Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 190 pages of information about Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself.

“Boys, can you tell me where that old colored man lives who saws wood, and works at jobs around the streets?”

“What is his name?” said one of the boys.

“I forget.”

“Is it old Job Dundy?”

“Is Dundy a colored man?”

“Yes, sir.”

“That is the very man I am looking for; will you show me where he lives?”

“Yes,” said the little boy, and pointed me out the house.

Mr. D. invited me in, and I found him to be a true friend.  He asked me if I was a slave from Kentucky, and if I ever intended to go back into slavery?  Not knowing yet whether he was truly in favor of slaves running away, I told him that I had just come over to spend my christmas holydays, and that I was going back.  His reply was, “my son, I would never go back if I was in your place; you have a right to your liberty.”  I then asked him how I should get my freedom?  He referred me to Canada, over which waved freedom’s flag, defended by the British Government, upon whose soil there cannot be the foot print of a slave.

He then commenced telling me of the facilities for my escape to Canada; of the Abolitionists; of the Abolition Societies, and of their fidelity to the cause of suffering humanity.  This was the first time in my life that ever I had heard of such people being in existence as the Abolitionists.  I supposed that they were a different race of people.  He conducted me to the house of one of these warm-hearted friends of God and the slave.  I found him willing to aid a poor fugitive on his way to Canada, even to the dividing of the last cent, or morsel of bread if necessary.

These kind friends gave me something to eat and started me on my way to Canada, with a recommendation to a friend on my way.  This was the commencement of what was called the under ground rail road to Canada.  I walked with bold courage, trusting in the arm of Omnipotence; guided by the unchangable North Star by night, and inspired by an elevated thought that I was fleeing from a land of slavery and oppression, bidding farewell to handcuffs, whips, thumb-screws and chains.

I travelled on until I had arrived at the place where I was directed to call on an Abolitionist, but I made no stop:  so great were my fears of being pursued by the pro-slavery hunting dogs of the South.  I prosecuted my journey vigorously for nearly forty-eight hours without food or rest, struggling against external difficulties such as no one can imagine who has never experienced the same:  not knowing what moment I might be captured while travelling among strangers, through cold and fear, breasting the north winds, being thinly clad, pelted by the snow storms through the dark hours of the night and not a house in which I could enter to shelter me from the storm.

The second night from Cincinnati, about midnight, I thought that I should freeze; my shoes were worn through, and my feet were exposed to the bare ground.  I approached a house on the road-side, knocked at the door, and asked admission to their fire, but was refused.  I went to the next house, and was refused the privilege of their fire-side, to prevent my freezing.  This I thought was hard treatment among the human family.  But—­

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Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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