The Underground Railroad eBook

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

Prior to the time that the two children were taken from their mother, she had been allowed to live with her husband and children, independently of her master, by supporting herself and them with the white-wash brush, wash-tub, etc.  For this privilege the mother doubtless worked with double energy, and the master, in all probability, was largely the gainer, as the children were no expense to him in their infancy; but when they began to be old enough to hire out, or bring high prices in the market, he snatched away two of the finest articles, and the powerless father was immediately rendered a fit subject for the mad-house; but the brave hearted mother looked up to God, resolved to wait patiently until in a good Providence the way might open to escape with her remaining children to Canada.

Year in and year out she had suffered to provide food and raiment for her little ones.  Many times in going out to do days’ work she would be compelled to leave her children, not knowing whether during her absence they would fall victims to fire, or be carried off by the master.  But she possessed a well tried faith, which in her flight kept her from despondency.  Under her former lot she scarcely murmured, but declared that she had never been at ease in Slavery a day after the birth of her first-born.  The desire to go to some part of the world where she could have the control and comfort of her children, had always been a prevailing idea with her.  “It almost broke my heart,” she said, “when he came and took my children away as soon as they were big enough to hand me a drink of water.  My husband was always very kind to me, and I had often wanted him to run away with me and the children, but I could not get him in the notion; he did not feel that he could, and so he stayed, and died broken-hearted, crazy.  I was owned by a man named Joseph Brown; he owned property in Milford, and he had a place in Vicksburg, and some of his time he spends there, and some of the time he lives in Milford.  This Fall he said he was going to take four of my oldest children and two other servants to Vicksburg.  I just happened to hear of this news in time.  My master was wanting to keep me in the dark about taking them, for fear that something might happen.  My master is very sly; he is a tall, slim man, with a smooth face, bald head, light hair, long and sharp nose, swears very hard, and drinks.  He is a widower, and is rich.”

On the road the poor mother, with her travel-worn children became desperately alarmed, fearing that they were betrayed.  But God had provided better things for her; her strength and hope were soon fully restored, and she was lucky enough to fall into the right hands.  It was a special pleasure to aid such a mother.  Her arrival in Canada was announced by Rev. H. Wilson as follows: 

    NIAGARA CITY, Nov. 30th, 1858.

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