The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
cause my heart to fail me, were it not that this generous reception is only incidentally personal to myself. (Hear, hear.) You, ladies and gentlemen, are here mainly to celebrate the triumph of humanity over its most brutal foes; to rejoice that universal emancipation has at last been proclaimed throughout the United States:  and to express, as you have already done through the mouths of the eloquent speakers who have preceded me, sentiments of peace and of good-will toward the American Republic.  Sure I am that these sentiments will be heartily reciprocated by my countrymen. (Cheers.)
I must here disclaim, with all sincerity of soul, any special praise for anything that I have done.  I have simply tried to maintain the integrity of my soul before God, and to do my duty.  (Cheers.) I have refused to go with the multitude to do evil.  I have endeavored to save my country from ruin.  I have sought to liberate such as were held captive in the house of bondage.  But all this I ought to have done.
And now, rejoicing here with you at the marvellous change which has taken place across the Atlantic, I am unable to express the satisfaction I feel in believing that, henceforth, my country will be a mighty power for good in the world.  While she held a seventh portion of her vast population in a state of chattelism, it was in vain that she boasted of her democratic principles and her free institutions; ostentatiously holding her Declaration of Independence in one hand, and brutally wielding her slave-driving lash in the other.  Marvellous inconsistency and unparalleled assurance.  But now, God be praised, she is free, free to advance the cause of liberty throughout the world. (Loud cheers.)
Sir, this is not the first time I have been in England.  I have been here three times before on anti-slavery missions; and wherever I traveled, I was always exultantly told, “Slaves cannot breathe in England!” Now, at last, I am at liberty to say, and I came over with the purpose to say it, “Slaves cannot breathe in America!” (Cheers.) And so England and America stand side by side in the cause of negro emancipation; and side by side may they stand in all that is just and noble and good, leading the way gloriously in the world’s redemption. (Loud cheers.)
I came to this country for the first time in 1833, to undeceive Wilberforce, Clarkson, and other eminent philanthropists, in regard to the real character, tendency, and object of the American Colonization Society.  I am happy to say that I quickly succeeded in doing so.  Before leaving, I had the pleasure of receiving a protest against that Society as an obstruction to the cause of freedom throughout the world, and, consequently, as undeserving of British confidence and patronage, signed by William Wilberforce, Thomas Fowell Buxton, Zachary Macaulay, and other illustrious philanthropists.  On arriving in London I received a polite invitation
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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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