The Underground Railroad eBook

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

Grace Anna still continues here, working for human welfare in such fields as still demand the laborer’s toil; and finding mental profit and delight in the pursuit of natural science.



Among the many fugitives whose stories were full of interest, was that of a woman named Rachel.  She was tall, muscular, slight, with an extremely sensitive nervous organization, a brain of large size, and an expression of remarkable sagacity and quickness.  She was living in West Chester, Chester county, Pa., when attempts were made to retake her to Slavery.  With wonderful swiftness and adroitness she eluded pursuit, and was soon hurried away.  Speedily reaching our house, she hid herself away during the day, and in the evening, as a place of greater safety, she was transferred to the house of our uncle, Dr. Fussell, then residing on an adjoining farm.  As was his wont, this kind-hearted man soon entered into a conversation with her, and in a few minutes discovered that she had once been a pupil of his during his residence in Maryland many years before.

At the moment of recognition she sprang up, overwhelming him with her manifestations of delight, crying:  “You Dr. Fussell?  You Dr. Fussell?  Don’t you remember me?  I’m Rache—­Cunningham’s Rache, down at Bush River Neck.”  Then receding to view him better, “Lord bless de child! how he is grown!”

Her tongue once loosened, she poured forth her whole history, expressing in every lineament her concentrated abhorrence of her libertine master, “Mort Cunningham.”  Over that story, it is needful to pass lightly, simply saying, she endured all outraged nature could endure and survive.  For the sake of humanity we may trust there were few such fiends even among southern masters as this monster in human shape.  Cunningham finally sold her to go further South, with a master whose name cannot now be recalled.  This man was in ill health, and after a time he and his wife started northward, bringing Rache with them.  On the voyage the master grew worse, and one night when he was about to die, a fearful storm arose, which Rache devoutly believed was sent from Heaven.  In describing this scene, she impersonated her surroundings with wonderful vividness and marvellous power.  At one moment she was the howling wind; at another the tumultuous sea—­then the lurching ship—­the bellowing cow frightened by the storm—­the devil, who came to carry away her master’s soul, and finally the weak, dying man, as he passed to eternity.

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