The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
Thus terminated this terrible affair, which cost the State of Pennsylvania nearly $3000, as well as a heavy expense to many citizens of Baltimore, and those of this county who took an active part, and whilst it is to be hoped that the principal actor in this sad transaction fully atoned for his evil deeds, whilst living, and his friends may have had a right to eulogize him after death, they should not have gone out of their way to traduce other parties, dead and alive, whose reputations were known by living witnesses, to be beyond reproach.


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Tucker reported that he fled from Major Isaac Roney, of Dinwiddie Court-House, Virginia, in the Christmas week prior to his arrival; that he reached Petersburg and then encountered difficulties of the most trying nature; he next stopped at City Point, and was equally unfortunate there.  From exposure in the cold he was severely frost-bitten.  While suffering from the frost he was kept in the poor-house.  After partial recovery he made his way to Baltimore and thence to Philadelphia.  Once or twice he was captured and carried back.  The Committee suspected that he was a cunning impostor who had learned how to tell a tale of suffering simply to excite the sympathies of the benevolent; yet, with the map of Virginia before them, he proved himself familiar with localities adjacent to the neighborhood in which he was raised.  Although not satisfied with his statement, the Committee decided to aid him.

Passmore Williamson, who had taken a deep interest in the examination of his case, in order to ascertain the facts, addressed the following note to Major Roney, using as his signature the name of his friend, Wm. J. Canby: 

    PHILADELPHIA, June 24, 1854.


DEAR SIR:—­Within a few days past a colored man has been traversing the streets of this city, exciting the sympathies of the benevolent by the recital of a tale of the hardships he has lately passed through.  He represents himself to be Tucker White, your slave, a carpenter by trade, and that he escaped from your service last Christmas.  He is quite dark in complexion, rather over the medium size, and a little lame; the latter, probably, from the effects of frost on his feet, from which, he alleges, he suffered severely.
He seems to be well acquainted with the adjoining localities, but altogether his narrative is almost incredible, and I am therefore induced to make the inquiry whether such a man has escaped from your service or lately left your neighborhood.  We are perfectly flooded with such vagrants.  It would be a great relief if some measures could be resorted to to keep them under legal restraint.  An answer addressed to No. 73 South 4th Street, above Walnut, will reach me, and oblige, Yours, &c.

    WM. J. CANBY.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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