The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
down, they thought they had him sure.  Indeed he thought so himself for a little while.  But we outwitted them at last, to their great chagrin.  Those were stirring times, and the people of Dover, Delaware, will long remember the time when S.D.  Burris was sold at public sale for aiding slaves to escape from their masters, and was bought by the Pennsylvania Anti-slavery Society.  I remain very truly thy friend,


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Molly escaped from her master’s farm, in Cecil county, Maryland, and found a place of refuge in the house of my cousin, John Alston, near Middletown, Delaware.  The man-hunters, headed by a constable with a search warrant, took her thence and lodged her in New Castle Jail.  This fact was duly published in the county papers, and her master went after his chattel, and having paid the expenses of her capture took immediate possession thereof.

She was hand-cuffed, and, her feet being tied together, she was placed in the wagon.  Before she left the jail, the wife of the sheriff gave her a piece of bread and butter, which her master kicked out of her hand, and swore that bread and butter was too good for her.  After this act her master took a drink of brandy and drove off.

He stopped at a tavern about four miles from New Castle and took another drink of brandy.  He then proceeded to Odessa, then called Cantwell’s Bridge, and got his dinner and more brandy, for the day was a cold one.  He had his horse fed, but gave no food to his human chattel, who remained in the wagon cold and hungry.  After sufficient rest for himself and horse he started again.  He was now twelve miles from home, on a good road, his horse was gentle, and he himself in a genial mood at the recovery of his bond-woman.  He yielded to the influence of the liquor he had imbibed and fell into a sound sleep.  Molly now determined to make another effort for her freedom.  She accordingly worked herself gradually over the tail board of the wagon, and fell heavily upon the frozen ground.  The horse and wagon passed on, and she rolled into the bushes, and waited for deliverance from her bonds.  This came from a colored man who was passing that way.  As he was neither a priest nor a Levite, he took the rope from her feet and guided her to a cabin near at hand, where she was kindly received.  Her deliverer could not take the hand-cuffs off, but promised to bring a person, during the evening, who could perform that operation.  He fulfilled his promise, and brought her that night to my house, which was in sight of the one whence she had been taken to New Castle Jail.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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