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STILL'S
UNDERGROUND RAIL ROAD RECORDS,

REVISED EDITION.
(Previously Published in 1879 with title: The Underground Railroad)
WITH A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
NARRATING
THE HARDSHIPS, HAIRBREADTH ESCAPES AND DEATH STRUGGLES
OF THE
SLAVES
IN THEIR EFFORTS FOR FREEDOM.
TOGETHER WITH
SKETCHES OF SOME OF THE EMINENT FRIENDS OF FREEDOM, AND
MOST LIBERAL AIDERS AND ADVISERS OF THE ROAD
BY
WILLIAM STILL,
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.

SOLD ONLY BY SUBSCRIPTION.

PHILADELPHIA:
WILLIAM STILL, PUBLISHER
244 SOUTH TWELFTH STREET.
1886

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A SLAVE GIRL'S NARRATIVE.

CORDELIA LONEY, SLAVE OF MRS. JOSEPH CAHELL (WIDOW OF THE LATE HON. JOSEPH CAHELL, OF VA.), OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA. - CORDELIA'S ESCAPE FROM HER MISTRESS IN PHILADELPHIA.

     Rarely did the peculiar institution present the relations of mistress and maid-servant in a light so apparently favorable as in the case of Mrs. Joseph Cahell (widow of the late (Hon. Jos. Cahell, of Va.), and her slave, Cordelia.  The Vigilance Committee's first knowledge of either of these memorable personages was brought about in the following manner.
     About the 30th of March, in the year 1859, a member of the Vigilance

 

 

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ROBERT BROWN, ALIAS THOMAS JONES.

CROSSING THE RIVER ON HORSEBACK IN THE NIGHT

     In very desperate straits many new inventions were sought after by deep-thinking and resolute slaves, determined to be free at any cost.  But it must here be admitted, that, in looking carefully over the more perilous methods resorted to, Robert Brown, alias Thomas Jones, stands second to none, with regard to deeds of bold daring.  This hero escaped from Martinsburg, Va., in 1856.  He was a man of medium size, mulatto, about thirty-eight years of age, could read and write, and was naturally sharpwitted.  He had formerly been owned by Col. John F. Franic whom Robert charged with various offences of a serious domestic character.
     Furthermore, he also alleged, that his "mistress was cruel to all the slaves," declaring that "they (the slaves), could not live with her," that "she has to hire servants," etc.
     In order to effect his escape, Robert was obliged to swim the Potomac river on horseback, on Christmas night, while the cold, wind, storm, and darkness were indescribably dismal.  This daring bondman, rather than submit to his oppressor any longer, perilled his life as above stated.  Where he crossed the river was about a half a mile wide.  Where could be found in history of more noble and daring struggle for Freedom?
     The wife sold his bosom and his four children, only five days before he fled, were sold to a trader in Richmond, Va., for no other offence than simply "because she had resisted" the lustful designs of her master, being "true to her own companion."  After this poor slave mother and her children were cast into prison for sale, the husband and some of his friends tried hard to find a purchaser in the neighborhood; but the malicious and brutal master refused to sell her - wishing to gratify his malice to the utmost, and to punish his victims all that lay in his power, he sent them to the place above named.
     In this trying hour, the severed and bleeding heart of the husband resolved to escape at all hazards, taking with him a daguerreotype likeness of his wife which he happened to have on hand, and a lock of hair from her head, and from each of the children, as mementoes of his unbounded (through sundered) affection for them.
     After crossing the river, his wet clothing freezing to him, he rode all night, a distance of about forty miles.  In the morning he left his faithful horse tied to a fence, quite broken down.  He then commenced his dreary journey on foot  cold and hungry - in a strange place, where it was quite unsafe to make known his condition and wants.  Thus for a day or two,  without food or shelter, he traveled until his feet were literally worn out, and in this condition he arrived at Harrisburg, where he found friends.  Passing over many of the interesting incidents on the road, suffice it to say,

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he arrived safely in this city, on New Year's night, 1857, about two hours before day break (the telegraph having announced his coming from Harrisburg), having been a week on the way.  The night he arrived was very cold; besides, the Underground train, that morning, was about three hours behind time; in waiting for it, entirely out in the cold, a member of the Vigilance Committee thought he was frosted.  But when he came to listen to the story of the Fugitive's sufferings, his mind changed.
     Scarcely had Robert entered the house of one of the Committee, where he was kindly received, when he took from his pocket his wife's likeness, speaking very touchingly while gazing upon it and showing it.  Subsequently, in speaking of his family, he showed the locks of hair referred to, which he had carefully rolled up in a paper separately.  Unrolling them, he said, this is my wife's;"  " this is from my oldest daughter, eleven years old;" "and this is from my next oldest;" "and this from the next," "and this from my infant, only eight weeks old."  These mementoes he cherished with the utmost care as the last remains of his affectionate family.  At the sight of these locks of hair so tenderly preserved, the member of the Committee could fully appreciate the resolution of the fugitive in plunging into the Potomac on the back of a dumb beast, in order to flee from a place and people who had made such barbarous havoc in his household.
     His wife, as represented by the likeness, was of fair complexion, prepossessing, and good looking- perhaps not over thirty-three years of age.

ANTHONY LONEY, ALIAS WILLIAM ARMSTEAD.

     ANTHONY had been serving under the yoke of Warring Talvert, of Richmond, Va.  Anthony was of a rich black complexion, medium size, about twenty-five years of age.  He was intelligent, and a member of the Baptist Church.  His master was a member of the Presbyterian Church and held family prayers with the servants.  But Anthony believed seriously, that his master prayers with the servants.  But Anthony believed seriously, that his master was no more than a "whitened sepulchre," one who was fond of saying, "Lord, Lord," but did not do what the Lord bade him, consequently Anthony felt, that before the Great Judge his "master's many prayers" would not benefit him, as long as he continued to hold his fellowmen in bondage.  He left a father, Samuel Loney, and mother, Rebecca also, one sister and four brothers.  His old father had bought himself and was free; likewise his mother, being very old, had been allowed to go free.  Anthony escaped in May, 1857.

CORNELIUS SCOTT.

      Cornelius took passage per the Underground Rail Road, in March, 1857, from the neighborhood of Salvington, Stafford county, Va.  He

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SAMUEL WILLIAMS, ALIAS JOHN WILLIAMS

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ARRIVAL OF JACKSON, ISAAC AND EDMONDSON TURNER
FROM PETERSBURG.

     About the latter part of December, 1857, Isaac and Edmondson, brothers, succeeded in making their escape together from Petersburg, V.  They barely escaped the auction block, as their mistress, Mrs. Ann Colley, a widow, had just completed arrangements for their sale on the coming first

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