The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
I might refer to others, to Charles Sumner, the well-known statesman, and Horace Greeley, I think the first of journalists in the United States, if not the first of journalists in the world. (Hear, hear.) But besides these, there were of noble women not a few.  There was Lydia Maria Child; there were the two sisters, Sarah and Angelina Grimke, ladies who came from South Carolina, who liberated their slaves, and devoted all they had to the service of this just cause; and Maria Weston Chapman, of whom Miss Martineau speaks in terms which, though I do not exactly recollect them, yet I know described her as noble-minded, beautiful and good.  It may be that there are some of her family who are now within the sound of my voice.  If it be so, all I have to say is, that I hope they will feel, in addition to all they have felt heretofore as to the character of their mother, that we who are here can appreciate her services, and the services of all who were united with her as co-operators in this great and worthy cause.  But there was another whose name must not be forgotten, a man whose name must live for ever in history, Elijah P. Lovejoy, who in the free State of Illinois laid down his life for the cause. (Hear, hear.) When I read that article by Harriet Martineau, and the description of those men and women there given, I was led, I know not how, to think of a very striking passage which I am sure must be familiar to most here, because it is to be found in the Epistle to the Hebrews.  After the writer of that epistle has described the great men and fathers of the nation, he says:  “Time would fail me to tell of Gideon, of Barak, of Samson, of Jephtha, of David, of Samuel, and the Prophets, who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”  I ask if this grand passage of the inspired writer may not be applied to that heroic band who have made America the perpetual home of freedom?  (Enthusiastic cheering.)
Thus, in spite of all that persecution could do, opinion grew in the North in favor of freedom; but in the South, alas! in favor of that most devilish delusion that slavery was a Divine institution.  The moment that idea took possession of the South war was inevitable.  Neither fact nor argument, nor counsel, nor philosophy, nor religion, could by any possibility affect the discussion of the question when once the Church leaders of the South had taught their people that slavery was a Divine institution; for then they took their stand on other and different, and what they in their blindness thought higher grounds, and they said, “Evil! be thou my good;” and so they exchanged light for darkness, and freedom for bondage, and good for evil, and, if you like, heaven for hell. * * * *
There was a universal feeling in the
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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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