The Underground Railroad eBook

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

Jacob Brown was eating the bread of Slavery in North Carolina.  A name-sake of his by the name of Lewis Brown, living in Washington, according to the slave code of that city had Jacob in fetters, and was exercising about the same control over him that he exercised over cattle and horses.  While this might have been a pleasure for the master, it was painful for the slave.  The usage which Jacob had ordinarily received made him anything but contented.

At the age of twenty, he resolved that he would run away if it cost him his life.  This purpose was made known to a captain, who was in the habit of bringing passengers from the South to Philadelphia.  With an unwavering faith he took his appointed place in a private part of the vessel, and as fast as wind and tide would bring the boat he was wafted on his way Canada-ward.  Jacob was a dark man, and about full size, with hope large.

James Harris escaped from Delaware.  A white woman, Catharine Odine by name, living near Middletown, claimed James as her man; but James did not care to work for her on the unrequited labor system.  He resolved to take the first train on the Underground Rail Road that might pass that way.  It was not a great while ere he was accommodated, and was brought safely to Philadelphia.  The regular examination was made and he passed creditably.  He was described in the book as a man of yellow complexion, good-looking, and intelligent.  After due assistance, he was regularly forwarded on to Canada.  This was in the month of November, 1856.  Afterwards nothing more was heard of him, until the receipt of the following letter from Prof.  L.D.  Mansfield, showing that he had been reunited to his wife, under amusing, as well as touching circumstances: 

    AUBURN, Dec. 15th, ’56.

DEAR BRO.  STILL:—­A very pleasant circumstance has brought you to mind, and I am always happy to be reminded of you, and of the very agreeable, though brief acquaintance which we made at Philadelphia two years since.  Last Thursday evening, while at my weekly prayer meeting, our exercises were interrupted by the appearance of Bro.  Loguen, of Syracuse, who had come on with Mrs. Harris in search of her husband, whom he had sent to my care three weeks before.  I told Bro.  L. that no such man had been at my house, and I knew nothing of him.  But I dismissed the meeting, and went with him immediately to the African Church, where the colored brethren were holding a meeting.  Bro.  L. looked through the door, and the first person whom he saw was Harris.  He was called out, when Loguen said, in a rather reproving and excited tone, “What are you doing here; didn’t I tell you to be off to Canada?  Don’t you know they are after you?  Come get your hat, and come with us, we’ll take care of you.”  The poor fellow was by this time thoroughly frightened, and really thought he had been pursued.  We conducted him nearly a mile, to the hotel where his wife was waiting for him, leaving him still
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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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