The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
received tidings that her son is in the hands of man-thieves.  You must listen to the impassioned appeal of the wife, whose husband’s retreat has been discovered, and whose footsteps are dogged by the blood-hounds of Slavery.  You must hear the husband, as I did, a few weeks ago, himself bound and helpless, beg you for God’s sake to save his wife.  You must see such a woman as Hannah Dellam, with her noble-looking boy at her side, pleading in vain before a pro-slavery judge, that she is of right free; that her son is entitled to his freedom; and above all, that her babe, about to be born, should be permitted to open its eyes upon the light of liberty.  You must hear the judge’s decision, remorselessly giving up the woman with her children born and unborn, into the hands of their claimants—­by them to be carried to the slave prison, and thence to be sold to a returnless distance from the remaining but scattered fragments of her once happy family.  These things you must see and hear for yourself before you can form any adequate idea of the bitterness of this cup which the unhappy children of oppression along this southern border are called upon to drink.  Manifestations like these have we been obliged either to witness ourselves, or hear the recital of from others, almost daily, for weeks together.  Our aching hearts of late, have known but little respite.  A shadow has been cast over our home circles, and a check been given to the wonted cheerfulness of our families.  One night, the night that the woman and the boy and the unborn babe received their doom, my wife, long after midnight, literally wept herself to sleep.  For the last fortnight we have had no new cases; but even now, when I go home in the evening, if I happen to look more serious than usual, my wife notices it, and asks:  “Is there another slave case?” and my little girls look up anxiously for my reply.

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Daring outrage! burglary and kidnapping!  The following letter tells its own startling and most painful story.  Every manly and generous heart must burn with indignation at the villainy it describes, and bleed with sympathy for the almost broken-hearted sufferers.

    DOWNINGTOWN, 19th, 4th mo., 1848.

“My Dear Friend:—­This morning our family was aroused by the screams of a young colored girl, who has been living with us nearly a year past; but we were awakened only in time to see her borne off by three white men, ruffians indeed, to a carriage at our door, and in an instant she was on her way to the South.  I feel so much excited by the attendant circumstances of this daring and atrocious deed, as scarcely to be able to give you a coherent account of it, but I know that it is a duty to make it known, and, I therefore write this immediately.
“As soon as the house was opened in the morning, these men who were lurking without, having a carriage in waiting in the street, entered
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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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