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Dndei'gi'oand I^ailiioad 





R. C. §MEDLEY, M. D. 



Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of 
the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me." 

Matthkw zxv : 40. 
** If there is one attribute of our nature for which I thank God more, 
than for any other, it is that of sympathy.'* 

► • -ifc**k •"•» 'mmm w^ 

NOTE 1 O THh ilL AD ii R 

The paper in chis voh;n*ic is briMi-- or i!. .-: 
inner niargiii^ are exf'-crarly n^r.-^xv. 

We ha\o Inrand or rrbounJ tl;^: Vvjlun^c* 
utiliiinu the best Ti-iean*; uo^^i!" e. 


Genera l O o o .^ n ; r/ r: ! 5 -' g Co.. C ^-.r. s t ev. v, JkHO 


77^. 7// s- 

Entered according to Act of OonpreBs, in the year 1883, by 


In the office of the Librarian of CongreM, at Washington. 


CZG 51 



SURVIVING Members of those households in which 







would be none left but their descendants to tell of the 
perils and privations they endured to relieve and set 
free a " brother in chains/' while they were confronted 
by a Government, and surrounded by a people adverse 
to negro liberty. 

To visit the aged throughout the country who could 
relate their experiences better than write them, to cor- 
respond with others who were connected with the work, 
and thus to glean reminiscences of facts and record them 
in an interesting manner, worthy of preservation, was 
a task the writer felt himself unable to perform as fully 
as the intrinsic merits of the cause called for. But, 
admiring the unselfishness and sympathizing spirit of 
those noble-hearted men and women who sacrificed 
comfort and imperiled property to aid the fugitive to 
freedom, endured obloquy and maintained their inde- 
pendence and firmness in the fac« of all opposition in 
pleading for the rights of an oppressed and down-trodden 
race, he commenced the work, humbly trusting that his 
labors in collecting and writing this traditional history 
might prove interesting to the reader, and rescue from 
oblivion the works of a quiet, unpretending, liberty- 
loving and Christian people. 

Heroes have had their deeds of bravery upon battle- 


fields emblazoned in history, and their countrymen have 
delighted to do them honor ; statesmen have been re- 
nowned; and their names have been engraved upon the 
enduring tablets of fame ; philanthropists have had their 
acts of benevolence and charity proclaimed to an appre- 
ciating world ; ministers, pure and sincere in their gospel 
labors, have had their teachings collected in religious 
books that generations might profit by the reading ; but 
these moral heroes, out of the fullness of their hearts, 
with neither expectation of reward nor hope of remem- 
brance, have, within the privacy of their own homes, 
at an hour when the outside world was locked in slumber, 
clothed, fed, and in the darkness of night, whether in 
calm or in storms, assisted poor, degraded, hunted human 
beings on their way to liberty, despite the heavy penal- 
ties fixed by law for so doing. If the Government was 
wrong, as they claimed, in holding one race in bondage 
for the emolument and aggrandizement of a few — and 
that upon no other grounds than the color of their skin — 
they could not tacitly acquiesce in that injustice, but 
prompted by their conscientious convictions of duty, 
raised their voices against it, and advocated universal 
freedom and equality before the law. 

It is not the object of the writer in this work to treat 


of the anti-slavery principles and movement in general, 
uor of the pro-slavery principle combatted, except so far 
as these relate to, or have a direct bearing upon the 
management of this secret passage of the slave to free- 
dom. Nor was it the intention at first to enter into a 
description of this route of the assistance given fugitives, 
exc<»pt incidentally, beyond the limits of Chester county. 
But the sections of the line in contiguous counties being 
such important parts could not be omitted. Hence the 
labors of the author in collecting reminiscences, and the 
size of the volume, have been proportionately increased. 

He has endeavored to glean only well-authenticated 
facts, unadorned by the glowing colors of fancy, which 
lend such a charm and fascination to many descriptions 
of adventures. 

As the narration of incidents, amusing and pathetic, 
of wcU-de vised plans, promj)tness of action, and hair- 
breadth escapes, are as necessary to a history of this 
kind as the description of battles is to the history of a 
war, the author has endeavored to be punctiliously exact 
and truthful in relating those events as described to him 
by the families having immediate knowledge of the 
transactions, or who were themselves participators in 

• • • 


It 18 with feelings of much gratification that he is able 
to present to the readers the portraits of many of the 
leading men and women who were actively engaged in 
the " Underground Railroad," who dared to open their 
houses to the fiigitive slave, and to do unto him as they 
would be done by. With the exception of a few cuts, 
furnished through the kindness of William Still, all 
have been engraved expressly for this work from the 
best likenesses in the possession of the families. 

When we consider that from the beginning of the 
anti-slavery conflict until after the breaking out of the 
Rebellion, the whole North was, by a vast majority, pro- 
slavery ; when abolitionists were individually reviled 
and persecuted, even by churches of all denominations ; 
when their country meetings were frequently broken up 
by ruffians, and their city conventions dispersed by mobs ; 
when Faneuil Hall, the " Cradle of American Liberty," 
was refused by the Board of Aldermen to abolitionists 
for holding a convention, and afterwards used for pro- 
slavery purposes ; when but three ministers in all Boston 
could be found who would read to their congregations 
a notice of an anti-slavery meeting ; when Miss Prudence 
Crandall, of Canterbury, Conn., who opened a school 
for colored persons, was reftised all supplies and accom- 

inodatioiis in the town, was arr(\<t(Hl and ini})ri.^oned 
accordiug to a law passed by the Legislature of that 
State, after the commencement of her school, expretdj 
for the purpose of suppresring the education of the colored 
people, and that, too, in intelligent New England, where 
a system of public school education received its earliest 
support ; when a convention for the purpose of forming 
a State Anti-slavery Society in Utica, N. Y., was broken 
up and dispersed by a mob, headed by a former Judge 
of the county ; when newspapers refused to publish anti- 
slavery speeches, but poured forth such denunciations 
as : " The people will hereafter consider abolitionists as 
out of the pale of legal and conventional protection 
which society affords to its honest and well-meaning 
members," that " they will be treated as robbers and 
pirates, and as the enemies of the human kind ; " when 
the offices of anti-slavery papers were broken into and 
the presses and the type destroyed ; when William Lloyd 
Garrison, then editor of The Liberator , was seized and 
dragged bareheaded through the streets of Boston by a 
mob, many of whom sought to kill him ; when Elijah P. 
Lovejoy, for the same offence of editing an anti-slavery 
paper, was mobbed and shot to death in his office in 
Alton, 111. ; when Northern merchants extensively en- 


gaged in Southern trade, told abolitionists that as their 
pecuniary interests were largely connected with those of 
the South, they could not afford to allow them to suc- 
ceed in their efforts to overthrow slavery, that millions 
upon millions of dollars were due them from Southern 
merchants, the payment of which would be jeopardized 
by any rupture between the North and South, and that 
they would put them down by fair means if they could, 
but by foul means if they must ; with all this violent 
pro-slavery spirit existing throughout the North, and 
the Fugitive Slave Law, like a sword of power in the 
hands of slave-holders, ready to be wielded by them 
against any one assisting a slave to freedom, we must 
concede that it required the manhood of a man, and the 
unflinching fortitude of a woman, upheld by a full and 
firm Christian faith, to be an abolitionist in those days, 
and especially an Underground Railroad agent. 

It need scarcely be reiterated that this malevolent 
spirit was wrought up to white heat in the South. An 
abolitionist could not travel there without persecution 
and threats of death ; from five to twenty thousand 
dollars reward was offered at different times by Southern 
gentlemen for the arrest and delivery into their hands of 
William Lloyd Garrison, Arthur Tappan and others. 

...,v »M I'licoiiratriiiL^ a fccliii^^ ol' hat 

om the direct antagonists to anti-s^ 
apathetic people who heard recitals o 
nflicted upon slaves, of the labors of abo 
ate people against the tyranny of the 83 
"secutions inflicted upon them for so c 
ing a thought or manifesting a feeling 
. William Lloyd Garrison became < 
nversation one time when alluding to \ 
and the sin of slavery. His friend, Sai 
d to him : " Do try to keep cool, my fri< 
re all on fire." Laying his hand upon ]M 
th a kind and sympathetic pressure, he 
with a deep emotion : " Brother Ma 

U^ - »» 


institution of slavery — a rebellion against the Govern- 
ment which had recognized and protected the system, 
and still offered protection to it that the Union might be 
preserved. By the Proclamation of Lincoln, as a 
means to acquire victory, to hasten the termination of 
war and to establish a peace, the fetters of four millions 
of human beings were struck off and they were declared 
henceforth and forever free. 

The stars and stripes of American liberty are now no 
longer fanned by the mingled breath of master and 
slave, and the American eagle looks down exultantly 
from his majestic soarings upon a broad, free country, 
of which he is the proud and honored National emblem. 

The one great cause of sectional animosity being now 
removed, let us devoutly hope that all will be united in 
one common brotherhood, actuated by one common 
purpose — the prosperity, welfare and happiness of the 
whole people living under the protection and regulation 
of a wise, well-administered, general Government. 

Trusting that this volume may ^Ifill the limited 
mission for which it is designed, it is humbly submitted 
to the public as a brief record of a few incidents in the 
lives of those who, although environed by constant 
danger in the days of slavery, successfully managed the 



Underground Railroad in Gheeter and adjoining counties, 
until universal freedom made it no longer a necessary 
pathway of the slave to liberty. 

West Chester, Pa., 10th Mo. 9th, 1882. 























JOHN COX, - 273 












Opposition to dause in Constitution Sanctioning Slavery.— Origin of 
Organized Ssrstem of Underground Railroad work in Columbia.— 
Early Settlement of Friends There.— First Attempt at Kidnapping. 
— WnxiAM Wright.— Increasing Number of Fugitives.— Routes 
and Agents Established. — Origin of the Term, Underground 
Railroad. Paok 25 


Slaves Escape in Large Numbers from Harford and Baltimore Coun- 
ties, Md.— Agents at Gettysburg.- At York Springs.- William 
Wright.— Twenty-Six Fugitives.— Another Party of Sixteen.— 
Another of Four.— Death of Wm. Wright, York Springs.— Agents 
in York.— Attempts to Intercept Fugitives at Columbia.-^AMUKL 
W. MiFVXJN.— Incidents. 96 


Davikl ahd Hannah Oisbons.— Jambs Gibbons.— Incidents.— Daniel 
Gibbon's Method of Questioning Fugitives. — Other Incidents. 53 


De. Josxpb OiBBONB.— Early Education.— Studies Medicine.— His Wife 
Phbbb Earlb Gibbons, a Contributor to Literature.— Dr. Gibbons 
Establishes The Journal.— Dr. J. K. Eshleman.— Incidents. 59 


Tboxas Whitson.— Member of First National Anti-Slavery Conven- 
tion.— Incidents.— Jacob Bushong.- Incidents.— Jbbbmiah Moors. 
—Incidents. 07 



Joseph and Calkb C. Hood.— Women Aided by Ber. CSiarles T. 
Torrey on His Last Trip to Maryland.— Sketch of the Ufe of 
ToRREY.— Thr«e Men Who Had Been Engaged in the Christiana 
Riot.— Other Incidents.— Lindlxy Coatbs.— Incidents.— Joshua 
Bbinton.— Incidents. 80 


Joseph Fulton.— Incidents. — ^Assists Wives of Parker and Pinkney. — 
M0SR8 Whitson.— Colored Man Betrayed by FoTtnne-Teller. — ^Inci- 
dentH.— William Baer Assists in Capturing a Slave at Marsh Cham- 
berlain^H.— Abraham Bonsall.— Elisha Tyson.— Thomas Bonsaix. 
Meeting of Abolitionists.— Clarkson Anti-Slavery Society Formed. 
—Incidents.— Marriage to Susan P. Johnson. 90 


The Christiana Teaordy.— Sketch of Life of William Parker.- Dick- 
crson Gorsuch lAy Wounded, and was Cared for at the House of 
I^vi Pownall. — Castner Han way Tried for Treason. — Other Cases 
Removed to Lancaster. — Acquittal. 107 


J. Williabis TuoRXK.—IncidentH.— Kidnapping at Michael Myers. — 
Seymour C. Williamson.- James Fulton, Jr., and Gideon 
Pierce.— Incident8.—<*RAVNER and Hannah Marsh.— Incidents.— 
Saruh Marsh niarricH Eusebius Barnar<l.— Work of Station Closes. 



John Vickers, Early Education and Domestic Life. — Incidents. — Abner 
I^ndrum. — Other Incidents. — Paxson Vickers.— Charles Moore. 
Mieojah and William A. Spcaknian.— Sarah A., daughter of Miea- 
jah, marries J. Miller McKim. 143 


Tm: Lewis Family.— Descent.— Lalx>r.s for the Slave— Clothing Fur- 
nished Fugitives by Friend.s.— Incidents,- Dr. Edwin Fusskll. — 
Experience and Incidents. 1C8 



NoBRiB Maris.— Lewis Pkabt.— A Dream.— Emmon Kimbeb.— Sketch 
of Experiences of Rachel Habbis.— ''Cunningham's Rache." — 
Abbie Klrabcr.— Gertrude Kimber Burleigrh. 191 


Eluab F. Pehkypackeb. — ^Incidents.— Parentage.— Member of Legis- 
lature.— Marriage.— Enters Ministry.— Joseph P. Scablett.— 
Saved Life of Dickerson Oorsuch at Christiana.— Arrested.— Ac- 
quitted.— Thomas Le^'Is.— Thomas Read.— Incidents.— Daniel 
Ross. — Amusing Incident at Company.— Public Opinion. — Db. 
Jacob L. Paxson.— Assists Parker, Pinkney and Johnson. — Inter- 
esting Colored Family. 206 


JoHEPH Smith.- Incident in Canada.— Marriage and Death.— Oliteu 
FuRNiss.— John N. Russell. — ^Thomas Garrett.— Inspiration.- 
Marriage. — Arrested and Fined.— Prospered Afterward.— Reward 
OlTered. — Plan of Management. — Woman Escaped in VI ife's Cloth- 
ing.— Death.— JacoB 1>.indlby. —Earliest Worker.- Death.— Levi 
B. Wabd.— Kidnapping.— James N. Taylob.— Assisted Parker, 
Pinkney and Johnson. 227 


Isaac and Dinah Mbndenhall.— Interesting Incidents.— Habbiet 
Tubman.— Assists Parker, Pinkney and Johnson.— 'Squire Jacob 
Lambom.— Sarah Pearson Opens Free Produce Store in Hamor- 
ton.— Isaac Mcndenhall Disowned.- Assist in Organizing Society 
of Progressive Friends.— Reunited to Original Society.— Golden 
Anniversary of Wedding.— Original Estate. 249 


Db. Babtholomew Fu88ELL.—Parentage.— Teaches Colored School 
in Maryland. — Studies Medicine.— Lydia Morris Fussell. — Influence 
of Charles C. Burleigh.— Incidents.— About Two Thousand Fugi- 
tives Passed.- Women's Medical College.— Death and Burial.— 
Incidents Related by His Son.— John and Hannah Cox.— Inci- 
dents.— Take Active Part in Anti-slavery Societies. — Golden Wed- 
ding Anniversary.— Greeting.— Death. 260 



HiMov Barnard.— DifTerenoes at Kenneit Square.— Incidente.—AR«Bi 
of Charles C. Burleigh.— Euskbius Barnarb.— Inddenta.— Euw- 
biufl R. Barnard's tedious Journey.— Eusebius Bamard^s Ministry. 
— Wiliiam Barnard with Eusebius and Others Assists in Founding 
Society of Prc^^ressive Friends.— Kidnapping at house of Zebulon 
Thomas. 282 


Isaac and Thamazink P. Mkrkdzth.— Mordrcai and ErrHSR Hatrs. 
— Mahlon and AMOsPRBErroN.— Chanducr and Hannah M. Dar- 
lington.— Brnjamin AND Hannah S. Kent.— A Large Party of 
Fugitives.— Enoch Lkwis.— Conscientious Labors.— Redeems a 
Negro at (Ireat Risk. 801 


Brnjamin Pricr.— Hia Fatlier, Philip Price, Assists Runaways.— In- 
cidents.— Golden Weddings.— 8 am uEi. M. Painter.— Abraham D. 
Sliadd, John Brown and Benjamin Freemen.— Nathan Evans. 323 


Jamb) Le^'is and James T. Dannakrb.— Muny Fugitives Taken to the 
Anti-slavery Ofllce, Philadelphia.— Robert I^rvis.— The I>orsey 
Brothers. 814 


Letters Received by William Still, 303.— American Anti-Slavery So- 
ciety, 868.— The Fugitive Slave Law, 381.— Lincoln's Caution and 
Ci>nscieutiou8ness, 387.— Letter to Horace Greely, 388.— Visit From 
Delegation of Ministers, 390. — I'roclamution of Euiuncipatioii, 3U1. — 

ExtractH From MeHsages, &c., 3D3.— AmoiidmcntH toCouHtilutioii, 






Oppoflition to Clause in Constitution Sanctioning Slavery. — Origfn of 
Organized System of Underground Railroad work in Columbia.— 
Early Settlement of Friends There.— First Attempt at Kidnapping. 
— William Wright. — Increasing Number of Fugitives.— Routes 
and Agents Kstablished. — Origin of the Term, Underground 

When the conveutioii to frame the Constitution of 
the United States met in Philadelphia in May, 1787, 
many were oj)p()sed to the clause sanctioning negro 
slavery. They felt it to be incompatible with the prin- 
ciples of the Declaration of Indepencjence which had 
inspired, cncourageii and supj)orted them during their 
long and arduous struggle for liberty, — " that all men 
were created equal ; that they were endowed by their 
Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among 
these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." 
And they felt it to be an abjuration of the solemn pro- 
mise made at the close of that Declaration, that " for 
the support of which, with a firm reliance (m the pro- 
tection of Divine Providence, they mutually pledge to 
each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred 
honor." And they further held it to be inconsistent 
with the principles of the free government they were 



about to establish, to hold any class of people in a 
bondage more oppressive, more degrading, and more 
tyrannical than that from which they had just emanci- 
pated * themselves through the trials, vicissitudes and 
privations of a seven years' war. After much discussion 
and dissension, they yielded to the adoption of this 
clause, with the ho}>e that ere long the wisdom, humanity 
and justice of the people would annihilate forever the 
obnoxious system of human slavery from a soil they had 
nobly fought to make free. 

This relic of ancient despotism, making chattel pro- 
perty of man, having now been incorporated as a part 
of the Constitution, the friends of universal liberty as- 
sumed very little direct antagonism toward it until some 
cases of kidnapping and shooting of fugitives who at- 
tempted to escape, occurred in Columbia, Pa., in 1804. 
This incited the people of that town, who were chiefly 
Friends or their descendants, to throw around the col- 
ored people the arm of protection, and even to assist 
those who were endeavoring to escape from slavery to a 
section of country where they might be free. This gave 
origin to that organized system of rendering aid to fugi- 
tives which was afterward known as the " Underground 

The active and determined position to which the op- 
ponents of slavery were now aroused, and the large 
number of colored people who had settled in Columbia, 
made that place the goal of the fugitive to which he 
directed his anxious footsteps with the reasonable hope 
that when arriving there he would receive aid and direc- 
tions ou his way to freedom. His expectations were 
not dij?app()inted. 


More than a passing allusion is due to Columbia, as « 
it was there those sentiments were fostered and feelings \ 
aroused which developed into a secret and successful 
plan of transporting the slave through friendly hands 
from bondage to freedom. In 1726 John Wright and 
Robert Barber removed from Chester, Pa., and settled 
there. In the following year Samuel Blunson also 
removed there from the same place. These persons 
were Friends, or Quakers. Barber and Bhmson owned 
a number of slaves, mostly domestics in their families. 
When Samuel Blunson died, in September, 1746, he 
manumitted his slaves and provided for them. The 
descendants of Barber gradually quit owning slaves 
and came to hate slavery. Their influence and example 
made an impression upon the small community which 
lived upon their lands at and around Wright^s Ferry. 

In 1787 Samuel Wright, grandson of John Wright, 
Esq., laid out the town of Columbia. The lots were 
disposed of by lottery and all sold, and many substan- 
tial persons from Bucks, Montgomery and Chester 
counties, and Philadelphia settled there. A majority 
of them were Quakers, who bore a decided testimony 
against the holding of human beings in slavery. 

Gradually all the colored people in the vicinity col- 
lected in the northeastern part of the borough upon 
lots given them by the Wrights. Being thus brought 
into one community it was (juite natural that any 
strange colored persons going that way would seek shelter 
among them. 

In 1804 General Thomas Boude, of Columbia, a revo- 
lutionary officer of distinction, who had been a member 
of the State Legislature, and who had represented Lan- 


caster and Chester counties in Congress two terms, 
purchased a young slave, named Stephen Smith, of a Mr. 
Cochrane, living a few miles south of Harrisburg. 
Smith would have been free at 28, but was given his 
liberty before that time. In the same year Smith's 
mother ran away from Cochrane and went to General 
Boude's. In a few weeks a spinster rode up to the 
house, dismounted, and walked into the kitchen without 
any ceremony. Meeting Mrs. Smith she ordered her 
to ** pack up her duds and come with her." Mrs. Smith 
refused, whereupon she seized her and endeavored to 
carry her to the horse and bear her off. Young Stephen 
ran out and told the General, who came to the house 
and ordered the woman awav. This wa»s the first case 
of attempted kidnapping that occurred in Columbia so 
far as is known. The General afterwards purchased 
Mrs. Smith. 

About this time a wealthy planter of Virginia manu- 
mitted his slaves, fifty-six in number. The heirs en- 
deavored to retain them as their property, but after two 
years of litigation the Legislature of Virginia and the 
courts decreed their freedom. They were brought to 
Columbia in wagons. 

A year later Sally Bell, a Friend, of Virginia, emanci- 
pated about 75 or 100 slaves, who also settled in 
Columbia. Quite a number of slaves fled from their 
masters and went there. Frequent attempts? were nuide 
by pursuers to capture and return them to slavery, 
some of* which were successful. 


William Wright, of Columbia, who had become an 
uucoinpromisiug hater of slavery, was an active man of 


strong nerve power, possessing a thorough knowledge of 
the law pertaining to the institution, and a presence of 
mind equal to any occasion. He assisted all fugitives 
who applied to him, and when he heard of any being 
captured, he lost no opportunity by his broad deep 
strategy, in court or out of it, to secure the captive*s 

On several occasions when fugitives came to his place 
closely pursued by their hunters, he hastily dressed 
them in women's clothes and sent them to Daniel 
Gibbons, about six miles east of Lancaster. 

The slaves were now escaping in such large numbers, 
and passing through Columbia, that the slaveholders de- 
termined to intercept them by employing men to watch 
the place and arrest every fugitive. They paid a man 
named Eaton several hundred dollars a year to remain 
there and give information ; and also stipulated with 
Charles Taylor, who drove stage between Columbia, 
York and Baltimore, for the same purpose. Notwith- 
standing this, few arrests were made, and of those appre- 
hended some were rescued by the active abolitionists 
before they could be returned to bondage. The colored 
I)eople of the town manifested no particularly tender 
feelings toward any one that came there, for the purpose 
of carrying them back into slavery. They made a 
swoop one day upon a slave catcher, named Isaac 
Brooks, bore him through a deep snow to the back j)art 
of town, stripped him of his clothing and whipped him 
soundly with hickory-withes. He was never seen in 
Columbia afterwards. 

The increased numbers now arriving made it neces- 
sary to establish other and reliable agencies along some 


direct line to the Eastern States and Canada, whither 
most of the fugitives desired to go, although many pre- 
ferred remaining ^vith friendly farmers along the road 
and taking their chances for safety. This line very 
naturally shaped itself by way of some of the noblest 
hearted, earnest, sympathizing Abolitionists in Adams, 
York, Lancaster, Chester, Montgomery, Berks and 
Bucks counties to Phoenixville, Norristown, Quaker- 
town, Reading, Philadelphia and other places. The two 
first stations nearest the Maryland line were Gettys- 
burg and York. When ten or twenty fugitives arrived 
in a gang at Gettysburg, half were sent to Harrisburg 
and half to Columbia. The Columbia branch was 
chiefly used as it had better facilities for escape. Sta- 
tions were established southward from Columbia toward 
the Maryland line, and northward or eastward at dis- 
tances about 10 miles apart. 

The principal agents on the line running northward 
and eastward were Daniel Gibbons, Thomas Peart, 
Thomas Whitson, Lindley Coates, Dr. Eshleman, James 
Moore, Caleb C. Hood, of Lancaster county ; James 
Fulton, Gideon Pierce, Joseph Haines, Thomas Bonsall, 
Gravner Marsh, Zebulon Tboniaj^, Thomas Vickers, 
John Vickers, Micajah and William A. Speakman, 
l^jstlicr Lewis and daughters, Dr. Edwin Fussell, William 
Fus.<ell, Norri-s Marls, Emmor'Kiniber, and Elijah F. 
Pennyi)acker, of Chester county ; Rev. Samuel Aaron, 
Isaac Roberts, John Rol)crts, Dr. Wm. Corson, Dr. 
Jacob L. Paxson, Daniel Ross, colored, and others of 
Norristown. This was subsi'(|uently called the northern 
route through Chester county. 

Thus was the Underground Railroad established and 


put into successfiil operation until, as Thomas Garrett 
said, " the government went into the business, and made 
a wholesale emancipation." And to William Wright, ^ 
of Columbia, grandson of John Wright, is due the 
credit of being one of the first anti-slavery advocates 
who arranged and put into practice, at the risk of his 
life, this well-known but secretly conducted transit of 
the slave from bondage to freedom. 

The inherent spirit of liberty now impelled still ^ 
greater numbers along the border counties, and further 
south, to leave their masters, and in pursuing a northern 
course the majority of them came through the southern 
part of Lancaster and Chester counties. The ever 
benevolent abolitionists assisted them from friend to 
friend, until another route, more travelled than the first, 
was, almost as if by spontaneity, established among 
them. This, with its branches, was called the southern 
and middle route. Being contiguous to the border 
slave States, a rapid transit of passengers had to be 
made, which was not unfrequently attended with excit- 
ing incidents of close pursuit and of narrow escapes. 

Many who came on this route crossed the Susque- 
hanna at points in the vicinity of Havre-dc-Grace, and 
were forwarded by Joseph Smith, Oliver Furniss, and 
others in Lancaster county. A still greater number 
came from Wilmington through the hands of Thomas 
Garrett, Benjamin, William and Thomas Webb, and 
Isaac S. Flint. Many others came direct from the more 
Southern Slave States, travelling by night only, and 
guided solely by the North star — their universal guide — 
until they reached some abolition friends along the line, 
who fed them^ secreted them by day, and either took 


them to the next station at night, or gave them notes 
with the names of agents, and directions how to find 

Every slave that came from the South knew the 
North Star, and that by following it he would reach a 
land of freedom. Trusting to this beacon light before 
them as a celestial pilot, thousands successAilly made 
their escape, ^he slaveholders knowing thi6, freely ex- 
pressed their hatred for that star, and declared, if they 
could, they would tear it fr^m its place in the heavens. 
But Josiah Henson, who was the character selected by 
Harriet Beecher Stowe as " Uncle Tom" in her " Uncle 
Tours Cabin," said, "Blessed be God for setting it 

Some of the branches of this line interlaced with the 
northern route, particularly at the Pierces and the 
Fultons in Ercildoun; lA>vi Coates, near Cochran- 
ville ; Gravner Marsh, Cain ; Esther Lewis and daugh- 
ters, Vincent ; John Vickers, near Lionville, and Elijah 
F. Pennypacker's, near Phocnixvillc. At this place 
quite a number crossed the river into Montgomery 
county, and were sent in difierent directions, many of 
them to Norristown. 

One route from Havrcrde-Grace was by way of 
Thomas, Eli and Cliarles Hambleton's in Ponn town- 
ship to Ercildoun, thence to Gravner Marsfi's, John 
Vickecs*, and so on. Th(«e who were sick or worn out 
wore taken to Esther Lewis's and carefully nursed until 
al)le to proceed further. 

After leaving AVihuington, the nuiin route came by 
way of Allen and ISIaria Agnew, Isaac and Dinah 
Mendenhall, Dr. Bartholomew Fussell, and John and 


Hannah Cox, near Kennet; Simon and Sarah D. 
Barnard, East Marlborough; Eusebius and Sarah 
Marsh Barnard and Wm. Barnard, Pocopein ; Isaac and 
Thamazine P. Meredith, Mordecai and Esther Hayes, 
Newlin ; James Fulton, Jr., and Gideon Pierce, Ercil- 
doun ; Dr. Eshelman, Zebulon Thomas and daughters, 
Don^rningtown ; Micajah and William Speakman, 
Uwchlan ; John Vickers and Charles Moore, Lionville ; 
Esther Lewis and daughters, Mary, Elizabeth and 
Graceanna, William Fussell, Dr. Edwin Fussell and 
Norris Maris, West Vincent ; Emmor Kimberj Kimber- 
ton, and Elijah F. Pennypacker, near Phoenixville. 

Another branch passed by way of Chandler Dar- 
lington, Kennet ; Benjamin Price, East Bradford ; the 
Darlington sisters and Abraham D. Sliadd, West ^ 
Chester. Dividing here, one portion united with the 
northern and middle routes at John Vickers', and the 
other went to Nathan Evans, Willistown. Again divid- 
ing, one branch went to Philadelphia, the other to 
Elijah F. Pennypacker's, near Phoenixville. 

When fugitives arrived at any of the stations in large 

numbers, and close together, many were frequently sent 

off the direct route to well known abolitionists in order 

to elude pursuit should slave-hunters be on their track. 

Among these, on the northern route, were Jeremiah 

Moore, Christiana ; Dr. Augustus W. Cain, West Sads^ 

bury; Joseph Brinton, Salisbury, Lancaster county; 

Joseph Moore, Sadsbury, Lancaster county; Joseph 

Fulton, West Sadsbury ; J. Williams Thome and James 

Williams, Sadsbury — the latter known as "Abolition 

Jim," in contradistinction to one of siime name near by, 

but of opi)08ite principles — Seymour C. Williamson, 


Cain ; William Trimble, West Whiteland, and Charles 
Moore, Lionville. 

Along the lower route were Mahlon and Amos Pres- 
ton, and Wm. Jackson, near West Grove; Benjamin 
and Hannah Kent, Penn township, and others who oc- 
casionally gave willing aid when required, but whose 
residences were not so located as to give them advantages 
whereby they could expedite travel to the safety of the 

To convey passengers successfully over the great 
trunk lines and branches of this road from its beginning 
to its terminus, to prevent captures, and to escape ar- 
rests and the mulcting punishments attached to slave- 
holding laws, required men of firmness, courage, sa- 
gacity, coolness and intrepidity in time of danger, pre- 
dominant philantrophy impelling them to do unto the 
liberty-seeking slave as they would be done by under 
similar circumstances, and having firm reliance on Him 
who commanded to " undo the heavy burdens, and to let 
the oppressed go free." And it is a notable fact that 
nearly all who thus assisted the fugitive to freedom were 
members of the Society of Friends ; although the ma- 
jority of that society, while averse to slavery, took no 
part in the labors, and, with few exceptions, refused the 
use of their meeting-houses for anti-slavery lectures. 

