Men and women aided in this cause who were influenced by no oath of secresy, who received not a farthing for their labors, who believed that God had put it into the hearts of all mankind to love liberty, and had commanded men to “feel for those in bonds as bound with them,” “to break every yoke and let the oppressed go free.” But here are the letters, bearing at least on some of the travelers:
WILMINGTON, 10th Mo. 31st, 1857.
ESTEEMED FRIEND WILLIAM STILL:—I write to inform thee that we have either 17 or 27, I am not certain which, of that large Gang of God’s poor, and I hope they are safe. The man who has them in charge informed me there were 27 safe and one boy lost during last night, about 14 years of age, without shoes; we have felt some anxiety about him, for fear he may be taken up and betray the rest. I have since been informed there are but 17 so that I cannot at present tell which is correct. I have several looking out for the lad; they will be kept from Phila. for the present. My principal object in writing thee at this time is to inform thee of what one of our constables told me this morning; he told me that a colored man in Phila. who professed to be a great friend of the colored people was a traitor; that he had been written to by an Abolitionist in Baltimore, to keep a look out for those slaves that left Cambridge this night week, told him they would be likely to pass through Wilmington on 6th day or 7th day night, and the colored man in Phila. had written to the master of part of them telling him the above, and the master arrived here yesterday in consequence of the information, and told one of our constables the above; the man told the name of the Baltimore writer, which he had forgotten, but declined telling the name of the colored man in Phila. I hope you will be able to find out who he is, and should I be able to learn the name of the Baltimore friend, I will put him on his Guard, respecting his Phila. correspondents. As ever thy friend, and the friend of Humanity, without regard to color or clime.
How much truth there was in the “constable’s” story to the effect, “that a colored man in Philadelphia, who professed to be a great friend of the colored people, was a traitor, etc.,” the Committee never learned. As a general thing, colored people were true to the fugitive slave; but now and then some unprincipled individuals, under various pretenses, would cause us great anxiety.
LETTER FROM JOHN AUGUSTA.
NORRISTOWN Oct 18th 1857 2 o’clock PM
DEAR SIR:—There is Six men and women and Five children making Eleven Persons. If you are willing to Receve them write to me imediately and I will bring them to your To morrow Evening I would not Have wrote this But the Times are so much worse Financialy that I thought It best to hear From you Before I Brought such a Crowd Down Pleas Answer this and