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History & Genealogy


(Previously Published in 1879 with title: The Underground Railroad)
For many years connected with the Anti-Slavery Office in Philadelphia, and Chairman of the Acting
Vigilant Committee of the Philadelphia Branch of the Underground Rail Road.

Illustrated with 70 Fine Engravings by Bensell, Schell and Others,
and Portraits from Photographs from Life.

Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant that has escaped from his master unto thee. - Deut. xxiii 16.



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     The following charge to the Grand Jury of the United States District Court, in reference to the Slave-hunting affray in Lancaster county, and preparatory to their finding bills of indictment against the prisoners, was delivered on Monday, September 28, by Judge Kane:
"Gentleman of the Grand Jury: - It has been represented to me, that since we met last, circumstances have occurred in one of the neighboring counties in our District, which should call for your prompt scrutiny, and perhaps for the energetic action of the Court.  It is said, that a citizen of the State of Maryland, who had come into Pennsylvania to reclaim a fugitive from labor, was forcibly obstructed in the attempt by a body of armed men, assaulted, beaten and murdered; that some members of his family, who had accompanied him in the pursuit, were at the same time, and by the same party maltreated and grievously wounded; and that an officer of justice, constituted under the authority of this Court, who sought to arrest the fugitive, was impeded and repelled by menaces and violence, while proclaiming his character, and outrages, their asserted object, the denunciations by which they were preceded, and the simultaneous action of most of the guilty parties, evinced a combined purpose forcibly to resist and make nugatory a constitutional provision, and the statues enacted in pursuance of it; and it is added, in confirmation of this, that for some months back, gatherings of people, strangers, as well as citizens, have been held from time to time in the vicinity of the place of the recent outbreaks, at which exhortations were made and pledges interchanged to hold the law for the recovery of fugitive slaves as of no validity, and to defy its execution.  Such are some of the representations that have been made in my hearing, and in regard to which, it has become your duty, as the Grand Inquest of the District, to make legal inquiry.  Personally, I know nothing of the facts, or the evidence relating to them.  As a member of the Court, before which the accused persons may hereafter he arraigned and tried, I have sought to keep my mind altogether free from any impressions of their guilt or innocence, and even from an extra-judicial knowledge of the circumstances which must determine the legal character of the offence that has thus been perpetrated.  It is due to the great interests of public justice, no less than to the parties implicated in a criminal charge, that their cause should be in o wise and in no degree prejudged.  And in referring, therefore, to the representations which have been made to me, I have no other object than to point you to the reasons for my addressing you at this advanced period of our sessions, and to enable you

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to apply with more facility and certainty the principles and rules of law, which I shall proceed to lay before you.
     If the circumstances, to which I have adverted, have in fact taken place, they involve the highest crime known to our laws.  Treason against the United States in defined by the Constitution, Art. 3, Se. 3, cl. 1, to consist in "levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."  This definition is borrowed from the ancient Law of England, Stat. 25, Edw. 3, Stat. 5, Chap. 2, and its terms must be understood, of course, in the sense which they bore in that law, and which obtained here when the Constitution was adopted.  The expression, "levying war," so regarded, embraces not merely the act of formal or declared war, but any






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                                                                                      Eastern District of Pennsylvania, ss.:

     The Grand Inquest of the United States of America, inquiring for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, on their oaths and affirmations, respectfully do present, that James Jackson, yeoman of the District aforesaid, owing allegiance to the United States of America, wickedly devising and intending the peace and tranquility of said United States, do disturb, and prevent the execution of the laws thereof within the same, to wit, a law of the United States entitled "An act respecting fugitives from justice and persons escaping from the service of their masters,"  approved February twelfth, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three, and also a law of the United States, entitled "An act to amend, and supplementary to, the act entitled, An act respecting fugitives from justice and perons escaping from the service of their masters, approved February the twelfth, one thousand seven hundred

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     A quarter of a century ago, William and Ellen Craft were slaves in the State of Georgia.  With them, as with thousands of others, the desire to be free was very strong.  For this jewel they were willing to make any sacrifice, or to endure any amount of suffering.  In this state of mind they commenced planning.  After thinking of various ways that might be tried, it occurred to William and Ellen that one might act the part of master and the other the part of servant.
     Ellen being fair enough to pass for white, of necessity would have to be transformed into a young planter for the time being.  All that was needed, however, to make this important change was that she should be dressed elegantly in a fashionable suit of male attire, and have her hair cut in the style usually worn by young planters.  Her profusion of dark hair offered a fine opportunity for the change.  So far this plan looked very tempting.  But it occurred to them that Ellen was beardless.  After some mature reflection, they came to the conclusion that this difficulty could be very readily obviated by having the face muffled up as though the young planter was suffering badly with the face or toothache; thus they got rid of this trouble.  Straightway, upon further reflection, several other very serious difficulties


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stared them in the face.  For instance, in traveling, they knew that they would be under the necessity of stopping repeatedly at hotels, and that the custom of registering would have to be conformed to, unless some very good excuse could be given for not doing so.
     Here they again thought much over matters and wisely concluded that the young man had better assume the attitude of a gentleman very much indisposed.  He must have his right arm placed carefully in a sling; that would be a sufficient excuse for not registering, etc.  Then he must be a little lame, with a nice cane in the left hand; he must have large green spectacles over his eyes, and withal he must be very hard of hearing and dependent on his faithful servant (as was no uncommon thing with slave-holders), to look after all his wants.
     William was just the man to act this part.  To begin with, he was very "likely-looking;" smart, active and exceedingly attentive to his young master - indeed he was almost eyes, ears, hands and feet for him.  William knew that this would please the slave-holders.  The young planter would have nothing to do but hold himself subject to his ailments and put on a bold air of superiority; he was not to deign to notice anybody.  IF, while traveling, gentlemen, either politely or rudely, should venture to scrape acquaintance with the young planter, in his deafness he was to remain mute; the servant was to explain.  In every instance when this occurred, as it actually did, the servant was fully equal to the emergency - none dreaming of the disguises in which the Underground Rail Road passengers were traveling.
     They stopped at a first-class hotel in Charleston, where the young planter and his body servant were treated, as the house was wont to treat the chivalry.  They stopped also at a similar hotel in Richmond, and with like results.
     They stopped at a first-class hotel in Charleston, where the young planter and his body servant were treated, as the house was wont to treat the chivalry.  They stopped also at a similar hotel in Richmond, and with like results.
     They knew that they must pass through Baltimore, but they did not know the obstacles that they would have to surmount in the Monumental City.  They proceeded to the depot in the usual manner, and the servant asked for tickets for his master and self.  Of course the master could have a ticket, but "bonds will have to be entered before you can get a ticket," said the ticket master.  "It is the rule of this office to require bonds for all negroes applying for tickets to go North, and none but gentlemen of well-known responsibility will be taken," further explained the ticket master.
     The servant replied, that he knew "nothing about that" - that he was "simply traveling with his young master to take care of him - he being in a very delicate state of health, so much so, that fears were entertained that he might not be able to hold out to reach Philadelphia, where he was hastening for medical treatment," and ended his reply by saying, "my master can't be detained."  Without further parley, the ticket master very obligingly waived the old "rule," and furnished the requisite tickets.  The mountain being