In the early j)art of this concerted manageniont 
slaves were hunted and tracked as far as Columbia. 
There the pursuers lost all trace of them. Tlie most 
scrutinizing intjuiries, the most vigorous search, failed 
to educe any knowledge of them. Their pursuers seemed 
to have reached an abvss, bevond which thev could not 
see, the de]>ths of which they could not fathom, and in 



their bewilderment and discomfiture they declared there 
mtut be an underground railroad aomewhere. This gave 
origin to the term by which this secret passage from 
bondage to fi-eedom was designated ever after. 


Slavefl Escape in Large Numbers from Harford and Baltimore Coun- 
ties, Md.— Agents at Gettysburg.— At York Springs.— William 
Wright.— Twenty-Six Fugitives.- Another F&rty of Sixteen.— 
Another of Four.— Death of Wk. Wright, York Springs.— Agents 
in York.— Attempts to Intercept Fugitives at Columbia.— Samtbl 
W. MiFFL-iw.- Incidents. 

Th^ counties of Frederick, Carroll, Washington, Har- 
ford and Baltimore, Md., emptied their fugitives into 
York and Adams counties across the line in Pennsylva- 
nia. The latter two counties had settlements of Friends 
and abolitionists. The slaves learned who their friends 
were in that part of the Free State ; and it was as 
natural for those a8])iring to liberty to move in that 
direction, as for the waters of brooks to move toward 
larger streams. 

Ahiong the most active agents at (Jetty sburg, the 
station nearest the Maryland line, was a colored man 
whose residence was at the southern boundary of the 
the town, and Hamilton Everett, who lived a short dis- 
tance north of the suburbs. Thaddeus Stevens, as a 
young lawyer, first practising his profession, rendered 
valuable assistance. 

There was a very friendly feeling in Gettysburg 
towards the abolitionists. The professors at the Col- 
lege and at the Theological Seminary were anti-slavery 
in sentiment and contributed to the cause ; but they had 
to do it cautiously, as many of their students were from 
the Southern States. 

At the next important station, York Springs, Adams 




county, one of the most noted and successful managers 
was William Wright, a Friend. While possessing 
wisdom, sagacity and firmness to an eminent degree, he 
was as unassuming in manner as he was earnest and 
efficient in action. 

He was bom 12th mo. (December) 21st, 1788. In 
11th mo. (November), 1817, he married Phebe Wier- 
man, sister of Hannah W. Gibbons, the wife of that 
sage and sympathizing friend of the slave, Daniel Gib- 
bons. William and Phebe Wright resided during their 
entire lives in a very old settlement of Friends, near 
the southern slope of South Mountain, a spur of the 
Alleghanies, which extends into Tennessee. This loca- 
tion placed them directly in the way to render great 
and valuable aid to fligitives, as Imndreds guided by 
that mountain range northward, came into Pennsyl- 
vania, and were directed to their home. 

A party of twenty-six came to York about 1842, from 
Anne Arundel county, Md. It was one night's walk 
from there to Wrightsville, the next important station. 
The night being cloudy they became bewildered on their 
way, and concluded they could travel in day time. They 
turned around and were coming back, when they met a 
colored man near York who knew they were slaves, and 
told them they were going toward Maryland. He put 
them on the right road, with directions northward. 
Early next morning, when near Wrightsville, they fol- 
lowed some wagons which they knew were going there. 
Ailer crossing the bridge into Columbia they were 
happy, and lay around on the ground, thinking they 
were safe in Canada. They were spoken to by a person 
who knew they were fugitives, and told of their danger. 


They looked astonished, and asked if they were not in 
Canada. When told not, they were frightened, and 
Boiiie started off in the midst of his talking, and oould 
scarcely be persuaded to wait for directions. They wete 
armed with clubs, pistols and guns. He finally induced 
them to listen to him long enough to give them direc- 
tions how they should pass through Columbia. But 
they started off in one gang through the streets, defying 
any authority that might attempt to apprehend them. 

When nearing Lancaster they met a man who knew 
from their appearance that they were slaves. He 
stopped and tried to converse with them; but they 
seemed to distrust his purpose, and appeared determined 
to proceed headlong despite all counsel. But finally he 
convinced them that he was their friend, and that there 
was a large town a short distance ahead where they 
would be in danger unless they listened to and obeyed 
his directions. He then told them how to enter the 
town, to pass the Court-house, and to go on until they 
came opposite an office — describing it so they would 
know it. They were then to enter and walk up to a 
man, who was Thaddeus Stevens, and give him a paper 
upon which had been written an account of the men. 
Thev did so. He told them to sit down and he would 
get them something to eat. After refreshing themselves 
he pave them directions to Daniel Gibbons. 

Daniel was sitting on his piazza when they came up. 
He accosted them with, " come in boys ; I know who 
you are ; I have been looking for you.*' After giving 
them food he separated the party, and sent them in dif- 
ferent directions. 

A party of sixteen came to York about 1843, and were 


consigned to Joel Fisher of that place, who was in con- 
stant correspondence with William Wright and Dr. 
Lewis, of Lewisburg. When they arrived, William 
Wright and Dr. Lewis happened to be at Joel Fisher's 
house. The fugitives were taken into a neighboring 
cornfield and hidden under the shocks. The following 
night Dr. Lewis piloted them to hear his house at Lew- 
isburg on the Conewago, where they were concealed sev- 
eral days, the doctor carrying them provisions in his 
saddle-bags. When their pursuers had ceased hunting 
for them in William Wright's neighborhood, he went 
down to Lewisburg, and in company with Dr. Lewis 
took the sixteen across the river, fording it on horse- 
back, taking the men and women behind them, and car- 
rying the children in their arms. It was a gloomy night 
in November. Dark heavy clouds swept across the 
sky, obscuring at intervals the light of the moon, and 
casting their sombre shadows upon the waters which, 
swollen by recent rains, were rolling in a dangerous tor- 
rent. When the last one had got safely over, the doctor, 
who professed to be an atheist, looked upon the party 
and their midnight surroundings, and upon the efforts 
being made in behalf of these poor creatures, and from 
the depth of a heart filled with sympathy he exclaimed : 
" Great God ! is this a Christian land ; and are Chris- 
tians thus forced to flee for their liberty?" William 
Wright took the party to his house that night, and con- 
cealed them in a forest near by until it was safe to start 
them on their way to Canada. 

In the early part of harvest, 1851, four slaves came 
to William Wright's house from Maryland. They were 
in a state of semi-nudity, their clothing being nearly all 


torn off and hanging in tatten. At this hospitable 
home they were fiimiBhed with clothing and shoes. 
Learning that the slaveholders had gone to Harrisbuig 
in search of them, two were concealed at William 
Wright's place, and the other two sent for concealment 
to Joel Wierman, his brother-in-law, two miles distant. 
In a day or two while William Wright with the colored. 
men and some workmen was at the bam, a party of 
hunters came up and recognized the two slaves as be* 
longing to one of their numbers. The negroes, appar- 
ently giving themselves up, said they had left their coats 
at the house. William Wright told them to go and get 
them. One was seen by the &mily to take his coat 
hastily from one of the out-buildings. Giving them 
time to get their coats, William Wright and the slave- 
holders walked leisurely to the house. 

Stepping upon the piazza where his wife was seated, 
he said, giving her a significant and piercing glance, 

" Phebe, these are Mr. and Mr. and Mr. 

from Maryland, and Mr. from Pennsylvania. 

Grentlemen, this is my wife. These gentlemen claim to 
be the owners of Tom, Fenton, Sam and Greorge. Gen- 
tlemen, be seated." Taking from her husband's look 
that they were to be entertained and thus delayed for a 
purpose, Phebe Wright arose in her dignified manner 
and seconded her husband in his invitation. Her eldest 
(laughter coming to the door she cast at her a glance 
that told the story. William Wright sent for sonie 
fresh water and some cherries that were near bv in the 
dining room. After these elaborate preliminaries, which 
took some time, had been gone through with, Phebe 
Wright said, in rather a surprised tone : '* Do I under- 


stand you to say that you claun to be the owners of these 
colored men?" On their replying in the affirmative, 
she said : " Do you recognize the Scripture as the guide 
of your lives ?" " Certainly, madame," said one, assum- 
ing a a very sanctimonious air, ^* I am an elder in the 
Baptist church." He proved, although, as subsequent 
events showed, a very bad man, to be not without fear 
of the higher law, for, when Phebe Wright, sending for 
the Bible, proved to him from its pages the sin that he 
was committing in holding slaves, his teeth chattered 
with terror. After three-quarters of an hour thus spent, 
they arose sajring that it was time to proceed to business, 
and asked William Wright to produce the men. He 
replied : " Oh ! that is not my business at all ; if they 
are you slaves, as you assert, you saw them, it was your 
business to take them." In answer to their assertion that 
he was hiding their slaves, he said : " Haven't I been 
here all the time? How can I have concealed your 
slaves? K you have your lawful authority here is the 
house ; search it. I shall not help you, but I can't pre- 
vent you." With this they showed their warrants and 
proceeded to search the house. After this they went 
through the out-buildings, William Wright saying : " I 
will go with you. You charge me with being responsi- 
ble for your slaves ; this I deny, as they were within 
your grasp half an hour ago." Continuing, he said : 
"Gentlemen, I protest against this whole proceeding 
and consider the Fugitive Slave Law no law in that it 
contravenes the law of God. But, you have the wicked 
law of the land on your side. I can't prevent you." 
Of course all this was done to detain the slaveholders 
and to give the slaves a chance to escaj)e. In the search 


they paased the carriage-houae, which stood a little to 
one side of the path between the house and the bam. 
They never seemed to think of entering this building. 
After the search was over/ they having been induoed to 
enter every nook and comer and to look into the moat 
out-of-the-way and absurd places William Wright stood 
in the path a little beyond the carriage-house and indi- 
cating it, his out-buildings and house vrith a sweeping 
gesture of the hand, said : " Now, gentlemen, you will 
acknowledge that you have searched my house and out- 
buildings to your hearts' content. If you are still un- 
satisfied, we'll search the bam." So they searched the 
barn and then departed, expressing, with muttered 
oaths, much discontent at being, as they said, " hood- 

After their departure, tlie old Hkve Tom was found in 
the carriage-house, between the seats of the carriage, on 
his knees. He said that all tlie time the search was 
going on he was praying that the Lord would blind the 
searchers' eyes and confuse their understandings. To 
Phcbe Wright's question, whether he was afraid, he re- 
plied, "No, raadame, no. I felt dat de Lawd was 
about dah." It then appeared that William Wright, as 
he was escorting the slaveholders from the barn to the 
house, had seen this man^s heels disapjMiaring within the 
carriage-house door. 

Fentou, who, by the way, was the son of the Baptist 
dcaccm, had taken refuge in a rye field. Beyond the 
house was a ditch which, at this time, was overgrown 
with reeds and tall grass. Into this he jumped and 
crawling, on his hands and knees, the distance of one 
field, entered the second which was the rye field afore- 


said. Here he remained till eleven o'clock at night 
when he came to the house, indicated his presence by 
whistling and rejoined Tom. They were fed and sent 
back to the rye field where they remained for several 
days, being fed at night. 

The other two were taken to the farm of Joel Wier- 
man, where they remained concealed for several days in 
the bam. One of them, tiring of the monotony, begged 
to be allowed to go into the com field where there were 
some men at work. Joel Wierman did not w^ish him to 
do this, but he persisted. To this field came the masters, 
fresh from their search at William Wright's. As soon 
Bs he saw them he ran across two fields, they following 
at full speed, and Joel Wierman bringing up the rear. 
Coming to a large stream, he plunged in and reached 
the opposite bank, which was very steep. As he began 
to climb it, they shouted to hira that if he persisted, 
they would shoot him, they having fair aim. In dread 
of sudden death, he hesitated and they caught up with 
and captured him. His hands were tied behind him, 
the master holding the rope. Thus he was brought to 
William Wright's house. Phebe Wright quoted Scrip- 
ture to the master, and used every argument she was 
mistress of, to induce him to promise not to sell Sam to 
the far South. " I assure you, madame," was his reply, 
" I am a paternal master. I don't desire the money this 
man would bring or even his services, but only to make 
him comfortable. Just look at the rags he is in. He 
would make you believe that he is kept in this way. I 
assure you he is not. He has run away and hidden in 
the mountains till he is in this condition. I shall take 
him home and clothe and shoe him." While this was 


going on at the house, one of the daughters went down 
to where the poor negro was tied, and said, " Sam, is 
your pistol with Fenton's things in the house?" ** No, 
Miss, I left my pistol in the bam at Mr. Wierman's." 
Then she filled his pockets with cherries — all she could 
do, alas! and advised him to run away again the first 
(*,hance that he had. This he promised to do. The 
** ])atemal" master was seen dragging him through Get- 
tysburg tied as has been described. Instead of taking him 
to his home in Washington county, Md., he took him to 
Frederick City and sold him to a slave dealer who, at 
that time was getting up a drove for the &r South! He 
was never heard of again. The other three men, with 
the help of the managers of the Underground Railroad, 
reached Canada in safety. 

One amusing incident occurred at this house. A large 
nuiii1>er of fiigitives came at one time, among whom 
wjis a mother with a young child. Their masters fol- 
lowing them quickly, all were disposed of except the 
infant, whose cries, it was feared, would lead to detec- 
tion. A stratagem was resorted to that showed these 
anti-slavery jxiople were quick-witted as well as philan- 
thropic. A young woman staying at the house went to 
bed, taking the baby with her. When the slaveholders 
C4ime they were recjuested to he very eareful in search- 
ing as there was a lady with a young infant in the house. 
When they came to the room in which this suppositi- 
tious recent arrival was, they opened the door a little, 
the action being accompanied with a "Shi" and a finger 
uplifted in warning by their guide, while the "mother" 
pinched the baby and made it cry in order to convince 
the unwelcome visitors that they were not being de- 


ceiVed These are a few among the scores of incidents 
that occurred in this family and among those that 
helped them in their work. 

William Wright believed in political action against 
slavery and took considerable part therein. He was one 
of the founders of the Free-Soil or Liberty Party in 
Pennsylvania. For many years his name, with that of 
Samuel W. Mifflin, stood at the head of the Liberty 
Party electoral ticket. He attended Anti-Slavery and 
liberty Party Meetings and Conventions whenever his 
business would permit, and was a delegate to many of 
these, notably to the convention that met in Pittsburg 
in 1844, and nominated Dr. F. J. Lemoyne for Gover- 
nor of Pennsylvania, and to that which met in Phila- 
delphia in June of 1856, and nominated John C. Fre- 
mont and William L. Dayton, for President and Vice 
President of the United States. 

The long, well-spent life of William Wright closed 
on the 25th of Tenth month (October), 1865. He had 
the satisfaction of seeing the principles of liberty and 
justice for which he had labored triumph over Slavery 
and oppression. In his death he calmly resigned his 
spirit to the Maker whom he had so earnestly and 
meekly served. 

" Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright ; for 
the end of that man is peace." 

Joel Fisher, a Friend, living in York, was also active 
and prominent in the cause. 

William C. Goodrich, a wealthy and very intelligent 
light mulatto was an active and valuable agent at that 
place. Whenever he received information that "baggage" 
was on the road which it was necessary to hurry through. 


he sent word to Colombia the day before it mm ex- 
pected to arrive. Gato Jourdon, colored^ who drove a 
team which hauled cars over the bridge, brought all 
'' baggage " safely acrofls, where die ageots had another 
trusty colored man to receive it The fligitives were 
then taken through Black's hotel yard to another por- 
tion of the town, and concealed over night ; when Wm. 
Wright, of that place, generally took them in diarge 
and sent some to Daniel Gibbons, and some direct to 
Philadelphia, in the fidse end of a box car, owned by 
Stephen Smith and William Whipper, colored men and 
lumber merchants of Columbia. They got oS at the 
head of the ''plane," near Philadelphia, where an agent 
was in waiting to receive them. 

Ailer his removal to Lancaster Thaddeus Stevens 
gave money, and also assisted those who came to Colum- 
bia. Mrs. Smith, who kept house for him for more 
than twenty years, and nursed him at the close of his 
life, was one of the slaves he helped to freedom. 

An old man named Wallace, living at York, was an 
ardent abolitionist and rendered efficient aid. Many 
threats were made to kill him, and his life was often in 

The agents at York had pass-words, which they used 
on occasions when required for the purpose for which 
they were intended. One was " William Penn." This 
name they frequently signed when addressing notes to 
each other. 

William Yokum, constable at York, was favorable to 
fugitives, and instrumental on various occasions in 
securing their protection. He had the " pass- words," 
and made good use of them. When called upon by 


slave-catchers to hunt or arrest Aigitives, and he could 
ascertain through the agents where they were, he led 
the hunters in a different direction, or managed to have 
the slaves removed before he reached the place. 

Many and curious devices were resorted to by the 
active abolitionists to conceal ftigitives, or to rescue 
them from the hands of their captors. When the slave 
catchers were taking John Jones, a " runaway slave," 
by the residence of Hobert Barber, some one tripped 
the officer, and Jones darted into an open cellar-way 
under Barber's house, and out the back door and es- 

Thomas Bessick, a colored man, who ran cars in Co- 
lumbia, was one of the boldest and most useAiI agents 
there. On one occasion when the slave-hunters were in 
town, he took two fiigitives they were in search of boldly 
to the station, purchased tickets, and put them in a 
passenger car while their pursuers were in a hotel 
close by. 

When slave-hunters heard of slaves being on the 
York route they hastened to Columbia to intercept them. 
A party of seven were on the way from York station 
when their masters hearing of it, rode with all possible 
speed, arrived in Columbia in advance of them. Not 
expecting their chattels for a few hours they stepped 
into a hotel to " take a drink." The agents there heard 
of this and went to the Wrightsville end of the bridge 
just in time to meet the slaves as they were approaching 
it They were quite happy and jocund, singing songs, 
and exultant in the thought that as soon as they crossed 
that bridge they would be free. 

** Their fooUteiM moved to Joyous measure ; 
Their hearts were tuned to notes of pleasure." 


The idea prevailed to a considerable extent among ihe 
slaves that when they crossed the Susquehanna they 
were on free ground, and were safe. But when told how 
near they were to where their masters were lying in wait 
for them they were struck with amazement and fear. 

They soon, however, became wild with consternation, 
and began running like frightened sheep in every direc- 
tion. By skillful effort and the assurance of protection, 
the agents succeeded in gathering them together again, 
and they were conducted to a place of safety. 

A base practice connected with the slave-hunting 
business was that of unprincipled men sending South 
the description of free colored persons, and having these 
descriptions printed in hand-bills, then capturing and 
carrying into slavery such as were thus described. This 
aroused the sympathies and fired the hearts of aboli- 
tionists to more determined efforts to protect the rights 
and liberties of the colored people. 

Samuel Willis, of York, wius also one of the active 
agents at that place. 


Samuel W. Mifflin, son of Jonathan and Susan 
Mifflin, of Columbia, Pa., was an abolitionist by birth 
and education. His mother's family never owned a 
slave, and his grandfather, John Mifflin, of Philadel- 
phia, was the first to respond to the demand of the 
Yearly Meeting that Friends should liberate their 
slaves. Ilis mother was the sister of that early and 
earnest abolitionist, William Wright, of Columbia, an 
agent on tlie Underground Railroad from the days of 
its earliest travel. As far back in his boyhood as he 


can remember Samuel was accustomed to seeing ftigi- 
tivee passed along by different members of their family. 
When he saw the tall ftigitive stride across the yard in 
women's habiliments that reached but to his knees he 
wondered that any one could think him disguised in 
such short garments. But when he saw him seated by 
the side of his aunt on the back scat of a dearborn, 
with all the appearance of a woman, it excited no sus- 
picion or remark other than that " Mrs. Wright was too 
much of a Quaker to mind riding alongside of a 

On another occasion, when a boy, a fugitive was hid 
in a corn-field and fed day after day by a cousin who 
went out with his gun, and his game bag filled with pro- 
visions. The spot where he lay is now occupied by 
Supplee's machine shops on Fourth and Manor streets, 

In early life Samuel engaged in civil engineering, 
which required him to be from home the greater part of 
the time \mtil after his father's death which occurred in 

On one of his visits home, just before his father's last 
illness, he found the parlor occupied by thirteen fugi- 
tives. They comprised two families of men, women and 
children whom his elder brother found wandering in the 
neighborhood. The windows were closed to prevent 
discovery, and a lanij) kept burning all day. They 
were thus guarded during two days and nights of stormy 
weather and high water in the Susc^uehanna wliich pre- 
vented their crossing the river. On the third night 
they were tran.sferred to the care of Robert Ivoney wlio 

ferried them over to the Columbia shore. 


A woman with her daughter and grandson were sent 
there on^ time from York, and remained a night and a 
day until means were found to forward them to Phila- 
delphia. The claimant of this fiunily was a woman 
from Baltimore who was then on a visit to Philadelphia^ 
and while there boasted that her slaves would never run 
away from home. At that same moment this fiunily of 
her slaves was safe in the Mifflins' house. They were 
sent over to Ck>lumbia, thenoe forwarded to Philadel- 
phia where members of the Vigilance Committee met 
them outside the city. 

A party of five came one summer night, who, instead 
of stopping at Mifflin's, went directly to the bridge. 
Four of these were slaves until they should arrive at 
the age of 28. The other was a slave for life. He 
stood back while the others knocked at the toU-gate. 
Immediately the kidnappers rushed out and seized the 
four, but the fifth man jumped over the parapet and 
disappeared. The place from which he leaped was thirty 
feet high, but a lot of coal had been piled up there 
to within ten feet of the top, down which he rolled un- 
injured. Then climbing up at another point he reached 
the towing path of the canal bridge, and on that made 
his way to Columbia, where Stephen Smith took charge 
of him. 

A slave named Perry Wilkinson, a Baptist preacher, 
was brought by a guide from York to Samuel Mifflin's, 
arriving there and arousing the family about 10 o'clock 
at night. They went down stairs and prepared a bed 
for him. He would not accept anything to eat. After 
retiring again they heard him pacing the fioor as long as 
they remained awake. He said in the morning he had not 


slept any on account of thinking of his wife and family, 
whom he had left behind. He had been the slave of 
Wilson Compton, of Anne Arundel county, Md., and 
iud been hired out by his master for twenty years on a 
fcoat, which ran between his master's wharf and Balti- 
more. The master having recently died, and the widow 
Veing about to remove to Baltimore, she concluded she 
^X)uld do without Perry, and ordered the administra- 
"tor of the estate to sell him. A friend of Perry's, who 
liad a warm and pious regard for him, learning of this 
about a week before the sale was to take place, informed 
him of it, gave him five dollars, and advised him to 
escape. He went immediately to the boat, got on board 
of it for the last time, and as soon as he landed in Balti- 
more started on his journey north, travelling by night 
and hiding in the woods by day, until he reached York. 
Samuel Mifflin gave him into the care of Robert Loney. 

During his residence at the old homestead from 1840 
to 1846, Samuel Mifflin was active in the labor of assist- 
ing the liberty-seeking bondman on his way to freedom. 
In 1843 he married Elizabeth Brown Martin, daughter 
of W. A. Martin, and granddaughter of Thomas Brown, 
of Muncy, Pa., a member of the Society of Friends. 
His wife sympathized in his views and assisted him in 
his efforts for the freedom of the slaves. She was the 
mother of eight children, four of whom are living. She 
died in Columbia in 1858. 

On leaving York county, Samuel resumed his profes- 
sion of civil engineer, and was successively employed 
in Maine, New York and Pennsvlvania. In 1848 he 
located the Mountain Division of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad from Huntingdon to Galitzin. He returned 
to Columbia in 1857. 



It was duriog his residenoe in York comity that 
received a visit from the unfortunate Charles T. Torrej^ 
on hiH way to Baltimore to rescue for a colored man, 
wife, who was then held in slavery somewhere in 
land. After staying with Samuel all night he 
in the morning full of enthusiasm and hope in die auo^l 
cess of his enterprise, but he never returned. He n 
ap])rehended and imprisoned in Baltimore and died 
consumption in prison. 

In 1861, Samuel Mifflin married Hannah Wrigfat^^ 
eldest daughter of William and Phebe Wiernum 
Wriglit, of Adams county, reminiscences of whoee Un- 
(lertrround Railroad work liave already been given. She 
was an abolitionist from childhood, through family in- 
struction and inherited principles. Her grand&ther's 
uncle assisted in forming the " Pennsylvania Society for 
Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and Protecting 
the Right* of the Free IVoplc of Color," of which Ben- 
jamin Franklin was President. Her father's two uncles 
set all the slaves free who came into their possession by 
marriage, althou^^h they were not Friends. 

Samuel W. MitHin and his wife now reside at Louella, 
Delaware county, whore they own a large flower and 
vegetable garden and hothouses. 

^ t- 




r . 



Daxikl awd Hawkau Gibbons.— Jameh Gibbons.— I ncitleiils.— Daniel 
Crihhon's Method of QuestiouinK FugitiveH.— Other IncideiitH. 

(Born 1775— Died 1853.) 

The iirst station east of Coliiriibia, and the most im- 
portant one in Lancaster county, was tliat of Daniel 
Gibbous. He was imbued from cliildhood witli a rei)Uf^ 
nance to human slavery, and a sympathy for the <lowu- 
t redden of the colored nice. 

Hii^ father, James Gibbons, was an anti-slavery advo- 
cate, and took a deep interest in everytliiiii; pertaining 
to human freedom and human welfare. 

James Gibbons was born in "Chester county, Pro- 
vince of Pennsylvania," in l7o4. Alth()u«i:h a Friend, 
he w^as such an ardent advocate of iiuman ri^^hts that 
he was very much inclined to take part in the R«'v<>- 
lutionarv war. He was ofK-red the i>()sition of a cavalry 
officer, partly on account of his large stature and com- 
manding appearance, and partly on account of the 
great interest he took in the welfare of his country. lie 
declined accepting the position, however, in deference to 
the earnest solicitation and prayers of his wife, who was 
devotedly attached to the '* peace principles" of Friends. 

He was married at Goshen meeting-house, Chester 
county, in 1750. There wius a large gathering of Friends 
there, who came to bid farewell to the bride and groom, 
as they were going inunediately atler their marriage 
into the "far wilds" to settle. Some of the young 
women remarked that "not for the best man in the 


Province would they go into the wilderness to live." 
That "wilderness" was where the village of Bird-in- 
B[and is now situated, in Lancaster county, 39 miles 
west of Goshen meeting-house, and seven miles east of 
Lancaster city. 

About the year 1789, when a sitting magistrate in 
Wilmington, Delaware, a colored man was brought 
before him by a party of kidna]>pers. They attempted 
as usual, to carry their case through by bluster. But 
he told them peremptorily that " if they did not behave 
themselves he would commit them." He then set the 
man at liberty. He died in 1810. 

Daniel Gibbons was a man of large firiniiCHS, inde- 
pendence of mind, clearness of perception, discreet 
philantlirophy, conscientious, affectionate in hi.s family, 
and a devout member of the Society of Friends, in 
which he was an elder for twenty-Hve years 2)riur to his 
death. His wife, Flannali, was eminently endowed with 
fine intellectual capabiiities, quick perception, excellent 
judgment, affectionate and amiable in disposition, fond 
of home and its endearment**, and hence an earnest 
symiMithizer with the poor slavi^s, whose homes and 
home-loves were so oflen severed by their being sold as 
cattle in the mart. 8he was also a sincere Christian and 
a consistent member of the Societv of Friends, in which 
she, like her husband, was an elder during the last 
twenty-five years of her life. Thus were they iulapted 
by nature to fulfill the life-mission in which Providence 
had called them to labor conjointly. 

•* Oh happy !h«»y ! the hu])pie9t of their kind 

\Vhoin Kentlo Htur» unite, nnd in one fate 

Their heartH, their fortunes and tlieir being;;* blond." 

Her goodness of begirt and self-sacrificing spirit were 


pre-eminently manifested on one occasion when a fugi- 
tive, weary, sick and dirty called at their house. She 
administered to his wants, and in a few days there de- 
vel()|)ed upon the surface of hia body the unmistakable 
appejiraiicc of that loathsome disease small-pox. For 
six weeks, until he was restored, she attended to him 
faithfully herself, deeming it ex|)cdient that none other 
should have access t^ him. He remained with them 
afterwards eighteen months. 

Daniel Gibbons was engaged in assisting fiigitives 
from the time he arrived at manhood's estate until his 
(loath in 1853 — a period of fifty-suf years. He did not 
keep a record of the nuni])er he piuised until 1824. But 
prior to that time it was .su])p<)sod to have ]>ocn over 200, 
and up to the time of his death he had ai(le<l about 
1000. »So wise and cautious was he in his managenicnt 
that out of the whole number that he succored, but one 
or two were taken froui his house. 

In the very early days, about 1818 or 1820, a col- 
ored man named A])rahani Boston came to his placH? 
and remained. He was a very excellent man, and 
Daniel irrew to love him as he would a brother. The 
kidnappers came one day and carne<l him off*. Daniel, 
atjgreat risk, went in search of him to Baltimon*, Md., 
but for some reason could never get him back. This 
was the only person for whom he ever went to Marv- 
laiul. He had a desease in his feet and legs, and con hi 
not, therefore, engage ])ersoually in going with, or after, 
(•()h)n'd poo|>lo. But his wisdom an<l shr("wdnr.-s were 
ever (M)ni|K4ent to devise ])huis which others wiih l)oller 
])()wer of hx'omoticm could exe(*ute. 

When a tix\) was heard on the window at night, all 



the fisimily knew what it meant. The fugitives were 
taken to the bam ; and in the morning were brought to 
the house separately, and each one was asked his name, 
age, the name of his master, what name he proposed to 
take, as Daniel gave them all new names, and from what 
part of the country he came. These questions with the 
answers to each were recorded in a book which gradu- 
ally swelled to quite a large volume. Afler the passage 
of the Fugitive Slave Law he burned it. 

When a company of colored people came to his house 
he asked what their situation was and whether they ex- 
pected their masters soon. If not, they would get work 
in the neighborhood for awhile. If the masters were 
expected in a very short time, making it necessary for 
them to hasten on, thcv were made safe in the fields or 
the bam, or, if it was autumn, in the corn-shocks for a 
few hours, and then taken to the turnpike road that 
leads to Reading, and hurried on to the next station, 
which was the house of a Friend named Jackson who 
lived on the confines of what was then known as " The 
Forest," in Robinson township, Berks county. This was 
prior to 1827. After that he sent many to Thomas 
Bonsall, Lindley Coates and others. 

He was very skillful in detecting the artifices of decoys 
or pretended runaways whom the kidnappers at times 
sent to his house, althougli he was occasionally puzzled 
if they came, or pretended to come, from parts in the 
South unknown to him. Yet every device of theirs to 
gain information relative to the management of the 
" roa^l," or to im])osc upon him, was as readily foiled by 
his cunning as the stroke of the novice is parried by 
the experienced swordsman. 


A man came to his place at one time for the ostensi- 
ble purpose of buying a horse. Daniel observed closely 
every look, motion, and the intonation of his voice, and 
suspected that his design was to look after slaves. He 
had one of them working for him whom the stranger 
happened to see. When he left, Daniel had the slave 
removed to a place of safisty. Next day, a constable 
came from Lancaster to arrest him ; but, like Paddy's 
flea, " he wasn't there." 

It was his prime object to carry on every thing quietly, 
though expeditiously ; and very few narrow escapes are 
to be recorded. Slave-hunters came one day after sm 
slave who happened at the time to be in the house. 
While he detained them by talking and asking ques- 
tions, his wife hastily slipped the fugitive out the back 
door and under an inverted rain hogshead. He then 
politely accompanied them through the house, and gave 
them free access to every apartment. They left satisfied 
that Daniel was not harboring their slave. 

Dr. Joseph Gibbons assisted his father, doing most of 
the active work himself, owing to his father's physical 
infirmity, and then 8ucceede<l him — ^making three gener- 
ations of earnest, zealous and successful Underground 
Railroad managers in one family. 

A friend, describing the funeral of Daniel Gibbons, 
wrote as follows: "We turned and mingled our 
voices with the voices of the earth and air, and bade 
him * Hail !' and * Farewell !* Farewell, kind and brave 
old man ; the voices of tliose whom thou hast redeemed 
welcome thee to the Eternal City.** 



Dr. Joscph GiBBOirs. — Elarly Education. — Studies Medicine. — His Wife 
Phsbb EARI.B QiBBOsrs, a Contributor to Literature.— Dr. Gibbons 
Establishes The Jbumal.— Db. J. K. Eshlbmav.— Incidents. 

(Bom 1818.) 

Joeeph Gibbons, son of Daniel and Hannah Wier- 
man Gibbons, was bom at the family homestead, near 
the village of Bird-in-Hand, Lancaster county, Penn- 
sylvania, Eighth month 14th, 1818. He is the only one 
of three children, all son.**, that survived infancy. The 
place where he was born is part of a tract of one thous- 
and acres of land "and allowances" partly acquired by 
purchase and partly deeded to his great-grandfather, for 
whom he was named, by John and Richard Peun, in 
the year 1715. 

In his youth he was sent to boarding school for a 
time, to Joshua Hoopes, in West Chester, and also to 
the late Jonathan Gause, in West Bradford, Chester 
county. At this time, too. Underground Railroad work 
was carried on with great activity in Lancaster and 
Chester counties, and Joseph Gibbons was his father's 
faithful assistant, taking tlie active part that Daniel 
Gibbons* ill health prevented his talking. To an exciting 
midnight "run" with a party of fugitives, made when 
he was about sixteen years old, the subject of this sketch 
attributes a tenderness in the feet and difficultv in walk- 
ing that have troubled him ever since. 

At the age of twenty-one Joseph Gibbons joined a 


temperance society, and firom that tiine down to the 
present he has beoi an earnest and active worker in the 
temperance cause in his native county and State. He 
was also one of the moat steadfiist advocates of the com- 
mon school system in Pennsylvania. The system of 
having county superintendents was at first very un- 
]>opular in Lancaster county. Joseph Gibbons went 
around in his carriage with tiie first county superinten- 
dent, giving him his countenance and support One of 
the first teachers' institutes in the county was held at 
his house. 

Joseph Gibbons early became a member of the Free 
8oi1 or Liberty Party, voting for its presidential candi- 
dates from 1844 down to the time when it was merged 
into the Republican Party. He attended the conven- 
tion held in Pittsburg in 1844 that nominated Dr. F. J. 
Lemoyne, as Liberty Party candidate for Governor of 
Pennsylvania. He was one .of the founders of the Repub- 
lican Party in Pennsylvania. In 1856, when John C. 
Fremont and William L. Dayton were nominated at Phil- 
adelphia by that Party as its candidates for President 
and Vice President of the United States, Joseph Gib- 
bons waa not yet thirty-eight years of age. In the 
prime of a vigorous manhood, he threw himself into 
that " campaign," with all the ardor of a temperament 
naturally sanguine and enthusiastic and a soul inspired 
by love of freedom and " heart-hatred" of every form 
of opj)res8ion. He distributed thousiinds of pamphlets 
and documents, and rode night and day attending 

Although victory did not crown these efforts, they 
were of the greatest l)enefit in arousing the people to re- 


sist the encroachments of the slave power and preparing 
the way for the triumph that came four years later. 

Going hack a few years it is to he noted that Joseph 
Gibbons, after studying his profession in the office of 
the distinguished physician, Dr. Francis S. Burrowes, of 
Lancaster, took a long course at Jefferson Medical Col- 
lege, Philadelphia, and graduated there in 1845. In 
the autumn of 1845 he married Phebe, eldest daughter 
of Thomas and Mary Earle, of Philadelphia. Thomas 
Earle was a distinguished anti-slavery lawyer, candidate 
for vice-president on the Liberty Party ticket with 
James G. Bimev, in 1840. Of the five children of 
Joseph and Phebe E. Gibbons, four survive. 

In 1870, an article by Phebe E. Gibbons, entitled 
" Pennsylvania Dutch," appeared in the " Atlantic 
Monthly." It was followed by other articles that aj> 
peared in " Harper's Monthly" and other periodicals, 
and were gathered by their author into a volume a few 
years later, under the title of " Pennsylvania Dutch and 
Other Essays." A visit to Europe, made in the sunmier 
and autumn of 1878, resulted in the contributing of a 
number of articles to the magazines. These and others 
were collected, soon afterward, into a volume under the 
title of " French and Belgians." Both these works 
were published by J. B. Lippincott & Co., of Philadel- 

Dr. Joseph Gibbons practiced his j)rofession for about 
five years afler his marriage. For four years, from the 
Eighth month of 1861 to about the close of 1805, he 
was an officer in the Custom House in Philadelphia. 
For some years prior to 1873 his attention had ])een di- 
rected to the lack of a literature in the Society of 


FriendB ibftt would make its princiidM and tmHimmim 
familiar to the young by presenting them in an interest- 
ing fonn and combined with valuable reading of a gen- 
eral character. He felt that this lack of suitable liter- 
ature, eepedally of a periodical kind, was <»ie of the 
causes of the decline of interest seen in the Society and 
its &ilure to increase in numbers. These reflections re> 
suited in the establishment, early in 1873, of Tke 
Jourwd, a weekly paper devoted to the interests of the 
Society of Friends and to the cultivation of literary 
taste, and the dissemination of general informatifm of a 
usefiil character among its members. Its motto* 
** Friends, Mind the Light," shows the liberal spirit in 
which it is edited. ConBidering that it is an individual 
concern in which Joseph Gibbons and his fiunily have 
labored with very little assistance from outside sources, 
it has enjoyed a considerable success and has aroused 
much interest in the Society of Friends. In the editing 
of The Journal he has been assisted by his daughters, 
especially the eldest, whose training and experience 
while connected with daily newspapers have fitted her 
for this work. 

Two or three traits in the character of Joseph Gib- 
bons may be worthy of mention in this connection. The 
first is his consistent carrying out of his early princi- 
ples. Educated by his parents in an intense op{)o8ition 
to American slavery, he always advocated its extinction 
by political action, to which many of his friends were 
opposed. He did not, indeed, cast his first presidential 
vote in 1840 for the candidates of the Liberty Party, 
then first nominated, because he was not convinced of 
the expediency of forming a third political party, but, 


in the year 1844, his doubts having been removed, he 
voted for Bimey and Morris. To his faithful adherence 
to the Liberty and Free Soil parties is due the fact that 
he never voted for a successful presidential candidate 
until the election of Abraham Lincoln. 

He has also remained consistent in his opposition to 
intemperance, opposition to which he learned as soon as 
he was able to learn anything from hearing the subject 
discussed by his parents at home. He has participated 
in many debates on this subject, but has always felt that 
it would be unwise to attempt the founding of a sepa- 
rate temperance political party, the political organiza- 
tion that sustains the rights of his colored fellow-citizens 
being, in his opinion, worthy of his vote and continued 

It may interest some to learn that, brought up by 
parents who were both elders in the Society of Friends, 
and with warm social feelings and no tinge of ascjeticism, 
he has never drunk a glass of ardent spirits, never used 
tobacco in any form, never been within the walls of a 
theatre (even when a medical student and in four years 
of public office in Philadelphia), never played a game 
of cards and never read a novel. 

(IV)rn March 2d, 1810.) 

Dr. J. K. Eshleman, a warm sympathizer with the 
negro in bondage, and a willing assistant to those who 
were escaping, lived and practised his profession near 
Strasburg, Lancaster county. His Underground Rail- 
road work began in 1840. He was physician in the 
family of Thomas Whitson, whose labors in that line of 
travel began about the same time. They were warm 


personal friends, and frequently visited each other soci- 
ally. Yet, as TLomaA Whitaon was extremely reticent 
upon Underground Railroad matters, the subject wa« 
rarely, if ever alluded to in any of their conversations, 
although it wai to him the doctor sent fugitives. He 
rcw»ived them from Daniel Gibbons. 

The neighborhood in which he lived contained many 
bitter opponents of the anti-slavery cause who sought 
(»pportiinity to annoy and persecute abolitionists in any 
way which couhl gratify their animosity, even to the 
extent of burning their barns. A rich field for the en- 
joyment of their coarse and lawless propensities was in 
the disturbing and breaking up of these anti-slavery 
meetings. On one occasion when Lin<lley (-oates took 
Charles (.■. Burleigh to lecture in that vicinity a num- 
ber of this clan ])eltod them with decayed cf!;gA and threw 
stones through the curtains of their ciirriage on their 
wav home. 

The doctor rarely ever asked fugitives any questions, 
lie cared to know nothing about them, further than to 
ascertain who sent thorn. If they were men, they gen- 
erally came on I'oot, with a slip of pai)er containing 
(lir(»ctions and telling where they (^ame from. If women 
and children, thov were brou{rht always in close car- 
riages, if danger wtus immediate, and were conveyed 
from his j)lace to other stations by the same means. 

In 1«S4.S he n^linquished practice and moved near to 
Downingtown, in (Chester county. Here he received 
ingitiv(»s from agents in both Chester and Lancaster 
counties, and invarial>ly sent them to John Vickers, 
either on the night they arrived or the following night. 

Like all othei-s who assisted the fleeing slave, he 


passed through many exciting and dangerous scenes, but 
discretion and promptness of action carried him safely 
through the perils even of Scylla and (-harybdis, where, 
epecially in later times, the Fugitive-slave Law on one side, 
and close pursuit on the other, required skilful piloting. 

At one time after moving to Chester county, he had 
occasion to drive to Belle Ayer in Maryland. He over- 
took a young man near the Brick Meeting-house, and 
inquired of him the way. The man said he was going 
near there, and if not encroaching on his kindness he 
would be glad to ride. The doctor took him in. On 
the way the subject of slavery was alluded to. The 
voun«? man said " it was a nuisance and that slavchold- 
ers were better off without their slaves," in which opin- 
ion the doctor heartily concurred. He said it was only 
recently that tlie of theirs ran away; they did not 
pursue them ; they were satisfied to let them go. It 
hap|)ened to be the very lot the doctor had helped a 
short time before. 

A colored man in the western portion of Chester 
county was in the practice of going into Maryland to 
.^jll salves. While there he obtained from slaveholders 
a description of all their runaway slaves. On his re- 
turn, if he saw persons along the northern routes corre- 
sjMinding to the descriptions given, he informed the 
owners, who sent a constable, had them taken legally 
and sold to go South. He followed this for a number 
of years. Finally his treachery was disc(>vered, and a 
number of colored i)eople assembled and gave him a 
terrible beating, from the eflects of which he never fully 
recovered. His last illness was supposed to have been 
the result of this severe punishment. 



After the Christiaiui riot three men who had been en- 
gaged in it came to Dr. Efihleman's place, were kept in 
the bam until next night, and then sent further on. 

A whole &mily came in a four-horse wagon just after 
the battle of Gettysburg. They had formerly been 
slaves, but at that time owned a &rm between York 
and Gettysburg. They were very much frightened, and 
thought if they remained at home they might be killed, 
or if the rebels gained Pennsylvania they might all be 
made slaves again. They proceeded as far as Norris- 
town ; and hearing there that the rebels had been re- 
pulsed, they returned. 

After Dr. Eshlenian moved to Chester county, Thomas 
Whitson moved to near Christiana, and their former 
visits were continued. 

His house was ever open to the Burleighs and all 
other lecturers on anti-shivery and temperance. 



THOMAS Whitsok.— Member of First National Anti-Slavery Conven- 
tion. — Incidcnta.— Jacob Bushong.— I ncidento.— Jeremiah Moore. 
— Incidents. 

(Born Seventh mo. 2d, 179&-Died Eleventh mo. 24th, 1864.) 

Tliouiaa Whiteon, of Bart, Lancaster county, was one 
of the most prominent and respected champions of the 
anti-slaverv cause. His connection with the Under- 
ground Railroad began about, or prior to, 1841. Al- 
though he i)assed great numbers of slaves, it was quietly 
d<me, and but few reniinL<»cences arc to be gleaned of his 
wo k in that direction. His greatest labors were ac- 
complished above ground. A minister once said, speak- 
ing of the life of Jesus ('hrist, " It can be given in a 
few words *He went about doing good.'" The life of 
Thomas Whitsou might be condensed in a similar 

He attended and spoke at anti-slavery meetings 
throughout the country ; was eloquent and cogent in 
thought, sound in logic, wise in counsel, and his broad 
and advanced humanitarian views commanded for him 
the respect of all, and placed him in the foremost rank 
of the earnest and able opponents of negro slavery. He 
was decidedly original, witty, jocose, one of the most 
apposite in thought and expression, and had a great 
faculty for " splitting hairs" in a close argument. When 
he and Lindley Coates, who was also remarkable for 


thu taknt, wcfe engaged oo opp o rite oda in di 
their fine dnwn dudncticais, close qiieBdoii8» ten 
FH t-i>. and clear nuioctnarion from irrefragable ftel 
flufied. were at once amitfing, edifring and ezahiBgi 
At a ciinveniiitn where he, William Uoyd Gan 
and '•th«ri¥ ^loke, h» speech was characteriaed bj a 
a fl'*w 'if wit. pjod humor, clear logic, eententioiia 
I»ix^i<>a*. and sr^roetimes sarcasm when the aofay 
C'vokt-^i it. that GaniKin amw at the close of the ni» 
in:: ami r^iil ^ the tpeeek of the day must deddedly 
ar;(v»nled in Whileon." 

He had not the advantage in early life of acquiris 
iii'tre tlian the ni(Iinient.« of an ediK^tion. Arriving 2 
rii:irili<H*frs i.-statt-. h»- ^nulu-*! the principle? and objecr 
{M-rtaiiiin:: t^ tlic hiiilit-r wvhare ttf man, ai« presented "A 
111 III in his ilailv oW-rvatiMns ami iiitercounie with m^ 
(It-Vi'lopiii;; hi» own laculty for oripnating thought, id 
slejul of his tirii«! ami attention to the study oi 
writt<rii lore. Oiu* aiiuisin^ IV-atun* of his ji|ieeehe8 w»^ 
that hij* grammar was t'Xflu>ivcIy his own. K knew no 
ruiej<y nor ^lid he aire for an v. 

Hciijaiiiin S. Joiu> >aifl of him in a little volume of 
wonl -pietiin-s -if the pnnninent anti-slavery leadens: 

Fri« ml Whit!>on. Frioml WliiljH»ii, 

l.ikf " (iniKlcrHiKl Mitzoii." 
Thy li.>«lH uit«l tliy M'orfls )*oth roiiu' liowii ; 

A (liuiiionil tli«tii art, 

Tho' uiiiMtli>«Iio<I each iKirt, 
Vt:t wortlty a jilace in tin- crown, 
Kriemi WliitM>n ! 
Vet worthy a phicv in thi* croM'n. 

lie ;zave freely (»f his means whenever needed, regard- 
intr neither time nor cost, lie attended the fii'st con- 
vrntion of tlie American Anti-Slavery Society, held in 


Philadelphia on the 4th, 5th and 6th of December, 
1833, of which Arthur Tappan was president. As soon 
as the "Declaration of Principles" were adopted he 
stepped up to the desk and affixed his signature, an he 
had to w^ithdraw from the convention immediatelv to 
return home. He thus became the first signer to those 
" Principles " adopted by the national organization of 
the earnest, able and indefatigable advocates of univer- 
sal liberty — principles which gained warm moral ad- 
herents and steadfast friends, but which met with the 
staunchest opposition throughout the entire North, as 
well as in the South, until the mandate of God, " Let 
my peof)le go free," went forth and was obeyed by a 
nation then deluging its soil in fratricidal blood. 

As an Undergroulid Railroad agent Thomas Whitson 
was remarkably reticent. Hundreds of fugitives were 
taken care of and assisted on their way, but no record 
was kept. The children saw colored people there fre- 
quently, but they were not permitted to ask any ques- 
tions, or to know anything about them. He spoke of 
his management to but very few friends. 

The fugitives who came to his place at night were 
chiefly sent by Daniel Gibbions, in care of a trusty 
colored man, who knew how^ to awaken Thomas without 
arousing others of the family. Those who came in day- 
time from Daniel Gibbons had a slip of paper upon 
which was written, " Friend Thomas, some of my friends 
will be with thee to-night," or words varying, but of 
similar import. No name was signed. The general 
advice of Daniel Gibbons to the colored people was to 
" be civil to all, and answer no questions of strangers 
who seemed eager to get information." 

Thomaa frequoatly prooured plaoM for them to 
in the neigfaborliood. Although iridely known 
anti-sUTety man his premime were never Hardu 
Blnvfr-hunten. Even the notorioua WiUiwn Bur, 
hunted ap and reported fiigitiTce in the ndgfaborl 
never approached the premiseB of Thomaa Whk 
After the Cbristisna riot, whoi "spedal oooatabi 
furnished with wurantB and piloted by proJm 
men of that section, were scouting the country i 
ranaacking the houses of abolitionists and n^rooi^ 
house was not molested. On hearing that a par^ 
these deputiied officials were carrying off a color 
man who had worked for him, he pursued and overtoc 
them, and asked for the man's release. They refiised t 
grant it. One of them on being told who he was ad 
vanced toward him with a volley of Billingsgate, an 
flourishing a revolver asked if he were not one of tfai 
abolitionists of that neighborhood. 

"I am," said Thomas, "and I am not afi^d of th; 
shooting me. tki thee may as well put thy piet«I down.' 

The officer continued his invective, and turning t 
another, said: "Shall I shoot him?" 

"No," was the immediate response, "let the oh 
Quaker go ;" and they loft him, convinced that he wa 
not a man to be frightene<l t)y bluster or to reuouno 
a principle in the foce of an enemy. He went nex 
morning to a neighbor who hud seen the colored man a 
the hour the riot was going on, several miles distan 
from the scene of the tragedy, and iii company witl 
him went to where the officers had the mim under guard 
proved that he had no connection with the riot and ob 
tained his release. 


(Born Seventh mo. Tll>, ISI3.'-Di«l Piflh mo. Htli. 1880.) 

Jacob Bushong, of Bart, Lancaster county, a quiet 
but devoted laborer in the cause of freedom, relates the 
case of one Hamilton Moore who eettled in hia neigh- 
borhood. He was peaceable and respected, and to all 
appearances a white man. Not a tinge of African 
blood was diaceraible in his complexion, nor had any 
one the lesst suspicion that there was any. He married 
a white woman and be(«me the father of three children. 
After the lapse of several years a number of men came 
to his dwelling and claimed him as a runaway slave ; 
the leader of this gang being Hamilton Moore's father. 

Although that was a prc-ilavery community, the man's 
purely Anglo-Saxon a|)pearance and good character 
had so won the esteem of his neighbors that they would 
not submit to what they termed an outrage upon him, 
but arose en masse and rescued him Irom his captors. 
He was then taken to the house of Henry Bushong, • 
Jacob's father, in Adams county, who assisted him to a 
place of greater security. 

About the year 1831, a person calling himself Wil- 
liam Wallace, but whose slave name was " Know," came 
to Wm. Kirk's in West Lampeter township, Lancaster 
county. Here he worked for some time, then went to 
Joshua Gilbert's in Bart township, and afterwards was 
employed by Henry Bushong, who had now removed to 
Bart township, and whose place became one of the Un- 
derground Kailroad .stations. Afier remaining there 
two years, his wife and child were brought to him from 
one of the Carolinas. He then took a tenant house on 
the place, in which he and his family resided two years 


longer. While there another child mm bom 


In the summer of 1835 while he and Jacob 
were at work in the bam they observed fimr men in 
two-horse wagon drive into the lane, accompanied 
two men on horse-bacL Jacob thought them a "i 
])icioii8 looking crowd/' and told Wallace to keep out fjitj 
gight while he went out to meet them. • They inqoire^^ 
if Mr. Wallace lived there. Jacob replied in the negft-^ 
tive, satisfying Us conscience by means of the fiusfc 
that William lived at the tenement house, but w o rk e d 
for him. Pointing towards Wallace's house they asked 
if his family lived there ; to which he made no reply. 
Leaving their horses in charge of two of the men, they 
went to the house, tied his wife, brought her and the 
oldest child to the wagon, loaded them in, took them to 
the Lancaster county jail, and lodged them there. The 
youngest child being bom on free soil was left with a 
colored woman who happened to be in the house at the 
time. From there they went to John Urick's, a colored 
man, whose wife had escaped from slavery with Wal- 
lace's wife. They bound her, took her to jail also, and 
had the two women placed in the same cell while they 
started out on another hunt. 

The startling news so(m spread throughout the coun- 
try, and was immediately carried to that foremost friend 
of the slave, Daniel Gibbons. Ver}' early next morn- 
ing the two women came to his house. The family 
would not have been more surprised had an apparition 
rr>me suddenly into their midat. When asked how they 
came, one of them said, " I broke jail." 

" How did you do it ?" 


" I found a cnfle-knife, and got up from one room to 
another until I got next the roof, when I cut the lath 
and shingles and broke through ; got out and down to 
the roof of an adjoining house, and thence from one 
house to another until I came to one that was low 
enough, and then I jumped from it to the ground." 
They were taken to the wheat field and provided with 
blankets and food, and next night were taken by Dr. 
Joseph Gibbons, Daniers son, and Thomas Peart, seve- 
ral miles to the house of Jesse Webster. From there 
they were taken to Thomas Bonsall's, thence to John 
Vicker's, and thus on to other stations. 

The account given by the women seemed so strange 
and incredible that Dr. Gibbons interviewed that eccen- 
tric character "Devil-Dave" Miller, who was then 
sheriff, and lived in the jail. When asked how it hap- 
pened that he allowed two negro women to slip through 
his fingers, he winked and laughed. It was afterwards 
discovered that he opened the jail door and let them 
walk out. This was the onlv black woman known to 
Daniel and his son who persisted in keeping her own 

In 1832, a colored woman and her daughter came to 
Henry Bushong*s. The back of this poor woman was 
a most revolting spectacle for Christian eyes to behold. 
It had been cut into gashes with the master's wliip until 
it was a mai*s of lacerated flesh and running sores. Her 
owner was exasiHirated to this deed of cruelty on ac- 
count of one of her children having successfully escaped, 
and she, knowing its whereabouts, refused to tell. To 
compel her to reveal this secret, they bound her down 
in a bent position, and five hundred lashes with a cat-o- 


nine-tails were inflicted upon her naked bade Yet 
with the fiuthfulnen and devotion of a mother^s love 
she endured it alL Seeing that no amount of whipping 
could induce her to betray her child and thus return it 
from freedom to slavery, and ftaring her own life mi^ 
be lost by further infliction, they peased plying the laah 
upon that quivering bade, whidi was now a nuM of 
mangled flesh and jdlied blood. As soon aa she liad 
sufficiently recovered she determined to risk her lift in 
an attempt to free herself from the crudty and tortorea 
of a slavery like this. After being kindly and tenderly 
cared for in the home of Henry Budiong she was taken 
to a station further east. 

About the same year there came two slaves, named 
Green Staunton and Moses Johnson, belonging to differ- 
ent masters. They had been sold to slave-traders and 
lodged in the jail at Frederick, Md., for safe-keeping 
during the night ; their owners sleeping in an apartment 
above them. With pocket-knives and other small imple- 
ments they commenced at once picking out mortar and 
removing stones, determined if possible to escape before 
morning. They succeeded, and both men ran to the 
plantation of Staunton's fether, who had been his master. 
Mr. Staunton had not intended to sell him, but being 
on the brink of insolvency was compelled to do it. 
Having compassion for him he gave them both victuals 
and assisted them on their way to Daniel Gibbons. 
From there Johnson went to Allen Smith's, and Staun- 
ton to Greorge Webster's, both in Bart township. After 
some time Johnson removed to Thomas Jackson's, at 
the " Forest," in the northern part of Lancaster county, 
and Staunton, remaining in the neighborhood, sent to 


Maryland for his wife, who was a free woman. In 1835 
he removed to the tenement of Jacob Bushong. Just 
at daylight on the morning of August 31st, 1837, six 
men entered his house, tied and gagged him. His wife 
infuriated at this assault, seized an axe and was about 
to deal a blow upon the head of one of the assailants, 
when she was caught, thrown to the floor, and held there 
until her husband was borne away. He was placed in 
Lancaster county jail to await further action. 

The news of his arrest was conveyed at once through- 
out the neighborhood. Several of his friends who had 
long known him as an honest, peaceable and industrious 
man, could not allow him to be carried back into slavery, 
deprived of the rights of manhood, to be sold and 
driven to work like beasts of the field, if any effort of 
theirs could prevent it. Accordingly Lindley Coates, 
George Webster, George Webster, Jr., William liake- 
straw, Henry Bushong, Jacob Bushong, John Bushong, 
Samuel Mickle, Gainer Moore and John Kidd, Esq., 
agreed to contribute whatever sum might be needed to 
purchase his freedom. They went to Lancaster, had 
an interview with hb master, and secured his manu- 
mission upon the payment of six hundred and seventy- 
five dollars. He returned to his home, and resolved to 
compensate his friends as far as possible for the amount 
they had paid for him. Shortly afler this, his wife died. 
He married again. He remained at that place several 
years and then removed to Conada, and died. Before 
he left, he had reinbursed his friends to the amount of 
one hundred and fortv dollars. 

Moses Johnson returned from the "forest" in the 
spring of 1836, and was working for Henry Bushong 



at the time of Staunton's capture. Hearing of it^ and 
knowing the party was searching jfor him, he lequeated 
some friends to negotiate with them tot his freedom. An 
interview was had with the slavdiolden, and as he was 
not yet in their possession, and there was a doubt linger- 
ing in their minds as to whether or not he would be^ 
they agreed to accept t400, which was paid. In a ibw 
years, by industry and economy, he returned the ftill 
amount, and then acquired sufficient capital to purchase 
a small £Euin with good buildings. He died in. 1873. 

About the year 1848 there lived m '< Wolf HoIloWp" 
near Pine Grove Forge, Lancaster county, a free colored 
man, who had married a slave woman. They had sev- 
eral children. Early one morning, after he had gone 
to a neighbor's to work, some men drove up in a covered 
wagon, entered the house, dragged the wife and children 
out of bed, bound them, loaded them in the wagon with 
others they had kidnapped, some of whom were free, 
and drove off at a rapid rate toward Maryland, eight 
miles distant. Their actions were witnessed by a person 
near by, who immediately informed the neighbors, and 
Joseph C. Taylor, James Woodrow, Joseph Peirce and 
others mounted their horses and gave chase. Overtaking 
them near the Maryland line, Taylor dashed by, then 
wheeling his horse and facing them, he raised to his 
shoulder an old musket without a lock, and ordered 
them to surrender. Not liking the appearance of the 
deadly looking weapon pointed at them, they halted, 
and the others of the party just then coming up took the 
kidnappers, with the colored people they had stolen, pris- 
oners. They locked them up in Lowers tavern and went to 
Lancaster to procure legal authority to arrest them for 


kidnapping free negroes. Before they returned the 
kidnappers had escaped, carrying with them their load 
of human plunder. 

John Russell, Micah Whitson, Henry Carter, and 
Ellwood Brown are also mentioned as friends of the 
fugitive, whose assistance was always freely given. 

(Born Fifth mo. 12th, 1803.) 

Many slaves were sent from Daniel Gibbons to Jere- 
miah Moore's at Christiana. They were to know his 
residence by its being " the first house over the bridge 
where the public road crossed the railroad." He se- 
creted them in one of the upper rooms in his house, and 
when they were brought down to meals the doors were 
bolted. He not unfrequently noticed parties whom he 
knew to be pro-slavery in principle and unscrupulous in 
character, loitering a long time in the adjacent woods 
under pretence of gunning, or coming to the house os- 
tensibly on other business, when their scrutinizing looks 
and other actions led to a strong suspicion, and even 
conviction, that their object was to ascertain if slaves 
were there, and if so to inform on them. 

From Moore's the ingitives were sent in a furniture 
wagon in care of a trusty colored man to James Ful- 
ton's, Ercildoun, eight miles distant. 

Abraham Johnson, a young slave, belonging to a Mr. 
Wheeler, of Cecil county, Md., hearing that he was to 
be sold next day, told his mother. Early in the night 
they, with his sister and her child, fled to that well 
known colored man, on the Susquehanna, Robert Loney, 
who ferried fugitives across the river in the night at van- 


0U8 places below Oolunibim^ and ga^e thfim into fbo owe 
of William Wright, who distribated them to otiber 
agents. These came to Jeremiah Moore's* The lad 
hired with him five and a half years. The mother liTed 
with Lindley Goates, and thesister with Thomas Boosall 
for awhile, when she removed to Beading, and married. 
At the time of the Cihristiana riot they all went to 

Some of the sUve women told of their having been 
stripped naked to be examined upon the anotion-bloek, 
and to show their muscular development and activity. 
Some told of their having been sold in the Northern 
Slave States and sent into the planting States to pick 
cotton. Not being accustomed to this work they could 
not accompliBb their daily task with others, in conse- 
quence of which they were whipped. To escape this 
treatment they ran away. Some had been caught, 
returned, severely flogged, and were then escaping 
again. Their backs bore the marks where the whip 
lash had been plied. 

This account of the shameful treatment of women at 
the public sales of slaves for the purpose of stimulating 
lively bidding and securing higher prices, was corrobo- 
rated by the uniform testimony of fugitives from vari- 
ous States of the South. 

Pro-slavery men in Moore's section were wont to 
speak of abolitionists as '' no better than horse-thieves." 
One Quaker preacher, sincere in his own way of think- 
ing, asked Jeremiah the direct question which he 
thought covered the whole moral ground against abo- 
litionism — "What would thee think if thee had a horse 
stolen and takeu to Maryland, and the persons having 



him, and knowing him to be stolen, would refuse to give 
him up?" 

