids living with her, and a niece besides; their names were Rebecca, Rachel, Caroline, and Sarah Ann, and a more disagreeable family of old maids could not be found in a year’s time.  To arise in the morning before my mistress, Sarah Ann, was impossible.”  Then, without making it appear that he or other of the slaves had been badly treated under Miss Talburtt, he entered upon the cause of escape, and said; “I left simply because I wanted a chance for my life; I wanted to die a free man if it pleased God to have it so.”  His wife and a grown-up son he was obliged to leave, as no opportunity offered to bring them away with him.

Dan was also of this party.  He was well tinctured with Anglo-Saxon blood.  His bondage had been in Alexandria, with a mill-wright, known by the name of James Garnett.  Dan had not been in Garnett’s hands a great while.  Mr. Garnett’s ways and manners were not altogether pleasing to him; besides, Dan stated that he was trying to sell him, and he made up his mind that at an early opportunity, he would avail himself of a ticket for Canada, via the Underground Rail Road.  He left his mother and brothers all scattered.

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These young bondmen, whilst writhing under the tortures heaped upon them, resolved, at the cost of life, to make a desperate trial for free land; to rid themselves of their fetters, at whatever peril they might have to encounter.  The land route presented less encouragement than by water; they knew but little, however, concerning either way.  After much anxious reflection, they finally decided to make their Underground Rail Road exit by water.  Having lived all their lives not far from the bay, they had some knowledge of small boats, skiffs in particular, but of course they were not the possessors of one.  Feeling that there was no time to lose, they concluded to borrow a skiff, though they should never return it.  So one Saturday evening, toward the latter part of January, the four young slaves stood on the beach near Lewes, Delaware, and cast their longing eyes in the direction of the Jersey shore.  A fierce gale was blowing, and the waves were running fearfully high; not daunted, however, but as one man they resolved to take their lives in their hands and make the bold adventure.

Project Gutenberg
The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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