The Underground Railroad eBook

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

Notwithstanding this yearning for home, she was far from desiring at her death, a burial in a Slave State, as the following clearly expressed views show: 

“I have lived in the midst of oppression and wrong, and I am saddened by every captured fugitive in the North; a blow has been struck at my freedom, in every hunted and down-trodden slave in the South; North and South have both been guilty, and they that sin must suffer.”

Also, in harmony with the above sentiments, came a number of verses appropriate to her desires in this respect, one of which we here give as a sample: 

  “Make me a grave where’er you will,
  In a lowly plain, or a lofty hill,
  Make it among earth’s humblest graves,
  But not in a land where men are slaves.”

In the State of Maine the papers brought to her notice the capture of Margaret Garner, and the tragic and bloody deed connected therewith.  And she writes: 

“Rome had her altars where the trembling criminal, and the worn and weary slave might fly for an asylum—­Judea her cities of refuge; but Ohio, with her Bibles and churches, her baptisms and prayers, had not one temple so dedicated to human rights, one altar so consecrated to human liberty, that trampled upon and down-trodden innocence knew that it could find protection for a night, or shelter for a day.”

In the fall of 1860, in the city of Cincinnati, Mrs. Harper was married to Fenton Harper, a widower, and resident of Ohio.  It seemed obvious that this change would necessarily take her from the sphere of her former usefulness.  The means she had saved from the sale of her books and from her lectures, she invested in a small farm near Columbus, and in a short time after her marriage she entered upon house-keeping.

Notwithstanding her family cares, consequent upon married life, she only ceased from her literary and anti-slavery labors, when compelled to do so by other duties.

On the 23d of May, 1864, death deprived her of her husband.

Whilst she could not give so much attention to writing as she could have desired in her household days, she, nevertheless, did then produce some of her best productions.  Take the following for a sample, on the return from Cleveland, Ohio, of a poor, ill-fated slave-girl, (under the Fugitive Slave Law): 


  Men of Cleveland, had a vulture
    Sought a timid dove for prey,
  Would you not, with human pity,
    Drive the gory bird away?

  Had you seen a feeble lambkin,
    Shrinking from a wolf so bold,
  Would ye not to shield the trembler,
    In your arms have made its fold?

  But when she, a hunted sister,
    Stretched her hands that ye might save,
  Colder far than Zembla’s regions
    Was the answer that ye gave.

  On the Union’s bloody altar,
    Was your hapless victim laid;
  Mercy, truth and justice shuddered,
    But your hands would give no aid.

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