Jeremiah simply responded by adverting to the un- 
just and un-Christian comparison between a man and a 

Clothing was furnished by himself and his anti- 
slavery neighbors for such fugitives as were in need of 
it, and if they came to his house sick they were attended 
to with the same care as were members of his ovm 


JosBPH A]n> 04L^ O. Btooa.— WoBMB Aided by Btr. Obariat T. 
Twnr <m His LmI Trip to Magjflm^ fctlih qf Ite liii of 
T«»BST.— Thrae Hen Who Ibd Bmb fciginod fai IIm 
Rid.— Other Tm iW to ntid—LPWiMT 


Joseph Hood (Bom Tmlfih monih SOi, 1812.— IXed 
Ninth month 27th, 1866), and his brother Oaleb C. 
(Bom Fourth month 6th, 1817), of Bart township, Lan- 
caster county, gave assistance to fugitives at all times 
when called upon. 

Eight, whom it was necessary to hurry along with 
great speed, were s^t to the home of Joseph and Oaleb 
C. Hood, one night in the spring of 1843, by Joseph 
Smith, of Drumore township. They were given some- 
thing to eat, and taken by Caleb the same night to 
Lindley Coates, where they were secreted until the fol- 
lowing night, and then taken further on. 

On another occasion, Joseph Smith sent to their 
place an elderly colored woman with her son and 
daughter. Oaleb took them to James Fulton's. 

On their way, the woman told him they had been 
brought from Baltimore to a place on the Susquehanna 
by Rev. Oharles T. Torrey. The slaveholders got on 
their track and nearly overtook them when they reached 
the river. They crossed, however, in safety, but Torrey 
on his return for another load, fell into the hands of his 
pursuers, was taken to Baltimore, tried, sentenced to 



confinement in the penitentiary, and died during his 
imprisonment. He was a good sincere man, a most 
eimest and indefatigable worker. He was a native of 
HasBachusetts, a graduate of Yale College, and a min- 
ister of the gospel. His sympathy for the oppressed 
slave impelled him to give up his pulpit and give his 
entire time and labor to the cause of anti-slavery. 
While full of ardor, bold and daring, he was so indis- 
creet and rash in his designs and movements as to keep 
many of the Underground Railroad agents, who re- 
ceived Aigitives sent by him, in constant fear lest he 
would get himself or them into trouble. His outfit 
when he started on this last journey, was furnished him 
in Rennet, Chester county, although it was done with 
extreme trepidation and reluctance by most of the anti- 
slavery people, as his plan of going among slaves and 
encouraging them to leave their masters was not in accord 
with the general views and wishes of abolitionists, and 
they endeavored to dissuade him from it. But he believed 
that by so doing, property in slaves would be rendered so 
insecure that it would hasten emancipation, or the intro- 
duction of hired or free labor. So confident was he 
that his views were correct, that no argument could 
move him, and he died a martyr to his cherished scheme 
of obtaining freedom for others. 

After the Christiana riot, three men who had been 
engaged in it, William Howard, Charles Long, and James 
Dawsey, formerly slaves, who were acquainted with 
Caleb C. Hood, came to his place about midnight to ask 
his advice about the best course for them to pursue. A 
good supper was given them, and after consultation it 
was decided that they shoud take shelter in the woods, as 


>^'2 inSTORY OF THE 

the premiBes might be searched. They wanted to pi 
ceed at once to Canada ; but their clotheB were at tin 
homes, and the money due them in the hands of 
employers, and they dare not return for them lest the,,^ 
might be captured. At their desire, Caleb went nezr^ 
day, collected their money and clothing and deUyerec^ 
it to them that night. Howard's wife sent espedal re — « 
quest for them not to attempt to leave the country then^ 
as every place was closely watched. Taking a woman'vM 
advice, proverbial for being best in emergencies, tixey 
gave up their plans of risking an attempt to escape in 
the midst of so much danger. The family gave them 
victuals, and saw no more of them for two weeks, when 
they returned one dark and rainy night at 12 o*clock, 
and called them up. They had been secreted during 
that time under the floor of a colored man's house in 
Drumore township, and now felt the time had come for 
them to "strike for liberty." Caleb took them that 
night to Eli Hanibleton's. On the following night Eli 
took them ten miles to the next station. In tt»n days 
they reached ('anada. Howard then wrote to his wife, 
who immediately sold their houseliold goods and went 
to him. 

There was a this time a colored woman named Maria 
living at C. C. Hood's, who one day, when a slave, 
heard her master selling her to a slave-trader to go 
South. Horrified at the prospective change, she lost 
no time making her escajie, and through agenci(^«* on 
the Underground lljiilroad got to William Howard's, 
thence to C. C. Hood's, where she had been living but 
a week when the Christiana riot occurred. She was the 
mother of nine children, eight of wht»m she left in 


8la,y&j, One, a son, had preceded her, and was living 

with Moses Whitson. In the following winter he went 

to Maasachufletts. Obtaining employment there by 

'Wlich he could support his mother, he wrote for her to 

oome. Cyrus Burleigh was at that time at Hood*s, and 

proposed, that if she would remain a few weeks until he 

[ ^^vas ready to return to Massachusetts, near wliere her 

son was living, he would see her safely to the place. 

8ie assented, and at the appointed time she met him in 

Philadelphia, and was taken care of to the end of her 


In 1828 or 1829 a fugitive slave was living with 
Truman Cooper, in Sadsbury, Lancaster county. One 
day two slaveholders who had received information of 
him, accompanied by a guide, entered the field where 
he was at work, and watching the opportunity to seize 
him when he could not resist, bound his hands behind 
him and carried him off. A boy living with Coojx;r 
saw the transaction and immediatclv carried word to 
Thomas Hood's tannery, near by, when John Hood and 
Allen Smith started in pursuit of them. Overtakin<; 
them at John Smoker's they engaged in a kind of easy 
fimiiliar conversation until thov ascertained that the 
party was going to put up for the night at Quigg's 
tavern, Grcorgetown. Then riding in advance they 
notified the colored people of that vicinity, who as- 
sembled with arms after dark, and surrounded the house 
in ambush. While the party were at supjK'r, Hannah 
Quiggs, the landlady, secretly loosened the shive's 
handcuffs, when, with the bound of a liberated hare, he 
opened the door and fled. The slaveholders and their 
guide rushed out to pursue him, but a dusky phalanx 

84 HnnoBY of thb 

of resolute men arose before their eyes, and presented a 
solid front, which they knew it was death to encounter. 
Reaching a grove some distance off, he remained there 
until the following night, when by some means his pur- 
suers got on his track and gave chase. He, however, 
eluded them and found a safe retreat in a wood near 
the residence of Jeremiah Cooper, Sadsbury, Lancaster 
county, whose wife carried him victuals for a week. He 
was theu furnished with a suit of Jeremiah's plain 
clothes, and sent to one of the Underground stations in 
Chester county, whence he made good his escape from 

(Born 3d mo. (March) 3d, 1794.— Died 6th mo. (June) 3d, 18B6.) 

Lindley Coates, of Sadsbury, Lancaster county, vfss 
one of the earliest of the active abolitionists. Possess- 
ing more than ordinary intellectual ability, earnest in 
the cause of the slave, conscientious in all his purposes, 
and a clear and forcible speaker, he inspired others 
with the same sincerity and zeal that actuated him in 
the anti-slavery movement. Though modest in his ambi- 
tious, he was a man adapted by nature to rule over 
men, and made a ma^torly presiding officer. He was 
noted for his clearness of thought, soundness of judg- 
ment, and steadiness of nerve, and marked executive 
ability. Hence his counsel was sought in all matters of 
enterprise in the community in which he resided. By 
his neighbors he was called " long-headed." 

He was not voluble in si)eech, but being a clear 
rcascmer, very sagacious, terse and apjn^site in his re- 
marks, he was considered a sharp contestant in debate, 
and never failed tu adduce irrefragable argument in all 


diflcussions upon moral reform in which he felt an active 
interest. One noted characteristic he poeseesed was a 
remarkable astuteness in so cross-questioning an oppo- 
nent as to elicit answers counting his own argument. 

Benjamin Jones, the humorous poet who portrayed 
the characteristics of leading abolitionists in amusing 
rhymes, thus pays his compliments to Lindley Coates : 

Pray Lindley, don^t vex one, 

By asking a question. 
That answered, upsets his own side ; 

*Tis very perplex ingr. 

And shamefully vexing, 
For one*s self to prove he has lied : 

*Ti8, Friend Coates ! 
For one's self to prove he has lied. 

He was opposed to avarice, and considered it one of 
the greatest evils instigating men to impose one upon 

Slaves came to his place from Maryland and con- 
tiguous States, from Daniel Gibbons, Thomas Whitson 
and others, and were taken to James Williams, Joseph 
Fulton, Mordecai Hayes, Emmor Kimber and to other 
stations, as seemed best, according to circumstances or 
exigences at the time. Some who were very intelligent 
were taken a considerable distance and then directed 
how and where to go. Some called who were steering 
for Canada, taking the North Star as their guide. These 
would obtain the names of the Underground Railroad 
agents along the route, and then proceed by themselves, 
taking their own chances. 

Connected with the vast numbers who passed through 
his hands there were many exciting incidents and nar- 
row escapes, the particulars of which are nut now re- 
membered. It was a custom with the family to make 


very few inquirieB beyond what ihey ftlt netdftil to 
satisfy themselyeB that the applicaatB irara ieiw Jfab 
fugitives from the South. 

Extra precautionary mearareB were taken attar the 
Christiana riot to prevent the arrest of any negnei 
about their premises. All who came at that time wen 
taken to the cornfield and secreted under the ihoekB, aa 
Liudlcy and his wife were expecting their house to be 
searched by deputized officials who were then seoutiiig 
the country, searching the houses of abolittonists to see 
if negroes were in them, and arresting every colored 
person upon whom they could in any way cast a glink- 
mer of suspicion of having been connected with the 
tragedy at Christiana. 

In a few days six or seven of these " special consta- 
bles/' .or persons representing themselves as such, came 
during the absence of Lindley and his son Simmons, 
(Born March 5th, 182L— Died October 2d, 1862,) and 
examined every apartment of the house from cellar to 
garret, notwithstanding they were told by the women 
that no colore<l })crson8 were in it. 

Isaac Slack, a carpenter, who was then working at the 
barn, heard tliat these men were at the house. He 
went there immediately, but they had finished their 
search. He asked if they had a warrant. They re- 
plied they had not. Incensed at the outrage of their 
going through the house in that manner without legal 
authority he told them in most emphatic language that 
had he known in the beginning of their being on the 
premises he would have prevented their unhuN-ful search. 

A colored girl living at that time with Simmons and 
Emmeline Coates who occupied a"part of the house, was 


engaged to be married to one of the slaves whom Gor- 
such was after. He made his escape to Toronto, 
Canada, and wrote to the girl to meet him there. 

On the night of the tragedy, Simmons told her and 
another colored girl living in the house, to go to the 
cornfield and remain under the shocks till morning, as 
it was not improbable that their house might be search- 
ed. They did so, and as soon as practicable started 
for Toronto, where the affianced couple met and were 

Although deprecating the condition of the enslaved 
negroes whose dearest rights were withe Id from them 
Lindley Coates never encouraged secret means to entice 
them to leave their masters. But when they had left, 
and sought aid at his hands in their effort to be free, he 
assisted them with all his earnestness and ability as he 
claimed to be the duty of a Christian in behalf of a 
brother in need. 

From Deborah S., widow of Lindley Coates, the 
editors of this history have received the following 
sketch, which apj)eare(l in an anti-slavery ncwspajKir a 
few davs afler his death : 

" Under our obituary head this week a death is re- 
corded which calls for something more than a piissing 
notice. Lindley Coates, of Lancaster county, Pennsyl- 
vania, whose death on the »M inst., is there announced, 
was no common man, and his past relations to the cause 
were such iis to make his departure from our midst no 
ordinary occurrence. He was one of the earliest, ablest 
and most devoted friends of freedom of the State of 
Pennsylvania. He aided in forming the Clarkson Anti- 
Slavery Association before the American Society had 


an esist^nce and was an advocAte of iinmediate emaruR 
pation when tlie name uf William Lloyd Garrison i 
coin[)arativoly little known. lie was a man of gr 
simplicity of character and of inftexiblc moral hunestj 
and was endowed with a mind of unusual vigor and t 
the Btrictcst logical accuracy. On all the great que^tioQ 
of the day hie views were clear aud decided. He W 
quick to see and prompt to embrace tlie truth, and ft 
had more skill than he in detecting and exposing tl 
fallacies of error. Though not a man of liberal educM 
lion, he wad moderately well read and more than c 
monly well informexi; and. although not a fluent speaker^ 
his hirh ordfr uf ren.'ouiiii: ]«>m-v^ piv liini n r^in^iifrth 
in debate which made him a formidable opponent and 
Becured for him an enviable distinction among the early 
champions of the anfi-elavery cause. Hia reputation 
was not confined to Pennsylvania; he was known and 
appreciated by the Mends of the cause throughout all 
the »»untry. 

" in 1840, when the new organization schism took place 
at New York, he was chosen president of the American 
Anti-Slavery Society-, and filled, creditably and satis&c- 
torily, the duties of that office till, upon his resignation, 
William Lloyd Garrison, its present incumbent, was ap- 
point«d to take his place. For the last few years, owing 
to ill health, he has taken but little part in the anti- 
slavery conflict; but his heart beat true to the cause. 

" If he was less confident and mure apprehensive as to 
immediate results, it was because disease had impaired 
his natural hopefiilness ; his principles had undei^ne 
no change and hia faith in their final triumph " knew 
uo shallow of turning." 


*' He died as he had lived, a true friend of freedom, 
and his name will be preserved in the history of the 
anti-filavery enterprijse as one of its ablest and most 
worthy champions." 

LJndley Coates was a member of the Constitutional 
Convention of 1837, and made the most strenuous ef- 
forts to prevent the insertion of the word " white " into 
the organic law of the State of Pennsylvania, whereby 
the sufirage was restricted to members of the Cauoiisian 
race. Thomas Earle and Thaddeus Stevens, also promi- 
nent members of the convention, worked hard against 
this change, but all without avail. 

(Born February 28th, 1811.) 

The house of Joshua Brinton, Salisbury, Lancaster 
county, was not on any of the direct routes, and was 
therefore not one of the regular stations. Yet as he wits 
well known for his kindness, and his sympathy for the 
condition of the colored race, fugitives were frequently 
directed to his place which was called by many " a home 
for colored people." 

He often hired those whom he strongly suspected to 
have come from the South. But when he saw they were 
not disposed to talk much in reference to themselves, he 
deemed it best to know as little as possible of their his- 
tory. He directed many to safe places where they 
found employment. They had implicit confidence in all 
he said and did for them, and that confidence was not 



JoeKPH PULTOV.— Inddeois.— AHists Wires oC PMrkiMr and Vtakamfj-^ 
Moon Whxtm>h.— Oolorod Mao Belmyod IqrFotiaiM-Vlatterw— ImI* 
dents.— William Baer Aartrta in CkpCmteff a 0tev« a* MHMlh Cha»" 
berlain*ii.-"A amAff A w BomAU..— BUaha TyaiMa.*4raoaaa llo— iffi 
Meeting of AboUtioniala.— OiariDaDa AnU-fSUnvrnj floaialr VotwsA. 
—Inoidenta.— Marriage to Snaan P. J^haatm, 

(Bom Seoond mo. Sd, ITS— >Dled Fonrth mo. Illh, IflB.) 

Joseph Fulton, of Sadsbury township, Chester county, 
began his anti-slavery labors in the days of Benjamin 
Lundy. He was an enthusiastic admirer of Lundy 
and a constant reader of his paper, The Oeniua of 
Universal Emandpaiion. So ardent was he in the cause 
that he subscribed for all the anti-slavery papers, and 
refused to give his patronage to the political papers of 
other parties "because," as he said, "they feared to 
speak out against the crying sin of the nation." 

Slaves came to his place chiefly through the hands of 
Thomas Whitson, Lindley Coates, and Daniel Gibbons, 
and were sent to the Pierces and Fultons, at Ercildoun, 
and to others. 

They generally came between dusk and 10 o'clock at 
night. It was the policy of Joseph's family to ask but 
few questions, but to give them supper and comfortable 
lodging, either at the house or the bam. 

A family of seven came from Daniel Gibbons. 
Among them was a fine little girl named Julia, six 
years of age, whom Joseph's family took quite a liking 


to, and kept until she was eighteen. The others were 
passed on by way of Ercildoun. 

A big, strong, resolute, and rather rough man came 
at one time. He had an implacable hatred for his 
master, and would sleep nowhere except in the garret, 
with an axe near his hand ; he declared " if marser came 
he would knock his brains out." He was a vindictive 
specimen of humanity, but was probably made so by 
the injustice and cruelty that he had suffered. 

The enactment of the Fugitive Slave Law, in 1850, 
made it doubly imperative upon the Fulton family to 
be cautious in their proceedings, as their place, with 
those of many other anti-slavery people, was closely 
watched by those who would have gladly seen the talons 
of the law fixed in every abolitianist. Aside from these 
there was a gang of negro-informers, headed by a well- 
known character near the "Gap," who scoured the 
country with Argus eyes and Briarean arms, ready to 
seize upon any fugitive and remand him to the chains 
of a life-long slavery. 

In the midst of this dangerous environment, when all 
was excitement in consequence of this recently passed 
law, a slave man came to Joseph Fulton's house and 
was hidden under the hav in one of their bams for 
nearly a week before they fislt it safe for him to venture 
on the roads. Joseph's daughter, Mary Ann, carried 
food to him after dark. She was afraid to speak, lest 
some one might be lurking around and hear. Aft^r 
tapping three times on the partition, she left a basket of 
food for him, enough to last until next evening, and re- 
turned. Before his leaving she drew him a chart of the 
route to Binghampton, N. Y., and gave him a compass. 


with dlrectioQB to travel only at night. 8ome time af- 
terward she received a letter from him etating that be ! 
had arrived there and had found employmuut. 

About 7 o'clock on the morning after the Chriali&iui " 
riot two women, one ferrying a child, called at the door, 
much excited jiiid in great distrces, and asltPi:! if " pome- ' 
thing could not be d(«te for them ; they didn't faunr 
what to do, nor where to go to." On being Mked who 
they were, they replied they were the wma of Fulter 
and Pinkney : that they had got awi^ frimi thtir idm- 
ters the afternoon before, and were codeaToriing to es- 
cape to some place of iȣeity. Ax soon as it wm iaA 
in the evening they started out, but getting bewildered 
they had wandered about all night, while the home they 
left waa but five miles distant. They were aaked why 
they came there, and replied that on the road they in- 
quired who lived at that house, and when told, they 
thought they would have friends there whu would do 
something for them. Mary Ann, with a woman's sym- 
pathy and that inspiration and impulse that come in &e 
hour of need, took the case into her own hands at once, 
and ordered " Julia" to run out the carriage while she 
went to the field to ask her brother for one of their 
fleetest young liorses. 

"What for?" he asked. 

She told him. He remonstrated with her agfunat 
such a dangerous adventure, and refused her the horse, 
saying she would have all their property confiscated. 
But she persisted, and would not be put off. He told 
her then she might take " old blind Nance," thinking 
possibly she would not risk going with her. But she 
did. And when ready to start, the question arose in her 


mind, Where shall I take tlicm ? She thought of some 
persons near Cain Friends' Meeting-house who were 
wanting help, and went there, thinking she could secure 
places for them until the officers had left their 
neighborhood. But all in vain. Every one she 
called upon refused to take them. Evening now came 
on ; and as they drove through a wood, the darkness of 
approaching night, with their want of success thus far, 
b^an to bring a shade of gloom over their spirits, and 
they halted to consider what they should do next. 
While thus deliberating in silence, they saw a little col- 
ored woman coming toward them, carrying a tub on her 
head. Mary Ann asked her some questions and then 
began to explain their situation, when the colored woman 
interrupted her by saying, " You need not tell me. I 
knows, I knows all about it. I've helped in many a 
scrape this. Just drive down the hill there, you'll see 
my house. Just go in an' set them down ; I'll be back 
in a little bit." They did as she directed. What this 
little colored woman did with them, we have not been 
able to find out. The last account received of them 
was, that they had got to Edwin H. Coates, who took 
them to Thomas Hopkins, and he conveyed them to 
Norristown on the eve of the Governor's election. They 
were then placed on board the cars at Bridgeport, in 
care of Benjamin Johnson, colored, who accompanied 
them to Canada where they joined their husbands. Po- 
litical excitement being intense that evening in Norris- 
town, their escape was eftected without nmcli suspicion. 

The editors have received the following additional 
reminiscences from a son of Joseph Fulton: 

" Among my recollections of father's connection with 

the Undtvgrmikd Bailnad, th» OHe of » waAtr ani 
her four daQ{^ten,dRni of a mail naawd Hall, of llaiT- 
land, is, I think, wortb7 of maitioiL Tlie motbir md 
childieo wne abnoBt white, 'nbej ran away to tmmp» 
sale and were brou^t to my firther*a place by lindloy 
Coatee. Aa aoaa h the inHoan mw ftitfaer the noog- 
nized him, having nen faim at her maitar's In Kuylaiid, 
he having been emj^c^ed by Hall to faoild a ban. TW 
woman, ae mi^t he expected, «m much plweed to Me 
him, knowing him to be a friend. It not befog Mft for 
them to remain at ikther's, he directed me to take tlMv 
at night to the hoiue of widow Hanh of CUu. I IimI- 
tated to do so, knowing the severity of the law, but 
fether's answer waa: 'We'll riak it,' I arrived at my 
destination about twelve o'clock at night. The widow 
Marsh took them, the same night, to Micajah Speok- 
man's; thence they made their way to Canada. 

" Another &mily were brought to iather*a place under 
a load of com-fodder in broad daylight. They were 
forwarded north that sight. AiW the Christiana riot, 
father sheltered a great many, one of whom waa secreted 
in the bam," * * * 

(Born Bth mo. (Au^wt) Mtb, ITOa.-Died ad mo. (Fab.) lUh, UN.) 

Moses Whitson, Sadabury, Chester county, was in 
sympathy with the Underground Railroad management, 
and gave aeaistance when it was practicable for him to 
do so. Being a surveyor and civil engineer, of whom 
there were few then in his section, he was from home 
much of the time. Hence his place could not conveni- 
ently nor with safety be made a station. He frequently 
employed fugitives. 


A joung man, named Henry Harris, lived with him 
several years, wan an excellent hand and trustworthy. 
While at work in the wheat-field one day during the 
absence of Moses Whitson, his master and master's 
brother-in-law, accompanied by the constable of Sads- 
bury, came suddenly upon him, caught and handcuffed 
him while the master held two pistols pointed at him, 
bore him to Penningtonville, placed him on the cars, 
took him as &r as Downingtown, and thence to West 
Chester by stage. Another man, who was at work in 
the field, ran to the house and gave the alarm. Moses' 
wife despatched a messenger for him immediately, then 
ran to the field just as they were taking Henry away. 
She asked if they <^xpected to take him without proving 
that he was their property. The master said he would 
take him to West Chester, prove him to be his, and 
then take him home with him. She followed them to 
Penningtonville in the hope of detaining them until 
Moses arrived. As soon as he received information he 
and Caleb Brinton, of Pequea, Lancaster county, went 
to Penningtonville ; but too late to see them. Being on 
horseback they rode rapidly to West Chester, reaching 
there just after the party had arrived at the White 
Hall hotel. Moses was not satisfied with the proof they 
gave, as Henry said he did not know the men. He 
consulted a lawyer and had Henry detained until the 
master could furnish eatifactory proof With the means 
of conveyance then furnished throughout the South, 
this required a month. 

The slave was then confined in jail in heavy irons. 
Moses visited him while in prison. He then acknowl- 
edged that one of the men was his master, and that he 


had been betrayed by penoos of his own oolor who per- 
suaded him to go to a ooloxed man who profawd to tell 
fortunes. Thie fortuneteller told him if he would tdl 
his master's name, his own name when in slavecy, and 
where he came fix>m, he would put a spell upon hie mat- 
ter so that he couldn't touch him if he did see him. 
For this blessed immunity Henry paid him ten dollan. 
The man of " rare gift'' then wrote to the master tell- 
ing where Henry was. In a short time there bunt 
upon him the sad realisation that for-^iot Airtjf, hot 
tefk pieces of silver, he had been betrayed by this cokir- 
ed Judas into the hands of his master, to be canied 
back to his former home, and in all probability to soflfar 
the fate of the majority of remanded slaves — to be 
" sold to go far South." 

In about a month the master returned, bringing with 
him a number of witnesses who proved Henry to be his 
property. Moses Whitson was present at the examina- 
tion. He offered to buy Henry, but the master would 
uot sell him ; saying that '' when he lost Jack" (which 
was Henry's slave name) " he lost his best nigger." 

In a few weeks these same men returned to take an- 
other fugitive from the same neighborhood. The owner, 
on this visit, told Lindley Coates, he had sold Henry to 
a man in Natchez, for $1,800. 

A colored woman named Elizabeth was sent by 
Daniel Gibbons to Moses Whitson's. Needing help in 
the house at that time, they employed her. Her master 
received information of where she was, and taking a 
man with him in a two-horse wagon started out for his 
property. They arrived at Mount Vernon tavern, Lan- 
caster county, in the evening and remained over night. 


Early in the morning they went to Moees Whitson's, en- 
tered the kitchen, seized the woman, testified to her be- 
longing to one of the men, and took her with them to 
the tavern. Then ordering their breakfast, they sat 
down to it with a hearty relish and cheerful serenity 
after the morning's triumph. Benjamin Whipper, a 
colored man living ¥ath Whitson, saw the transaction, 
and without a moment's delay notified William Parker 
and other colored people in the neighborhood who at 
once assembled and devised means for her rescue. Four 
or five of the men concealed themselves by the roadside 
below the tavern, while Whipper watched the departure 
of the slave-hunters, and then, mounted on a white horse 
of Whitson's, rode behind the wagon containing the 
woman, to designate it from other wagons. As soon as 
the party approached these men they bounded like lions 
from their covert, seized the horses and turned them in 
the road. The slaveholder drew his pistol, but before 
he could fire, one of the colored men struck him upon 
the arm, breaking it. The other man fired, but without 
eflfect. The negroes then fell upon the slave-catchers, 
pummelled them severely, and then let them proceed on 
their way to reflect that fugitive slaves are dangerous 
people for negro hunters to encounter in a Free State 
while in the attempt to carry one of their number back 
to the condition of chattel proi)erty. 

Not thinking it safe to return the woman to Moses 
Whitson's, she was taken to one of the neighbors, and 
thence sent to Emmor Kimber with whom she lived 
two years. 

Some slaves belonging to a widow in Elkton, Md., 
ran away, and coming into Lancaster county, one hired 



with Marsh Chamberlaiiiy near the Grap. The widow 
married, and her husband at onoe instituted search for 
the absconded property, and advertised them in the 
newspapers. Wm. Baer, of that section, whose bent of 
mind was known to be in the interest of slaveholders, 
and who was not known to reject emoluments offered for 
returning slaves, saw that the description of one of the 
fugitives coincided with that of the man at Chamber- 
lain's. He corresponded with the husband who offered 
$200 for the colored man's return. Baer with two 
others went to the house of Chamberlain one evening 
after dusk, knocked at the door of the basement kitchen, 
entered, and seeing the man, made an onslaught upon 
him at once to secure his arrest before he could resist. He, 
however, made a vigorous effort to repulse them and es- 
cape, but was overpowered, knocked down, badly bruised 
and cut about the head and had his ankle dislocated. 
During the melee the light was put out, and they con- 
tinued the struggle in the dark. Chamberlain was away, 
the other members of the family were up-stairs, but being 
frightened by the sudden commotion, and knowing they 
could do nothing to rescue him, they did not go down. 
He was .bound, carried to a wagon and driven off. The 
blood flowed so freely from his wounds, that by it the 
party was tracked next morning through Pennington- 
ville, Russelville and to Elkton. As the man was so 
badly injured, the husband refused to pay the stipulated 
reward. He succeeded, however, in selling the negro, 
and Baer received his portion of the price of that flesh 
and blood he had so iuijloriouslv remanded back to the 
sad and weary life of a chattel laborer. 

The consternation and shock of the occasion so pros- 


trated Chamberlain's ¥dfe that it was a long while before 
she recovered from it. 

As soon as information of the affair was reported in 
the neighborhood, Moses Whitson, Samuel Whitson, 
Samuel Brinton, John Cain and Dr. Augustus W. 
Cain, held a private meeting at the house of Lindley 
Coates to consider the propriety of taking some action 
in reference to the case. They believed that the man- 
ner in which the man was taken would be clearly 
defined by law as kidnapping. Samuel Whitson and 
Dr. Cain were appointed a committee to visit Elkton, 
ascertain the particulars of the case, and if sufficient 
evidence could be adduced to commit Baer, they would 
commence prosecution against him. On consulting 
Lawyer Earle of that place, he told them nothing could 
be done as the slave had been delivered to his legal 
master, although he admitted the man was not arrested 

precisely according to law. 

Threats were now made that the barns of Samuel 

Whitson, Lindley Coates, and Dr. Cain would be 

burned. The two former fell a sacrifice to the flames, 

but whether in consequence of the threat or not was 

never ascertained. Dr. Cain kept a guard around his 

bam for two months and it escaped. 

(Born 1764.— Died 1840.) 

About the year 1805, John Clark, a fugitive, hired 
with Abraham Bonsall, then living on the farm now oc- 
cupied by Benjamin Johnson, in East Bradford. While 
in West Chester one day he became intoxicated, and 
was arrested by Constable Thomas Mason and lodged in 
jail. His owner at that time being in the neighborhood 


in search of him, heard of his arresty proceeded to the 
jail, identified him and was about taking legal measures 
to remove him, when he deliberately walked up to his 
coat which was hanging in his cell, drew firom it a raior 
and cut his throat, rather than be returned to his re- 
volting experience in slavery. 

The owner of a fugitive slave girl living with Abra- 
ham Bonsall came there one day and seeing her, at once 
identified her and proceeded to carry her off. She ran 
to Abraham's wife Mary, and with piteous cries and 
screams clung to her, but was forcibly dragged from her 
side and borne away. Mary's sympathy for the poor 
girl, and the rough manner in which she was taken pro- 
duced a shock upon her nervous system from which she 
never recovered. 

During and subsequent to the year 1810 Elisha 
Tyson, of Baltimore, Md., forwarded colored people to 
Jacob Lindley, near Avondale, Chester county. He 
sent them to Philip Price, East Bradford, north of 
Strode's mill, and he to Abram Bonsall, who by this 
time had removed near to Valley creek bridge, on the 
Pennsylvania Railroad. Abram sent them to Isaiah 
Kirk, near Pughtown, or to Enoch Walker's at Moore 
Hall Mill, east of Valley Forge. 

