The Underground Railroad eBook

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

“How did you like him?” inquired a member of the Committee.

“I despised him,” was Jenny’s prompt answer.

“Why did you despise him?”

“Because he had such mean ways with him,” said Jenny.  She then went on to remark as follows:—­“Coming there, taking so much authority over other people’s servants.  He was so mean that he broke up all the privileges the servants had before he came.  He stopped all hands from raising chickens, pigs, etc.  He don’t like to see them hold up their heads above their shoulders.”  Didn’t he preach? she was asked.  “Yes, but I never heard him preach; I have heard him pray though.  On Thursday nights, when he would not want the servants to go into town to meeting, he would keep up until it would be too late for them to go.  He is now carrying on the farm, and follows butchering.  He has not yet sold any of the slaves, but has threatened to sell all hands to the trader.”

Jenny once had a husband, but he went to Canada, and that was all she could tell about him, as she had never had a letter or any direct information from him since he left.  That she was childless, she regarded as a matter of great satisfaction, considering all the circumstances.

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Considering themselves trampled upon by their fellow-men, unitedly resolved to seek a better country.

William was pained with the idea that so much of his time had already been used up, as he was then thirty-six years of age.  Yet he thought that it would do no good to mourn over the past, but do what he intended to do quickly.  The master whom he had served, he called, “Master Lynchum.”  He was a farmer, and knew full well how to use severity with the slaves; but had never practiced showing favors, or allowing privileges of any kind.  True he did not flog, but he resorted to other means of punishment when he desired to make the slaves feel that he was master.  William left his mother, Harriet Brown, three sisters, and one brother,—­Francis, Mary, Eliza, and Robert.  They were all free but Eliza.

Seven weeks William and James were under the painful anxiety of trying to escape, but conscious of the snares and dangers on the road, and desirous of success, they did not feel at liberty to move, save as they saw their way clear.  This well-exercised sagacity was strongly marked in the intellectual region of William’s head.

James Henson was a man of rather slender build.  From exposure in traveling he took a severe cold and was suffering with sore throat.  He and Mrs. Maria Thomas disagreed.  She set herself up to be “Jim’s” mistress and owner.  For some cause or other Jim was unwilling to fill this station longer.  He had been hired out by his mistress, who received one hundred dollars per annum; and, for aught Jim knew,

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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