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thus removed, the young planter and his faithful servant were safely in the cares for the city of Brotherly Love.
     Scarcely had they arrived on free soil when the rheumatism departed - the right arm was unslung - the toothache was gone - the beardless face was unmuffled - the deaf heard and spoke - the blind saw - and the lame leaped as an heart, and in the presence of a few astonished friends of the slave, the facts of this unparalleled Underground Rail Road feat were fully established by the most unquestionable evidence.
     The constant strain and pressure on Ellen's nerves, however, had tried her severely, so much so, that for days afterwards, she was physically very much prostrated, although joy and gladness beamed from her eyes, which bespoke inexpressible delight within.
     Never can the writer forget the impression made by their arrival.  Even now, after a lapse of nearly a quarter of a century, it is easy to picture them in a private room, surrounded by a few friends - Ellen in her fine suit of black, with her cloak and high-heeled boots, looking, in every respect, like a young gentleman; in an hour after having dropped her male attire, and assumed the habiliments of her sex the feminine only was visible in every line and feature of her structure.
     Her husband, William, was thoroughly colored, but was a man of marked natural abilities, of good manners, and full of pluck, and possessed of perceptive faculties very large.
     It was necessary, however, in those days, that they should seek a permanent residence, where their freedom would be more secure than in Philadelphia; therefore they were advised to go to headquarters, directly to Boston.  There they would be safe, it was supposed, as it had then been about a generation since a fugitive had been taken back from the old Bay State, and through the incessant labors of William Lloyd Garrison, the great pioneer, and his faithful coadjutors, it was conceded that another fugitive slave case could never be tolerated on the free soil of Massachusetts.  So to Boston they went.
     On arriving, the warm hearts of abolitionists welcomed the heartily, and greeted and cheered them without let or hindrance.  They did not pretend to keep their coming a secret, or hide it under a bushel; the story of their escape was heralded broadcast over the country- North and South, and indeed over the civilized world.  For two years or more, not the slightest fear was entertained that they were not jsut as safe in Boston as if they had gone to Canada.  But the day the Fugitive Bill passed, even the bravest abolitionist began to fear that a fugitive slave was no longer safe anywhere under the stars and stripes, North or South, and that William and Ellen Craft were liable to be captured at any moment by Georgia slave hunters.  Many abolitionists counselled resistance to the death at all hazards.  Instead of running to Canada, fugitives generally armed themselves and thus said, "Give me liberty or give me death."

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     William and Ellen Craft believed that it was their duty, as citizens of Massachusetts, to observe a more legal and civilized mode of conforming to the marriage rite than had been permitted them in slavery, and as Theodore Parker had shown himself a very warm friend of their's, they agreed to have their wedding over again according to the laws of a free State.  After performing the ceremony, the renowned and fearless advocate of equal rights (Theodore Parker), presented William with a revolver and a dirk-knife, counselling him to use them manfully in defence of his wife and himself, if ever an attempt should be made by his owners or anybody else to re-enslave them.
     But, notwithstanding all the published declarations made by abolitionists and fugitives, to the effect, that slave-holders and slave-catchers in visiting Massachusetts in pursuit of their runaway property, would be met by just such weapons as Theodore Parker presented William with, to the surprise of all Boston, the owners of William and Ellen actually had the effrontery to attempt their recapture under the Fugitive Slave Law.  How it was done, and the results taken from the Old Liberator (William Lloyd Garrison's organ), we copy as follows:

                                                                                                 From the "Liberator," Nov. 1, 1850.


     Our city, for a week past, has been thrown into a state of intense excitement by the appearance of two prowling villains, named Hughes and Knight, from Macon, Georgia, for the purpose of seizing William and Ellen Craft, under the infernal Fugitive Slave Bill, and carrying them back to the hell of Slavery.  Since the day of '76, there has not been such a popular demonstration on the side of human freedom in this region.  The humane and patriotic contagion ahs infected all classes.  Scarcely any other subject has been talked about in the streets, or in the social circle.  On Thursday, of last week, warrants for the arrest of William and Ellen were issued by Judge Levi Woodbury, but no officer has het been found ready or bold enough to serve them.  In the meantime, the Vigilance Committee, appointed at the Faneuil Hall meeting, has not been idle.  Their number has been increased to upwards of a hundred "good men and true," including some thirty or forty members of the bar; and they have been in constant session, devising every legal method to baffle the pursuing bloodhounds, and relieve the city of their hateful presence.  On Saturday placards were posted up in all directions, announcing the arrival of these slave-hunters, and describing their persons.  On the same day, Hughes and Knight were arrested on the charge of slander against William Craft.  The Chronotype says, the damages being laid at $10,000; bail was demanded in the same sum, and was promptly furnished.  By whom? is the question.  An immense crowd was assembled in front of the Sheriff's office, while the bail matter

