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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

[Pg. 144] - continued
     PERRY was about thirty-one years of age, round-made, of dark complexion, and looked quite gratified with his expedition, and the prospect of becoming a British subject instead of a Maryland slave.  He was not free, however, from the sad thought of having left his wife and three children in the "prison house," nor of the fact that his own dear mother was brutally stabbed to the heart with a butcher knife by her young master, while he (Perry) was a babe; nor of a more recent tragedy by which a fellow-servant, only a short while before he fled, was also murdered by a stab in the groin from another young master.  "Powerful bad " treatment, and "no pay," was the only reward poor Perry had ever received for his life services.  Perry could only remember his having received from his master, in all, eleven cents.  Left a brother and sister in Slavery.  Perry was worth $1200 perhaps.
     PERRY was compelled to leave his wife and three children—namely, Hannah (wife), Perry Henry, William Thomas and Alexander, who were owned by John McGuire, of Caroline county, Maryland.  Perry was a fellow-servant of James Massey, and was held by the same owner who held James.  It is but just, to say, that it was not in the Pittman family that his mother and his fellow-servant had been so barbarously murdered.  These occurrences took place before they came into the hands of Pittman.
     The provocation for which his fellow-servant was killed, was said to be very trifling.  In a moment of rage, his young master, John Piper, plunged the blade of a small knife into Perry's groin, which .resulted in his death twenty-six hours afterwards.  For one day only the young master kept him self concealed, then he came forward and said he "did it in self-defense," and there the matter ended.  The half will never be told of the barbarism of Slavery.
     PERRY's letter subjoined, explains where he went, and how his mind was occupied with thoughts of his wife, children and friends.

                                                                            ST. CATHARINES, C. W. June  21, 1857
     DEAR SIR. - I take this opportunity to inform you that I am well at present, and hope time now, But have not written to you Before, But you must Excuse me.  I want you to give my Respects to all my inquiring friends and to my wife, I should have let you know But I was afraid and all three of my little children too, P. H. Trusty if he was mine Wm. T. Trusty and to Alexander I have been A managge But was assurd nuthin, H. Trusty, a hard grand citt. I should lic know how times is, Henry Turner if you get this keep it

[Pg. 145]
and read it to yourself and not let any one else But yourself, tell ann Henry, Samuel Henry, Jacob Bryant, Wm Claton, Mr James at Almira Receved at Mr Jones house the Best I could I have Been healthy since I arrived here.  My Best Respect to all and my thanks for past favours.  No more at present But Remain youre obedented Servent &c
                                                                  Henry Trusty.
     Please send me an answer as son as you get this, age oblige yours, 
                                                                  MR TRUSTY.
     GEORGE RHODES is a young man of twenty-five years of age, chestnut color, face round, and hating Slavery heartily. He had come from under the .control of John P. Dellum a farmer, and a crabbed master, who "would swear very much when crossed, and would drink moderately every day," except sometimes he would " take a spree," and would then get pretty high. Withal he was a member of the Presbyterian church at Perryville, Maryland; he was a single man and followed farming.  Within the last two or three years, he had sold a man and woman; hence, George thought it was time to take warning.   Accordingly he felt it to be his duty to try for Canada, via Underground Rail Road.  As his master had always declared that if one run off, he would sell the rest to Georgia, George very wisely concluded that as an effort would have to be made, they had better leave their master with as "few as possible to be troubled with selling."  Consequently, a consultation was had between the brothers, which resulted in the exit of a party of eight.  The market price for George would be about $1400.  A horrid example professed Christians set before the world, while holding slaves and upholding Slavery.
     JAMES RHOADS, brother of George, was twenty-three years of age, medium size, dark color, intelligent and manly, and would doubtless have brought, in  the Richmond market, $1700.  Fortunately he brought his wife and child with him.  James was also held by the same task-master who held George.  Often had he been visited with severe stripes, and had borne his full share of suffering from his master.
     GEORGE WASHINGTON, one of the same party, was only about fifteen  years of age; he was tall enough, however, to pass for a young man of twenty.  George was of an excellent, fast, dark color.  Of course, mentally he was undeveloped, nevertheless, possessed of enough mother-wit to make good his escape.  In the slave market he might have been valued at $800.  George was claimed as the lawful property of Benjamin Syles - a Presbyterian, who owned besides, two men, three girls, and a boy.  He was "tolerable good" sometimes, and sometimes "bad."  Some of the slaves supposed themselves to be on the eve of being emancipated about the time George left; but of this there was no certainty.  George, however, was not among this hopeful number, consequently, he thought that he would start in time, and would be ready to shout for Freedom quite as soon as any other of his fellow-bondmen.  George left a father and three sisters.  Sarah Elizabeth Rhoads, wife of James Rhoads, was seventeen years of age, a tall, dark,

