The Underground Railroad eBook

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

He left his mother, Louisa, three brothers and three sisters, namely:  Andrew, Mary, Charity, Margaret, Lewis and Samuel, all slaves.  His desire to escape brought the thought home to his mind with great emphasis, that he was parting with his kinsfolk, to see them perhaps, no more on earth; that however, happily he might be situated in freedom, he would have the painful reflection ever present with him, that those he most loved in this world, were slaves—­“knocked and beat about—­and made to work out in all weathers.”  It was this that made many falter and give up their purpose to gain their freedom by flight, but Randolph was not one of this class.  His young heart loved freedom too well to waver.  True to his love of liberty, he left all, followed the north star, and was delivered.

Thomas, an older companion of Philip and Randolph, was twenty-five years of age, full black, and looked as if he could appreciate the schoolroom and books, and take care of himself in Canada or any other free country.  Mary Howard was the name of the individual that he was compelled to address as “mistress.”  He said, however, that “she was a very good woman to her servants,” and she had a great many.  She had sons, but they turned out to be drunkards, and followed no business; at one time, each of them had been set up in business, but as they would not attend to it, of course they failed.  Money was needed more than ever, through their intemperate course, consequently the mistress was induced to sell her large household, as well as her plantation slaves, to Georgia.  Thomas had seen the most of them take up their sorrowful march for said State, and the only reason that he was not among them, was attributable to the fact, that he had once been owned and thought pretty well of by the brother of his mistress, who interceded in Thomas’ behalf.  This interference had the desired effect, and Thomas was not sold.  Still, his eyes were fairly opened to see his danger and to learn a valuable lesson at the same time; he, therefore, profited by it in escaping the first chance.  He left his mother Ann Williams, and one brother, James Douglass, both slaves.

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Henry affirmed, that for the last twenty years, his freedom had been promised him, and during all these long years, hardly a month had passed, that he had not fixed his hopes upon a definite time, when his bondage would end and his freedom commence.  But he had been trusting the word of a slave-holder, who had probably adopted this plan simply with a view of drawing more willing toil out of him than he could have accomplished in any other way.

Mary complained that she had suffered severely for food, and likewise for privileges.  Ezra Houpt was the name of Henry’s master, and the name of his mistress was Catharine, she was hasty and passionate; slaves were shown no quarter under her.  Mary was owned by Christian Thomas.  He was said to be not so hard, but his wife was very hard, so much so, that she would rule both master and slaves.  Her name was Mary Elizabeth.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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