The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
she has stood by him in his hour of greatest need.  She has cheered the prisoner in his cell, and strengthened the martyr at the stake.  She has nerved the frail and shrinking heart of woman for high and holy deeds.  The worn and weary have rested their fainting heads upon her bosom, and gathered strength from her words and courage from her counsels.  She has been the staff of decrepit age and the joy of manhood in its strength.  She has bent over the form of lovely childhood, and suffered it to have a place in the Redeemer’s arms.  She has stood by the bed of the dying, and unveiled the glories of eternal life, gilding the darkness of the tomb with the glory of the resurrection.”

Her mind being of a strictly religious caste, the effusions from her pen all savor of a highly moral and elevating tone.

About the year 1851 she left Baltimore to seek a home in a Free State, and for a short time resided in Ohio, where she was engaged in teaching.  Contrary to her expectations, her adopted home and calling not proving satisfactory, she left that State and came to Pennsylvania as a last resort, and again engaged in teaching at Little York.  Here she not only had to encounter the trouble of dealing with unruly children, she was sorely oppressed with the thought of the condition of her people in Maryland.  Not unfrequently she gave utterance to such expressions as the following:  “Not that we have not a right to breathe the air as freely as anybody else here (in Baltimore), but we are treated worse than aliens among a people whose language we speak, whose religion we profess, and whose blood flows and mingles in our veins....  Homeless in the land of our birth and worse off than strangers in the home of our nativity.”  During her stay in York she had frequent opportunities of seeing passengers on the Underground Rail Road.  In one of her letters she thus alluded to a traveler:  “I saw a passenger per the Underground Rail Road yesterday; did he arrive safely?  Notwithstanding that abomination of the nineteenth century—­the Fugitive Slave Law—­men still determine to be free.  Notwithstanding all the darkness in which they keep the slaves, it seems that somehow light is dawning upon their minds....  These poor fugitives are a property that can walk.  Just to think that from the rainbow-crowned Niagara to the swollen waters of the Mexican Gulf, from the restless murmur of the Atlantic to the ceaseless roar of the Pacific, the poor, half-starved, flying fugitive has no resting-place for the sole of his foot!”

Whilst hesitating whether or not it would be best to continue teaching, she wrote to a friend for advice as follows:  “What would you do if you were in my place?  Would you give up and go back and work at your trade (dress-making)?  There are no people that need all the benefits resulting from a well-directed education more than we do.  The condition of our people, the wants of our children, and the welfare of our race demand the aid of every

Project Gutenberg
The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook