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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

DANIEL GIBBONS.
Page 642

     A life as uneventful as the one whose story we are about to tell, affords little scope for the genius of the biographer or the historian, but being carefully studied, it cannot fail to teach a lesson of devotion and self-sacrifice, which should be learned and remembered by every succeeding age.
     Daniel Gibbons, son of James and Deborah (Hoopes) Gibbons, wa sborn on the banks of Mill creek, in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, on the 21st day of the 12th month (December), 1775.  He was descended on his father's side from an English ancestor, whose name appears on the colonial records, as far back as 1683.  John Gibbons evidently came with or before William Penn to this "goodly heritage of freedom."  His earthly remains lie at Concord Friends' burying-ground, Delaware county, near where the family lived for a generation or two.  The grandfather of Daniel Gibbons, who lived near where West Town boarding-school now is, in Chester county, bought for seventy pounds, "one thousand acres of land and allowances," in what is now Lancaster county, intending, as he ultimately did, to settle his three sons upon it.  This purchase was made about the year 1715.   In process of time, the eldest son, desiring to marry Deborah Hoopes, the daughter of Daniel Hoopes, of a neighboring township in Chester county, the young people obtained the consent of parents and friends, but it was a time of grief and mourning among young and old.  The young Friends assured the intended bride, that they would not marry the best man in the Province and do what she was about to do; and the elder dames, so far relaxed the Puritanic rigidity of their rules, as to allow the invitation of an uncommonly large company of guests to the wedding, in order that a long and perhaps last farewell, might be said to the beloved daughter, who, with her husband, was about to emigrate to the "far West."  Loud and long were the lamentations, and warm the embraces of these simple minded Christian rustics, companions of toil and deprivation, as they parted from two of their number who were to leave their circle for the West; the West being then thirty-six miles distant.  This was on the sixth day of the fifth month, 1756.  More than a century has passed away; all the good people, eighty-nine in number, who signed the wedding certificate as witnesses, have passed away, and how vast is the change wrought in our midst since that day!
     Joseph Gibbons was so much pleased with the daring enterprise of his son and daughter-in-law, that he gave them one hundred acres of land in his Western possessions more than he reserved for his other and younger sons, and to it they immediately emigrated, and building first a cabin and the next year a store-house, began life for themselves in earnest.
     It is interesting, in view of the long and consistent anti-slavery course

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which Daniel Gibbons pursued, to trace the influence that wrought upon him while his character was maturing, and the causes which led him to see the wickedness of the system which he opposed.
     The Society of Friends in that day bore in mind the advice of their great founder, Fox, whose last words were:  "Friends, mind the light."  And following that guide which leads out of all evil and into all good, they viewed every custom of society with eyes undimmed by prejudice, and were influenced in every action of life by a belief in the common brother hood of man, and a resolve to obey the command of Jesus, to love one another.  This being the case, slavery and oppression of all kinds were unpopular, and indeed almost unknown amongst them.
     James Gibbons was a republican, and an enthusiastic advocate of American liberty.  Being a man of commanding presence, and great energy and determination, efforts were made during the Revolution to induce him to enlist as a cavalry soldier.  He was prevented from so doing by the entreaties of his wife, and his own conscientious scruples as a Friend.  About the time of the Revolution, or immediately after, he removed to the borough of Wilmington, Delaware, where, being surrounded by slavery, he became more than ever alive to its iniquities.  He was interested during his whole life in getting slaves off.  And being elected second burgess of Wilmington during his residence there, his official position gave him great opportunities to assist in this noble work.  It is related that during his magistracy a slave-holder brought a colored man before him, whom he claimed as his slave.  There being no evidence of the alleged ownership, the colored man was set at liberty.  The pretended owner was inclined to be impudent; but James Gibbons told him promptly that nothing but silence and good behaviour on his part would prevent his commitment for contempt of court.
     About the year 1790, James Gibbons came back to Lancaster county, where he spent twenty years in the practice of those deeds which will remain "in everlasting remembrance;" dying, full of years and honors, in 1810.
     Born in the first year of the revolution and growing up surrounded by such influences, Daniel Gibbons could not have been other than he was, the friend of the down-trodden and oppressed of every nationality and color. In 1789 his father took him to see General Washington, then passing through Wilmington.  To the end of his life he retained a vivid recollection of this visit, and would recount its incidents to his family and friends.  During his father's residence in Wilmington, he spent his summers with kinsmen in Lancaster county, learning to be a farmer, and his winters in Wilmington going to school.
     At the age of fourteen years he was bound an apprentice, as was the good custom of the day, to a Friend in Lancaster county to learn the tanning business.  At this he served about six years, or until his master ceased to follow the business.  During this apprenticeship he became accustomed to

