The Underground Railroad eBook

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

Such was William’s story.  He was twenty-three years of age, of a light brown color, well-made.  Judging from his expressions and apparent feelings against his master and mistress, he would be willing to endure many years of suffering in Canada snows, before he would apply to them for care and protection.

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One afternoon, the quiet of the Anti-Slavery Office was suddenly agitated by the contents of a letter, privately placed in the hands of J. Miller McKim by one of the clerks of the Philadelphia Ledger office.  Said letter it would seem, had been dropped into the box of the Ledger office, instead of the U.S. box (one of which, was also in the Ledger office), through a mistake, and seeing that it bore the name of a well-known slave-catcher, Alberti, the clerk had a great desire to know its import.  Whether it was or was not sealed, the writer cannot say, it certainly was not sealed when it reached the Anti-Slavery office.  It stated that a lady from Maryland was then in Philadelphia, stopping at a boarding-house on Arch Street, and that she was very desirous of seeing the above-mentioned Alberti, with a view of obtaining his services to help catch an Underground Rail Road sojourner, whom she claimed as her property.  That she wrote the letter could not be proved, but that it was sent by her consent, there was no doubt.  In order to save the poor fellow from his impending doom, it seemed that nothing would avail but a bold strategical movement.  Mr. McKim proposed to find some one who would be willing to answer for Alberti.  Cyrus Whitson, a member of the Committee, in Mr. McKim’s judgment, could manage the matter successfully.  At that time, C. Whitson was engaged in the Free Labor store, at the corner of Fifth and Cherry streets, near the Anti-Slavery office.  On being sent for, he immediately answered the summons, and Mr. McKim at once made known to him his plan, which was to save a fellow-man from being dragged back to bondage, by visiting the lady, and ascertaining from her in conversation the whereabouts of the fugitives, the names of the witnesses, and all the particulars.  Nothing could have delighted the shrewd Whitson better; he saw just how he could effect the matter, without the slightest probable failure.  So off he started for the boarding-house.

Arriving, he rang the bell, and when the servant appeared, he asked if Miss Wilson, from Maryland, was stopping there.  “She is,” was the answer.  “I wish to see her.”  “Walk in the parlor, sir.”  In went Mr. W., with his big whiskers.  Soon Miss Wilson entered the parlor, a tall, and rather fine-looking well dressed lady.  Mr. Whitson bowing, politely addressed her, substantially thus: 

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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