The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,197 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.

Witness.—­“I don’t know when Dr. P. died; I can’t tell the year; I should suppose about fourteen years ago; I was at the funeral, and helped to make his coffin; it was in the fall, I think; it was after the camp-meeting I spoke of; at that time I went regularly, but not of late; I have no certain recollection of the year he died; I kept a record of the event of my conversion, and have referred to it often.  It has been a reference every year, and perhaps a thousand times a year; it was in the Bible, and I was in the habit of looking into it; I was in the habit of turning over the leaves of this precious book; I think it was eighteen years ago; can’t say I’m certain; can’t say it was more than twelve years; Dr. P. left six children; two remain in our country, and one in Louisiana, and the one, who is here, making four; I have no interest in the fugitive; I made no contract in regard to this case; there was an offer; are you waiting for an answer? the offer was this, that I was to come on after my fugitive, and if I did not get him they were to pay my expenses; I hesitated about coming; it was a long time before I made up my mind; they said they would pay my expenses if I didn’t succeed in getting mine out of prison.”

In this way the above witness completely darkened counsel, and added to the weakness of his cause in a marked degree.


Zachariah Bowen recalled.—­“I didn’t come here on any terms; I hardly understand what you mean by terms; I made no contract; I came upon my own book; there was no contract; I have no expectations; I don’t know that Dr. P. ever manumitted any female slaves; I never knew that she was in the family way when she ran away; I heard of it about that time; she ran off in the fall of 1828.  Dr. P. told me so; in the fall of 1828; in 1825, ’26, ’27, she lived with my brother; in 1825 I lived there; in 1827 and ’28 I lived with Dr. P. I moved there and was overseer for him; I was overseer for fifteen years for him; two years at his house; I ceased to be his overseer in 1841, I think; he was living in 1841; I am certain of that year, I think; Dr. Purnell died in 1844, I feel certain; I said to Mr. Purnell that I did not know what ailed the other Mr. Bowen, for the doctor died in 1844; he died in the latter part of the Spring of 1844; Mr. Bowen made a mistake in saying it was eighteen years ago; if you recall him he will rectify the mistake, I think; several slaves escaped from Dr. Purnell; a boy, that lived with my brother, ran away in 1827; the others were not hired to my brother; I don’t know that I could tell the exact time, nor the year; the doctor used to say to us, there is another of my niggers ran away; the reason that I can tell when Mahala ran away, is because she took a husband and ran away; I was married that year; the reason I cannot tell about the others is, because they went at different times in five years; the first who ran away before Mahala, was named Grace; she went in 1827; I don’t know when the last went, or who it was.”

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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