[Pg. 146]
young woman, who had had no chances for mental improvement, except such as were usual on a farm, stocked with slaves, where learning to read the Bible was against the "rules."  Sarah was a young slave mother with a babe (of course a slave) only eight months old.  She was regarded as having been exceedingly fortunate in having rescued herself and child from the horrid fate of slaves.
     MARY ELIZABETH STEPHENSON is a promising-looking young woman, of twenty years of age, chestnut color, and well made.  Hard treatment had been her lot.  Left her mother, two sisters and four brothers in bondage.  Worth $1100.
     Although these travelers were of the "field hand" class, who had never been permitted to see much off of the farm, and had been deprived of hearing intelligent people talk, yet the spirit of Freedom, so natural to man, was quite uppermost with all of them.  The members of the Committee who saw them, were abundantly satisfied that these candidates for Canada would prove that they were able to "take care of themselves."
     Their wants were attended to in the usual manner, and they were sent on their way rejoicing, the Committee feeling quite a deep interest in them.  It looked like business to see so many passing over the Road.

----------

CHARLES THOMPSON,
CARRIER OF "THE NATIONAL AMERICAN," OFF FOR CANADA.

     The subjoined "pass" was brought to the underground Rail Road station in Philadelphia by Charles, and while it was interesting as throwing light upon his escape, it is important also as a specimen of the way the "pass" system was carried on in the dark days of Slavery in Virginia:

                                                                                NAT. AMERICAN OFFICE.
                                                                                        Richmond, July 20th, 1857.
     Permit Charles to pass and repass from this office to the residence of Rev. B. Manly's on Clay St., near 11th, at any hour of the night for one month.        WM. W. HARDWICK."

     It is a very short document, but it used to be very unsafe for a slave in Richmond, or any other Southern city, to be found out in the evening without a legal paper of this description.  The penalties for being found unprepared to face the police were fines, imprisonment and flogging.  The satisfaction it seemed always to afford these guardians of the city to find either males or females trespassing in this particular, was unmistakable.  It gave them (the police) the opportunity to prove to those they served (slave-holders), that they were the right men in the right place, guarding their interests.  Then again they got the fine for pocket money, and likewise the

[Pg. 147]

 

[Pg. 148]

 

[Pg. 149]

 

[Pg. 150]

 

 

 

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BLOOD FLOWED FREELY.
ABRAM GALLOWAY AND RICHARD EDEN, TWO PASSENGERS SECRETED IN A VESSEL LOADED WITH SPIRITS OF TURPENTINE.  SHROUDS PREPARED TO PREVENT BEING SMOKED TO DEATH


HON. ABRAM GALLOWAY.
(Secreted in a vessel loaded with turpentine.)

