The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
more things?  Please send me the bill of expense....  Send me word what I can do for the fugitives.  Do you need any money?  Do I not owe you on the old bill (pledge)?  Look carefully and see if I have paid all.  Along with this letter I send you one for Mr. Stephens (one of Brown’s men), and would ask you to send him a box of nice things every week till he dies or is acquitted.  I understand the balls have not been extracted from him.  Has not this suffering been overshadowed by the glory that gathered around the brave old man?...  Spare no expense to make the last hours of his (Stephens’) life as bright as possible with sympathy....  Now, my friend, fulfil this to the letter.  Oh, is it not a privilege, if you are sisterless and lonely, to be a sister to the human race, and to place your heart where it may throb close to down-trodden humanity?”

On another occasion in writing from the lecturing field hundreds of miles away from Philadelphia, the sympathy she felt for the fugitives found expression in the following language: 

“How fared the girl who came robed in male attire?  Do write me every time you write how many come to your house; and, my dear friend, if you have that much in hand of mine from my books, will you please pay the Vigilance Committee two or three dollars for me to help carry on the glorious enterprise.  Now, please do not write back that you are not going to do any such thing.  Let me explain a few matters to you.  In the first place, I am able to give something.  In the second place, I am willing to do so....  Oh, life is fading away, and we have but an hour of time!  Should we not, therefore, endeavor to let its history gladden the earth?  The nearer we ally ourselves to the wants and woes of humanity in the spirit of Christ, the closer we get to the great heart of God; the nearer we stand by the beating of the pulse of universal love.”

Doubtless it has not often been found necessary for persons desirous of contributing to benevolent causes to first have to remove anticipated objections.  Nevertheless in some cases it would seem necessary to admonish her not to be quite so liberal; to husband with a little more care her hard-earned income for a “rainy day,” as her health was not strong.

“My health,” she wrote at that time, “is not very strong, and I may have to give up before long.  I may have to yield on account of my voice, which I think, has become somewhat affected.  I might be so glad if it was only so that I could go home among my own kindred and people, but slavery comes up like a dark shadow between me and the home of my childhood.  Well, perhaps it is my lot to die from home and be buried among strangers; and yet I do not regret that I have espoused this cause; perhaps I have been of some service to the cause of human rights, and I hope the consciousness that I have not lived in vain, will be a halo of peace around my dying bed; a heavenly sunshine lighting up the dark valley and shadow of death.”

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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