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was being arranged.  The reporters were not admitted.  It was only known that Watson Freeman, Esq., who once declared his readiness to hang any number of negroes remarkably cheap, came in, saying that the arrest was a shame, all a humbug, the trick of the damned abolitionists, and proclaimed his readiness to stand bail.  John H. Pearson was also sent for, and came - the same John H. Pearson, merchant and Southern packet agent, who immortalized himself by sending back, on the 10th of September, 1846, in the bark Niagara, a poor fugitive slave, who came secreted in the brig Ottoman, from New Orleans - being himself judge, jury and executioner, to consign a fellow-being to a life of bondage - in obedience to the law of a slave State, and in violation of the law of his own.  This same John H. Pearson, not contented with his previous infamy, was on hand.  There is a story that the slave-hunters have been his table-guests also, and whether he bailed them or not, we don't know.  What we know is, that soon after Pearson came out from the back room, where he and Knight and the Sheriff had been closeted, the Sheriff said that Knight was bailed - he would not say by whom.  Knight being looked after, was not to be found.  He had slipped out through a back door, and thus cheated the crowd of the pleasure of greeting him - possibly with that rough and ready affection which Barclay's brewers Hughes and Knight have since been twice arrested and put under the bonds of $10,000 (making $30,000 in all), charged with a conspiracy to kidnap and abduct William Craft, a peaceable citizen of Massachusetts, etc.  Bail was entered by Hamilton Willis, of Willis & Co., 25 State street, and Patrick Riley, u. S. Deputy Marshal.
     The following (says the ChronotypeP, is a verbatim et literatim copy of the letter sent by Knight & Craft, to entice him to the U. S. Hotel, in order to kidnap him.  It shows, that the school-master owes Knight more "service and labor" than it is possible for Craft to:

                                                                                                        BOSTON, Oct. 22, 1850, 11 Oclk P. M.

     Wm. Craft - Sir - I have to leave so Eirly in the moring that I cold not call according to promis, so if you want me to carry a letter home with me, you must bring it to the United States Hotel to morrow and leave it in box 44, or come your self to morro eavening after tea and bring it.  let me no if you come your self by sending a note to box 44 U. S. Hotel so that I may know whether to wate after tea or not by the Bearer.   If your wife wants to see me you cold bring her with you if you come your self.
                                                                                                                                                  JOHN KNIGHT.
     P. S. I shall leave for home eirley a Thursday moring                                                                               J. K.

     At a meeting of colored people, held in Belknap Street Church, on Friday evening, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
     Resolved, That God willed us free; man willed us slaves.  We will as God wills; God's will be done.
     Resolved, That our oft repeated determination to resist oppression is the

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same now as ever, and we pledge ourselves, at all hazards, to resist until death any attempt upon our liberties.
     Resolved, That as South Carolina seizes and imprisons colored seamen from the North, under the plea that it is to prevent insurrection and rebellion among her colored population, the authorities of this State, and city in particular, be requested to lay hold of, and put in prison, immediately, any and all fugitive slave-hunters who may be found among us, upon the same ground, and for similar reasons.
     Spirited addresses, of a most emphatic type, were made by Messrs. Remond, of Salem,, Roberts, Nell, and Allen, of Boston, and Davis, of Plymouth.  Individuals and highly repectable committees of gentlemen have repeatedly waited upon those Georgia miscreants, to persuade them to make a speedy departure from the city.  After promising to do so, and repeatedly falsifying their word, it is said that they left on Wednesday afternoon, in the express train for New York, and thus (says the Chronotype), they have "gone off with their ears full of fleas, to fire the solemn word for the dissolution of the Union!"
     Telegraphic intelligence is received, that President Fillmore has announced his determination to sustain the Fugitive Slave Bill, at all hazards.  Let him try!  The fugitives, as well as the colored people generally, seem determined to carry out the spirit of the resolutions to their fullest extent.

     ELLEN first received information that the slave-hunters from Georgia were after her through Mrs. Geo. S. Hilliard, of Boston, who had been a good friend to  her from the day of her arrival from slavery.  How Mrs. Hilliard obtained the information, the impression it made on Ellen and where she was secreted, the following extract of a letter written by Mrs. Hilliard, touching the memorable event, will be found deeply interesting:
     "In regard to William and Ellen Craft, it is true that we received her at our house when the first warrant under the act of eighteen hundred and fifty was issued.
     Dr. Bowditch called upon us to say, that the warrant must be for William and Ellen, as they were the only fugitives here known to have come from Georgia, and the Dr. asked what we could do.  I went to the house of the Rev. F. T. Gray, on Mt. Vernon street, where Ellen was working with Miss Dean, an upholsteress, a friend of  ours, who had told us she would teach Ellen her trade.  I proposed to Ellen to come and do some work for me, intending not to alarm her.  My manner, which I supposed to be indifferent and calm betrayed me and she threw herself into my arms sobbing and weeping.  She, however, recovered her composure as soon as we reached the street, and was very firm ever after.
     My husband wished her, by all means, to be brought to our house, and to remain under his protection, saying: 'I am perfectly willing to meet the penalty, should she be found here, but will never give her up.'  The penalty, you remember, was six months' imprisonment and a thousand dollars fine.  William Craft went, after a time, to Lewis Hayden.  He was at first, as Dr. Bowditch told us, 'barricaded in his shop on Cambridge street.'  I saw him there, and he said, 'Ellen must not be left at your house.'  'Why?  William,' said I, 'do you think we would give her up?'  'Never,' said he, 'but Mr. Hilliard is not

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only our friend, but he is a U. S. Commissioner, and should Ellen he found in his house he must resign his office, as well as incur the penalty of the law, and I will not subject a friend to such a punishment for the sake of our safety.'  Was not this noble, when you think how small was the penalty that any one could receive for siding slaves to escape, compared to the fate which threatened them in case they were captured?  William C. made the same objection to having his wife taken to Mrs. Ellis Gray Loring's, he also being a friend and a Commissioner."

     This deed of humanity and Christian charity is worthy to be commemorated and classed with the act of the good Samaritan, as the same spirit is shown in both cases.  Often was Mrs. Hilliard's house an asylum for fugitive slaves.
     After the hunters had left the city in dismay, and the storm of excitement had partially subsided, the friends of William and Ellen concluded that they had better seek a country where they would not be in daily fear of slave-catchers, backed by the Government of the United States.  They were, therefore, advised to go to Great Britain.  Outfits were liberally provided for them, passages procured, and they took their departure for a habitation in a foreign land.
     Much might be told concerning the warm reception they met with from the friends of humanity on every hand, during a stay in England of nearly a score of years, but we fell obliged to make the following extract suffice:


     Fortunately, we have, at the present moment, in the British Metropolis, some specimens of what were once American "chattels persona.," in the persons of William and Ellen Craft and William W. Brown, and their friends resolved that they should be exhibited under the world's huge glass case, in order that the world might form its opinion of the alleged mental inferiority of the African race, and their fitness or unfitness for freedom.  A small party of anti-slavery friends was accordingly formed to accompany the fugitives through the Exhibition.  Mr. and Mrs. Estlin, of Bristol, and a lady friend, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Webb, of Dublin, and a son and daughter, Mr. McDonnell, (a most influential member of the Executive Committee of National Reform association - one of our unostentatious, but highly efficient workers for reform in this country, and whose public and private acts, if you were acquainted with, you would feel the same esteem and affection for him as is felt towards him by Mr. Thompson, myself and many others) - these ladies and gentlemen, together with myself, met at MR. Thompson's house, and, in company with Mrs. Thompson, and Miss Amelia Thompson, the Crafts and Brown preceded from thence to the Exhibition.  Saturday was selected, as a day upon which the largest number of the aristocracy and wealthy classes attend the Crystal Palace, and the

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company was, on this occasion, the most distinguished that had been gathered together within its walls since its opening day.  Some fifteen thousand, mostly of the upper classes, were there congregated, including the Queen, Prince Albert, and the royal children, the anti-slavery Dutchess of Sutherland, (by whom the fugitives were evidently favorably regarded), the Duke of Wellington, the Bishops of Winchester and St. Asaph, a large number of peers, peeresses, members of Parliament, merchants and bankers, and distinguished men from almost all parts of the world, surpassing, in variety of tongue, character and costume, the description of the population of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost - a season of which it is hoped the Great Exhibition will prove a type, in the copious outpouring of the holy spirit of brotherly union, and the consequent diffusion, throughout the world, of the anti-slavery gospel of good will to all men.
     IN addition to the American exhibitors, it so happened that the American visitors were particularly numerous, among whom the experienced eyes of Brown and the Crafts enabled them to detect slave-holders by dozens.  Mr. McDonnell escorted Mr. Craft, and Mrs. Thompson; Miss Thompson, at her own request, took the arm of Wm. Wells Brown, whose companion she elected to be for the day; Wm. Craft walked with Miss Amelia Thompson and myself.  This arrangement was purposely made in order that there might be no appearance of patronizing the fugitives, but that it might be shown that we regarded them as our equals, and honored them for their heroic escape from Slavery.  Quite contrary to the feeling of ordinary visitors, the American department was our chief attraction.  Upon arriving at Powers' Greek Slave, our glorious anti-slavery friend, Punch's Virginia Slave' was produced.  I hope you have seen this production of our great humorous moralist.  It is an admirably-drawn figure of a female slave in chains, with the inscription beneath, 'The Virginia lave, a companion for Powers' Greek Slave.  The comparison of the two soon drew a small crowd, including several Americans, around and near us.  Although they refrained from any audible expression of feeling, the object of the comparison was evidently understood and keenly felt.  It would not have been prudent in us to have challenged, in words, an anti-slavery discussion in the World's Convention; but everything that we could with propriety do was done to induce them to break silence upon the subject.  We had no intention, verbally, of taking the initiative in such a discussion; we confined ourselves to speaking at them, in order that they might be led to speak to us; but our efforts were of no avail.  The gauntlet, which was unmistakably thrown down by our party, the Americans were too wary to take up.  We spoke among each other of the wrongs of Slavery; it was in vain.  We discoursed freely upon the iniquity of a professedly Christian Republic holding three millions of its population in cruel and degrading bondage; you might as well have preached to the winds.  Wm. Wells Brown took 'Punch's Vir-

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ginia Slave' and deposited it within the enclosure by the "Greek Slave,' saying audibly, 'As an American fugitive slave, I place this 'Virginia Slave' by the side of the 'Greek Slave,' as its most fitting companion.'  Not a word, or reply, or remonstrance from Yankee or Southerner.  We had not, however, proceeded many steps from the place before the 'Virginia Slave' was removed.  We returned to the statue, and stood near the American by whom it had been taken up, to give him an opportunity of making any remarks he chose upon the matter.  Whatever were his feelings, his policy was to keep his lips closed.  If he had felt that the act was wrongful, would he not have appealed to the sense of justice of the British bystanders, who are always ready to resist an insult offered to a foreigner in this country?  If it was an insult, why not resent it, as became high-spirited Americans?  But no; the chivalry of the South tamely allowed itself to be plucked by the beard; the garrulity of the North permitted itself to be silenced by three fugitive slaves . . . . . . . . . . We promenaded the Exhibition between six and seven hours, and visited nearly every portion of the vast edifice.  Among the thousands whom we met in our perambulations, who dreamed of any impropriety in a gentleman of character and standing, like Mr. McDonnell, walking arm-in-arm with a colored woman; or an elegant and accomplished young lady like Miss Thompson, (daughter of the Hon. George Thompsaon, M. C.), becoming the promenading companion of a colored man?  Did the English peers or peeresses?  Not the most aristocratic among them.  Did the representatives of any other country have their notions of propriety shocked by the matter?  None but Americans.  To see the arm of a beautiful English young lady passed through that of 'a nigger,' taking ices and other refreshments with him, upon terms of the most perfect equality, certainly was enough to 'rile,' and evidently did 'rile' the slave-holders who beheld it; but there was no help for it.  Even the New York Broadway bullies would not have dared to utter a word of insult, much less lift a finger against Wm. Wells Brown, when walking with his fair companion in the World's Exhibition.  It was a circumstance not to be forgotten by these Southern Bloodhounds.  Probably, for the first time in their lives, they felt themselves thoroughly muzzled; they dared not even to bark, much less bite.  Like the meanest curs, they had to sneak through the Crystal Palace, unnoticed and uncared for; while the victims who had been rescued from their jaws, were warmly greeted by visitors from all parts of the country.
     *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

     Brown  and the Crafts have paid several other visits to the Great Exhibition, in one of which, Wm. Craft succeeded in getting some Southerners "out" upon the Fugitive Slave Bill, respecting which a discussion was held between them in the American department.  Finding themselves worsted at every point, they were compelled to have recourse to lying, and unblushingly denied that the bill contained the provisions which Craft alleged it did.

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Craft took care to inform them who and what he was.  He told them that there had been too much information upon that measure diffused in England for lying to conceal them.  He ahs subsequently met the same parties, who, with contemptible hypocrisy, treated "the nigger" with great respect.
     In England the Crafts were highly respected.  While under her British Majesty's protection, Ellen became the mother of several children, (having had none under the stars and stripes).  These they spared no pains in educating for usefulness in the world.  Some two years since William and Ellen returned with two of their children to the United States, and after visiting Boston and other places, William concluded to visit Georgia, his old home, with a view of seeing what inducement war had opened up to enterprise, as he had felt a desire to remove his family thither, if encouraged.  Indeed he was prepared to purchase a plantation, if he found matters satisfactory.  This visit evidently furnished the needed encouragement, judging from the fact that he did purchase a plantation somewhere in the neighborhood of Savannah, and is at present living there with his family.
     The portraits of William and Ellen represent them at the present state of life, (as citizens of the U. S.) - of course they have greatly changed in appearance from what they were when they first fled from Georgia.  Obviously the Fugitive Slave Law in its crusade against William and Ellen Craft, reaped no advantages, but on the contrary, liberty was greatly the gainer.



     No one Southern city furnished a larger number of brave, wide-awake and likely-looking Underground Rail Road passengers than the city of Richmond.  Lewis and Nancy were fair specimens of the class of travelers coming from that city.  Lewis was described as a light yellow man, medium size, good-looking, and intelligent.  In referring to bondage, he spoke with great earnestness, and in language very easily understood; especially when speaking of Samuel Myers, from whom he escaped, he did not hesitate to give him the character of being a very hard man, who was never satisfied, no matter how hard the slaves might try to please him.
     Myers was engaged in the commission and forward business, and was a man of some standing in Richmond.  From him Lewis had received very severe floggings, the remembrance of which he would not only carry with him to Canada, but to the grave.  I was owing to abuse of this kind that he was awakened to look for a residence under the protection of the British

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Lion.  For eight months he longed to get away, and had no rest until he found himself on the Underground Rail Road.
     His master was a member of the Century Methodist Church, as was also his wife and family; but Lewis thought that they were strangers to practical Christianity, judging from the manner that the slaves were treated by both master and mistress.  Lewis was a Baptist, and belonged to the second church.  Twelve hundred dollars had been offered for him.  He left his father (Judville), and his brother, John Harris, both slaves.  In view of his prospects in Canada, Lewis soul overflowed with pleasing anticipations of freedom, and the Committee felt great satisfaction in assisting him.

     NANCY was also from Richmond, and came in the same boat with Lewis.  She represented the most "likely-looking female bond servants."  Indeed her appearance recommended her at once.  She was neat, modest, modest, and well-behaved - with a good figure and the picture of health, with a countenance beaming with joy and gladness, notwithstanding the late struggles and sufferings through which she had passed.  Young as she was had seen much of slavery, and had, doubtless, profited by the lessons thereof.  At all events it was through cruel treatment, having been frequently beaten after she had passed her eighteenth year, that she was prompted to seek freedom.  It was so common for her mistress to give way to unbridled passions that Nancy never felt safe.  Under the severest infliction of punishment she was not allowed to complain.  Neither from mistress nor master had she any reason to expect mercy or leniency - indeed she saw no way of escape but by the Underground Rail Road.
     It was true that the master, Mr. William Bears, was a Yankee from Connecticut, and his wife a member of the Episcopal Church, but Nancy's yoke seemed none the lighter for all that.  Fully persuaded that she would never find her lot any better while remaining in their hands, she accepted the advice and aid of a young man to whom she was engaged; he was shrewd enough to find an agent to Richmond, with whom he entered into a covenant to have Nancy brought away.  With a cheerful heart the journey was undertaken in the manner aforesaid, and she safely reached the Committee.  Her mother, one brother and a sister she had to leave in Richmond.  One thousand dollars were lost in the departure of Nancy.
having been accommodated and aided by the Committee, they were forwarded to Canada.  Lewis wrote back repeatedlly and expressed himself very gratefully for favors received, as will be seen by the appended letters from him:

                                                                                                                                         TORONTO, April 25, 1857.
     To Mr. WM. STILL - Dear Sir: - I take this opportunity of addressing these few lines to inform you that I am well and hope that they may find you and your family enjoying the same good health.  Please to give any love to you and your family.  I had a very pleasant trip from your house that morning.  Dear sir, you would oblige me much, if you

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have not sent that box to Mr. Robinson, to open it and take out the little yellow box that I tied up in the large one and send it on by express to me in Toronto.  Lift up a few of the things and you will find it near the top.  All the clothes that I have are in that box and I stand in need of them.  You would oblige me much by so doing.  I stopped at Mr. Jones' in Elmira, and was very well treated by him while there.  I am now in Toronto and doing very well at present.  I am very thankful to you and your family for the attention you paid to me while at your house.  I wish you would see Mr. Ormsted and ask him if he has not some things for Mr. Anthony Loney, and if he has, please send them on with my things, as we are both living together at this time.  Give my love to Mr. Anthony, also to Mr. Orstead and family.  Dear sir, we both would be very glad for you to attend to this, as we both do stand very much in need of them at this time.  Dear sir, you will oblige me by giving my love to Miss Frances Watkins, and as she said she hoped to be out in the summer, I should like to see her.  I have met with a gentleman here by the name of Mr. Truehart, and he sends his best love to you and your family.  Mr. Truehart desires to know whether you received the letter he sent to you, and if so, answer it as soon as possible.  Please answer this letter as soon as possible.  I must now come to a close by saying that I remain your beloved friend,       
                                                                                                                                LEWIS COBB.



     The above named passengers were delivered into the hands of Thomas Garrett by the Captain who brought them, and were aided and forwarded to the Committee in Philadelphia, as indicated by the subjoined letter:

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                                                                                                                                          WILMINGTON, 11th mo., 6th, 1856

     RESPECTED FRIEND: - WILLIAM STILL: - Thine of yesterday, came to hand this morning, advising me to forward those four men to thee, which I propose to send from here in the steam boat, at two o'clock, P. M. to day to thy care; one of them thinks he has a brother and cousin in New Bedford, and is anxious to get to them, the others thee can do what thee thinks best with, after consulting with them, we have rigged them up pretty comfortably with clothes, and I have paid for their passage to Philadelphia, and also for the passage of their pilot there and back; he proposed to ask thee for three dollars, for the three days time he lost with the, but that we will raised here for him, as one of them expects to have some money brought from Carolina soon, that belongs to him, and wants thee when they are fixed, to let me know some that I may forward it to them.  I will give each of them a card of our firm.  Hoping they may get along safe, I remain as ever, thy sincere friend.                                                                                       THOS GARRETT.

     The passengers by this arrival were above the ordinary plantation or farm hand slave, as will appear from a glance at their condition under the yoke.

     MAJOR LATHAM was forty-four years at age, mulatto, very resolute, with good natural abilities, and a decided hater of slavery.  John Latham was the man whom he addressed as "master," which was a very bitter pill for him to swallow.  He had been married twice, and at the time of his escape he was the husband of two wives.  The first one, with their three children, in consequence of charges incident to slave life, was sold a long distance from her old home and husband, thereby ending the privilege of living together; he could think of them, but that was all; he was compelled to give them up altogether.  After a time he took to himself another wife, with whom he lived several years.  Three more children owned him as father - the result of this marriage.  During his entire manhood Major had been brutally treated by his master, which caused him a great deal of anguish and trouble of mind.
     Only a few  weeks before he escaped, his master, in one of his fits of passion, flogged him most cruelly.  From that time the resolution was permanently grounded in his mind to find the way to freedom, if possible, before many more weeks had passed.  Day and night he studied, worked and planned, with freedom uppermost in his mind.  The hour of hope arrived and with it Captain F.

     WILLIAM, a fellow-passenger with Major, was forty-two years of age, just in the prime of life, and represented the mechanics in chains, being a blacksmith by trade.  Dr. Thomas Warren, who followed farming in the neighborhood of Eatontown, was the owner of William.  In speaking of his slave life William said:  "I was sold four times; twice I was separated from my wives.  I was separated from one of my wives when living in Portsmouth, Virginia," etc.
     In his simple manner manner of describing the trials he had been called upon to endure, it was not to be wondered at that he was willing to forsake all and

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run fearful risks in order to rid himself not only of the "load on his back," but the load on his heart.  By the very positive character of William's testimony against slavery, the Committee felt more than ever justified in encouraging the Underground Rail Road.

     HENRY GORHAM was thirty-four years of age, a "prime," heavy, dark, smart, "article," and a good carpenter.  He admitted that he had never felt the lash on his back, but, nevertheless, he had felt deeply on the subject of slavery.  For years the chief concern with him was as to how he cold safely reach a free State.  Slavery he hated with a perfect hatred.  To die in the woods, live in a cave, or sacrifice himself in some way, he was bound to do, rather than remain a slave.  The more he reflected over his condition the more determined he grew to seek his freedom.  Accordingly he left and went to the woods; there he prepared himself a cave and resolved to live and die in it rather than return to bondage.  Before he found his way out of the prison-house eleven months elapsed.  His strong impulse for freedom, and intense aversion to slavery, sustained him until he found an opportunity to escape by the Underground Rail Road.
     One of the tried Agents of the Underground Rail Road was alone cognizant of his dwelling in the cave, and regarding him as a tolerably safe passenger (having been so long secreted), secured him a passage on the schooner, and thus he was fortunately relieved from his eleven months' residence in his den.  No rhetoric or fine scholarship was needed in his case to make his story interesting.  None but hearts of stone could have listened without emotion.

     ANDREW, another fellow-passenger, was twenty-six years of age, and a decidedly inviting-looking specimen of the peculiar institution.  He filled the situation of an engineer.  He, with his wife and one child, belonged to a small orphan girl, who lived at South End, Camden county, N. Y.  His wife and child had to be left behind.  While it seemed very hard for a husband thus to leave his wife, everyone that did so weakened slavery and encouraged and strengthened anti-slavery.

     Numbered with these four North Carolina passengers is found the name of WILEY MADDISON, a young man nineteen years of age, who escaped from Petersburg on the cars as a white man.  He was of promising appearance, and found no difficulty whatever on the road.  With the rest, however, he concluded himself hardly safe this side of Canada, and it afforded the Committee special pleasure to help them all.

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     THOMAS escaped from Baltimore.  He described the man from whom he fled as a "rum drinker" of some note, by the name of Benjamin Walmsly, and he testified that under him he was neither "half fed nor clothed," in consequence of which he was dissatisfied, and fled to better his condition.  Luckily Thomas succeeded in making his escape when about twenty-one years of age.  His appearance and smartness indicated resolution and gave promise of future success.  He was well made and of a chestnut color.

     SAUNEY PRY came from Loudon Co., Va.  He had been one of the "well-cared for," on the farm of Nathan Clapton, who owned some sixty or seventy slaves.  Upon inquiry as to the treatment and character of his master, Sauney unhesitatingly described him as a "very mean, swearing, blustering man, as hard as any that could be started."  It was on this account that he was prompted to turn his face against Virginia and to venture on the Underground Rail Road.  Sauney was twenty-seven years of age, chestnut color, medium size, and in intellect was at least up to the average.

     BENJAMIN DUCKET came from Bell Mountain, Prince George's Co., Maryland.  He stated to the Committee that he escaped from one Sicke Perry, a farmer.  OF his particular master he spoke thus;  "He was one of the baddest men about Prince George; he would both fight and kill up."
     These characteristics of the master developed in Ben very strong desires to get beyond reach.  In fact, his master's conduct was the sole cause of his seeking the Underground Rail Road.  At the time that he came to Philadelphia, he was recorded as twenty-three years of age, chestnut color, medium size, and wide awake.  He left his father, mother, two brothers, and three sisters, owned by Marcus Devoe.

     About the same time that the passengers just described received succor, ELIZABETH LAMBERT, with three children, reached the Committee.  The names of the children were, Mary, Horace, and William Henry, quite marketable-looking articles.
     They fled from Middletown, Delaware, where they had been owned by Andrew Peterson.  The poor mother's excuse for leaving her "comfortable home, free board, and kind-hearted master and mistress," was simply because she was tired of such "kindness," and was, therefore, willing to suffer in order to get away from it.

     HILL JONES, a lad of eighteen, accompanied Elizabeth with her children from Middletown.  He had seen enough of Slavery to satisfy him that he could never relish it.  His owner was known by the name of John Cochran, and followed farming.  HE was of a chestnut color, and well-grown.

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     CHARLES HALL.  This individual was from Maryland, Baltimore Co., where "black men had no rights which white men were bound to respect," according to the decision of the late Chief Justice Taney of the Supreme Court of the United States.
     Charles was owned by Atwood A. Blunt, a farmer, much of whose time was devoted to card playing, rum-drinking and fox-hunting, so Charles stated.  Charles gave him the credit of being as mild a specimen of a slave-holder as that region of country could claim when in a sober mood, but when drunk every thing went wrong with him, nothing could satisfy him.
     Charles testified, however, that the despotism of his mistress was much worse than that of his master, for she was all the time hard on the slaves.  Latterly he had heard much talk about selling, and, believing that matters would soon have to come to that, he concluded to seek a place where colored  men had rights, in Canada.

     JAMES JOHNSONJames fled from Deer Creek, Harford Co., Md., where he was owned by William Rautty.  "Jim's" hour had come.  Within one day of the time fixed for his sale, he was handcuffed, and it was evidently supposed that he was secure.  Trembling at his impending doom he resolved to escape if possible.  He could not rid himself of the handcuffs.  Could he have done so, he was persuaded that he might manage to make his way along safely.  He resolved to make an effort with the handcuffs on.
     With resolution his freedom was secured.  What Master Rautty said when he found his property gone with the handcuffs, we know not.
     The next day after Jim arrived, Charles Carter, George and John Logan came to hand.

     CHARLES had been under the yoke in the city of Richmond, held to service by Daniel Delaplain, a flour inspector.  Charles was hired out by the flour inspector for as such as he could command for him, for being a devoted lover of money, ordinary wages hardly ever satisfied him.  In other respects Charles spoke of his master rather favorably in comparison with slaveholders generally.
     A thirty years' apprenticeship as a slave had not, however, won him over to the love of the system; he had long since been convinced that it was nonsense to suppose that such a thing as happiness could be found even under the best of masters.  He claimed to have a wife and four little children living in Alexandria, Va.; the name of the wife of Lucinda.  In the estimation of slave-holders, the fact of Charles having a family might have

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offered no cause for unhappiness, but Charles felt differently in relation to the matter.  Again, for reasons best known to the owner, he talked of selling Charles.  On this point Charles also felt quite nervous, so he began to think that he had better make an attempt to get beyond the reach of buyers and sellers.  He knew that many others similarly situated had got out of bondage simply by hard struggling, and he felt that he could do likewise.  When he had thus determined the object was half accomplished.  True, every step that he should take was liable to bring trouble upon himself, het with the hope of freedom buoying him up he resolved to run the risk.  Charles was about thirty years of age, likely-looking, well made, intelligent. and a mulatto.

     GEORGE was twenty-three years of age, quite dark, medium size, and bore the marks of a man of considerable pluck.  He was the slave of Mrs. Jane Coultson.  No special complaint of her is recorded on the book.  She might have been a very good mistress, but George was not a very happy and contented piece of property, as was proved by his course in escaping.  The cold North had many more charms for him than the sunny South.

     JOHN has been already described in the person of his brother George.  He was not, however, the property of Mrs. Coultson, but was owned by Miss Cox, near Little Georgetown, Berkeley Co., Va.  These three individuals were held as slaves by that class of slave-holders, known in the South as the most kind-hearted and indulgent, yet they seemed just as much delighted with the prospects of freedom as any other passengers.

     The next day following the arrival of the party just noticed JAMES HENRY WATSON reached the Committee.  He was in good condition, the spring weather having been favorable, and the journey made without any serious difficulty.
     He was from Snowhill, Worcester county, Md., and had escaped from James Purnell, a farmer of whom he did not speak very favorably.  Yet James admitted that his master was not as hard on his slaves as some others.
     For the benefit of James' kinfolk, who may still perchance be making searches for him, not having yet learned whither he went or what became of him, we copy the following paragraph as entered on our book April 11th, 1856:

     JAMES HENRY is twenty years of age, dark, well-made, modest, and seems fearful of apprehension; was moved to escape in order to obtain his freedom; he thought he could do the same.  He left his father, mother, three brothers and five sisters owned by Purnell.  His father's name was Ephraim, his mother's name Mahala  The names of his sisters and brothers were as follows:  Hetty, Betsy, Dinah, Catharine and Harriet; Homer, William and James.

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     ZEBULON GREEN was the next traveler.  He arrived from Duck Creek, Md.  John Appleton, a farmer, was chargeable with having deprived Zeb of his rights.  But, as Zeb was only about eighteen years of age when he made his exit, Mr. Appleton did not get much the start of him.  In answer to the question as to the cause of his escape, he replied "bad usage."  He was smart, and quite dark.  In traveling, he changed his name to Samuel Hill.  The Committee endeavored to impress him thoroughly, with the ideal that he could do much good in the world for himself and fellow-men, by using his best endeavors to acquire education, etc., and forwarded him on to Canada.