[Pg. 151]
thought I would try and do better."  At this juncture Abram. explained substantially in what sense times were hard, &c.  In the first place he was not allowed to own himself; he, however, preferred hiring his time to serving in the usual way.  This favor was granted Abram; but he was compelled to pay $15 per month for his time, besides finding himself in clothing, food, paying doctor bills, and a head tax of $15 a year.
     Even under this master, who was a man of very good disposition, Abram was not contented. In the second place, he " always thought Slavery was wrong," although he had " never suffered any personal abuse."  Toiling month after month the year round to support his master and not himself, was the one intolerable thought.  Abram and Richard were intimate friends, and lived near each other.  Being similarly situated, they could venture to communicate the secret feelings of their hearts to each other.  Richard was four years older than Abram, with not quite so much AngloSaxon blood in his veins, but was equally as intelligent, and was by trade, a "fashionable barber," well-known to the ladies and gentlemen of Wilmington.  Richard owed service to Mrs. Mary Loren, a widow. "She was very kind and tender to all her slaves."   "If I was sick," said Richard, "she would treat me the same as a mother would."  She was the owner of twenty, men, women and children, who were all hired out, except the children too young for hire.  Besides having his food, clothing and doctor's expenses to meet, he had to pay the "very kind and tender-hearted widow" $12.50 per month, and head tax to the State, amounting to twenty-five cents per month. I t so happened, that Richard at this time, was involved in a matrimonial difficulty.  Contrary to the laws of North Carolina, he had lately married a free girl, which was an indictable offence, and for which the penalty was then in soak for him—said penalty to consist of thirty-nine lashes, and imprisonment at the discretion of the judge.
     So Abram and Richard put their heads together, and resolved to try the Underground Rail Road.  They concluded that liberty was worth dying for, and that it was their duty to strike for Freedom even if it should cost them their lives.  The next thing needed, was information about the Underground Rail Road.  Before a great while the captain of a schooner turned up, from Wilmington, Delaware.  Learning that his voyage extended to Philadelphia, they sought to find out whether this captain was true to Free dom.  To ascertain this fact required no little address.  It had to be done in such a way, that even the captain would not really understand what they were up to, should he be found untrue.  In this instance, however, he was the right man in the right place, and very well understood his business.
     Abram and Richard made arrangements with him to bring them away; they learned when the vessel would start, and that she was loaded with tar, rosin, and spirits of turpentine, amongst which the captain was to secrete tbem.  But here came the difficulty. In order that slaves might not be

[Pg. 152]
secreted in vessels, the slave-holders of North Carolina had procured the enactment of a law requiring all vessels coming North to be smoked.
     To escape this dilemma, the inventive genius of Abram and Richard soon devised a safe-guard against the smoke.  This safe-guard consisted in silk oil cloth shrouds, made large, with drawing strings, which, when pulled over their heads, might be drawn very tightly around their waists, whilst the process of smoking might be in operation.  A bladder of water and towels were provided, the latter to be wet and held to their nostrils, should there be need.  In this manner they had determined to struggle against death for liberty.  The hour approached for being at the wharf.  At the appointed time they were on hand ready to go on the boat; the captain secreted them, according to agreement.  They were ready to run the risk of being smoked to death; but as good luck would have it, the law was not carried into effect in this instance, so that the "smell of smoke was not upon them."  The effect of the turpentine, however, of the nature of which they were totally ignorant, was worse, if possible, than the smoke would have been.  The blood was literally drawn from them at every pore in frightful quantities.  But as heroes of the bravest type they resolved to continue steadfast as long as a pulse continued to beat, and thus they finally conquered.
     The invigorating northern air and the kind treatment of the Vigilance Committee acted like a charm upon them, and they improved very rapidly from their exhaustive and heavy loss of blood.  Desiring to retain some memorial of them, a member of the Committee begged one of their silk shrouds, and likewise procured an artist to take the photograph of one of them; which keepsakes have been valued very highly.  In the regular order of arrangements the wants of Abram and Richard were duly met by the Committee, financially and otherwise, and they were forwarded to Canada.  After their safe arrival in Canada, Richard addressed a member of the Committee thus:

                                                                                 KINGSTON, July 20, 1857
     MR. WILLIAM STILL  - Dear Friend:  - I take the opertunity of wrighting a few lines to let you no that we air all in good health hoping thos few lines may find you and your family engoying the same blessing.  We arived in King all saft Canada West Abram Galway gos to work this morning at $1 75 per day and John pediford is at work for mr goerge mink and i will opne a shop for my self in a few days.  My wif will send a dugretipe to your cair whitch you will pleas to send on to me Richard Edons to the cair of George Mink Kingston C. W.                 Yours with Respect,  RICHARD EDONS.

     Abram, his comrade, allied himself faithfully to John Bulluntil Uncle Sam became involved in the constest with the rebels.  In this hour of need Abram hastened back to North Carolina to help fight the battles of Freedom.  How well he acted his part, we are not informed.  We only know that, after the war was over, in the reconstruction of North Carolina, Abram was promoted to a seat in its Senate.   He died in office only a few months since.  The portrait is almost a "fac-simile."

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