The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
which if exceptional now I hope will become more general hereafter.  Every hand of his family is adding its quota to the success of this experiment of a colored man both trading and farming on an extensive scale.  Last year his wife took on her hands about 130 acres of land, and with her force she raised about 107 bales of cotton.  She has a number of orphan children employed, and not only does she supervise their labor, but she works herself.  One daughter, an intelligent young lady, is postmistress and I believe assistant book-keeper.  One son attends to the planting interest, and another daughter attends to one of the stores.  The business of this firm of Montgomery & Sons has amounted, I understand, to between three and four hundred thousand dollars in a year.  I stayed on the place several days and was hospitably entertained and kindly treated.  When I come, if nothing prevents, I will tell you more about them.  Now for the next strange truth.  Enclosed I send you a notice from one of the leading and representative papers of rebeldom.  The editor has been, or is considered, one of the representative men of the South.  I have given a lecture since this notice, which brought out some of the most noted rebels, among whom was Admiral Semmes.  In my speech I referred to the Alabama sweeping away our commerce, and his son sat near him and seemed to receive it with much good humor.  I don’t know what the papers will say to-day; perhaps they will think that I dwelt upon the past too much.  Oh, if you had seen the rebs I had out last night, perhaps you would have felt a little nervous for me.  However, I lived through it, and gave them more gospel truth than perhaps some of them have heard for some time.


We received a polite invitation from the trustees of the State-street African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church to attend a lecture in that edifice on Thursday evening.  Being told that the discourse would be delivered by a female colored lecturer from Maryland, curiosity, as well as an interest to see how the colored citizens were managing their own institutions, led us at once to accept the invitation.  We found a very spacious church, gas-light, and the balustrades of the galleries copiously hung with wreaths and festoons of flowers, and a large audience of both sexes, which, both in appearance and behaviour, was respectable and decorously observant of the proprieties of the place.  The services were opened, as usual, with prayer and a hymn, the latter inspired by powerful lungs, and in which the musical ear at once caught the negro talent for melody.  The lecturer was then introduced as Mrs. F.E.W.  Harper, from Maryland.  Without a moment’s hesitation she started off in the flow of her discourse, which rolled smoothly and uninterruptedly on for nearly two hours.  It was very apparent that it was not a cut and dried speech, for she was as fluent and as felicitous in her allusions
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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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