The Underground Railroad eBook

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

Soon after his retirement from public life, he united himself with the Society of Friends, but was much too radical to be an acceptable addition.  For a long time he was endured rather than endorsed, and it was only when such anti-slavery feelings as he cherished became generally diffused throughout the Society, that he found the unity he desired and expected.  Whatever may have been his trials here or elsewhere, he found a rich reward for his faithfulness in the intellectual and moral growth which he attained by association with the most advanced minds of the time, and he has often been heard to say that no part of his life has been more fully and generously compensated than that devoted to the Anti-slavery cause.

His home, near Phoenixville, Chester county, Pa., was an important station on the Underground Rail Road, the majority of fugitives proceeding through the southern rural districts of Eastern Pennsylvania, passing through his hands.  At all times he was deeply interested in their welfare, and in his hospitality towards them, had the entire sympathy and co-operation of his family, they, like himself, being earnest abolitionists, but his more important duty of influencing public sentiment in favor of freedom, overshadowed his labors in this department.  In steadfastness and integrity he stood beside Findley Coates and Thomas Whitson, a trio who will long be remembered in their native State.

So long as Dr. B. Fussell resided in the northern section of Chester county, he and Elijah F. Pennypacker, were companions in Anti-slavery and other reform labors, as well as in business on the Underground Rail Road.  Differing widely in temperament and mental structure, these two men were harmonious in spirit, and a close bond of sympathy and affection existed between them.  It was a mutual pleasure to work as brothers, and afterward to rejoice together in labor accomplished.  One of the last visits which roused the flickering animation of the dying physician, was from this friend of more vigorous years, and the voice which gave fitting expression to the worth of the departed, at his funeral, was that of Elijah F. Pennypacker.

Like that of the highest grade of men everywhere, his appreciation of woman has ever been keen and true, and demanding the full rights of humanity, he makes no distinction, either on account of sex or color.  In his own family, he has always encouraged the pursuit of any occupation congenial to the person choosing it; whether or not, it were a departure from the routine of custom, and in educational advantages he has ever demanded the widest possible culture for all.  Wherever known, he is estimated as a pillar in the temperance cause.  Gentle, modest, courteous and benignant, he combines, in a remarkable degree, strength and tenderness, courage and sympathy.  At one time, holding at bay the powers of evil and baffling the most determined opponents by his manly adherence to right; at another he may be found yielding to impressions

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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