The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
youngest but one of five children, and had not done with his schooling before he began to contribute to his own support; at first in Lynn, where he was set at shoemaking, at the age of eleven; afterwards in Newburyport, and finally, in 1818, at Haverhill, where he was apprenticed to a cabinet maker.  Not finding these trades suited to his taste, the same year he was indentured to Ephraim W. Allen, editor of the “Newburyport Herald,” and in the printing-office he completed his education, so far as he was to have any, with such early success, as soon to be an acceptable contributor to his employer’s paper, while the authorship of his articles was still his own secret.  As soon as his apprenticeship came to a close, in 1826, he became proprietor of the “Free Press,” in his native city, but the paper failed of support.  Seeking work as a journeyman, in Boston, he was engaged in 1827 to edit, in the interest of “total abstinence,” the “National Philanthropist," the first paper of its kind ever published.  On a change of proprietors in 1828, he was induced to join a friend in Bennington, Vt., in publishing the “Journal of the Times,” which advocated the election of John Quincy Adams for president, besides being devoted to peace, temperance, anti-slavery and other reforms.  In this town, Mr. Garrison began his agitation of the subject of Slavery, “in consequence of which there was transmitted to Congress an anti-slavery memorial, more numerously signed than any similar paper previously submitted to that body.”  It was in Bennington, too, that he received from Benjamin Lundy, who had met him the previous year at his boarding-house in Boston, an invitation to go to Baltimore, and aid him in editing the “Genius of Universal Emancipation.”

Baltimore was no strange city to Mr. Garrison.  Thither he had accompanied his mother, in 1815, serving as a chore-boy, and he had visited her just before her death, in 1823.  He took leave of Boston in the fall of 1829, after having acted as the orator of the day, July 4th, in Park Street church, and surprised his hearers by the boldness of his utterances on the subject of Slavery.  The causes of his imprisonment at Baltimore scarcely need to be repeated.  For an alleged “gross and malicious libel” on a townsman (of Newburyport) whose ship was engaged in the coastwise slave-trade, and whom he accordingly denounced in the “Genius,” he was tried and convicted, and sentenced to pay a fine of $50 and costs.  The cell in which he was confined for forty-nine days, and from which he was liberated only by the spontaneous liberality of Arthur Tappan, a perfect stranger to him, he had the satisfaction of reseeking, after the close of the war, in company with Judge Bond, but the prison had been removed.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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