The Underground Railroad eBook

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

Henry, his companion, was also from Havre De Grace.  He had had trouble with a man by the name of Amos Barnes, or in other words Barnes claimed to own him, just as he owned a horse or a mule, and daily controlled him in about the same manner that he would manage the animals above alluded to.  Henry could find no justification for such treatment.  He suffered greatly under the said Barnes, and finally his eyes were open to see that there was an Underground Rail Road for the benefit of all such slavery-sick souls as himself.  So he got a ticket as soon as possible, and came through without accident, leaving Amos Barnes to do the best he could for a living.  This candidate for Canada was twenty-one years of age, and a likely-looking boy.

Joseph Henry Hill.  The spirit of freedom in this passenger was truly the “one idea” notion.  At the age of twenty-eight his purpose to free himself by escaping on the Underground Rail Road was successfully carried into effect, although not without difficulty.  Joseph was a fair specimen of a man physically and mentally, could read and write, and thereby keep the run of matters of interest on the Slavery question.

James Thomas, Jr., a tobacco merchant, in Richmond, had Joe down in his ledger as a marketable piece of property, or a handy machine to save labor, and make money.  To Joe’s great joy he heard the sound of the Underground Rail Road bell in Richmond,—­had a satisfactory interview with the conductor,—­received a favorable response, and was soon a traveler on his way to Canada.  He left his mother, a free woman, and two sisters in chains.  He had been sold twice, but he never meant to be sold again.

* * * * *

ARRIVAL FROM RICHMOND, 1859.

CORNELIUS HENRY JOHNSON.  FACE CANADA-WARD FOR YEARS.

Quite an agreeable interview took place between Cornelius and the Committee.  He gave his experience of Slavery pretty fully, and the Committee enlightened him as to the workings of the Underground Rail Road, the value of freedom, and the safety of Canada as a refuge.

Cornelius was a single man, thirty-six years of age, full black, medium size, and intelligent.  He stated that he had had his face set toward Canada for a long while.  Three times he had made an effort to get out of the prison-house.  “Within the last four or five years, times have gone pretty hard with me.  My mistress, Mrs. Mary F. Price, had lately put me in charge of her brother, Samuel M. Bailey, a tobacco merchant of Richmond.  Both believed in nothing as they did in Slavery; they would sooner see a black man dead than free.  They were about second class in society.  He and his sister own well on to one hundred head, though within the last few years he has been thinning off the number by sale.  I was allowed one dollar a week for my board; one dollar is the usual allowance for slaves in my situation.  On Christmas week he allowed

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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