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the following incident:  Upon one occasion, his son received a kick from a horse, which he was about to mount at the door.  When he had recovered from the shock, and it was found that he was not seriously injured, the father still continued to look serious, and did not cease to shed tears.  On being asked why he grieved, his answer was:  "I was just thinking how it would have been with thee, had that stroke proved fatal."  Such thoughts were at once the notes of his own preparation and a warning to others to be also ready.
     A life consistent with his views, was a life of humility and universal benevolence, and such was his.  It was a life, as it were in Heaven, while yet on earth, for it soared above and beyond the corrupt and slavish influences of earthly passions.
     His interest in temperance never failed him.  On his death-bed ho would call persons to him, who needed such advice, and admonish them on the subject of using strong drinks, and his last expression of interest in any humanitarian movement, was an avowal of his belief in the great good to arise from a prohibitory liquor law.
     To a friend, who entered his sick room, a few days before his death, he said: " Well, E., thee is preparing to go to the West."  The friend replied:  "Yes, and Daniel, I suppose thee is preparing to go to eternity."  There was an affirmative reply, and E. inquired,  "How does thee find it?" Daniel said:  "I don't find much to do, I find that I have not got a hard master to deal with. Some few things which I have done, I find not entirely right."  He quitted the earthly service of the Master, on the 17th day of the eighth month, 1852.
     A young physician, son of one of his old friends, after attending his funeral, wrote to a friend, as follows:  "To quote the words of Webster, ' We turned and paused, and joined our voices with the voices of the air, and bade him hail ! and farewell!'  Farewell, kind and brave old man!  The voices of the oppressed whom thou hast redeemed, welcome thee to the Eternal City."

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LUCRETIA MOTT.

     Of all the women who served the Anti-slavery cause in its darkest days, there is not one whose labors were more effective, whose character is nobler, and who is more universally respected and beloved, than Lucretia Mott.  You cannot speak of the slave  without remembering her, who did so much to make Slavery impossible.  You cannot speak of freedom, without recalling that enfranchised spirit, which, free from all control, save that of conscience and God, labored for absolute liberty for the whole human race.  We cannot think of the partial triumph of freedom in this country, without rejoicing in the great part she took in the victory.  Lucretia Mott is one of

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the noblest representatives of ideal womanhood.  Those who know her, need not be told this, but those who only love her in the spirit, may be sure that they can have no faith too great in the beauty of her pure and Christian life.
     The book would be incomplete without giving some account, however brief, of Lucretia Mott's character and labors in the great work to which her life has been devoted.  To wright it fully would require a volume.  She was born in 1793, in the island of Nantucket, and is descended from Coffins and Macys, on the father's side, and from the Folgers, on the mother's side, and through them is related to Dr. Benjamin Franklin.  Her maiden name was Lucretia Coffin.
     During the absence of her father on a long voyage, her mother was engaged in mercantile business, purchasing goods in Boston, in exchange for oil and candles, the staples of the island.  Mrs. Mott says in reference to this employment:  "The exercise of women's talent in this line, as well as the general care which devolved upon them in the absence of their husbands, tended to develop their intellectual powers, and strengthened them mentally and physically."
     The family removed to Boston in 1804.  Her parents belonged to the religious Society of Friends, and carefully cultivated in their children, the peculiarities as well as the principles of that sect.  To this early training, we may ascribe the rigid adherence of Mrs. Mott, to the beautiful but sober costume of the Society.
     When in London, in 1840, she visited the Zoological Gardens, and a gentleman of the party, pointing out the splendid plumage of some tropical birds, remarked :  "You see, Mrs. Mott, our heavenly Father believes in bright colors.  How much it would take from our pleasure, if all the birds were dressed in drab."  "Yes;" she replied, "but immortal beings do not depend upon feathers for their attractions.  With the infinite variety of the human face and form, of thought, feeling and affection, we do not need gorgeous apparel to distinguish us.  Moreover, if it is fitting that woman should dress in every color of the rainbow, why not man also?   Clergymen, with their black clothes and white cravats, are quite as monotonous as the Quakers.  "Whatever may be the abstract merit of this argument, it is certain that the simplicity of Lucretia Mott's nature, is beautifully expressed by her habitual costume.
     In giving the principal events of Lucretia Mott's life, we prefer to use her own language whenever possible.  In memoranda furnished by her to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she says:  "My father had a desire to make his daughters useful.  At fourteen years of age, I was placed, with a younger sister, at the Friends' Boarding School, in Dutchess county, State of New York, and continued there for more than two years, without returning home.  At fifteen, one of the teachers leaving the school, I was chosen as au assist

