The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
It deals with the story of the Hebrew Moses from his finding in the wicker basket on the Nile to his death on Mount Nebo and his burial in an unknown grave; following closely the Scripture account.  It contains about 700 lines, beginning with blank verse of the common measure, and changing to other measures, but always without rhyme; and is a pathetic and well-sustained piece.  Mrs. Harper recited it with good effect, and it was well received.  She is a lady of much talent, and always speaks well, particularly when her subject relates to the condition of her own people, in whose welfare, before and since the war, she has taken the deepest interest.  As a lecturer Mrs. Harper is more effective than most of those who come before our lyceums; with a natural eloquence that is very moving.”—­Galesburgh Register, Ill.

Grace Greenwood, in the Independent in noticing a Course of Lectures in which Mrs. Harper spoke (in Philadelphia) pays this tribute to her: 

“Next on the course was Mrs Harper, a colored woman; about as colored as some of the Cuban belles I have met with at Saratoga.  She has a noble head, this bronze muse; a strong face, with a shadowed glow upon it, indicative of thoughtful fervor, and of a nature most femininely sensitive, but not in the least morbid.  Her form is delicate, her hands daintily small.  She stands quietly beside her desk, and speaks without notes, with gestures few and fitting.  Her manner is marked by dignity and composure.  She is never assuming, never theatrical.  In the first part of her lecture she was most impressive in her pleading for the race with whom her lot is cast.  There was something touching in her attitude as their representative.  The woe of two hundred years sighed through her tones.  Every glance of her sad eyes was a mournful remonstrance against injustice and wrong.  Feeling on her soul, as she must have felt it, the chilling weight of caste, she seemed to say: 

      ’I lift my heavy heart up solemnly,
      As once Eleotra her sepulchral urn.’

...  As I listened to her, there swept over me, in a chill wave of horror, the realization that this noble woman had she not been rescued from her mother’s condition, might have been sold on the auction-block, to the highest bidder—­her intellect, fancy, eloquence, the flashing wit, that might make the delight of a Parisian saloon, and her pure, Christian character all thrown in—­the recollection that women like her could be dragged out of public conveyances in our own city, or frowned out of fashionable churches by Anglo-Saxon saints.”



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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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