(Born 1797.— Died 1882.) 

Thomas Bonsall, son of Abraham, settled on a pro- 
I)erty near Wagontown, in West Cain, since owned by 
Steele, Worth and Gibbons. Fugitives were frequently 
sent to him by Daniel Gibbous, with a piece of paper 
containing his name. IVo-slavery men in the neighbor- 
hood were never approached by the fugitives, but they 


knew who Thomas was, and that his place was one of 
the stations on the road. They frequently asked : " How 
is it that fugitives never come to us and tell of their 
running away, but somehow they always get to you 
abolitionists?" "Oh," Thomas replied, "I suppose we 
look at them differently." He lived on this farm thirty- 
three years, during the whole of which period he was 
an active agent, but kept no notes of the number he 
passed along. His hired men frequently tried to find if 
any were hidden in the barn, by running a pitchfork 
into the hay and straw mows, hoping to plunge it into 
the body of a negro. But they were safely placed in 
the granary of his double-decker barn, and his daughter 
carried them food. Well did they know the approach 
of her footsteps, and the kind hand that gently tapped 
at their door as a signal that she was there. But when 
others were about all was quiet. 

Thirteen were secreted in his barn at one time during 
the period of the Fugitive Slave Law when the pro- 
slavery men of the North were exasperated to the high- 
est pitch of passion against the " detested abolitionists " 
who opposed this law as antagonistic to humanity, and 
a blemish upon the escutcheon of a republic assuming 
to he free, and to be based upon the principle of equal 
rights to man. 

The majority of those who stopi)ed at Thomas Bon- 
sall's were passed to John Vickers, Lionville, until after 
his death, when they were sent to Gravner Marsh, East 

At one time Lindley Coates or Thomas Whitson 
asked Thomas Bonsall if there could not be some means 
devised by which they could meet together and form a 

102 HIWOEt OF 

Bociety for mataal oomaltrtioiL Aoo(ndiiiglj» ThjomM 
BoDsall, Undley GniteB, ThomM WhitKn, Arnot Gfl- 
bert and Mo0eBWliit8on,iiiet in SaddbiuyBdiootlioiue^ 
juBt over the line in Lencaster ooontj. Thej eoold not 
reconcile themselveB to the idea that man had any ri^it 
to hold as property his fiUow-man. Nor oonid tfaaj 
conscientiouiBly snetain a law whkdi gave him thia pre- 

At this meeting Aey prepared a faill to abdUak the 
use of the jail in Washington, D. C, as a daye^Nii. Ifc 
was signed by lindley Coates, as president of the meet- 
ing, and sent to John Quincy Adams, member of tlie 
House of Representatives, asking him to present it to 
Congress. He answered that he would introduce the 
bill but would not advocate it, as he thought we ought 
not to meddle with the subject 

This meeting was followed by others, and very soon a 
dozen or more anti-slavery people, among whom were 
Asa Walton, Thomas and Eli Hambleton and others, 
assembled and held meetings in a school-house where 
Homeville is now situated, and a general interest soon 
began to extend itself. They then formed a more 
thorough organization under the name of the darkwn 
Anti-Slavery Society. 

Some of the fugitives coming to Thomas Bonsall's 
wished to hire with him, " because he was an abolition- 
ist." All whom he did employ proved honest and fiedth- 
ful laborers. One man sent to him by Daniel Gibbons 
said his master died, and a dealer coming along pur- 
chased him from his mistress for $700, and started him 
with a drove of others from Norfolk. The men were 
handcuffed, two abreast, to a long rope to prevent their 


running away, and were thus driven along, while the 
women and children were conveyed in a wagon. They 
were kept thus uncomfortably pinioned together, both 
while they ate and when they slept. They travelled 
several weeks to some place unknown to him, and here 
he was sold for $2,100. Taking sick shortly afterwards 
he was left behind until the second lot came along, when 
he was sent on horseback to return to Virginia. Here 
he chanced to see his wife and children. Joy sprang 
up again in his bosom, and visions of them floated 
before his mind in sleep. He was permitted to talk and 
be with them, and was put to work at blacksmithing. 
Soon, however, he was again sold, handcuffed as before, 
separated from his wife and children, placed in another 
gang and driven off*. They travelled several days, and 
were then put in a jail for safe keeping. A free negro 
in there suggested to him that they try to escape. He 
devised a plan, and told one of the women outside if she 
would get him a knife he would make her a corset-board. 
It was fiirnished him. With it he nicked his razor and 
used it to saw one of the bars of the prison window 
sufficiently deep to enable them to bend and break it, 
and the five men escaped. They travelled by night. It 
being moonlight and the freeman able to read, the others 
hoisted him up to read the directions on the handboards 
along the way. At one time he read a notice of $1,000 
reward offered for their detection. They came to York 
county, and crossing the river at Wrightsville to 
Columbia were told by a Methodist to go down to Ches- 
ter county, there were Quakers there. They got to 
Daniel Gibbons, from there to Lindley Coates, and 
thence to Thomas BonsalFs who hired this man. One 


of the others hired a few mileB distant; bat none of 
them would ever reveal, except to theee ** agents " that 
they had ever been in Blavery, lest they mif^t be in- 
formed upon. 

Two women from Alabama narrated the wretched and 
degrading treatment imposed upon them and others in 
the rice swamps and cotton plantations of the fer South. 
During the very busy season in time of cotton picking 
they were compelled to work all day, and during moon- 
light nights until nearly" moming, not being allowed 
time to rest, nor to eat, but had to carry a small bag of 
com around their neck from which they might pick the 
grains and eat while at work, while the driver with his 
whip kept them continually going to the utmost limit of 
their strength. The field hands were kept in a state of 
nudity, and when allowed to sleep at nights they were 
huddled together in a pen ; and, with ball and chain at- 
tached to each to prevent their running off, were thus 
left to lie down and sleep together like so many brute 
beasts. These two women were assisted by a sea captain 
to make their escape. 

This treatment of slaves in the most Southern Slave 
States by some only, we can hope, of the planters, might 
seem incredible to us of the North who were unaccus- 
tomed to seeing such treatment of laborers, were the ac- 
counts not corroborated by others who were successiul 
enough to escape from that section. It was a knowledge 
of this usage which gave the slaves of the more North- 
ern States such a horror of being " sold to go South." 

The two women and a boy spoken of in the account 
of Jacob Bushong, who were arrested in his house and 
taken to Lancaster county jail from which they es- 


caped, and through Daniel Gibbons and others were 
taken to Thomas Bonsall's, were secreted by him until 
next night when he took them to John Vickers. The 
night being dark, he rode on horseback a short distance 
in advance of the wagon containing them. This was a 
hazardous ride, as their pursuers were searching the 
country around for them, ready not only to fasten again 
upon them the chains of an ignominious servitude, but 
to &8ten upon every abolitionist who aided them the in- 
exorable chains of the Fugitive Slave Law. But He 
who said " Whatsoever ye do unto the least of one of 
these my brethren ye do unto me," seemed to guide 
them through the darkness of night, through the perils 
of opposition to this law, and cheered the hearts of 
these pilots in their mission of love and mercy to the 
unfortunate ones of a race whose burden was heavy, 
and whose yoke was grievous to be borne. 

Not only were those early anti-slavery advocates 
reviled by the pro-slavery portion of the community, 
but abusive epithets were heaped upon their children, 
who, even at school, were taunted on account of their 
parents being " abolitionists" a term they contumeliously 
applied as a stigma of reproach and disgrace. 

When the colored people in the vicinity of Christiana 
first celebrated the Emancipation proclamation the 
captain of the company meeting Thomas Bonsall, and 
knowing him to be one of the old Underground Rail- 
road agents, ordered three cheers for him, which were 
given with a zest and exuberance of spirit such as they 
only can feel who have known and experienced the 
rapture of a sudden transition from the degrading 

thraldom of a slave to the enobling rights of a man. 



He has on yariouB oocanons sinoe the war met colored 
people who recognized him, and reminded him of the 
time he helped them to freedom, when to do so imperiled 
the safety of his own property and his own person. 

He is still residing at Christiana, and is now. Fifth 
month (May), 1882, in his 86th year. He is a member 
of the Society of Friends, has held the position of Clerk 
of the Preparative, Monthly and Quarterly Meetings 
in his section for a number of years, and that of over- 
seer, elder and member of the Representative Commit- 
tee between forty and fifty years. He still occupies the 
position of overseer and elder. 

On Tenth month 16th, 1823, he married Susan P. 
Johnson, of London Grove. She passed from life First 
month 9th, 1847, in her 53d year. She was an earnest 
sympathizer and co-worker in the anti-slavery cause. 
When fugitives came, and her kind hands portioned 
out to them a bountiful repast as she gave them words 
of counsel and encouragement on their road to freedom, 
the large tear of gratitude were ofttimes seen to trickle 
down their dusky cheeks. 


Ths CHRiflrnAKA Traobdt.— Sketch of Life of William Parker.— Dick- 
enon Gorsuch Lay Wounded, and was Oared for at the House of 
Levi Pownall. — Caster Hanway Tried for Treason. — Other Cases 
Removed to Lancaster. — Acquittal. 


It is not my design to give a full and detailed account 
of the tragedy at Christiana. An account of it was 
published at the time, when the whole country was in a 
state of excitement over this first great defense of the 
negroes against an armed force to capture and carry 
back to slavery a portion of their number, under the 
recently enacted Fugitive Slave Law, and has already 
become a part of history. Reference will only be made 
to some of the causes which led to it, and some of the 
incidents connected with it, as they come within the 
scope of this work, are related by private individuals 
in the neighborhood, and gleaned from published state- 

Nearly all the laboring class around Christiana at 
that time were negroes, many of whom had formerly 
been slaves. Some of these were occasionally betrayed 
and informed upon by persons who received a pecuniary 
reward for the same, kidnapped, and carried back, 
bound or hand-cuffed, to their masters. 

There was a band of " Land Pirates" known under 
the familiar name of the "Gap Gang," scattered 
throughout a secticm of that country, who frequently 
gave descriptions of these colored people to southernei*8 


whidi led to their c^tnre; and lAot oH Ni fftmiHy 
oflferad, thfij aauBted in kidnaping ftee utpom, and 
canying them into the Border States to be sold. lluieK- 
asperated the oolored people against all dave^nnton^ 
and they held meetingi, aarieted bjrthoirivfaitefiMBdi^ to 
consider and adopt means fiv aelfpniteotion. Themaa 
who stood prominent among their raee in that minitj 
as one of acknowledged intelligenoe and indondlnUo 
will, was William Plurker. Hie possessed a strong aooU 
nature, and would at any time pat his own body in dan- 
ger to protect a friend. These qualities gained fiv him 
the respect of a very large class in that oommonity: fiir 

** KindneM by secret eympathy te tied ; 
And noble souIb in nature «re allied.** 

He had repeatedly foiled the kidnappers in their un- 
dertakings, rushed upon them in defiance of their 
weapons, beaten and driven them before him out of the 
neighborhood, as one man may put a herd of buffidoes 
to flight. He was therefore the one above all others 
whom they wished to get rid of. 

Before entering upon even a brief narrative of that 
tragedy, it may be due the general reader to advert to 
some of the earlier and the later incidents in the life of 
Parker, as it was to him the colored people looked up 
in his neighborhood as their head and leader, and 
around whom they gathered when armed slaveholders 
and their aids, headed by Edward Grorsuch, attempted 
to capture some of his slaves and carry them back into 
slavery; the resistance to which resulted in a fight, 
mode national by a trial for treason instituted by the 
slaveholders, and in the death of Edward Gorsuch. 

William Parker was born a slave in Anne Arundel 


county, Maryland. His master, who was somewhat 
easy with his slaves, neither very harsh nor very in- 
dulgent, died before Parker grew to know much about 
him. His mother also died while he was quite young ; 
and to his grandmother, he said, he was indebted for 
the little kindness he received in his early childhood. 
No mention is made as to who was his father. 

After his mother's death he was sent to the "Quarters," 
which consisted of a number of low buildings in which 
slaves of both sexes were lodged and fed. One of these 
buildings was set apart for single people and for chil- 
dren whose parents had been sold or otherwise disposed 
of. This building was 100 feet long and 30 wide, with 
a fireplace at each end and a row of small rooms on 
each side. In this place all were huddled together. The 
larger and stronger children would push forward and 
occupy the best and warmest places, and make the 
smaller and weaker stand back and occupy the less 
desirable positions. This principle, however, is not 
peculiar to these little parentless negro children thrown 
together in one room like animals in a stock -pen, but 
manifests itself among far too many of the intelligent 
and even professedly religious class of white people 
whose love for lucre prompts to individual oppression, 
that by pushing another aside they may gain the coveted 
object of their desire. Alas for the injunction, " Bear 
ye one another's burdens !" 

Young Parker's grandmother being cook at the 
" great house," could only do him her little acts of kind- 
ness when she had the opportunity of going to the 

As he grew older, " his rights at the fire-place," he re- 


marked, "were won by his childish fists. And this ex- 
perience in his boyhood," he adds, " has sinoe been re- 
peated in hil manhood, wlien his rights as a freeman 
were, under God, secured by his own right arm." 

Neither of his young masttrs would allow his slavee 
to be beaten or abused, ax many slaveholders did, al- 
though the overseen" eometimes whipped or struck them ; 
but every year a number of them were sold — sometimes 
fl many aa sis or sevec at a time. 

Oue day the slaves were told they need not go to 
work, but come to the " great house." As they v 
preparing lo pn, a iiiimbcT of slrani:c' wliile men drove 
up. They proved to be slave-trtidere. Parker and a 
companion of his about the same age, became alarmed, 
ran away and climbed a pine tree where they remained 
all day listening to the cries and wailinga of men, 
womeD, and children as one by one they were beingaold, 
and family connectiotiB and tiee were being sundered. 
These slave sales were more solemn occasions in reality 
to the blacks than the funerals of loved ones among the 
whites. Families separated, not by deaths, but by sales; 
and those who remained seldom ever knew the fete of 
those who were driven off to be sold again in other 

It was while in the pine tree that day, that the idea 
first entered his mind of running away to the Free 
States to escape being sold. He was then about ten or 
eleven years of age. He proposed it to his companion, 
Levi. But he thought if they got clear this time, per- 
haps they would not be sold. 

Night came on. Its darkness added to the solemnity 
of the day's sadneea. Levi wanted to go back to see if 

nin>EBGBonin> railroad. Ill 

they had sold his mother ; but Parker, in speaking of 
that occasion some years after, said, " I did not care 
about going back, as I had no mother to be sold. How 
desolate I was ! No home, no protector, no mother, no 
attachments. As we turned our f&cea toward the quarter 
where we might at any moment be sold to satisfy a debt, 
or to replenish a failing purse, I felt myself to be what 
I really was — a poor friendless slave-boy." 

On seeing his mother, Levi ran to her and asked — 
" Mother, were you sold V 

"No, child." 

She then told the boys who of their uncles and 
aunts had been sold. 

About a year after this Levi was sold. Parker re- 
mained on the plantation until he was about seventeen ; 
still harboring in his mind thoughts of and desire for 
freedom ; yet not for once thinking that it was a possi- 
ble thing for him to leave without some exciting provo- 
cation. So one day when his master was going to whip 
him with an ox-gad for refusing to go out in the rain to 
work, young Parker thought that was his opportunity, 
and seizing the stick, whipped his master and bade him 
good-bye. On his way past a field he beckoned to his 
brother, who joined him, and they pursued their way 
northward. Once having started, the fires of liberty 
glowed in his bosom ; he had cast off the shackles of 
slavery, and never more would he submit to a return to 

The fugitives* liberty was not always secured without 
a struggle, and thus these two boys found it. When 
near to the town of York they were interrupted by 
three white men, After some conversation one of them. 

112 bMeost or m 

a verj Uttge man, flud : ''Yonaratlieiblkiiii tUi bA- 
vertisement calk fbr,^ at die iame tune leadiBg to AaB 
out of a paper. It was their desoriptioB exaoUj. The 
man oontinued: 

" You must go back." 

Parker signified that thqr wouU not 

'' I have taken many a runaway and I can takeyoOk" 
replied the man as he put one hand in his pocket m if 
to draw a pistol, and reached the other toward FulEer, 
who struck him across the arm with a heavy stiek. The 
arm fell as if broken. Battle commenced. The men 
ran. The boys gave chase, determined to inflict still 
greater injuries, but the men outran them. 

When Hearing Columbia, in the darkness of night, 
they heard men coming behind them ; they dropped into 
a fence-comer to let them pass. They recognized the 
voice of one as that of their master. 

They both arrived safely in Lancaster county and 
hired with farmers. Kidnapping and rumors of kid- 
nappers were of frequent occurrence and kept the col- 
ored people in a constant state of apprehension. They 
formed an organization for self-protection, and to pre- 
vent any of their number from being carried into 
slavery. In that part of Lancaster county the majority 
of white people were very hostile to negroes ; and if 
slaveholders or kidnappers wished to enter a house they 
did not hesitate to break open doors and forcibly make 
their entrance. 

This unwelcome intrusion was made at the house of 
one of Parker's friends while he was there visiting and 
discussing the dangers to which they were subjected from 
these parties of white men. About three or four came and 

nin>EBOBomn> railroad. 113 

knocked. Upon refusing to tell who they were, admit- 
tance was denied them. They opened the door and 
walked in. The leader drew a pistol on Parker who 
seized a pair of heavy tongs, struck him a severe blow 
in the fiace which knocked him senseless for a few mo- 
ments ; the others did not dare to risk an encounter, but 
lifting up their injured comrade, walked sullenly away. 
This began to give Parker a reputation among both the 
colored people and the kidnapping fraternity for un- 
daunted boldness and remarkable power. He had re- 
solved that " no slaveholder or kidnapper should take 
back a fugitive if he could but get his eye on him." 
And they had abundant testimony of how faithfully he 
kept his word. Neither unequal numbers, nor pistols 
pointed at him could impress him with a thought of 
fear. It was a remark of Lindley Coates that " he was 
bold as a lion, the kindest of men, and the warmest and 
most steadfast of friends." 

He led a few colored men against far superior num- 
bers at the Court-house in Lancaster to rescue a man 
whom the slave-owner had proved to be his property. 
Pistols were fired, stones and brick-bats thrown at him, 
but he heeded them not. They unbound the man, but 
he was so bewildered by the sudden struggle that he 
stood still and allowed himself to be bound again and 
taken back to the jail. During this time the slave- 
owners and their posse, with a number of pro-slavery 
co-adjutors were trying to arrest the blacks. Three 
times they had Parker, but they were to him as the 
green withes to Samson. One after another fell before 
the heavy blows dealt by his strong arm, until the others 
turned and fled. The friends of the recaptured man 


then niaed & RiffideBt ■mooat at mooajr to panhMB 
hii freodom— the naatar ondoafatedlr tUnUBg it battw 
to sell Mm then than to sttemptagdntotakslumbMk. 

At another time kidiuq>pen nised » man and mts 
haatenin^ with him to Maryland. VtAtr with i6x 
othen pnmied, and on ooming op to ftnn pirtdi and 
guns were freely -and on hothadea. FiAwnaaftfad* 
shot in thelcig, whidi bron^t him to the groond. Ha 
quickly rose; the kidn^ipen eaUed fbr qnartar; Aa 
man was released and the vieton retained. Arriving 
home Parker cut the ball oat of his kg with a pm- 
knife and kept the secret of his bdng wounded to Mm- 

These are but a few of the many inddente in which 
he waa the leading spirit, and chief instrumeat in pre- 
venting the colored people of his section, both &ee and 
slave, from being bound and carried off. How many 
more might have l>een swept away from their homes 
without legal warrants, by those mercenary n^ro- 
stealers who infested that party of Lancaster coanlj, 
had they not been afraid of, and measurably held at bay 
by the the powerful and dauntless Parker, it would be 
impossible to tell. So frequently did colored men go to 
work in the fields and never return, and were colored 
girls snatched from the homes of their employers, or 
whole families carried off in the night and never again 
heard from, that it was an almost daily question with 
them, "Whose turn will come next?" No law threw 
its guards around the iree negroes to prevent their being 
stolen; and there was no law to protect the liigitives, 
who loved even the imperfect freedom they possessed 
better than the bondage in which they once lived. 


Such was the condition of things in that section of 
country adjacent to Christiana for some time prior to 
the riot, and which prepared the colored people for, and 
incited them to the resolute stand which they took in 
self-defence on that occasion. 

For some days before this conflict two or three men 
were travelling through the neighborhood peddling 
goods. Their looks and actions aroused suspicion that 
they were spies, and this feeling was impressed still 
more upon the colored people by reports afloat that an 
attack was soon to be made on Parker's house. He 
gave but little thought to the rumors, although he did 
not question the probability of their truthfulness. He 
and his two brothers-in-law, Alexander Pinkney and 
Abraham Johnson, lived in a tenement belonging to Levi 
Pownall, one and three-fourths miles southwest from 
Christiana. Sarah Pownall, wife of I^vi, had a conver- 
sation with him the night before the riot, and urged him, if 
slaveholders should come, not to lead the colored people 
to resist the Fugitive Slave Law by force of arms, but to 
escape to Canada. He replied that if the laws protected 
colored men as thev did white men, he too would be non- 
resistant and not fight, but would apixMil to the laws. 
" But," said he, ** the laws for personal protection are 
not made for us, and we are not bound to obey them. 
If a fight occurs I want the whites to keep away. They 
have a country and may obey the laws. But we have 
no country." 

When Parker went home that evening he found two 
of his colored neighbors there very nuich excited over 
a report that slaveholders with a United States officer 
were on their way to that place to capture slaves, The 

116 uiuimioy 

Managon of the Uadergroaiid Bailrosd dq^ iaFliiI»- 
delphifty who were in doae oommiuiioetkm nd hnrnm 
everything of importance that was tnaqpiring^ Icarnad 
that Edward Gonuoh, of Ifazyland, with fleveralotfaaii^ 
was in the city arranging plana for die e^itaiing of ' 
fiome of Gorauch'a ahiveB at ChnBtiana. So adroitlj and 
succeflsftilly did theae managers, or Vigilanoe Conunlb' 
tee, carry out their part of the work, that they aaoei^ 
tained the whole plan of the alayehoIderB and tliab 
allleB, and sent one of their tmaty agenta, Samnd Wilr 
liams, a colored man, to accompany the party, and 
when he had the moat &yormble opportonity, to notiQr 
the colored inhabitants of that section of the approach* 
ing danger. He left the cars at Penningtonville (now 
Atglen), and proceeded hastily to Christiana and gave 
the information before the party, who had separated 
and taken different routes, had met at the place they 
had designated. 

Parker's friends remained in the house all night. In 
the morning before daylight, (September 11th, 1861), 
when one of them started out, he was met by two men, 
while others came up simultaneously on either side. He 
ran back to the house, and up stairs where Parker and 
his wife were sleeping, and shouted " Kidnappers! Kid- 
nappers !" He was followed by the men, one of whom, 
Henry H. Kline, started up stairs after him. He was 
met by Parker who asked, " Who are you ?" 

" I am the United States Marshal," answered Kline. 

Parker cautioned him against advancing further. 

'' I am United States Marshal," bawled Kline again 
with the evident assurance that the announcement of 
his legal authority would intimidate the negroes. 


" I don't care for you nor the United States/' replied 
Parker with an emphasis that convinced Kline it was 
not an ordinary " nigger" he was encountering. 

Pinkney then spoke, and said '' they might as well 
give up." 

Parker rebuked him. A colloquy then ensued be- 
tween Kline and Parker, when Edward Grorsuch ad- 
Tanced, and with some remarks began ascending the 

Parker told him he might come, but warned him of 
the consequences. 

Kline told Gorsuch to stop and he would read the 
warrant to Parker. He did so. But he might as well 
have read it to the Rock of Gibralter and commanded 
it to come down and crumble at his feet. Grorsuch then 
told Elline to go up as he was marshal. He started 
again, sajring, '' I am coming." 

" Come on," said Parker. 

But Kline's vaunted interpidity failed him. He 
went back and urged the negroes to " give up with- 
out any more fuss, that he was .bound to take them 
anyhow." ^ 

But all talk availed nothing. Kline then threatened 
to bum the house, and orJlered his men to bring straw. 

" Bum us," said Parker, " but you "can't take us. 
None but a coward would talk like that." 

By this time daylight was appearing. Parker's wife 
asked if she shotlld blow the horn. He 9l»ented. She 
blew it from a garret window. Kline wanted to know 
what it meant. Parker made no answer. It was an 
understanding among the colored people that when a 
horn was blown they were to run to the spot. Kline 


told his men to flhooC cay one thejr saw blowing • 
w lien Jr BFEOt 8 wiiB weM to me wmoow ft fleooDQ twm ^ 
commenced blowing, two men fired at bar, but 
She dropped below the window, and blew enmtmq( 
and the men kept firing, but without eflbet Hm 
people of the neighborhood were now arooied, and 
in from difierent direotione, armed with guns^ chdM, 
About twenty or more white men came oat of the 
close by, whom Parker eappoeed to be memben of iki 
Grap gang in oolluoion with the slaveholderB, and wboaa 
object was, after Gtonnich ehould diaoorer that he and 
his brothers-in-law were not his slaves, to take advtt^ 
tage of the occasion to kidnap them. These men wero 
immediately enrolled by Kline as ** Special Constables." 
When Pinkney saw the white men there in superior 
numbers, he thought there was no use in fighting them ; 
they might as well give up, and started down stairs. 
Parker threatened to turn his battery on him if he 
showed any more such pusillanimity. *' Yes/' renuirked 
Kline, "they would give up if it was not for yon." 
There was a lull in the firing. The blacks had not yet 
returned a shot. Elijah Lewis and Castner Hanway 
now came up, the latter on horseback. Kline read his 
warrants to them and demanded their assistance. They 
refused, and told the slaveholders if they attempted to 
take those men they would get hurt. They paid no heed 
to the admonition. While they were talking, Parker, 
followed by the four men in his house, eame to the door. 
Gorsuch thought they intended to escape. He drew out 
his revolver and signalled his men into line. They 
numbered about three or four times as many as the 
blacks. Parker stepped up immediately in front of 


luniy and placing his hand upon his shoulder, said, 
** Look here, old man, I have seen pistols before to-day." 
Turning to Kline, he said, '' you said you would take us ; 
now you have a chance." Dickerson Grorsuch entreated 
his father to come away, but he asserted with an oath 
that he would have his property. Parker still main- 
taining his position said, ** We don't want to hurt you, 
but you ought to be ashamed of yourself to be in this 
business, and you a class-leader at home." 

Dickerson's face flushed, and he said, ''father, I 

would not take that insult from a d d nigger ;" at 

the same time he raised his revolver and fired, the ball 
passing close to Parker's head, cutting the hair. Before he 
could fire another, Parker knocked the pistol out of his 
hand. Fighting then commenced in earnest. Dicker- 
son fell wounded. He arose and was shot again. The 
old man, after fighting valiantly, was killed. The 
others of the slaveholders with the United States Mar- 
shal and his aids fled, pursued by the negroes. While 
Dickerson lay bleeding in the edge of the woods, Joseph 
P. Scarlett, a Quaker, came up and protected him from 
the infuriated negroes, who pressed forward to take his 
life. One was in the act of shooting, when Joseph 
pushed him aside, saying : *' Don't kill him." 

Dickerson remarked: "I did not think our boys 
(meaning the slaves), would have treated us in this way." 

Joseph asked if he had seen any of them. 

" Yes," he replied, " I have seen four." 

When the fight had ended Parker returned to his 
house. There lay Edward Gorsuch near by dead. 
Dickerson, he heard, was dying, and others were 
wounded. The victor viewed the field of his contest, 

120 MUtOKt 09TBM 

but he p o M O M o d too maoh of the noUe wpm% of 
hood to &el a prids in the death of his advenurj. Hj 
offered the use of anything in hie honee that m^^ ha t 
needed for the oondSni of the wounded. 

He then went to Levi Pownall's and asked if Dicftenoa 
could not be brou^t there and oared for, remarking tibafe 
one death was enougli. He regretted the killing, and odd 
it was not he who had done it 

He then inquired of Levi Pownall, Jr^ irihat ha 
thought best for him and Pinkney and Johnscm to do. 

Levi advised them to start for Osnada that nig^ 

Dr. A« P. Patterson was sent for and euuninedDiak- 
erson's wounds. He pronounced them serious, but not 
fotal. Levi Pownall put a soft bed in a wagon and had 
Dickerson conveyed upon it to his house, where for three 
weeks he received as assiduous care and attention as 
though he had been one of their own household. He 
did not expect this from Quakers, whom he had learned 
to despise as abolitionists. As each became acquainted 
with the other during his stay, they grew to esteem him 
for the noble characteristics which he possessed, and he 
manifested gratitude for the kind and home-like nursing 
he received at their hands. They told him they had no 
sympathy with the institution of slavery, but that should 
not deter them from giving him the kind care and sym- 
pathy due from man to man. 

In the afternoon Levi Pownall, Jr., went to the house 
of Parker to look after clothing, etc To his surprise 
he found a great number of letters put away in safe 
places. He carried them home, and on examination 
they proved to be from escaped ftigitives, many of 
whom Parker had assisted. Had these letters been 


found by the slaveholders or the United States Marshall 
they would have led to the detection of the slaves, and 
would have divulged the means by which they had 
escaped. He destroyed them all. 

When night came Le\a Pownall's house was crowded 
with friends of the wounded man, together with com- 
missioners, deputy marshalls, lawyers, etc., all of whom 
were there entertained. A police force filled the front 
porch and yard, as the party feared they might be at- 
tacked by colored people and abolitionists. 

After dark, Parker, Pinkney and Johnson, who were 
unaware of what was going on at the house, were ob- 
served by the family cautiously approaching the kitchen 
part of the dwelling. One of the women went out, 
quickly brought them in at that door, which fortunately 
was not guarded, and apprised them of their danger. 
On entering, they had to pass so near to one of tlie 
guards at a partly open door that the lady^s dross rubbed 
against them. 

A counsel was held in a whisper, in a dark room. It 
was deci<le<l to dress the men in good clothes, osixvially 
hats, and let them walk l)oldly out the front <loor, ac- 
companied by some of the ladies. Sarah Pownall, wife 
of Levi, with her characteristic thoughtiiilnoss and 
motherly kindness inquired of them if they had eaten 
anything during the day. They said they had not. She 
tilled a pillow case with provisions and gave it to one of 
the younger children wlio put it under a tree at some 
distance from the house, and returning, told the men 
where to find it. All things being in readiness, and the 
men admonished to silence, they walked out past the 

guards, accompanied by E. B. Pownall and her sister, 


who oonvened nith tbflm apon womb ordiiiaiy to|iie as 
though they had been finendly calkn^ and bade tham 
good-bye at the gate. The darhiie» of the ntgM pn- 
vented the guards fhxm diaoovering the edlor of the man. 