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ant in her place.  Pleased with the promotion, I strove hard to give satisfaction, and was gratified, on leaving the school, to have an offer of a situation as teacher if I was disposed to remain; and informed that my services should entitle another sister to her education, without charge.  My father was at that time, in successful business in Boston, but with his views of the importance of training a woman to usefulness, he and my mother gave their consent to another year being devoted to that institution."  Here is another instance of the immeasurable value of wise parental influence.
     In 1809 Lucretia joined her family in Philadelphia, whither they had removed.  "At the early age of eighteen," she says, " I married James Mott, of New York—an attachment formed while at the boarding-school." Mr. Mott entered into business with her father.  Then followed commercial depressions, the war of 1812, the death of her father, and the family became involved in difficulties.  Mrs. Mott was again obliged to resume teaching.  "These trials," she says, " in early life, were not without their good effect in disciplining the mind, and leading it to set a just estimate on worldly pleasures."
     To this early training, to the example of a noble father and excellent mother, to the trials which came so quickly in her life, the rapid development of Mrs. Mott's intellect is no doubt greatly due.  Thus the foundation was laid, which has enabled her, for more than fifty years, to be one of the great workers in the cause of suffering humanity.  These are golden words which we quote from her own modest notes:  "I, however, always loved the good, in childhood desired to do the right, and had no faith in the generally received idea of human depravity."  Yes, it was because she believed in human virtue, that she was enabled to accomplish such a wonderful work. She had the inspiration of faith, and entered her life battle against Slavery with a divine hope, and not with a gloomy despair.
     The next great step in Lucretia Mott's career, was taken at the age of twenty-five, when, "summoned by a little family and many cares, I felt called to a more public life of devotion to duty, and engaged in the ministry in our Society."
     In 1827 when the Society was divided Mrs. Mott's convictions led her "to adhere to the sufficiency of the light within us, resting on the truth as authority, rather than 'taking authority for truth.'"  We may find no better place than this to refer to her relations to Christianity.  There are many people who do not believe in the progress of religion.  They are right in one respect. God's truth cannot be progressive because it is absolute, immutable and eternal.  But the human race is struggling up to a higher comprehension of its own destiny and of the mysterious purposes of God so far as they are revealed to our finite intelligence.  It is in this sense that religion is progressive.  The Christianity of this age ought to be more intelligent than

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the Christianity of Calvin. "The popular doctrine of human depravity," says Mrs. Mott, " never commended itself to my reason or conscience.  I searched the Scriptures daily, finding a construction of the text wholly different from that which was pressed upon our acceptance.  The highest evidence of a sound faith being the practical life of the Christian, I have felt a far greater interest in the moral movements of our age than in any theological discussion."  Her life is a noble evidence of the sincerity of this belief.  She has translated Christian principles into daily deeds.
     That spirit of benevolence which Mrs. Mott possesses in a degree far above the average, of necessity had countless modes of expression.  She was not so much a champion of any particular cause as of all reforms.  It was said of Charles Lamb that he could not even hear the devil abused without trying to say something in his favor, and with all Mrs. Mott's intense hatred of Slavery we do not think she ever had one unkind feeling toward the slave holder.  Her longest, and probably her noblest work, was done in the antislavery cause.  "The millions of down-trodden slaves in our land," she says, "being the greatest sufferers, the most oppressed class, I have felt bound to plead their cause, in season and out of season, to endeavor to put my soul in their soul's stead, and to aid, all in my power, in every right effort for their immediate emancipation."  When in 1833, Wm. Lloyd Garrison took the ground of immediate emancipation and urged the duty of unconditional liberty without expatriation, Mrs. Mott took an active part in the movement.  She was one of the founders of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1834.  "Being actively associated in the efforts for the slave's redemption," she says, "I have traveled thousands of miles in this country, holding meetings in some of the slave states, have been in the midst of mobs and violence, and have shared abundantly in the odium attached to the name of an uncompromising modern abolitionist, as well as partaken richly of the sweet return of peace attendant on those who would 'undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke."'  In 1840 she attended the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London.  Because she was a woman she was not admitted as a delegate.  All the female delegates, however, were treated with courtesy, though not with justice.  Mrs. Mott spoke frequently in the liberal churches of England, and her influence outside of the Convention had great effect on the Anti-Slavery movement in Great Britain.
     But the value of Mrs. Mott's anti-slavery work is not limited to what she individually did, great as that labor was.  Her influence over others, and especially the young, was extraordinary.  She made many converts, who went forth to spread the great ideas of freedom throughout the land.  No one can of himself accomplish great good.  He must labor through others, he must inspire them, convince the unbelieving, kindle the fires of faith in doubting souls, and in the unequal fight of Right with Wrong make Hope

