The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
to complete ascendency in America.  Not only was it dominant in the Southern States, but even in the Free States it had bowed the constituencies, society, and, in too many instances, even the churches to its will.  Commerce, linked to it by interest, lent it her support.  A great party, compactly organized and vigorously wielded, placed in its hands the power of the state.  It bestowed political offices and honors, and was thereby enabled to command the apostate homage of political ambition.  Other nations felt the prevalence in your national councils of its insolent and domineering spirit.  There was a moment, most critical in the history of America and of the world, when it seemed as though that continent, with all its resources and all its hopes, was about to become the heritage of the slave power.

    “But Providence interposes to prevent the permanent triumph of
    evil.  It interposes, not visibly or by the thunderbolt, but by
    inspiring and sustaining high moral effort and heroic lives.

“You commenced your crusade against slavery in isolation, in weakness, and in obscurity.  The emissaries of authority with difficulty found the office of the Liberator in a mean room, where its editor was aided only by a negro boy, and supported by a few insignificant persons (so the officers termed them) of all colors.  You were denounced, persecuted, and hunted down by mobs of wealthy men alarmed for the interests of their class.  You were led out by one of these mobs, and saved from their violence and the imminent peril of death, almost by a miracle.  You were not turned from your path of devotion to your cause, and to the highest interests of your country, by denunciation, persecution, or the fear of death.  You have lived to stand victorious and honored in the very stronghold of slavery; to see the flag of the republic, now truly free, replace the flag of slavery on Fort Sumter; and to proclaim the doctrines of the Liberator in the city, and beside the grave of Calhoun.
“Enemies of war, we most heartily wish, and doubt not that you wish as heartily as we do, that this deliverance could have been wrought out by peaceful means.  But the fierce passions engendered by slavery in the slaveowner, determined it otherwise; and we feel at liberty to rejoice, since the struggle was inevitable, that its issue has been the preservation, not the extinction, of all that we hold most dear.  We are, however, not more thankful for the victories of freedom in the field than for the moderation and mercy shown by the victors, which have exalted and hallowed their cause and ours in the eyes of all nations.
“We shall now watch with anxious hope the development, amidst the difficulties which still beset the regeneration of the South, of a happier order of things in the States rescued from slavery, and the growth of free communities, in which your name, with the names of your fellow-workers in the same cause, will be held in grateful and lasting remembrance.

    “Once more we welcome you to a country in which you will find
    many sincere admirers and warm friends.”

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