As they were about to start out of the hooae^ Fiaknej 
and Johnson appealed in a thoug^tftal mood, as it 
weighing in their minds the chanoes befbre thenu Hie 
one was leaving behind him a mother, the other a yrih 
and child. TearB came to dieir eyes. But their fiJteriiig 
appeared to arise from a fteling of fear and a w av er in g 
of resolution at the critical step they were abbot to 
take. But not so with Parker. Wb was a resoliitioii 
as fixed as the law of gravitation. He had determined 
years before that no slaveholder should ever again 
fasten upon him the inexorable chains of a degrading 
and inhuman bondage. He compressed his lips, and with 
a look and tone [of Roman firmness, commanded them 
to '' follow him and not to flinch." Obeying him, and 
accompanied by the women, they passed out of the house. 

After leaving this family, with whom they had lived 
for several years, they truly were, as Parker remarked 
the evening before, "without a country" — homeless 
wanderers in a ** Land of Freedom," soon to be hunted 
by men as eager as bloodhoimds to seize them and carry 
them back into the possession of incensed slaveholders, 
to be sold or treated according as their feelings or pas- 
sions should dictate — and this hunting ground was the 
sail of free Pennsylvania. 

" Where all Ehirope with anuizement saw 
The Bours hifl^h freedom trammelled by no law ; 
Here where the fierce and warlike forest men 
Gathered, in peace, around the home of Penn^ 
Where Nature's voice against the bondsman's wrong, 
First found an earnest and indignant tongue." 


When vague rumors came floating in to thePownairs 
that Parker had been killed, or that he had been fatally 
wounded, Dickerson invariably ejaculated, ** I hope that 
is not true," adding in his Southern vernacular " he's a 
noble nigger." 

It might here be remarked, that when Edward Gror- 
such resolved to come North to capture his slaves, 
Dickerson endeavored to prevail with him against it. 
But the old man was " determined to have his property," 
and would not be counselled. Dickerson then accom- 
panied him as a filial duty. In the fight he was the 
bravest of them all, refusing to leave when the others 
fled, and his son remained with him until the one re- 
ceived his fatal blow and the other his almost mortal 

A few days after the riot a lawyer came to PownalFs, 
read a paper to them giving notice of a suit, and claim- 
ing damages for harboring the slaves of Edward Gor- 
such. The names of Gorsuch's slaves with alleged a/wwe* 
were given. Among the aliases were the names of 
Parker, Pinkney and Johnson. The date of the escape 
of Grorsuch's slaves was given correctly, but Parker, 
Pinkney and Johnson had been in the neighborhood 
several years before. Sarah Pownall notic-ed this error, 
and when the lawyer finished reading, she asked to see 
the paper. It was given to her. She handed it to a 
friend who was present, and called his attention to the 
date. He read it, and testified that Parker had worked 
for him and for others two years before that time. See- 
ing the clearness of this error the lawyer took the paper 
again in his hands. Sarah remarked to him, " We are 
witnesses to the date in that paper, and it cannot be 


changed. It provw Alt them was no nvnat tar tike 
arrest of the men linng in our hmHe^ but fer odier 
men ; and wa have a legal claim fir damagea againat 
those who entered our hoiiae and deatruye d tirup eg iy. 
Thee has no l^gal claim against na.^ Nothing Ibrther 
was ever said abont a suit for damages. 

This action of Ftoker, Pinknej, and Johnacm in aslf' 
defense against slaveholders who had no legal daim to 
them, nor any warrant, actoally. for their arrest^ lAo 
fired the first shot in the aflBray, and the refiiaalof OHfc> 
ner Hanway, Elijah Lewis and others to assist in ai^ 
resting these colored men, under the Fngitiva Bfanra 
Act, was considered by Southerners as IVsasoa, whidi 
mcan8, in the language of the Constitution, ** levying 
war against the United States, or in adhering to their 
enemies, giving them aid and comfort" Hanway was 
the first, and only one tried under that charge. Theo- 
dore Ciiyler, Esq., in his speech for the defense said ; 
" ])o the fkets of the case sustain the charge? 

"Sir — Did you hear it? That three harmless, non- 
roiiisting Quakers, and eight and thirty wretched, miser- 
able, pennilo^ negroes, armed with corn-cutters, clubs, 
uiul a few muskets, and headed by a miller, in a &lt 
hat, without a coat, without arms, and mounted on a 
sorrel nag, levied war against the United States? 
Bli>8sed be Gml that our Union has survived the shock." 

When the Soutlicrn men with the United States Mar- 
shal and his aids fled from the fight, a gentleman from 
Haltimore, whose name we withold, ran precipitately 
aiToss a field to the house of Thomas Pownall, and 
without stopping at the door to knock, or to ask permis- 
sion to enter, rushed in, got under a bed, and begged 


one of the women to bring him a razor to shave off his 
beard, that the negroes might not recognize him. His 
beard was dark and very heavy. He removed it, 
wrapped it in a paper, and left it under the bed. The 
paper was discovered next morning and o])ened, and lo ! 
the beard was white ! 

In the evening he went to Levi PownalFs, He was 
very nervous, and apprehensive of every noise. During 
the night he became alarmed. He thought the negroes 
were marshalling near by to attack them. He could 
hear the toot of horns and the answer. He aroused 
thoee who were sleeping in the room with him, and his 
fears could not be quieted until it was discovered that 
the noise he heard was the sound of water dropping 
down a spout from the corner of the house. 

The wives of Parker and Pinkney, who had formerly 
been slaves, went to the home of their mother. They 
were there captured and taken back to the town. 

Pinkney 's wife asked permission to return and ^et 
her baby to take with her. Her request was grantor I, 
and the man having the two women in custody took 
both with him in a dearbome. When arriving opposite 
the house, which stood across a field, with no lane to it, 
he allowed the women to go for the child while he re- 
mained in the vehicle. As they staid an unusual length 
of time, his suspicions became aroused. He hitched the 
horse and went to the house. Entering it he saw no one. 
An empty cradle first greeted his eye. Baby and 
women had gone ; and he was left alone to ponder over 
the " vicissitude of earthly things." 

By some means unknown, the slaveholders got the 
mother, who, it is said, gave herself up, and expressed 


a widi to retum with tbflm m a alaTe aguL WheAm 
this ezpreanoii was Tolimtary, or extorted firan lMr,inHi 
never known, as she went with them, and was not bsard 
from afterward. 

A fiirther account of the two women's escape is gmn 
in the reminiscences of Joe^h Fulton. 

Henry C. Hopkinsi colored, lived with Dr. Augustas 
W. Gain (bom 1820), Sadsbury, Chester county, near 
to Christiana. On the morning of the tragedy he did 
not come to his work. About six o'clock the doetar 
saw him walking rapsdly down the tumjake road witk 
an iron rod or cane in his hand. Meeting the doctor 
he said hurriedly ''Kidnappers at Parker's!" He was 
very much excited, and his usual calm, peaceable, in- 
offensive disposition was at once aroused to the ferocity 
of an enraged lion. After the lapse of about two hours 
he came to the doctor's holding one arm, and said he 
was shot. The doctor found a bullet lodged in the flesh 
of the forearm, removed it and dressed hiis wound. He 
was extremely anxious to tell all about the riot, but the 
doctor declined hearing him. He knew the event would 
create intense excitement, and he did not want to learn 
of it through any of the participants. He would then 
have no knowledge to convey from them to a court in 
case there should be a trial; but he told the colored 
man that unless he made his escape he would certainly 
be arrested. 80 anxious was he to tell the result of the 
riot, that when he was refused permission to do so he 
shed tears freely. 

About an hour after, another colored man, John 
Long, came with a bullet in his thigh. The doctor ex- 
tracted it and dressed the limb. He then went to 


Christiana to see and hear for himself the extent of the 
riot A great number of the neighbors had already 
collected, and the roughs and rowdies of Philadelphia 
and Baltimore were sweeping the country, searching 
bams and houses, and behaving quite rudely at some 

Immediately after the riot, the United States Gx)vem- 
ment ordered a portion of the Marine Corps from Phila- 
delphia, to be stationed at Christiana ''to keep the 
peace;" while about eighty police and other officers 
under the government's employ, piloted by pro-slavery 
men of the neighborhood, scoured the country for miles 
around, searched the houses of abolitionists and all col- 
ored people, arrested every person, white or black, whom 
they suspected to have been in the fight, or to have en- 
couraged it. William Baer was now on hand, elated 
with the opportunity of legally rendering his profes- 
sional services to the government, and was notably in 
the height "^f his importance. Many of the fugitives who 
had long resided in the neighborhood fled through fear 
of being arrested. One colored man who had been 
taken up as a witness to the affair, and placed in Moya- 
mensing prison, by some means made his escape, re- 
turned, dug a cave in the woods, in which he lived for a 
long while, and was fed by the neighbors. His only ob- 
ject in thus escaping was to avoid being called upon to 
testify at the trial. 

A colored man living near Penningtonville (now 
Atglen), was arrested with some others on suspicion of 
being connected with the riot, and incarcerated in 
Moyamensing prison. Here he was identified by some 
slaveholders as being a slave. After the trial of Cast- 


ner Hanway fbr tnimi he was lemoved to 
prison to airait a trial upon ohaige of eomplieity in Ae 
riot No bill beiag ftond against any of them, they 
were discharged. He was then taken in eositody by Ae 
slaveholders, driven to Penningtonville in the ni|^ 
hand-cafied and placed in charge of two men in the bar- 
room of a hotel until morning, Belhre daylig^ Ae 
hostler seeing the men were drowsy, went to the door, 
quietly unfiutened it and beckoned to the slave who^ 
seeing the opportunity offered him to escape^ qoicUy 
left and ran across the fields to the house of WilHam 
Williams, a colored Methodist minister living in a tene- 
ment of DiIlerFerree'8,nearParkesburg. The preacher 
filed off his fetters, which the slave put in his pocket as 
a memento of the occasion, and then started for Phihi- 
delphia, accompanied by Williams, taking the ridge on 
north valley hill to avoid the public highway. As they 
were crossing a stream near Parkesburg they met some 
men, when Williams, feeling apprehensive of detection, 
told the colored man he would better get rid of the cuffi. 
Accepting the suggestion, he dropped them in the 
stream. He arrived safely in Philadelphia, and from 
there was forwarded to Canada. Joseph P. Scarlett, 
learning where he had left those interesting (?) relics 
went to the place, found them, and kept them in his pos- 
session for several years. 

The wife of this slave went to Lindley Coates', and 
from there was sent through other agents to Canada. 

One of the colored prisoners, a pious man, who was 
arrested and put in Moyamensing jail, was heard by 
Anthony E. Roberts, United States Marshal, praying 
to the Lord to " shake Kline over Hell," but in the fill- 


ness of his charity he ejaculated, ** hvi Lord^ donH drop 
him in." 

A letter was found in the hat of Edward Gorsuch, 
giving information of his slaves with names, aliases, etc. 
A description of some colored people in the vicinity of 
Christiana, the locality of Parker's house, etc. The 
writing corresponded with that of a white man in 
the neighborhood who professed to be an abolitionist, 
and who had frequently endeavored to elicit from them 
such knowledge as he supposed they possessed in refer- 
ence to certain colored persons whom he suspected to be 
slaves. Among the negroes he assumed to be their 
faithful friend. The letter was signed with his initials. 
After the fear of the colored people had somewhat 
abated, their feeling of indignation toward him for this 
treacherous act became so intense, that, apprehending 
revenge from them, he disappeared from that section, 
and has not been known to return there since. 

Parker came back to Pennsylvania in the summer of 
1872. In August he spoke at a political meeting in 
Christiana, and spent several days there visiting friends. 

Castner Hanway and Elijah Lewis, who refused to as- 
sist the slaveholders in capturing their slaves when the 
warrant was read to them, were arrested upon charge of 
Treason, and Joseph P. Scarlett and thirty-five negroes 
were arrested with them. They were all taken to Phila- 
delphia, and confined in Moyamensing prison 97 days. 
Castner Hanway was tried in the Circuit Court of the 
United States, for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 
held in Philadelphia in November and December, 1851, 
before Judges Grier and Kane. The jury, after being 
out about fifteen minutes, returned a verdict of not 


ouiLTT. After tlik J. W. AJmwd, Dirtriet Attor- 
ney for the United StKte% addremng the Gomt Mid: 
*' May U pham your JBimdr. It k not my intenlioii to try 
the cases of the other defiandantB who are m ooatodj, 
charged with having oonunittod Hig^ Treaaon against 
the United States. Judge Grier has dedded, that tak- 
ing the whole of the evidence given on the part of the 
government in the trial of Hanway to be tme, it does 
not constitute the crime charged in the indictment He 
does say, however, that the ftots proved make oat the 
offenses of riot and murder, and thftt thej are oognin^ 
ble only in a State court Under these oircumstanees^ 
it is my design to enter a noUe praaequi on aU the un> 
tried bills for treason, and to transfer the custody of the 
prisoners to the county of Lancaster, to await the result 
of such proceedings as the State authorities may deem 
it necessary to institute." 

They were therefore transferred to the Lancaster 
county jail. When their cases were brought up at the 
next term of court in that county, to answer to the 
charge of riot and murder, the grand jury ignored the 
bills, and the prisoners were all released. 

Thus ended the prosecutions which grew out of the 
Christiana tragedy. No one was convicted upon either 
the charge of " Treason," or of " Riot and Murder." 


J. W11.UABU THORinB.— Incidents.—KidnappinK at Michael Myers.— 


PuwcB.— IncideniB.— Qbavmeb and Hannah Marsh.— Incidents.— 
Sarah Marsh marries Eusebius Barnard. — Work of Station Closes. 

(Bom December 25th, 1816.) 

Anti-filavery advocates, like all other thinking men 
and women, entertained different views as to their duty 
in relation to the system of holding human heings as 
chattel property. In a political discussion upon this 
subject in Christiana, J. Williams Tliome on the part 
of the " Liberty Party," the purpose of which was to 
abolish slavery through voting and legislation, and 
which had for its advocates such prominent men as John 
G. Whittier, William A. Goodell and Gerrit Smith, 
maintained that political action was essential to the suc- 
cess of their object. Thomas Whitson, who was among 
the non-voting abolitionists with William Lloyd Gfirri- 
son and others, believed that we could not take political 
action under existing circumstances without compro- 
mising the principles of liberty by endorsing the pro- 
slavery clauses in the Constitution of the United States, 
and remarked interrogatingly to Williams, " would thee 
be willing, against the pro-slavery clauses of the Con- 
stitution to assist fugitives in escaping from bondage ?'' 

" Yes," replied Thorne promptly, " there is nothing 
in the Constitution to prevent it. The very spirit of the 
preamble commands that I shall do it." 




Thee shall haTS the appartanitj,** nid WliilMn. 

I will be glad of it," aaid Thame wnphatkially ; 
he had abundant oppoitonitifis after that^ and gsfe a^ 
sistanoe to all who came to this newly eetahlMiied ilih 
tion. This was in 1850, after the paange of the "IW 
gitive Slave Law." 

Many were sent to him by ThomaB WhilMii aad 
many others by Lindley Coates, Joshua Brinton, Jonph 
Moore, Joseph Fulton and James WilliamSi He sent 
them in the night to other stations — genarally Boimll^ 
— in a covered wagon in care of trusty colored men; 
Some remained a few weeks and worked fbr him, fiur 
which he paid them the foil customary wages. No cue 
was ever proved to his knowledge of any antinslavery 
men employing fugitives for weeks, and then startling 
them with a report that slaveholders were in the vicin- 
ity, and hurrying them off under plea of security, giving 
them two or three dollars when they owed them much 
more. This was an accusation commonly and fiJsely 
made against the Underground Railroad men by their 
pro-slavery neighbors. 

A negro called "Tom-up-in-the-bam," living near the 
Gap, started early one morning to Caleb Brinton's to 
assist in threshing, and was never heard from after- 
wards. As there were kidnappers known to be lurking 
in the neighborhood at that time, the supposition was 
that he had been captured. 


Michael Myers, two miles east of Coatesville, fre- 
quently hired fogitives who came to him from James 
Williamson^s. One of them, Thomas Hall, living in 
his tenant house was aroused at daylight one morning 



hj four men who proved to be kidnappers. The early 
call made him suspicious that something was wrong. 
Arming himself with an axe he approached the door 
and opened it. The men rushed in. He struck at one, 
but fidled to hit him. A pistol was then fired at him, 
but the ball missing him, entered the shoulder of one of 
their own party. They then seized him, dragged him 
out upon a platform, bound and handcuffed him. The 
man who was to appear at this juncture missed the road, 
and did not arrive on time. The firing of the pistol 
and the noise aroused Michael, and he went to the scene 
of action. So much were the colored people in that 
neighborhood incensed against kidnappers, or even the 
lawfully authorized slave-hunters, and so much were 
they always on the alert for them, that in one-half hour 
from the firing of that pistol about thirty of them had 
assembled armed with clubs, hoes, pitchforks, etc., and 
it was with difficulty they were restrained by neighbors 
who had then arrived, from murdering the whole party 
of slave-catchers. They seemed utterly regardless, or 
destitute, of fear, even when the threatening pistol was 
pointed at their heads. During the detention Isaac 
Preston went to 'Squire Robert Miller's, for a warrant 
to arrest the kidnappers. It was obtained and they were 
arrested. The handcufls were then filed off HalFs 
wrists, the slave-hunters reinsing to remove them. 
During the detention and arrest on one side of the 
house, Hall was allowed to escape from the other side. 
He afterwards acknowledged that he belonged to one 
of the party, but they had come without a warrant, and 
had attempted to take him without legal authority. 
After giving bail they returned home, but came back 


at the time for triaL When the case came befim 
Court the grand jury ignored the bilL A colored maUi 
well-known in West Chester, waa suspected of having 
given the owner information of HalL Two men named 
Windle and Cooke were professionally engaged in hunt- 
ing up fugitives, but were never known, in Cheater 
county, at least, to claim any others. 

Not long after this another colored man living with 
Michael Myers went to a colored Quarterly Meeting at 
New Garden, and was never heard of afterwarda. 
It was supposed he was kidnapped. 


(1818— Eighth month 28d, 1880.) 

The residence of Seymour C. Williamson, in Cain, 
Chester county, was a branch station. He assisted 
many, and some of his experiences were quite exciting. 
Those who arrived there came chiefly through the hands 
of Thomas Hamblet<m and James Fulton, and were 
tiikeii to William A. and Micajah Sj^eakman's. 

He was emphatic in his denunciation of slavery with 
its concomitant evils, earnest in the work of assisting 
fugitives, and rejoiced in passing them further on their 
way from the land of chains and masters to that of free- 
dom. When about to give the author some reminis- 
cences of his labors, he was suddenly removed by death, 
shortly after leaving Chester county for a residence in 

(Born Fourth mo. (April) 8th, 1813.— Died Eighth mo. (Auk.) 25th, 1S50.) 

One of the most noted stations on the slaves' route to 
freedom wiis Ercildoun, Chester county. The families of 
James Fulton and Gideon Pierce, living near each other 



in the same village, worked together on all occasions, so 
that the homes of the two fiunilies were, in reality, as 
one station, and it mattered not to which place fugitives 
were sent. James Fulton, jr., being from his youth a 
peacemaker, and being earnest, able and active in all 
moral and educational reforms, a clear writer and a 
cogent and logical speaker, became widely known and 
highly respected. It was as natural then for him to 
assist the slave in gaining freedom as for a stream to 
flow from its fountain. 

The greater number of slaves who arrived at this 
station crossed the Susquehanna at Wrightsville, and 
came by way of Daniel Gibbons and Lindley Coates. 
Many crossed at Havre-de-Grace, and cAme by way of 
Hambleton's, in Penn township. 

The men generally came on foot, but the women and 
children were brought in wagons. At one time twenty- 
five men, women and children arrived, and were kept two 
or three nights. They were taken to Nathan Evans by 
Lukens Pierce, son of Gideon (bom July 29th, 1821. — 
Died April 25th, 1872), in a large covered wagon with 
four horses. To provide for such a family must neces- 
sarily draw heavily upon the resources of charity. But it 
was freely and cheerfully given. No stinginess cramped 
their souls. No thought arose in their minds, except, 
that the greater number they thus assisted, the greater 
amount of good they were doing for a suffering i>eople. 
Upon the arrival of these, suj)per had to be prepared. 
One item of this meal was a washboiler of j)otatoes. 
Add to this the amount of bread and other things 
required, and we must naturally conclude that no (me 
but a kind-hearted, benevolent spirit could, in those 


times, be an abolitionist, and especially an Under- 
ground Railroad agent People may assume goodness 
when it costs nothing, or in a business point of view 
when a money-making object is the underlying motive, 
or give to a public charity, however, grudgingly, for 
reputation's sake ; but these people, in the secret of their 
homes, without a thought or hope of compensation, gave 
of their time, labor and money, to the oppressed of a 
down-trodden race who sought their aid, while the pub- 
lic reviled them, society ostracized them, and the spirit 
of denunciation was manifested toward them by indi- 
viduals of all ninks, from a scavenger to a President. 

Sixteen fine looking intelligent men, all waiters and 
coachmen from Wai^hington and the District of Colum- 
bia, came at one time, were provided for, and taken to 
Nathan Evans. And thujj for many years, until the 
abolition of slavery, they were coming and going, in 
large and in small numbers. Some remained and 
worked in the neighborhood. 

Three brothers, Jacob, Joseph and Richard- Carter, 
from Leesburg, Va., arrived there in the autumn of 
Buchanan's election (1850). Jacob and Joseph had 
been sold and sent to Richmond where they were put in 
a slave pen with a lot of others to be sold again. In 
the meantime they were hired out temporarily ; and 
taking advantage of the occasiim, they left, returned 
" home," got their brother Richard, and all started for 
the North. They came to Dr. Josej)h Gibbons; he sent 
them to Lindley Coates, and he to Ercildoun. On their 
way through the slave section they encountered the 
usual difficulties and dangers of fugitives. They were 
pursued by their overseer, who came so close to them as 




to be on one side of a stream, or river as they called it, 
while they were on the opposite. They challenged him 
to come across. But he, no doubt doubting the feasi- 
bility of such a step, (jieclined the invitation. Quickly 
gathering reinforcements he renewed the chase and ar- 
rived in sight of them as they reached and entered a 
dense thicket 

" Where hardly m human foot could pass, 

Or a human heart would dare : 
On the quaking turf of the g:reen morass, 
Each crouched in the rank and tangled grass, 

Like a wUd beast in his lair/* 

Here they successfully eluded all pursuit. After re- 
maining until they considered all danger past they came 
out and made the rest of the journey in safety. 

Joseph and Richard hired in the neighborhood. 
Jacob remained in Ercildoun, was industrious and sav- 
ing, purchased a property on which he still resides, is a 
minister and much respected. 


Gravner (1777—1848), and Hannah Marsh (1789— 
1864), were among the early abolitionists whose liome 
became one of the first " regular stations " on the fugi- 
tives' route through Chester county. Tliey resided in 
Cain township, five miles west of Downington. The 
husband felt it a duty to encourage political action 
against the national evil of holding the descendants of 
one country as chattel slaves for no other cause than 
that of being black ; while the goverunient threw^ open 
its doors and invited the white inhabitants of all other 
countries to come, settle on our lands and become free 
citizens under the aegis of our laws. He therefore united 
himself with the Free-soil Party who considered that — 


AndlMliirthoMSNnllMHtw H li thv we iMl 
With A sivMlto fhMb athwHt tlie Mft 
BMh otlMf^ ifli^li and 

Hannah was also an actiTe worker in the oaiiBe» and 
attended all aatHdayeiy meetingi in the neighborliood 
when the public denonnoed tfcMm m not wiapaitahh 
gatherings, ^e was known as bong a Yery Und wmaa 
— a real mother to alL 

Slaves came to thdr place from Daniel Gibbona* 
Joseph H!aines, James Fulton, lindl^ Coates^ Moideoai 
Hayes, Thomas BonaaU, and othen. 

When sent on foot they were generally given a dip 
of paper with writing which the &mily would recog- 
nize. James Fulton jfrequently wrote but the single 
word "Ercildoun," or "Fallowfield." They were to 
know the place by its having large stone buildings with 
extensive white-washed stone walls around them. These 
came in daytime. When brought, it was chiefly at 
night, or after dusk. The barking of the watch-dog, 
announced their coming and aroused the &mily who 
would raise a window and call. A known voice would 
reply "Thomas Bonsairs carriage;" or similar replies 
would be given by conductors from other places. 

These fugitives were always provided with food ; the 
women were secreted in the house, the men in a hay- 
mow at the barn. Sarah Marsh, daughter of Gravner 
and Hannah, took them to Allen Wills, John Vickers, 
Grace Anna Lewis, Micajah Speakman, and occasion- 
ally, when she could not go so fitr, to Dr. Eshleman. 
These journeys were made in day-time until after the 
passage of the Fugitive Slave Law — ^the women riding 
with her while the men went on foot. Sometimes her 


dearborn was so Aill that she rode in front with her feet 
on the shafts. This attracted no attention, as she at- 
tended Philadelphia markets and was frequently com- 
pelled to ride in that way when her wagon was packed 
with marketing. 

When danger was apprehended, the women were 
dressed in plain attire, to make them look like Friends, 
with large bonnets and veils as was the custom in those 

After the passage of that punitive law they felt it ne- 
cessary to be even more wary and careful than before, 
and she seldom ventured with them in day-time. If 
they came in the early part of night, a supper was given 
them and she took them to the stations mentioned, and 
returned before morning, regardless of the condition of 
roads, darkness or the weather. 

She took nine, men, women and children, one night, 
to John Vicker's, a distance of nine miles. She paid 
toll on the turnpike road, as if going to market. The 
men walked, and when arriving at the toll gates, went 
around them through the fields. They arrived at 11 
o'clock, and she returned by morning. 

Their neighbors were pro-slavery, and knew that they 
assisted fugitives, but yet bore a respectfiil regard for 
them, and manifested no disposition to inform upon them. 
The curiosity, however, of one woman to know how 
many slaves passed through their hands in one year was 
aroused to such a degree that she watched the road for 
twelve months, and counted sixty ; and " she knew that 
they and James Fulton and others didn't do all that 
for nothing. They wouldn't harbor and feed that 
many in a year without getting paid for it in some way." 

140 mSIOST OF THB "^ 

But of the number that may have jftmoi when she was 
" off guard/' at meak or otherwise, and of the number 
that were brought at nights, she had no conception. The 
idea of pecuniary compensation for services rendered 
these poor human beings never entered the minds of their 
Christian benefactors. A purer, loftier, nobler purpose 
actuated their hearts than that of doing mercenary work 
under the semblance of charity and benevolence. 

" HMt thou power T the weak defend ; 
Ughi ?— give light ; thy knowledge lend ; 
Rich ?— lemember Him who gave ; 
Free ?— be brother to the elftve.'* 

While Richard Gibbs, a colored man, was at work 
after harvest in the barnyard of Oravner Marsh, a slave 
master drove up in his " sulkey," followed by his drivers 
in another vehicle. So intent was the colored man 
upon his work that he did not notice any one coining 
until he was accosted with " Well, Gibbs, you are hard 
at it." There was something alarmingly fiimiliar in 
the sound of that voice. He raised his eyes, and there, 
behold ! was his old master close upon him. He did 
not stop to parley about matters, but dropping his fork, 
he put his hands upon a fence close by, leaped it and 
ran down a hill toward a grove along side of which was 
Beaver creek. The men jumped from their carriage 
and pursued, gaining on him, as he wore heavy boots. 


The master was a cripple and could not run. When he 
reached the fence at the foot of the hill the men were 
but a few feet behind him ; but he sprang for the top 
rail, tumbled over it with a somersault, ran through a 
a creek and into a thicket of grape vines and briers 
where he disappeared from their sight while they halted 
on the swampy bank of the stream as if reluctant to 



pursue him through that mud, water and tangled fen. 
He went to Thomas Spackman's, where he was safely 
ensconced, and sent for his wife. Gravner Marsh was 
also informed. He went there and consulted with 
Thomas as to the best means for their escape. They 
deemed it expedient for him and his wife to go entirely 
out of the neighborhood into some distant parts, and to 
change their names, and then gave them the necassary 
amount of money to go with. After some time they 
wrote back stating that they had arrived at their desti- 
nation, and were safe. 

Gravner Marsh died in 1848. His widow continued 
to aid fiigitives as before, assisted by her ever earnest 
and energetic daughter, Sarah, (Born First month 80th, 
1819), who still made her journeys at night. No 
thought of its being a trouble ever marred the pleasure 
that filled her heart in thus forwarding slaves to liberty. 
No sombre clouds of selfishness could ever bedim the 
rays of happiness that fell upon, and lightened her 
spirit in those nightly missions of love to the oppressed 
of God's creatures, although, undoubtedly she heartily 
wished at all times that the cause for this draft on be- 
nevolence had no longer an existence. 

In 1854 she married Eusebius Barnard, (1802 — 
1865), a minister in the Society of Friends, an earnest 
abolitionist, an enthusiastic reformer, and an active 
agent on the Underground Railroad. In her new ca- 
pacity she rendered as valuable services to her husband 
in aiding ftigitives as she did to her father and mother. 

The main props of the Gravner Marsh station being 
now removed, the extensive accommodations it had fur- 
nished could be supplied no longer. 



In 1864, on the 28d of 7th month (July), Haniudi 
Marsh paaeed from a life she had nobly filled with good 
works, to one, we have every reason to believe, as re- 
plete with glorious rewards. Theannouncwnentofher 
death was accompanied by the following tribute to her 

'' The reformed and the oppressed, have lost in her a 

firm coadjutor and substantial friend. She resided with 

her husband, Gravner Marsh, for about forty years in 

Cain township, and was always recognized as a rock of 

adamant, to whom reformers and the friendless ever 

flocked and in whose shelter they took refiige. Her 

house was emphatically a refuge to the weary pilgrim 

fleeing for his freedom, and hundreds of these were 

kindly received by her, fed and assisted on their way. 
Her motto was, " All should give proof of religion by 

works of practical righteousness and beneficence to 





John Vickers, Early Education and Domestic J Ate. — Incidents.— Abner 
Landrum. — Other Incidents. — Paxson Vickers.— CTharles Moore. 
Mic^jah and William A. Speakman.— Sarah A., daughter of Mioa- 
jah, marries J. Miller McKim. 

(Bom ^ghth mo.. ( Augr.) 8th, 17H0.— Died Fourth mo., (Apr.) 28th, 1860.) 

John Vickers was bom of Quaker parentage, in Cain 
township, 8th mo., (Aug.) 8th, 1780. His father, 
Thomas Vickers, was a prominent abolitionist, and one 
of the earliest and most active agents on the Under- 
ground Railroad. He was one of the original members 
of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, formed in 
Philadelphia in 1777 with Isaac T. Hopper, Anthony 
Benezet and others, of which Benjamin Franklin was 
the first President. 

His grandfather, Thomas Vickers, was an earnest and 
inde&tigable laborer in the Friends* Ministry, and 
traveled much in his religious calling. 

