The Underground Railroad eBook

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

The following are some stirring lines which she wrote upon the Fifteenth Amendment: 


  Beneath the burden of our joy
    Tremble, O wires, from East to West! 
  Fashion with words your tongues of fire,
    To tell the nation’s high behest.

  Outstrip the winds, and leave behind
    The murmur of the restless waves;
  Nor tarry with your glorious news,
    Amid the ocean’s coral caves.

  Ring out! ring out! your sweetest chimes,
    Ye bells, that call to praise;
  Let every heart with gladness thrill,
    And songs of joyful triumph raise.

  Shake off the dust, O rising race! 
    Crowned as a brother and a man;
  Justice to-day asserts her claim,
    And from thy brow fades out the ban.

  With freedom’s chrism upon thy head,
    Her precious ensign in thy hand,
  Go place thy once despised name
    Amid the noblest of the land.

  O ransomed race! give God the praise,
    Who led thee through a crimson sea,
  And ’mid the storm of fire and blood,
    Turned out the war-cloud’s light to thee.

Mrs. Harper, in writing from Kingstree, S.C., July 11th, 1867, in midsummer (laboring almost without any pecuniary reward), gave an account of a fearful catastrophe which had just occurred there in the burning of the jail with a number of colored prisoners in it.  “It was a very sad affair.  There was only one white prisoner and he got out.  I believe there was some effort made to release some of the prisoners; but the smoke was such that the effort proved ineffectual.  Well, for the credit of our common human nature we may hope that it was so. * * * Last night I had some of the ‘rebs’ to hear me (part of the time some of the white folks come out).  Our meetings are just as quiet and as orderly on the whole in Carolina as one might desire. * * I like General Sickles as a Military Governor.  ’Massa Daniel, he King of the Carolinas.’  I like his Mastership.  Under him we ride in the City Cars, and get first-class passage on the railroad.”  At this place a colored man was in prison under sentence of death for “participating in a riot;” and the next day (after the date of her letter) was fixed for his execution.  With some others, Mrs. Harper called at General Sickles’ Head Quarters, hoping to elicit his sympathies whereby the poor fellow’s life might be saved; but he was not in.  Hence they were not able to do anything.

“Next week,” continued Mrs. Harper, “I am to speak in a place where one of our teachers was struck and a colored man shot, who, I believe, gave offence by some words spoken at a public meeting.  I do not feel any particular fear.”

Her Philadelphia correspondent had jestingly suggested to her in one of his letters, that she should be careful not to allow herself to be “bought by the rebels.”  To which she replied: 

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