     LEWIS BURRELL and his brother PETER arrived safely from Alexandria, Virginia, Apr. 21, 1856.  Lewis had been owned by Edward M. Clark, Peter by Benjamin Johnson Hall.  These passengers seemed to be well posted in regard to Slavery, and understood full well their responsibilities in fleeing from "kind-hearted" masters.  All they feared was that they might not reach Canada safely, although they were pretty hopeful and quite resolute.  Lewis left a wife, Winna Ann, and two children, Joseph and Mary, who were owned by Pembroke Thomas, at Culpepper, Va., nearly a hundred miles distant from him.  Once or twice in the year, was the privilege allowed him to visit his wife and little ones at this long distance.  This separation constituted his daily grief and was the cause of his escape.  Lewis and Peter left their father and mother in bondage, also one brother (Reuben), and three sisters, two of whom has been sold far South.
     After a sojourn in freedom of nearly three years, Lewis wrote on behalf of his wife as followed:

                                                                                                                              TORONTO, C. W., Feb. 2, 1859.
     MR. WM. STILL:
DEAR SIR: - It have bin two years since I war at your house, at that time I war on my way to cannadia, and I tould you that I had a wife and had to leave her behind, and you promiest me that you would healp me to gait hir if I ever heaird from hir, and I think my dear frend, that the time is come for me to strick the blow, will you healp me, according to your promis.  I recived a letter from a frend in Washington last night and he says that my wife is in the city of Baltimore, and she will come away if she can find a frend to healp hir, so I thought I would writ to you as you are acquanted with foulks theare to howm you can trust with such matthas.  I could write to Mr. Noah davis in Baltimore, who is well acquanted with my wife, but I do not think that he is a trew frend, and I could writ to Mr. Samuel Madenin the same city, but I am afread that a letter coming from cannada might be dedteced, but if you will writ to soume one that you know, and gait them to see Mr. Samuel Madenhe will give all the information that you want, as he is acquainted with my wife, he is a preacher and belongs to the Baptis church.  My wifes name is Winne Ann Berrell and she is oned by one Dr. TAms who is on a viset to Baltimore, now Mr. Still will you attend to this thing for me, forthwith, if you will I will pay you four your truble, if we can dow any thing it must be don now, as she will leave theare in the spring, and if you will take the matter in hand, you mous writ me on to reseption of this letter, whether you will or not.                                 Yours truly,
                                                                                                  LEWIS BURRELL.
No. 49 Victoria St., Toronto, C. W.

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     As in the case of many others, the way was so completely blocked that nothing could be done for the wife's deliverance.  Until the day when the millions of fetters were broken, nothing gave so much pain to husbands and wives as these heart-breaking separations.
     William Williams and his wife were the next who arrived.  They came from Haven Manor, Md.  They had been owned by John Peak, by whom, according to their report, they had been badly treated, and the Committee had no reason to doubt their testimony.
     The next arrival numbered four passengers, and came under the guidence of "Moses" (Harriet Tubman), from Maryland.  The were adults looking as though they could take care of themselves very easily, although they had the marks of Slavery on them.  It was no easy matter for men and women who had been ground down all their lives, to appear as though they had been enjoying freedom.  Indeed, the only wonder was that so many appeared to as good advantage as they did, after having been crushed down so long.
     The paucity of the narratives in the month of April, is quite noticeable.  Why fuller reports were not written out, cannot now be accounted for; probably the feeling existed that it was useless to write out narratives, except in cases of very special interst.




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     The woman and child alluded to were received and noted on the record book as follows:

     WINNIE PATTY, and her daughter, ELIZABETH, arrived safely from Norfolk, Va.  The mother is about twenty-two years of age, good-looking and of chestnut color, smart and brave.  From the latter part of October 1855, to the latter part of March, 1856, this young slave mother, with her child, was secreted under the floor of a house.  The house was occupied by a slave family, friends of Winnie.  During the cold winter weather she suffered severely from wet and cold, getting considerably frosted, but her faith failed not, even in the hour of greatest extremity.  She chose rather to suffer thus than endure slavery any longer, especially as she was aware that the auction-block awaited her.  She had already been sold three times; she knew therefore what it was to be sold.

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     Jacob Shuster was the name of the man whom she spoke of as her tormentor and master, and from whom she fled.  He had been engaged in the farming business, and had owned quite a large number of slaves, but from time to time he had been selling off, until he had reduced his stock considerably.
     Captain Lambdin, spoken of in Thomas Garrett's letter, had, in the kindness of his heart, brought away in his schooner some Underground Rail Road passengers, but unfortunately he was arrested and thrust into prison in Norfolk, Va., to await trial.  Having no confidence in his attorney there he found that he would have to defend himself as best he could, consequently he wanted books, etc.  He was in the attitude of a drowning man catching at a straw.  The Committee was powerless to aid him, except with some money; as the books that he desired had but little effect in the lions' den, in which he was.  He had his trial, and was sent to the penitentiary, of course.

     ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD - Ran away from his subscriber, living in Rockville, Montgomery county, Md., on Saturday, 31st of May last,
                                                             NEGRO MAN, ALFRED,
about twenty-two years of age; five feet seven inches high; dark copper color, and rather good looking.
     He had on when he left a dark blue and green plaid frock coat, of cloth, and lighter colored plaid pantaloons.
     I will give the above reward if taken out of the county, and in any of the States, or fifty dollars if taken in the county or the District of Columbia, and secured so that I get him again.                                     JOHN W. ALEXANDER

     A man calling himself Alfred Homer, answering to the above description came to the Vigilance Committee in June, 1856.  As a memorial we transferred the advertisement of John W. Anderson to our record book, and concluded to let that suffice.  Alfred, however, gave a full description of his master's character, and the motives which impelled him to seek his freedom.  He was listened to attentively, but his story was not entered on the book.



     WILLIAM was about twenty years of age, black, usual size, and a lover of liberty.  He had heard of Canada, had formed a very favorable opinion of the country and was very desirous of seeing it.  The man who had habitually robbed him of his hire, was a "stout-built, ill-natured man,"  a farmer, by the name of William Hyson.
     To meet the expenses of an extensive building enterprise which he had undertaken, it was apparent that Hyson would have to sell some of his pro-








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