It was around the hearthstone of home, from his ear- 
liest youth, that John Vickers, whose name was after- 
wards known throughout North and South, as one of 
the most active, cautious, conscientious, and skillful 
managers of the " Underground '* transit of the bond- 
man to liberty, learned a deep sympathy for the wrongs 
and oppressions of the enslaved negro. 

In 1803 he married Abigail Paxson and remained on 
the place in partnership with his father in the manufac- 
ture of pottery ; they having an extensive reputation 
for their superior skill in making a fine variety of ware. 


In 1813 he purchased a farm in Whiteland, erected 
pottery buildings and carried on the business until 
1823, when he purchased a property in Uwchlan, near 
laonville, where he continued the manufacturing of ware 
until his death, when he was succeeded by his 8on, 

In his domestic life he was devotedly attached to his 
fiimiiy. Their physical comfort, moral and intellectual 
culture, and spiritual growth were a i>art of his daily 
thoughts and care. The regular family reading of the 
scriptures, when all were collected around the table for 
that purpose, was not the cold formalit}'* of a religious 
duty, but a season of true, sincere enjoyment in which 
he felt the warm flow of a devoteil, cheerful, religious 

In business transactions, or in the social sphere, he 
was wholly unstelfish, ever considering what Vould ad- 
vance the practical welfare and c()nduc« to the happiness 
of others. In the wordn of Charles G. Ames, in a eulogy 
upon President Gariiehl, ** He never shoved another 
aside that he might have the better j)laoe, nor sought to 
secure for himself emolulents, or gains in any thing, to 
which strict justit^e to others did not entitle him." 

" For other aims liiM heart hud learned to |>ri/x«, 
yLuTv l>eut to raif4C t)ie wretched than to rise." 

His benevolence was universal, regarding neither sect, 
race nor color. No one ever c^ime to him with heart 
oppressed with sorrow and went away without receiving 
words of cheer and comfort, and the unmistakable evi- 
dences of his tender sympathy. No one in nee<l ever ap- 
pealed to him in vain for kindly assistance. In inteirrity 

he was as strict as in morals he was just and l)enevolent. 

. ....lui: JUKI exj)ressiii<x 1 
Yet in cnscs oi' sudden C'inej';ien('ies, dvun 
(liate action, his mind would at once take 
tiou, grasp the means imperatively req 
moment, and adapt them to the end to be a 
surprising proQiptness and without apparei 

He was clerk of Cain Monthly and CaL 
Meetings for several years prior to his i 
Uwchlan and uniting with that Monthly Mee 
he served as elder and overseer, resigning t 
elder a few years before his death which oc 
mo. (April 28th,) 1860. 

About 1818 two fugitives were sent to Joh 
place from his father's, and were hidden i 
over the garret. All through that forenoon t 
on in the house in the usual quiet way, the woi 
themselves about their domestic duties, feeling 
satisfaction that they were throwing their mai 
tection over two human beings who were ei 
to escape from the slavemaster's lash to manl 
dom. And quietly did fhoa^- — 


will soon be here. We must get the men away at once." 
^ith almost the swiftness of an arrow he sped up 
stairs, mounted a ladder, removed the attic door, told 
the men of their danger, hurried them down to the 
backyard, bade them flee across the field to a wood and 
make good their escape. This was barely done when 
the pursuers, like hounds in close chase of the deer, 
rode up to the opposite side of the house and demanded 
entrance. " It will be of no use to search my house,'' 
8ud John, " for I know there are no fugitives in it." 

" We'll soon see about that," was the tart response. 
" They were seen coming this way." Forthwith they 
began search from cellar to garret, under 1)eds and in 
closets, and in every nook or box where they thought a 
man could be doubled up. John accompanied tliem 
with the utmost placidity. He knew the negroes were 
fast lengthening the distance between themselves and 
their pursuers. 

Reaching the garret and yet finding no one, they were 
about to give up in despair when one of them espied the 
trap-door in the ceiling leading to the attic. Elated 
with this timely discovery he shouted in his hoarse 
voice, " There they are ; they are up in that attic ; we'll 
search there." 

" They are not there," said John, " we never use that 

" But you have a way to get there, and we must see 
into it." 

" It will be of no use," " for there is no one there I 

" We must see," was the laconic and mandatory reply. 

A ladder was procured and they ascended and groped 


aroimd in the dwk, over muoTend j<mts until failfy 
satis&ed that the objeoli of their nHcik were not tihem. 
Incenaed it their diiMipointnMnt sod diurin. it thnr 
utter fiulure, the? ftbandoned all fiuther efibrti tben^ 
On leaving the home, one of them oanrticBlly remarked, 
" We might as well look fbr a needle in a haTatack 
as for a nigger among Quaken." 

They however, oontinaed their aearah is tlie neifl^ 
borhood for a day or two, hut with no htttar mooeH. 
The slaves got safbly to Canada. 

Maiy,dau|^t«-of John,five7eanofage,hadBoindel- . 
ibly stamped upon her miod the whole transacAion — the 
appearance of her fiither as he entered the house, his 
hurried niovemenls, the flight of the ftigitives, the looks 
and demeanor of the masters — that ever afterwards 
her feelings revolted with horror at the thought of such 
treatment of human beings, and she became a sympa- 
thising worker in the anti-sUvery cause. 

At one time two fugitives were concealed at Thomaa 
Vickera'. While there, the owner accompanied by 
a slave-catcher who had obtained iufurmation of the 
course they had taken, arrived at the house and began 
search. While these men were engaged in one part of 
the houM, the slaves were assisted out the other part 
and fled toward John Vickers'. The hunters seeing 
them, started in close pursuit. Arriving there, bewil- 
dered witli fear, the slaves ran into the house, when John, 
who fortunately saw the chase, imme<liatcly hurried 
them through the liouse and hade them speed to a woods 
in the upjKisite direction, and then very calmly met the 
hunters at the door. They told their business, described 
the n<^roe8, and at once proceed to enter. John told 


tbem there were no colored men of thai iits<:r:pi:<. n il. 
Us house. 

"There are," said the men inipaiienilv. •■ i-.r we ?aw 
them go in, and your place smelk uf ni^jer^." 

"Have vou a warrant? *' 

"No." ' 

"You cannot enter my house wiih'.»ui •.-a-r. «i«:: :: 
and you shall have perfect liberty i«.» ^.-ar-.-b. ai-i I wir. 
assist you. But I can assure you theiv arv: d • ?.:<.-h 
persons here to my knowledge." 

He kept them parleving for awhile, ihus ji%-inj :ht 
men time to escape. Findiuir no thrt-a: "-r rii:r^.-a:y 
could move him, one of them pnxt-vil^l :■• a J .:*::■■•.■ • f 
the Peace to obtain the requisite jjai^Trr". whilr. i:-.- -tr.vr 
kept guard around the houst;. Attrr e'L?!.!^:!!^'!':- liri.v 
the warrant was produt-e^l, and a th"r-»ujh ^••ar^•h 
Of course it was fruitless. Thi-v \\\rv duiuh-l'- '\i:A'A at 
Ihe complete failure. How it wa-? that !«•• iLtii i.'-r;!'! 
enter the hoiLse immediate! v iHrfiiri* their tvtr*. tho liiu.i'.v 
standing around e«>ol and uni'nin.vriit-il. an<1 a t:Kiir>l 
statioue<l to keep watdi. and yet uv» trare nt' iheni be 
discoverable was :»omethiu«r bevnud their eMuijireiien- 
sion. There wa?* certainly a niy^teriuus Undtrgruund 
Railroad somewhere alxmt. 

A planter from Georgia visited Phi lade! phi a on busi- 
ness in the early part of winter. He broUL'bt with him 
Cuify, a young man about 24 years tif aire, as his ]>ody 
servant. This slave was well dressed, gi'iitli'inanly, dig- 
nified, and carried a gold watch and chain. His bright 
intelligent look, his easy manners and Intty carriage at- 
tracted toward him the abolitionists of the place, wht» 
sought and obtained a favored opjKjrt unity to decoy him 


from hiB master, when ihey propoMd to leciirB fiur . 
his freedom. He was more than delighted with the } 
position and the opportunity to escape ; said he had bi 
treated well, and if he were sure his master would nei 
sell him he would not leave. But he dreaded beh 
sold, which he said he was liable to be at any time if 
good price should be ofiered for him. For this reasoi 
and seeing the treatment of the fiurm hands, he hated 
slavery and longed to be free. 

He was stolen fit>m Africa when about 11 yean ol 
age ; was the son of a Prince, and was about being sent 
to this country to be educated by the abolitionists, when 
he, with several others, was kidnapped by gang of 
pirates, put on board their vessel, and taken to Georgia 
and sold. 

He told the frieudti iu Philadelphia that he preferred 
not being sent further north if they could so arrange 
matters that he could l)e under their protection during 
the winter, go to school, and then in the spring, if pos- 
sible, return to his home near Ca|>e Town in Africa. 

Isaac T. HopjHjr an<l others, knowing the very good 
character of Thomujj Vickers, sent him there. Thomas 
place<l him under the care of his son, John, with whom 
he remained during the winter, assisted in the work and 
went to school. He was very obliging and very kind 
to the children. His teacher, Sarah Vickers, cousin of 
John, who afterwards marrie<l William Trimble, and is 
still living, said that he was an apt scholar and made 
good progress. 

In the spring the abolitionists contributed money 
enough to pay his passage back to Africa. He corre- 
ponded with them fret^uently afterwards. 


Soon after Cufly left, two men came, one a farm- 
hand, the other a house-hand or body servant. The 
ibrmer John Vickers named Ben. Jones, the latter John 
Ridgway. Ben remained with him several years, mar- 
ried and settled in the neighborhood. His descendants 
are living there still. Ridgway remained a short time 
only. He was very gentlemanly, dignified, pleasant 
and kind to the children. As his inclination was to 
** go West," John sent him to some of his relatives in 
Ohio. After a time he married, lived well, bought a 
property and was prosperous. Both men said they had 
been treated kindly, their masters never were harsh to 
them, but they saw the treatment others received, and 
like Cuffy, " they could not bear to be slaves." 

A young man named Abner Laiulruni, son of a 
wealthy planter in Georgia, found a sixjcies of clay on 
their plantation, which it was thought would make very 
fine porcelain ware. He came north to learn more of 
its quality, and of the manner of making it into fine 
ware. He was directed to John Vickers, as one of the 
most extensive and reliable manufacturers in the coun- 
try. It was early in the morning when he arrived. 
The family had fini^thed 1)reakfa8t. As lie had not yet 
eaten they prepared a table for him. Sarah Vickers, 
then about sixteen, waited on him. She noticed as she 
moved around that his eyes followed her rather unusu- 
ally, and after eating he turned pleasantly toward her 
and asked, "Do you ladies here North wait on the 
table?" "Oh, yes {"she replied, "we have no slaves 

During the early part of his visit he remarked that he 
saw a nigger boy going out of their lane with a basket. 

• 1 illl tl>"l1'lll>^lllliV 

(>l IhoiiL^lilfiilncss \w >l()wly reniiii 
new iilca to Jiie entirely. 1 uevt 
thiug as educating the colored ra 
g utter surprise. But, I declare, the 

There was something more than i 
genial and kind in the heart of thii 
that pleased John, who was himse 
this time, and a warm mutual friei 
established. He made the Vickei 
while visiting other places of intere 
and a correspondence was kept up 
many years. During his stay with th 
benevolent abolition family, he becar 
the just and noble principle of liberl 
a sense of the injustice and degradati( 
ery, that he would never afterwards 
was instrumental in many instances 
some extent the harshness and cruel 
slaves were generally treated in his se( 

A slave named Tom Jonp« "• 


Betr John Vicken. He never neglected the improve- 
ment of his mind even after marriage when accumula- 
ting cares and labors devolved upon him. One time in 
oonyeraation in the store at Lionville he said he wanted 
to understand grammar, and thought he would ask Miss 
Haiy Vickers if she would instruct him. The white 
men who were always fond of hearing him talk, for he 
was intelligent, jokingly remarked, *' What's the use in 
that? A thick skull like yours could never take in 
grammar." He, however, asked Mary, who promised 
to instruct him. He purchased Comly's Granmiar, 
itudied it while at work, and recited to her two nights 
in the week, and became quite proficient in it. 

Having so large a family he occasionally got into 
straitened circumstances temporarily. He then made 
known his wants to John Vickers, who always assisted 
him, and he never failed to return the money, except 
on the last occasion. Tom wanted to lime his place, 
which would cost 850. He had not the money. John 
lent it to him, and took his note. Soon after this, when 
John was taken seriously ill, which illness finally re- 
sulted in his death, he called one of his executors to his 
bedside and said to him, ** I have a note of $50 agaiust 
Tom Jones. He is now becoming an old mau. If I 
die, I request you to destroy that note, and never 
require its payment." His apprehcusion of an early 
change proved too true. He died suddenly, and the 
executors destroyed the note as requested. 

Tom was a constant 8ul)8criber to the Liberator^ and 
a warm admirer of those early earnest abolitionists who 
labored unremittingly for the freedom of his race. He 
named one of his daughters Angelina Grimke Welb, 


after an Orthodox Fmid ftoin Bontli fhniBiiai 
was one of the fint women fai this oomiby to talfia 
platform and apeak puMieiy against daveiy. Om 
his sons he nanrad Aaxon Vlokera, after a son of Jdkmij( 
who was the youngest ngner of the "DedaratJan 0$ 
PrindpleB of the Ameriean Anti-Slavery Society," at; 
their first convention^ lield in Philadelphia in Deeem- 
ber, 1838. 

A fugitive, very scantily dressed, arrived at Johii 
Vickers' house one very oold day. in mid-winter. Hehad 
journeyed thus far without any Undeigronnd Bailroad 
assistance. He asked for work. The women reqnarted him 
to come in and they would call the man of the house. 
But he seemed shy, and would not enter. When John 
Vickers arrived he still persistently refused to go inside 
the house and asked for nothing but work. John per- 
ceived there was a wildness in his look, his motions 
were nervous and betrayed apprehension. 

** Come in," said John in a kind sympathizing tone 
intended to allay his fears, ** don't be afraid ; I am an 
abolitionist and will do thee no hurt. I am thy friend." 

At the sound of " aholUioniat" he started with in- 
creased fear. The whites of his large eyes stood out 
aghast — a complete circle of ()earl set in ebony, and he 
was on the point of dashing away as if his life depended 
upon an instantaneous fight, when John partially calmed 
his fears by a few well chosen words. He was laboring 
under the delusion so oflen inculcated into the minds of 
the slaves, that " the abolitionists of the North were 
their worst enemies — wicked people who would torture 
and destroy theui." 

" Thee is not to leave me," said John in his firm but 


kind manner, after obtaining in a measure the negro's 
confidence. " Thee can come into the shop, sit by the 
fire, and I will have some victuals brought to thee, for 
thee is perishing with hunger and cold." These kind 
words fell upon his soul, as refreshing as was the manna 
to the IsraeliteSi His fears departed, and he went in. 

" Sit there now," continued John, " and the women 
will soon bring thee something to eat. Then thee must 
rest awhile and I will bring thee some water, and thee 
mnst wash all over here by the stove, and I will give 
thee good clothes to put on." 

In a few minutes, Mary, daughter of John, brought 
him a large plate piled up with food, enough she 
thought for three ordinary men. But the cravings of 
hunger seemed not to be api)eiised until the whole pile 
had disappeared. Nor need we be nuich astonished at 
this when he said that during the several weeks he had 
been on his way from Carolina he had subsisted entirely 
upon nuts which he gathered froju the frozen ground, 
with the exception of a few meals given him by some 
colored families he chanced to see, and wliose houses he 
thought he might venture to approach. But this, he 
said, was the first white mairs house he had dared to 

After his ablutions he was attired in a full suit of 
good warm clothes. But it was found that his feet were 
of such unusual dimensions that no boots or shoes 
about the place were large enough to accommodate 

John went to the store of John McKinley, at Lion- 
ville, who had become an abolitionist through his con- 
vincing arguments upon the subject, and related to him 


the cireumstauce. " If there are ajiy in the store large 
enough," said McKiulej, " lake llieiii ; I will do that 
much for him." 

A pair of the required siBe was found and given him. 
So pleased wa« he with this entire outfit of clothing, so 
clionged liJs feelings ftom those of a short time before, 
wlien, cold, hungry and dirty, he stood in terror 
before that dreaded abolttiouiet, so thoroughly astou- 
iuhed and bewildered was he at this unexpected manifes- 
tation of disinterested kindness, that the poor fellow 
could scarcely reali/e whether he was slill ou e^rth, or 
whether lie hiid been r'uddcnly been !rau?liitcd l^j some 
sphere above it. Language was not at bis command to ex- 
press his gratitude ; but bis looks and gestures were elo- 
quent with his emotiona. He never knew before, he said, 
what kindness was, and never imagined it was possible 
for any beings on earth to be so kind. His lot had 
been cast with the most cruel of masters, and tlte lash, 
the curses of slave-drivers, the labor and sufiering of 
hard-wrought sUves, were the only surroundings be had 
ever known. 

He was told to remain there awhile and they would try 
to find him employment. In a few days, Jacob Pdrce, 
from near Kennett, called on a visit. The history of 
the slave were related to him. Knowing that one of 
bis neighbors was needing help, he took the man home 
and next day obtained for him the situation. In the 
summer, when be received his first wages — ^^e first 
mouey that was ever his — he put thirty dollars in his ' 
pocket and went immediately to his old friend, John 
Vickers, and offered it all to him for the clothing be 
had given him in the winter. 


^ Does thee think I would take pay for what I gave 
thee?" asked John. "All the oompensation I wish 
lA that when thee sees any one needing assistance, give 
it, and I ¥dll foel myself amply repaid." 

Instances were so numerous of fugitives coming and 
and going, that no record of them was kept. Loads of six, 
seven, or more were very frequently brought in at the 
mid-hours of night from other stations, when the women, 
always cheerfully ready, arose and prepared a good 
meal for them ; after which they were secreted in the 
house or about the premises ; or if it was known their 
pursuers were close upon them they were scattered 
around in various places and provided for until next 
night, when the colored man was sent with them to one 
of the next stations. When a dozen or more were to be 
taken, the farm wagon was used to convey them. 

After the passage of the " Fugitive Slave Law," John 
Vickers did not keep fugitives about the premises, but 
sent them to a tenant-house in the woods, occupied by a 
colored man named Joshua Robinson, with provisions, 
which he paid the wife to cook for them. Here they 
were kept in a back room until preparations were made 
to take them further on. 

Although this was the great central station in that 
part of the county, and the arrival of fugitives was very 
frequent, he never quailed before the authority of that 
wicked law, was as brave as he was cautious, and no 
slave that came into his hands was ever captured. 

On one occasion two women from Virginia, one very 
light colored, left their master to seek freedom in a 
northern home. They were pursued, captured, and 
placed in jail. During the night, by the assistance of 


some abofitianirts and tta jailor,- liMj mn enaUed to 
escape through the looC A niwaid of one thooaand 
dollara was ofood for theaiL The^ nenhrong^hitlie 
night to John Vieketa. On aoeoont of this rawaid, and 
the recent enactment of the FogitiYo Shrre Law im- 
posing a penalty of $1,000 fine for eadi n^gro fimnd in 
the hands of one wlio was awnating them, the ntmoai 
care had to be taken for their aoooearfhl tranqporfatioii. 
They were taken to William Hall'Sy a retired plaoe 
about one and arhalf miles fimn the publie road, and 
there secreted three days and nights until arrangementi 
could be made at headquarters in Fhiladelphm to va* 
oeive and forward them without delay. J. Miller Mo- 
Kim and James Mott agreed to receive them at the latr 
ter's house, at 8 o'clock on a specified morning. John 
Viekers and daughter, Abbie, supplied them with pro- 
visions, and then starting with them in the night to 
Philadelphia, a distance of thirty miles. The night waa 
very dark and stormy and when going through a wood 
about half way to the city, they drove too near the side 
of the turnpike road and upset. The dearborn waa 
1)roken, the horse kicked and disengaged himself from 
the harness, but was firmly held by the lines and pre- 
vented from getting away. The first concern of the two 
women was to know if " Missus was hurt." Fortunate- 
ly all aseaped injury. Hiding the slave woman in the 
woods, John and his daughter went back a mile and a 
half to a tavern and procured another wagon. To avoid 
oven a suspicion of his having fugitives in case any one 
should come to his assistance, he ordered the women to 
remain quiet until he gave a particular sound of voice, 
as a signal that he was ready for them. This precau- 


tion proved bb fortunate bb it was wary. For the tavern- 
keeper kindly profiered his aid, took a horse, returned 
with them, assisted in gathering up the debris and t4K>k 
the broken dearborn back to his place to have it re- 
paired by the time John should return from Philadel- 
phia. After the tavern-keeper drove off the signal was 
given, and the two women emerged from their wet 
covert lively and laughing at " Massa's " artfulness and 

With this delay they did not arrive at James Mott's 
until 10 o'clock — and two hours after the appointe<l 
time. James had gone to meeting, and Miller McKini 
was waiting, tremulous with anxiety lest the party had 
been captured. Agents immediately took charge of the 
women. The one who was so white and good looking 
was at once dressed up in different attire with tiiUe 
curls, and Isaac T. Hopper taking her by the arm went 
with them to the wharf, registered their names on the 
boat as Isaac T. Hopper, lady, and servant, accom- 
panied them to New York, where other agents received 
them and fomarded them to Canada. 

" Black Pete," a one-eyed slave, lived a z^hort time 
with John Vickers, in 1824. He had had a hard 
master, and showed the stripes upon his back where he 
had been whipped, and salt and pep})er rubbed into the 
wounds. One day while breaking stone on the turn])ike- 
road, three men came along — his ma-^ter, overseer and 
a constable, and attempted to arrest him. Being a 
l)owerful man, he seized one of them, raised him up and 
with terrible force dashed him ujx)n the solid ground. 
Then with the apparent ferocity and intrepidity of a 
tiger which dazed his antagonists he sprang upon each 


of tbe oihen, and wiih aeeiiiiiigly nipedhiUBaii 
and after a diort bat deoUTe akruggle hurled tlieai 
a stmming thud upon the hard maoadamiaed 
Leaving them broiaed and almoet eenaelew upon 
ground, he ran to the home and told of hia 
The fiunily then secreted him in the house until nig|rt^'< 
when, with money and provisions, whioh they gave Vmg'/ 
he started tor Canada. He wrote them afterwarda tisit? 
he had arrived there safely. The slave-catoherB hamS\ 
ever did not pursue him fhrther, nor were thqr heaid- ^^ 
of again in tiiat neighborhood, except that all -wwa \i 
more or less crippled ttom the rough handling he gjKf9 

** What are filly, what a thousand slaves, 
Matched to the sinew of a single arm 
That strikes for liberty ? " 

''Black Charles and Jane/' were two ''runaways" 
who came to John Vickers' in 1820. The &mily need- 
ing help, they remained two or three months and 
seemed perfectly happy. This was a characteristic con- 
dition of all the fugitives while under their care. They 
felt they were safe while in the hands of friends who 
were interested in securing their liberty. Charles was 
kidnapped in Africa, and was as black as pigment-cells 
could make him. He still longed for the home of his 
birth, and intended when he could save sufficient means 
to return to the dear native spot from which he was 
stolen. His wife, by that Southern custom and social 
abomination of relationship between slave and master, 
was several shades lighter than he. From John Vickers 
they were passed on to Canada. 

A number of slaves were ])urchased in one of the 
Northern Slaves States and put on board a vessel to be 


taken to Louisiana. Among them was the wife of 
James Cummichael, a slave quite aflable in his doiuenu- 
or and possessing an unusual degree of cunning and sa- 
gacity. He resolved that his wife should not lie taki'u 
to those Southern plantations of rice and cotton to work 
under the lash of brutal drivers. The ftlaves always 


had a horror of being "sold to go South." It was thi.s 
great dread which imi)elled hundreds to leave their 
masters, and especially when they had an intimation 
that such sales were about to be made. Cummichael in 
the shrewdness of his device took money with him 
which he had earned by overwork, went to the nu-n who 
had the vessel and cargo of slaves in charge, talked 
pleasantly with them about the prosjHJcts of his wile and 
others having a happy time " down in de soutV* and said 
he thought he would like to go along. He ])leas(Ml tliein 
with his conversati<»n, played <rame3 with them, and like 
a lil>eral g(M)d fellow, paid for the rnjiior of whieh they 
drank largely at his exjx'nsc until tlu^v grew stn|»i(l, 
when he took advantage of the bcfrOtted etuidition into 
which he had seduewl them, took his wife and several 
others off the l)oat, fle<i to a grove, and there eseoneed 
himself and his com])anious until night when they 
started on their hazardous but determined journey 
north wanl to that section of country whieh had an ex- 
istence in reidity, and not sim])ly in song, as 

" The lund of Uie frt'O and the hoiiK- of tho bnivi-." 

Having succt^iilly made their escape, they reached 
Pennsylvania and were conducted alon;; the Tnder- 
ground Railroad to John Vickcrs. Here they remained 
awhile and assisted on the farm. S) grateful was .Jamc^ 
for the release of himself and wife from Southern bond- 



liMt tta 7017 Qtmgtt he could do ftr t 
1 in bta mind but a. meagre compenMtiaK|| 
■ of kindnen ftad geDenwtj. 
Twe meo came one morning in a wagon of i> 
make belonging to their master. The horee and wagon 
were put in the bam, ynd the men wait to the tenaaU 
hotiae in the woods, oooujued by Uie colored family, 
Robinson. Next day about noon the owners arrived 
at Lionville, having tracked thdr slareB so &r. The 
tavern-keeper said the most probable place to hear of 
them would be at John Vlckera', and he accompanied 
them to the place. The wife of Paxson Vickere, eaa of 
Joha, who onw did most of the active work for bia 
father, as the latter was advanced in years, told titea 
to be seated in the house and die would send to die 
field for her husband who would know about th«n, ibr 
she had heard him say that two men drove there that 
morning in a peculiar-looking wagon. Bhe entertained 
them by talking, and treating them to apples, nuta, etc, 
until PaxBon arrived. Before going to the houae he 
sent the colored man home to take the two men to a 
cornfield aud put them under the ehocks. On meet- 
ing the sluveholdere he told them there was a horse 
and wi^on at the bam which had been driven there by 
two men, but they left, and if they were about his 
buildings they were hidden unknown to him. But he 
would help look for them, being carefiil to not say he 
would help find them. He then accompanied Uiem 
through his buildings and to the tenant-house — but the 
men were not found. The owners then returned with 
the horse and wagon. 

PaxBon Vickers was a man of sound thought, a clear 


profound analytical and synthetical reaaoner, and well 
yened in science. He enjoyed debates upon subjects 
involving a wide latitude of thought, embracing scien- 
tific Ssucta and political economy. He spoke upon vari- 
ous subjects at public meetings as occasions demanded, 
and his grove in which he erected a stand for speakers, 
was a well-known place in that part of the county for 
the holding of temperance, anti-slavery and political 

He fulfilled various duties of a public character to 
which he was frequently appointed. In the fall of 
1856 he was elected a member of the State Legis- 
lature and took an active interest in all important bills 
that came before that body at its regular session in 
1857, among which was an Act authorizing the sale of 
the Pennsylvania Railroad. He also took an active 
part in analyzing, and in considering the best means for 
adjusting the financial difficulties for which the Legii«- 
lature was convened in extra session during the fall of 
that year. 

At the following election, the opposite }K)litical ])arty 
having obtained a majority in Chester county, he failed 
to be re-elected. 

He died after a brief illness on the 22d of 10th nio. 
(Oct.) 1865, aged 48 years. 


Charles Moore lived near Lionville, but at such dis- 
tance from the main route along which slaves were gen- 
erally moved without much delay, that they were not 
very frequently sent to his place. Yet his " latch-string 
hung outside the door" at all times, and he was ever 


willing to ffVB MMtmoB whea eiUed upon. He 
remaikaUj qniet^ modeifc penon, hnrnma and boMPRrji 
lent, true to his eoanddaaBf a de?0led menilMr of 
Society of Friend^, and moved but litde oirtaide of IfcM^^ 
society and his immfdiatft iMDciitioni. 



Of the hundreds of fbgittvea who pawed thioii|^ tlie 
hands of Micajah (1781— May 22d, 1862) and WOBtm 
A. Speakman (Bom 1810) in Wallace towDddp^ Chi 
ter county, as in the inetanoe of many other agnl^ bo 
record was kept nor any eflhrt made to leant of thaoi 
concerning their bondage and escape, ffliould any 
that they had assisted ever be captured and they be 
colled upon to testify, they wished to have as little 
knowledge as possible to disclose. This was the policy 
of many others. They aided all who came, clothed thoee 
who needed, and gave especial care to the sick. Their 
place for sheltering them was at the bam. When they 
si^nt them to other stations on foot, specific directions 
were given. When it was required to take them in a 
vehicle, William accom})anied them. 

Slaves came to their place from Maryland and Vir- 
ginia, through the hands of Thomas Garrett, Lindley 
Coativ, Daniel Gibbons, Thomas Whitson, Gravner 
Marsh and otiiers, and were either taken or directed, 
chiefly to the house of Jacob Haynes. 

Many were sent on branch routes to Benjamin Scho- 
field, Kichanl Janney and Dr. Fell, in Bucks county. 

TlirtKs came at one time from Maryland. One hired 
with Mic4ijah ; the others found places in the neighbor- 
hood. In about six weeks some person betrayed two of 


them. The slave-hunters came precipitatelj upon one, 
captured him, then drove to the bam of Micajah, about 
daylight, where the other was at work, and immediately 
took possession of him. They showed their warrants, 
which testified to their legal claim upon the man. 
These were the only Aigitives ever known to have been 
captured in that neighborhood. 

A man and woman with an infant came there in 
February, almost barefoot. The woman's feet were 
firoien. Micajali hired both man and wife. They proved 
to be good servants, and remained until next August, 
when they man heard a huckster, who drove up, say, 
that he brought these fish from Chester. This alarmed 
the n^ro, and when the huckster left, he asked, " Did 
dat man bring dem fish from Chester, and dey not 8])ilc ? " 

« Yes." 

"Well, den, I am not as far from Maryland as I 
thought I was." 

Nothing could induce him to stay longer. He wanted 
to go to Canada " right away." Micajah gave him a 
note to an agent in Bucks county, asking him to pass 
the man and his family on to Canada. A letter from 
them afterwards stated that they had arrived there 

Some selfish and unscrupulous individuals who were 
neither abolitionists nor directly opposed to th(»in, and 
had not the manhood or character to be honest in their 
expression on either side, professed to be friends of the 
fugitives, and occasionally hired them in busy seasons. 
When the work was finished, they frightened them l)y a 
startling announcement that their masters were in rapid 
pursuit, and nearly there; paid them a part of their 

itXI MinUBz Or IBS 

uNijifiiy and nnder that ooitleiiitttible made of 
kindnen and fl^palliy, dAtat dfareetod them nottlii 
to difltant fHefida, or took than partway and bade 
Qod-flpeed in saftljr. 

