The Underground Railroad eBook

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

June 4, 1857.—­Edward is a hardy and firm-looking young man of twenty-four years of age, chestnut color, medium size, and “likely,”—­would doubtless bring $1,400 in the market.  He had been held as the property of the widow, “Betsy Brown,” who resided near Mill Green P.O., in Harford county, Md.  “She was a very bad woman; would go to church every Sunday, come home and go to fighting amongst the colored people; was never satisfied; she treated my mother very hard, (said Ed.); would beat her with a walking-stick, &c.  She was an old woman and belonged to the Catholic Church.  Over her slaves she kept an overseer, who was a very wicked man; very bad on colored people; his name was ‘Bill Eddy;’ Elizabeth Brown owned twelve head.”

Henry is of a brown skin, a good-looking young man, only nineteen years of age, whose prepossessing appearance would insure a high price for him in the market—­perhaps $1,700.  With Edward, he testifies to the meanness of Mrs. Betsy Brown, as well as to his own longing desire for freedom.  Being a fellow-servant with Edward, Henry was a party to the plan of escape.  In slavery he left his mother and three sisters, owned by the “old woman” from whom he escaped.

James is about twenty-one years of age, full black, and medium size.  As he had been worked hard on poor fare, he concluded to leave, in company with his brother and two cousins, leaving his parents in slavery, owned by the “Widow Pyle,” who was also the owner of himself.  “She was upwards of eighty, very passionate and ill-natured, although a member of the Presbyterian Church.”  James may be worth $1,400.

Stephen is a brother of James’, and is about the same size, though a year older.  His experience differed in no material respect from his brother’s; was owned by the same woman, whom he “hated for her bad treatment” of him.  Would bring $1,400, perhaps.

In substance, and to a considerable extent in the exact words, these facts are given as they came from the lips of the passengers, who, though having been kept in ignorance and bondage, seemed to have their eyes fully open to the wrongs that had been heaped upon them, and were singularly determined to reach free soil at all hazards.  The Committee willingly attended to their financial and other wants, and cheered them on with encouraging advice.

They were indebted to “The Baltimore Sun” for the advertisement information.  And here it may be further added, that the “Sun” was quite famous for this kind of U.G.R.R. literature, and on that account alone the Committee subscribed for it daily, and never failed to scan closely certain columns, illustrated with a black man running away with a bundle on his back.  Many of these popular illustrations and advertisements were preserved, many others were sent away to friends at a distance, who took a special interest in the U.G.R.R. matters.  Friends and stockholders in England used to take a great interest in seeing how the fine arts, in these particulars, were encouraged in the South ("the land of chivalry").

Project Gutenberg
The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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