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 needed; and according to their intelligence and means perhaps never better appreciated than here among these lowly people.  I am now going to have a private meeting with the women of this place if they will come out.  I am going to talk with them about their daughters, and about things connected with the welfare of the race.  Now is the time for our women to begin to try to lift up their heads and plant the roots of progress under the hearthstone.  Last night I spoke in a school-house, where there was not, to my knowledge, a single window glass; to-day I write to you in a lowly cabin, where the windows in the room are formed by two apertures in the wall.  There is a wide-spread and almost universal appearance of poverty in this State where I have been, but thus far I have seen no, or scarcely any, pauperism.  I am not sure that I have seen any.  The climate is so fine, so little cold that poor people can live off of less than they can in the North.  Last night my table was adorned with roses, although I did not get one cent for my lecture.” * * *
“The political heavens are getting somewhat overcast.  Some of this old rebel element, I think, are in favor of taking away the colored man’s vote, and if he loses it now it may be generations before he gets it again.  Well, after all perhaps the colored man generally is not really developed enough to value his vote and equality with other races, so he gets enough to eat and drink, and be comfortable, perhaps the loss of his vote would not be a serious grievance to many; but his children differently educated and trained by circumstances might feel political inferiority rather a bitter cup.”

    “After all whether they encourage or discourage me, I belong to
    this race, and when it is down I belong to a down race; when it
    is up I belong to a risen race.”

She writes thus from Montgomery, December 29th, 1870: 

    “Did you ever read a little poem commencing, I think, with these

      A mother cried, Oh, give me joy,
      For I have born a darling boy! 
      A darling boy! why the world is full
      Of the men who play at push and pull.

Well, as full as the room was of beds and tenants, on the morning of the twenty-second, there arose a wail upon the air, and this mundane sphere had another inhabitant, and my room another occupant.  I left after that, and when I came back the house was fuller than it was before, and my hostess gave me to understand that she would rather I should be somewhere else, and I left again.  How did I fare?  Well, I had been stopping with one of our teachers and went back; but the room in which I stopped was one of those southern shells through which both light and cold enter at the same time; it had one window and perhaps more than half or one half the panes gone.  I don’t know that I was ever more conquered by the cold than I had been at that house, and I have lived
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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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