The Underground Railroad eBook

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

NATHAN was also a fellow-servant with Thomas, and of course owned by Wilson.  Nathan’s wife, however, was owned by Wilson’s son, Abram.  Nathan was about twenty-five years of age, not very dark.  He had a remarkably large head on his shoulders and was the picture of determination, and apparently was exactly the kind of a subject that might be desirable in the British possessions, in the forest or on the farm.

His wife, Mary Ellen, is a brown-skinned, country-looking young woman, about twenty years of age.  In escaping, they had to break jail, in the dead of night, while all were asleep in the big house; and thus they succeeded.  What Mr. Wilson did, said or thought about these “shiftless” creatures we are not prepared to say; we may, notwithstanding, reasonably infer that the Underground has come in for a liberal share of his indignation and wrath.  The above travelers came from near New Market, Md.  The few rags they were clad in were not really worth the price that a woman would ask for washing them, yet they brought with them about all they had.  Thus they had to be newly rigged at the expense of the Vigilance Committee.

The Cambridge Democrat, of Nov. 4, 1857, from which the advertisements were cut, said—­

“At a meeting of the people of this county, held in Cambridge, on the 2d of November, to take into consideration the better protection of the interests of the slave-owners; among other things that were done, it was resolved to enforce the various acts of Assembly * * * * relating to servants and slaves.
“The act of 1715, chap. 44, sec. 2, provides ’that from and after the publication thereof no servant or servants whatsoever, within this province, whether by indenture or by the custom of the counties, or hired for wages shall travel by land or water ten miles from the house of his, her or their master, mistress or dame, without a note under their hands, or under the hands of his, her or their overseer, if any be, under the penalty of being taken for a runaway, and to suffer such penalties as hereafter provided against runaways.’  The Act of 1806, chap. 81, sec. 5, provides, ’That any person taking up such runaway, shall have and receive $6,’ to be paid by the master or owner.  It was also determined to have put in force the act of 1825, chap. 161, and the act of 1839, chap. 320, relative to idle, vagabond, free negroes, providing for their sale or banishment from the State.  All persons interested, are hereby notified that the aforesaid laws, in particular, will be enforced, and all officers failing to enforce them will be presented to the Grand Jury, and those who desire to avoid the penalties of the aforesaid statutes are requested to conform to these provisions.”

As to the modus operandi by which so many men, women and children were delivered and safely forwarded to Canada, despite slave-hunters and the fugitive slave law, the subjoined letters, from different agents and depots, will throw important light on the question.

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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