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take the place of despair.  This Lucretia Mott has done.  Her example was an inspiration.
     In the Temperance reform Mrs. Mott took an early interest, and for many years she has practiced total abstinence from intoxicating drinks   In the cause of Peace she has been ever active, believing in the " ultra non-resistance ground, that no Christian can consistently uphold and actively engage in and support a government based on the sword."  Yet this, we believe, did not prevent her from taking a profound interest in the great war for the Union; though she deplored the means, her soul must have exulted in the result.  Through anguish and tears, blood and death America wrought out her salvation.  Do we not believe that the United States leads the cause of human freedom?  It follows then that the abolition of the gigantic system of human slavery in this country is the grandest event in modern history.  Mrs. Mott has also been earnestly engaged in aid of the working classes, and has labored effectively for " a radical change in the system which makes the rich richer, and the poor poorer."  In the Woman's Rights question she was early interested, and with Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she organized, in 1848, a Woman's Rights' Convention at Seneca Falls, New York.  At the proceedings of this meeting, "the nation was convulsed with laughter."  But who laughs now at this irresistible reform?
     The public career of Lucretia Mott is in perfect harmony with her private life.  "My life in the domestic sphere," she says, " has passed much as that of other wives and mothers of this country.  I have had six children.  Not accustomed to resigning them to the care of a nurse, I was much confined to them during their infancy and childhood.  "Notwithstanding her devotion to public matters her private duties were never neglected.  Many of our readers will no doubt remember Mrs. Mott at Anti-slavery meetings, her mind intently fixed upon the proceedings, while her hands were as busily engaged in useful sewing or knitting.  It is not our place to inquire too closely into this social circle, but we may say that Mrs. Mott's history is a living proof that the highest public duties may be reconciled with perfect fidelity to private responsibilities.  It is so with men, why should it be different with women?
     In her marriage, Mrs. Mott was fortunate.  James Mott was a worthy partner for such a woman.  He was born in June, 1788, in Long Island.  He was an anti-slavery man, almost before such a thing as anti-slavery was known.  In 1812 he refused to use any article which was produced by slave labor.  The directors of that greatest of all railway corporations, the Underground Rail Road, will never forget his services.  He died, January 26, 1868, having nearly completed his 80th year.  "Not only in regard to Slavery," said the "Philadelphia Morning Post," at the time," but in all things was Mr. Mott a reformer, and a radical, and while his principles were absolute, and his opinions uncompromising, his nature was singularly gener-

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ous and humane.  Charity was not to him a duty, but a delight; and the benevolence, which, in most good men, has some touch of vanity or selfish ness, always seemed in him pure, unconscious and disinterested.  His life was long and happy, and useful to his fellow-men.  He had been married for fifty-seven years, and none of the many friends of James and Lucretia Mott, need be told how much that union meant, nor what sorrow comes with its end in this world."  Mary Grew pronounced his fitting epitaph when she said: "He was ever calm, steadfast, and strong in the fore front of the conflict."
     In her seventy-ninth year, the energy of Lucretia Mott is undiminished, and her soul is as ardent in the cause to which her life has been devoted, as when in her youth she placed the will of a true woman against the impotence of prejudiced millions.  With the abolition of Slavery, and the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, her greatest life-work ended.  Since then, she ha« given much of her time to the Female Suffrage movement, and so late as November, 1871, she took an active part in the Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Peace Society.
     Since the great law was enacted, which made all men, black or white, equal in political rights—as they were always equal in the sight of God— Mrs. Mott has made it her business to visit every colored church in Philadelphia.  This we may regard as the formal closing of fifty years of work in behalf of a race which she has seen raised from a position of abject servitude, to one higher than that of a monarch's throne.  But though she may have ended this Anti-slavery work, which is but the foundation of the destiny of the colored race in America, her influence is not ended—that cannot die; it must live and grow and deepen, and generations hence the world will be happier and better that Lucretia Mott lived and labored for the good of all mankind.

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