The Underground Railroad eBook

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

With this interesting case our narratives end, except such facts of a like kind as may be connected with some of the sketches of stockholders.  A large number on the record book must be omitted.  This is partly owing to the fact that during the first few years of our connection with the Underground Rail Road, so little was written out in the way of narratives, that would hardly be of sufficient interest to publish; and partly from the fact that, although there are exceptional cases even among those so omitted, that would be equally as interesting as many which have been inserted, time and space will not admit of further encroachment.  If in any way we have erred in the task of furnishing facts and important information touching the Underground Rail Road, it has not been in overstating the sufferings, trials, perils, and marvellous escapes of those described, but on the contrary.  In many instances after hearing the most painful narratives we had neither time nor inclination to write them out, except in the briefest manner, simply sufficient to identify parties, which we did, not dreaming that the dark cloud of Slavery was so soon to give way to the bright sunlight of Freedom.



As has already been intimated, others besides the Committee were deeply interested in The Road; indeed, the little aid actually rendered by the Committee, was comparatively insignificant, compared with the aid rendered by some who were not nominally members.  To this latter class of friends, it seems meet that we should particularly allude.  Before doing so, however, simple justice to all concerned, dictates that we should here copy the official proceedings of the first meeting and organization of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee as it existed until the very day that the ever to be remembered Emancipation Proclamation of Abraham Lincoln, rendered the services of the organization and road no longer necessary.  It reads as follows: 

    “PENNSYLVANIA FREEMAN,” December 9, 1852.

Pursuant to the motion published in last week’s “Freeman,” a meeting was held in the Anti-slavery rooms, on the evening of the 2d inst., for the purpose of organizing a Vigilance Committee.
On motion Samuel Nickless was appointed chairman, and William Still secretary.  J.M.  McKim then stated at some length, the object of the meeting.  He said, that the friends of the fugitive slave had been for some years past, embarrassed, for the want of a properly constructed active, Vigilance Committee; that the old Committee, which used to render effective service in this field of Anti-slavery labor, had become disorganized and scattered, and that for the last two or three years, the duties of this department had been performed by individuals on their own responsibility, and sometimes in
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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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