** O Mrpoii iMMt, hM wtth a floWrins 


Dove-telhMfdmvwiI wioiadi<4«iff«iiii«tambl 
DMplfled MbstaBM of dMiMit showl 

Jvil OpiKialltr to wlMft tlMta Jwllr •MBi'Vl.** 

Some of the neij^boxB, after the FngitiTe Steta Lmt 
was enacted, were very determined that its reqniremenlii 
should be fhllyenfinroed. One of them, however, beoaaia 
80 relenting as to say he would help a woman to emmpB, 

but not a man. 

Another said, ''the law should be enforced, and he 
would fight for it against the nigger." 

There was then living in an adjacent town a very fine, 
genial, upright colored man named Bill, who kept a 
barber shop. Everybody liked him. One morning be- 
fore daylight, a noted abolitionist of the place was sum- 
moned to " come down quickly and save Bill ; a gang 
of men are there in search of him.'' He hastily arose, 
got some apparel with which to disguise him, ran to 
where he was, and hurried him ofi* to a place of safety. 
On his return, which was just afi;er daylight, he met 
that pro-slavery man who "would fight for the Fugitive 
Slave Law against the nigger," and inquired of him, 
" Where are you going?" 

" Going to get shaved." 

"You needn't go. He's not there. His master is 
after him. I want you to give us some money to help 
send him to Canada." 

This sudden and startling announcement touched the 


finer feelings of the proslavery man's nature. He could 
not think of the good, honest, kind-hearted Bill being 
seised and carried back into slavery by a band of rough 
and heartless negro-hunters, if means of his would assist 
in preventing it. Nor did he want it known, from the 
position he had always assumed, that his sympathies were 
ever moved in that direction. He did not hesitate to 
ask a question, but drew from his pocket book ten dollars, 
and said: "Take that; but for God's sake don't tell 
anyone that I gave it." 

In October, 1840, Sarah A. (Bom March 1st, 1813), 
daughter of Micajah and Phebe Speakman, (Bom Au- 
gust 27th, 1785.--Died March 25th, 1882), was married 
to James Miller McKim, of Philadelphia, one of the 
ablest and most prominent of the anti-slavery leaders, 
who was born November 14th, 1810, and died June 
13th, 1874. He was connected with the Underground 
Railroad dejwt at the Anti-Slavery office in Philadel- 
phia, and his writings in the Anti-Slavery Standard and 
other papers, wielded a powerful influence throughout 
the entire country in advancing public sentiment in 
fiivor of abolishing human slavery. He accompanied 
the wife of John Brown on her sad trip to HarjK^r's 
Ferry, to take final leave of her husbaind before his exe- 
cution ; and returned with the distressed widow, bearing 
the body of her husband to North Elba, where, joined 
by Wendell Phillips and others, the remains of the 
martyr hero were with fitting ceremonies, consigned to 
the earth. 

Lucy McKim, daughter of J. Miller and Sarah, is 
married to a son of William Lloyd Crarrison. 


Tbm I^JEwn FAMILT.—Deaoent.— Labors for ihe BUva.^aothiBg F^ 
nished Puffltiyw hy Frlendi.-^InotdenU.— I>B. Evwoi Pdhblu— ^ 
Bspertonce and Inoldeiits. J 


An English writer has called the period during vfbidk 
opposition to the slave power arose and flourished, ''the 
niartyr age of America." In all history there is to be 
found no other conflict in which the motives of thoM 
who fought were so entirely unselfish. Even martyr- 
dom , when it came, was so quietly suffered, that those 
who witnessed it scarcely realized its sublimity, and the 
])resent generation, which is reaping where the £EitherB 
sow^ed, will soon, if careful record is not speedily made, 
lose sight of their heroic labors. 

Among the little flock of heroes whose whole lives 
were devoted to obeying the sublime comnmnd of the 
Hebrew prophet : " Prepare ye the way of the Lord, 
make straiglit in the desert a highway for our God," 
none is more deserving of gratitude and eternal remem- 
brauce than the Lewis family of West Vincent, Chester 
county. John Lewis, Jr., the husband and father, was 
born iu Viuceut (now West Vincent), Third month 
(March) 29th, 1781. He was fourth in descent from 
Henry and Margaret Lewis, who, with their father, 
Evan Lewis, came from Narl>eth, Pembrokeshire, South 
Wales, about the year 1682. Hon. J. J. Lewis, late of 
West Chester, Eli K. Price, of Philadelphia, and Bayard 
Taylor are descended from the same stock. The mother 


of Jolm Lewis, Jr., was Grace Meredith Lewis. The 
name Meredith occurs very early, in the eleventh or 
twelfth century, in the history of Siluria, as Wales was 
then called. It will thiis be seen that his ancestry were 
mainly Welsh, but it was said of him by the late Hon. 
J. J. Lewis, of West Chester, who remembered him, 
that his face was Saxon, not Celtic. His immediate an- 
cestry were all Friends or Quakers. He was a member 
of Pikeland Preparative, Uwchlan Monthly and Cain 
Quarterly Meetings. Beside being a consistent Friend, 
he was a man far in advance of the age in which he 
lived, as'was shown not only in his active opposition to 
slavery, rare at that early time, but also in his arrang- 
ing of his affairs, of which something will be told fur- 
ther on. 

In the year 1818, John Lewis married Esther Fus- 
sell, (Bom Third month 18th, 1782.— Died .Second 
month 8th, 1848), daughter of Bartholomew and Ke- 
becca (Bond) Fussell, and sister of the distinguished 
abolitionist. Dr. Bartholomew Fussell, a sketch of whom 
appears elsewhere in this work. Among her ance,st()i*s 
were the Bond, Jeanes, Dawson, Brewer and Loug- 
streth families, well known in the history of Ches- 
ter County and Philadelphia. When only sixteen 
years old, being the eldest of a large family, 
she opened a little school for her brothers and 
sisters. She was so successful that her neighbors 
and friends were glad to place their children under 
her care and instruction, and she taught for many 
years. A i)er8on who knew her very well, writes of her 
as follows : " 8he was the source and inspiration of all 
contained in the home of the Lewis family. * **« * 

17'' h:-t"'?.y ■>? THi: 

She was a Terr remarkable woman. Sbe 
to the type of iMA Fhdw Wrig^ (wife of 
liam Wright, of Adai— eoonty), waa one. 
hiisinen abilitj waa of the inat order and was eo 
nizedby all with whom ahe caoK in contact Inhmi 
ntM^hborhood she wielded almoet nnboonded 
by her force of her character. Aa a peace^naker, 
HoHor and friend, she atood fint, not only in her < 
family but in the community, bdbre the hatred of 
(ioniHtj* began to be^ife. Aa the head of an 
h<^|)it4iblc family, she alwaya held the poaition 
ti(MH)nlo<l her by all — Pleading as kng aa she liVed. 
hnm\ and capacious mind sought and retained 
ki)<>\vlt'«l|^ of the day, keeping her well infinmad 
(vriiing wliat was going on in fbrriga coontma aa 
HM in our own. Nothing of note eacaped her 
font ion. I do not see many women of the 
wl)o, with all their advantages, I can oiKiaider aa 
o.)ual. Sho was tlio prmluct of an age which atputi^ 
h\\{ \\\\x\ \\o\ Miiinetl, TIic effort required developed the 
iu^li vicinal to a w«mth'rful degree. I should like to see 
«uu' s\h'h oxamplo o\* tho Age to which she belonged, 
l»uun>>l \\itl\ fuh^lity. They were grand women, those 

\{ was U'liovtHl hv nianv that knew Esther Lewis 
\\x^ll, ihrti sho wju* jHviiliarly fi tteil to be a physician. 
Tho ihou);ht wi' \wr ahilitii's and of the utter want of 
o|«poiUuu(y for thoir dovoh)pnient stimulated her 
b)sahri\ l^r. HnrthoKtmow Fussi^ll, in his labors in 
tlmndluv: tho NVouionV MtHlioal G>llegeof Philadelphia. 

'\\\ %\\\\\\\ anil I'lsthor Fuiwt*!! Ix>witf were bom the fol- 
low iuv: ohiKiroii: Marianu LA^vid^ born Sixth mouth 

OSiOBiKSS '■'""•■ 


(June) let, 1819, died Ninth month (September) 3d, 

1866; Rebecca Lewis Fussell, bom Sixth month 10th, 

1820; Graceanna Lewis, born Eighth month (August) 

3dy 1821 ; Charles Lewis died in infancy ; Elizabeth R. 

Lewis, bom First month (January) 15th, 1824, died 

Tenth month (October) 10th, 1863. 

In 1823 and 1824 there lived near the home of the 
Lewis family, two colored people, who were so utterly 
worthless — ^physically, intellectually and morally — that, 
even had the prejudice against their race been much less 
violent than it was, none of their neighbors would have 
cared to have anything to do with them. During the 
winter (1823-24) they were taken with typhus fever. 
No one cared even to take them to the alms-house. John 
Lewis went to them, " ministered unto " them, nursed 
them carefiilly, even tenderly, and so constantly that he 
contracted the disease from them, and, despite all efforts 
made to save him, died — a martyr to Christian philan- 
thropy — Second month (February) 5th, 1824. He 
showed his appreciation of his wife by making her sole 
executrix of his will. This was such an entirely un- 
heard-of thing in Chester county at that time that sev- 
eral of Esther Lewis's neighbors instituted legal pro- 
ceedings to set aside the will. Before she had risen from 
her sick bed, her infant being but three weeks old 
when her husband died, the law suit began and the 
troubles connected with it did not end until that infant 
was two and a-half years old. The mother was com- 
pelled to leave her child for a week at a time, when it 
was so young that its grief at such ill usage poured itself 
out in inarticulate sounds for an hour at a time, as the 
tears poured down its cheeks. Esther Lewis came to 

172 HWrORY OFtttE 

forgive her persecutors, but it was a terrible orded 
through which to pass, and her family's sympathy tor 
her koew no bounds. 

From 1824 to her death in 1848, Esther Lewia held 
the place as head of her ianiily that has been heretofore 
deecribed. With their father's example and her train- 
ing it is not strange that her daughters went heart aod 
soul into the anti-slavery cause. They were taught not 
only by example but by constant precept. Anti-slavery 
poems and other writings were read to them and their 
abhorrence of the enslaving of human beings "gr«w 
with their growth " as the mighty and magnificent oak 
grows from its tender germ, the acorn, deposited in good 

Their home was not merely a station where the dusky 
fugitive was rec^ved, fed, concealed and forwarded to 
other Friends, but it was a hone where the sick and aver- 
fiitigued were kept and nursed with unsparing kindnea 
until able to proceed again on their journey. This wu 
being almost continually done for many years, and es- 
pecially in the case of women and children who were 
often BO weary and sick as to require assiduous care and 
tender nursing for days and even weeks before they 
were able to resume their travel. Yet with all this at- 
tention the little onee occasionally succumbed to death 
in the arms of these kind northern strangers. 

When quite young children the sisters saw two color- 
ed men bound with ropes and carried off to slavery. 
The terror of the scene and the agony depicted in' ^e 
men's faces, made an ineffaceable impression on their 
minds and henceforward through life, their sympathies 
and their labors were enlisted for the unfortunate and 


slaveB. In this instanoe the betrayal came 
>iigh a white woman living in the fiimily. The two 
were hired with Solomon Fussell, a brother of 
Lewis, and an excellent man, who at that time 
the charge of her farm. The incident occurred in 
\ and at that period, there lived in the neighbor- 
a well known " kidnapper," Abel Richardson by 
who was greatly dreaded by the colored people, 
'detafted by their employers, and both feared and ab< 
kffied by all children, black and white. This man, ac- 
-eomponied by the masters of the two slaves, appeared 
■ft the old &rm house, and at a preconcerted signal, the 
■mst was attempted. One of the men, named Henry, 
imised an axe, but with worse than death before him, he 
paused, and in tones of mortal anguish, cried out, 
''Solomon, shall I strike ? " The kind, genial man, the 
Qjoaker and non-resistant was compelled in an instant 
to decide. The awful solemnity of the struggle brought 
a look into his face impossible even for these children 
to forget. It imprinted itself forever, but he answered 
in accordance with his life-long principles, " No." The 
upraised axe dropped and Henry and his friend went, 
passive victims, into the abyss of slavery. They were 
never heard of more on earth. Henry was a very kind 
and affectionate man, and the children of both families 
were greatly attached to him. 

After the death of their mother, the sisters continued 
their work of benevolence as before : and so skillfully 
did they manage the affiiirs of that station, that so far 
as was ever learned, not one of the vast numbers who 
passed directly through their hands, or who were kept 
for week^ and nursed^ was ever retaken, although they 


were Burroiinded by pereons fidvprec to the rauee, i 
eager to find some proof by whicli lliey coulf 
the " detest«d abolitionists." And tiome of those a 
were especially vindictive toward these Hieters <ib 
count of their additional ofTenAe uf giving aid Ui ti 

On one occasion when they had, within a h 
paiwed forty fugitives on the road to freedom, they wfll 
amused at hearing the remark of one of their pro-slavt 
neighbors, that " there iiued tu be a pretty brisk 1 
of running uff niggerw at that place, but there was n 
much of it riout iiiiw." 

They frequently employed fiigiUves to labor on tba 
&rni and in the houBe. Some of theee remained with 
them a long time, and were industrious, trost-worUiy 
and economical. One carried away with him to Canada 
the sum of five hundred dollars, and others smaller sums 
in proportion to the length of their stay. 

Quite recently, after the lapse of many yean, while 
Graceanna Lewis was walking along Walnut etreet, 
Philadelphia, a colored woman who was scrubbing the 
front st«p6 of a house recognized her, and, dropping the 
brush, ran to her as if forgetful of surround ings, and 
throwing her arms around her exclaimed, "OhMi» 
Lewis, I'se glad to see you. Don't you know me? tt 
was my baby that died in your arms one time." 

When the sick and weary wore sufficiently restored 
to leave, Norris Maris or others took them to E. P. 
Penny packer's, Lewis Peart'a, or to places more remote ; 
sometimes to different stations on the Reading R^lroad. 
All who took the trains at the Reading Railroad sta- 
tions, went directly through to Canada. These had to 


e well dressed to give them the appearance of '* through 
ttssengers," and to enable them more readily to elude 
he searching eyes of slaveholders who might be on their 
rack. For this purpose a great amount of clothing had 
o be furnished by the friends of these fiigitives. They 
were alyrajs good clothes that had been partly worn, 
ctebecca, wife of Dr. Edwin Fussel, late of Media, who 
vas one of the Lewis sisters, contributed largely, 88 did 
SITilliam Fussell and his two sons, Joseph and Milton, 
ind a few other anti-slavery persons in the region, 
irhoee opportunities did not admit of their assisting in 
)ther ways. 

Large quantities of exquisitely clean and nicely 
nended clothing were frequently sent by the many de- 
icendants of John Price, a Dunkard minister belonging 
» an earlier generation. He and his wife were strong- 
ly opposed to slavery, and opposition to it became 
[lereditary in the family. These friends, living in Potts- 
town, Lawrenceville, and a grejit fwrtion of the region 
iround, could at all times he relied upon fur aid in any 
^special emergency. Occasionally, as circumstances re- 
quired, the women of the neighborhood, being willing 
ind even desirious to give assistance in this way, would 
meet at one of their houses, on an afternoon and make 
ip such articles of wear as were most frequently needed. 
[n this manner an ample supply was constantly kept on 
liand, even for the many changes required. Articles of 
Southern manufacture were wholly unlike those made 
it the North, those designed for the use of slaves being 
rf the coarsest material. Occasionally women would 
some with only one garment, fashioned in the rudest 
manner of cloth less fine than our bagging. This un- 


cleanly aitide had to be diqKMed of as a maaaa ct- 
safety, and the a p oedicat and beit ivaj tvaa to haxti H^ 
and with it aa many of the old alaTB hahiti ai poariUtt >^ 
Their exhibition anywhere tvaa fraught widi danger Ml ^^ 
evidence of Southern origin. 

At one time a company of eleven meOy iromeii and -^ 
children left the South in a body, willing to piaril every^ 
thing for liberty. The owners immediately ataited oalft' 
men in pursuit of them, sending large a d t ertifii iie uM ii 
with carefiil descriptionsy in advance. These a d v o r tia a 
ments, printed in the interests of slaveiy, served ihib 
argus-eyes of fTorthem Underground Bailroad agenta 
and put them on the alert. The company, having 
reached the home of the Lewis sisters, were resting 
awhile from their dangers, but speedily a messenger ar- 
rived from William Still who had learned of their dan- 
ger and also of their place ot halting, by means 
known only to those engaged in the work. The 
request from the anti-slavery headquarters in 
Philadelphia, was to scatter the body of fugi- 
tives as widely as possible. The first require- 
ment was an! entire change of clothing — ^not a 
thread of Southern tow was to be left unbumed to tell 
the story. C. C. Burleigh with his wife and children 
was visiting the house at the time and entered heartily 
into the work of rehabilitation. A few other friends who 
could be relied upon, were hastily called together — 
dresses were fashioned, bonnets trimmed, veils bestowed, 
and in a few hours, all was in readiness. It was judged 
best to send the women and children immediately to 
Canada by the Reading Railroad, funds for the purpose 
having been sent by the messenger from Philadelphia. 


T\iQBe paflBengers must be so attired as not to excite sus- 
picion and as much change of identity be made as pos- 
sible. One little boy was dressed as a girl, his pretty 
Httie face and laughing eyes, looking very becoming in 
a bonnet wreathed with artificial flowers, given for the 
purpose by Lydia P. Jacobs. The bonnets of the 
mothers were decorated in a similar way, and these, by 
the addition of veils, completed the disguises which had 
been wrought by nimble fingers. That very evening 
they were distributed at difierent stations on the Read- 
ing Railroad so as not to call attention by their num- 
ber at any one point. They reached Canada and were 
in safety before there was time for the slaveholders to 
ascertain their route. The men were sent in different 
directions among farmers who could be trusted — and 
worked in corn-fields and elsewhere in rural districts 
until they had earned sufficient to pay their own way, 
when they, one by one, joined their wives in Canada, 
and the whole party were secure. 

In taking passengers to the railroad, the twilight of 
evening was generally chosen, night being the least dan- 
gerous time for recognition. At one station at least, the 
railroad officials did not feel they were placed there in 
the interests of Southern masters. They gave tickets 
to whomever paid for them, and usked no questions. 

A woman with her child arrived one winter and re- 
mained as an assistant in the house for over two years. 
She was remarkable for the warmth of her affection, 
and for her unitsual degree of mental ability, proving a 
sincere and valuable friend in seasons of sickness and 
death. She mourned almost as did her own daughters, 

when Esther Lewis, the head of the house, was removed. 


Aft«r a time she married and went to Cantula, where 
she gave birth to a daughter and died. Od her death- 
bed she rw|iiest€d her two children to be sent to her 
friends, the Lewis Bisters, to be brought up under their 
guiirdianship. The youngeat child died after its return 
to Pennsylvania, the other wae platted in the fnmily 
of Isaac Lewis, of Brandywine township, and is at pre- 
sent living in Philadelphia. 

Another woman reached this liome who was the 
daughter of her master, having with her a daughter who 
Ijort' the same relation to Iicr master's Him. This eondi- 
tli^n of inrjrab undi-r tlii' " sa..Tfd"rn iiis|iiMti.>i> of J 
slavery, was so extensive throughout the South, that a 
mere allusion to this case is sufficient to characterize 
what was general. 

At one time, a man having been injured by jumping 
^m a train while in motion, because he thought he saw 
his master, was brought to the Lewis' by Samuel Fen- 
nock, in the early winter, and I)eing unable to be re- 
moved, had to be cared for uutil spring. He could not 
be sent to a hospital or other public institution since it 
was known the slave-hunters were in waiting, and he was 
therefore ueoeeearily dependant on private nursing. 
During all the time of his stay, no neighbor suspected 
his presence. When able to be removed, he was sent 
to William Still, in Philatlelphia, and thence to Boston, 
where his injured limb was amputated, aud an artificial 
leg provided for him by kind friends there. One day 
he surprised the Sunnyside femily by his reajjpearance. 
This time it was as a consumptive whose days were 
numbered, the waste from his injuries having induced 
that disease. He was sent, with a number of other 


immigrants, to the milder climate of Jamaica, where he 
finally died. 

As the war approached, the bitterness of Southern 
feeling and the hatred of their Northern allies began 
to express itself more freely even than in the days of 
mobs and burnings. " That nest of niggers and traitors 
was to be broken up." Those disposed to be malignant 
never knew just when there were any " niggers" theie, 
who ought to be sent home to slavery ; and to do them 
justice, many of them were kind enough to those whom 
they supposed to be free, but who were in reality fugi- 
tives long resident at the North, but who had been 
cared for at first in one of those very " nests" of traitors. 

When an invasion from the 8outh was expected at 
one period of the war, the home of every abolitionist, 
was on the list for destruction, and there were those 
who vaunted their purpose to jyoint them out to an in- 
vading army. No harm came to any, and their days 
passed on, saddened by anxiety for friends and rela- 
tives in the Union Army, or busily employed for their 
aid and comfort. 

When the duties which called him to the field were 
over, a soldier returned to his wife at the Ijewis home. 
For months he battled with a fever whose seeds were 
planted in the South, but finally he was prostrated. 
Then in feeble health, each morning Elizabeth R. T^ewis 
visited the room where he was nursed by his faithful 
wife. He recovered, but Elizabeth contracted the same 
fever, and in a very short time her life on earth was 
ended. This was the true breaking up of the Sunny- 
side Home. It was never again what it had been. The 
three had trebled the power of each, but the charmed 


unity w» broken. In a fbw yenn Mariiim Iblkmed 
her sister, and now imlj one of the three is left, and the 
home is poBsessed by staageiB. 

That one, Oraoeenna Lewis, now lives in Philadel- 
phia, is a member of the Academy of Natural Scieiioeft» 
and a lecturer upon ornithology and kindred subjaoli. 
Edward D. Cope, the distingoished scientist of Phila- 
delphia, recently said of her: ^She is the only woman 
in Pennsylvania that has done any original work In 
natural science." 


[The following tribute to the home influence of the 

Lewis family is considered worthy of a place in this 
work. — Editors.] 

Who that has shared the hospitality of that home can 
fail to remember the genuine courtesy, the refinement 
and spiritual grace that reigned there? It was the 
home, not only of its own proper inmates, but rich and 
poor found there a welcome — the fortunate and culti- 
vated seeking its congenial atmosphere and the poor 
receiving its bounty. There the fugitive from bond- 
age found a safe harbor or was helped onward to at- 
tain to his uncontested freedom in Canada. 

Happy the children that were brought under the in- 
fluence of this home ! They are men and women now, 
yet in the tangled skein of circumstances out of which 
their lives have been woven, will be found one shining 
thread leading back to Sunnyside, taking its hue per- 
haps from some golden precept learned there, or, better 
still, from the example of noble lives. 

For the benefit of the children of the neighborhood, 
a little library association was formed at Sunnyside. 




nKDEftOBOTTin> nAILBOAJ}. 181 

One evening of each week was devoted by the sister? to 
reading aloud to the assembled children whose wrapt 
attention bore evidence of the interest kindled. Here 
a first delightful acquaintance was made with Mary 
Howitt, Miss Edgeworth, Miss Sedgwick, Lydia Maria 
Child, and other excellent writers for children. Not un- 
frequently the wrongs of the slave were impressed upon 
our young minds by the reading of some touching story 
of bondage. One evening I remember so well when the 
Life of Frederick Douglass was read, and we cried till 
our little hearts were ready to break ! 

Among those whose presence and influence were felt 
at Sunnyside was Mary Townsend, daughter <»f Charity 
and Priscilla Townsend, of Philadelphia, who once ?[K*nt 
sixteen months with the Lewis family. She wa^^ the au- 
thor of " Life in the Insect World," a sister of John K. 
Townsend, the well-known naturalist, and was the lovely 
invalid to whom Grace Green wocxi addressed one of her 
finest poems which she sent with a picture of St. Catha- 
rine, borne by the angels. Mary Townsend exercised a 
wonderfiil influence upon the children by whom she was 
surrounded at Sunnyside. They regarded her as the 
impersonation of all that was pure and lovely, and, in 
childlike faith, adored her as their saint. Her chamber 
in Philadelphia, where she lived with her })arents, was 
the place toward which the footstej)s of many turned 
who looked up to her with a faith as sincere and de- 
voted as that of those children. Mature life and business 
cares only deepened their sense of the ministry of one 
so elevated and ennobled by patiently and cheerfully 
borne suffering — one whose soul bloomed into extraor- 
dinary beauty under its discipline. 


(Born Stzth monfh 14tli, UUL-«ed Tliird montli IMh, IWL) 

Dr. Edwin Fuflsell^ acm of William and Jane Fds- 
eell and nephew of Dr. Bartholomew FiUBelly was a 
member of the Society of Friends, an eameat advocate 
for the abolition of slaveiy, and an able lecturer upon 
that subject He personally aided fugitiTeB in their es- 
cape from bondage, and contributed his means for that 

While not seeking to be aggressiYe through a fond- 
ness for aggression, he was fearless in his encounters 
with the opponents of justice and of human progress. 

After graduating in 1835 at the University of Penn- 
pylvania, and practicing one year in Chester county, he 
removed to Indiana. His anti-«lavery labors continued 
there ai< here. After remaining seven years he returned. 

lie was a warm advocate of temperance and of the 
liberal education and suffrage of women, in behalf of 
which causes he gave much heart-felt and efficient labor. 
He was one of the founders of the Woman's Medical 
College of Philadelphia, and in connection with Dr. 
E11wo(k1 Harvey, of Chester, Pa., almost alone for some 
time kept the institution on iti> feet. He was professor 
in two departments successively for a number of years. 
It was with him purely a labor of love, no salary 
commensurate with the duties of his position being at- 
tached to it. 

The following letter from Dr. Fussel describes certain 
phases of the anti-slavery work so well that it is given 

entire : 

Media, 2d Mo. 2r)th, 1880. 
Dbar Friend: I will endeavor to give a few of the 


facts in relation to the operations of the Underground 
Railroad in Chester county, so fiir as they fell within 
my knowledge. Although I am a Chester county man 
by birth, I only lived in that county for a few years of 
the time when the Underground Kailroad was in full 
operation, but knew of its workings in the West and 
also in Philadelphia. 

I do not think there were signs, grips, signals or 
passes, by which the ftigitives were known, or by which 
they reached in safety the various friends of freedom 
and agents on the route of the Underground Railroad. 
They were generally too well marked by the unerring 
signs of slavery not to be distinguished at once by any 
one that should see them on tneir way or hear them 
speak three sentences. The trains on this remarkable 
road nearly always ran in the night, and its success was 
owing to the darkness, the guidance of the North Star 
and to the earnest souls of the men and women who 
loved freedom, and who recognized the rights of every 
man to be free, and the duty of every one " to remem- 
ber those in bonds as bound with them." 

Those were stirring times in Chester county as else- 
where. We were surrounded by enemies; contumely 
and persecution were our portion ; danger beset us at 
every step in the dark, yet there were few who bore the 
despised name of abolitionist that did not take up the 
work bravely, counting it for gain that they were able 
at any risk, danger, or sacrifice "to open the prison 
doors to them that are bound." My heart leaps at the 
recollection of those earnest souls who were the fearless 
workers in those days and nights of peril ; guiding the 
stricken and hunted out of Egypt into the promised 

The movements were almost always made in the night, 
and the fugitives were taken from one station to another 
by wagon and sometimes on foot ; they consisted of old 
men and young, women, children and nursing babes. 
Sometimes they came singly, sometimes by the dozen. 
In the middle of the night there came a low knock on 


the door, a window was raised sofUj — ** Who ii there T' 
a low, well known voice in reply — " How msaijV* The 
matter b soon arranged. Hidden away in garretB, 
bam, cellar, or bedroom during the next aay, (or some- 
times many days) and then on an auspicious niffht for- 
warded to the next station. Clothing is changed where 
possible, fetters removed when necessary; wounds are 
dressed, hungry bodies fed; weary limos are rested, 
fainting hearts strengthened and then up a^^ain and 
away for Canada, ^me were brave and willing to 
take risks and, having found friends and a home, would 
remain, to be undisturbed and still live in Giester 
county, where they found shelter thirty-five years apo. 
Some were hunted and traced to be moved on again ; 
some, alas, to be overtaken and carried back from 
CHiester county in chains ! 

One of the earliest cases that I saw was an old man, 
moving in pain and evidently very sore. It was at the 
house of Esther Lewis, my wife's mother. I took him 
into the house and hel|)ed him remove his clothing to 
his hips. His back from his neck to his thighs was 
grid ironed with seams from a recent whipping with a 
raw-hide, the cruel instrument of torture cuttmg deep 
into the flesh with every blow. Pressure uj)on the bacK 
with the end of the finger almost anywhere would cause 
pus to flow in a stream. His back was also scarred all 
over with scams and protuberances, the results of former 
whippings of diflerent dates, from which one could read 
the history of his life of suflering as plainly as we read 
the Earth's history by its ctmvoluted strata, burnt out 
craters, and scars on mountains of ui)heaval. The of- 
fense for which this poor man had received this terrible 
whipping, was aoing to see his wije, who belonged to an- 
other master ; he was detected in the crime, susjiended 
by his wrists to an a[)})le tree limb, his feet tied to- 
gether, and the end of a rail placed between to keep his 
body steady, and then the fiendish raw-hide fell with 
brute force for a hundreil times. This man secured his 
e8cai>e to freedom. 


Sometimes the slaves would escape with iron fetters 
upon them placed there to keep them from running 
away, but these were generally removed by " friends by 
the way " before they reached Chester county. I once 
had in my possession a neck ornament taken from a fu- 
gitive, an iron band an inch wide, and more than a 
quarter of an inch thick with three branches each nine 
inches long, turned up at the end. This trinket was 
riveted around the man's neck, and the prongs made it 
impossible for him to lie down except upon a block of 
wood or other hard substance. Ankle ornaments, made 
of heavy iron bands, riveted around the legs, were a 
common device, and often had prongs or chains and balls 
attached. These were so heavy as to wear into the liv- 
ing flesh, and yet, thus equipped, men set off on their 
joumev to the North Star of freedom. 

While living in Philadelphia, we had one day a visit 
from a young lady of our acquaintance. She was not 
accounted an abolitionist, was the daughter of wealthy 
parents living in one of the most fashionable inunsions 
on Arch street. Her mother had a visit from a South- 
ern friend who entertained her hostess with an account 
of her misfortune in the loss of a favorite slave who had 
run away from his kind mistress. She dilated upon the 
the slaves* virtues, his great value and her great loss, 
but she was consoled that all in this world is not 
evil, for she had just heard of his whereabouts in 
West Chester and expected to capture him in a few days. 
The exact place in West Chester and with whom he 
lived was detailed and the time and plAn of his recovery 
were stated by this confiding lady. The heart of the 
young girl was moved ; she knew no one in West Chester, 
but she knew my wife and me — and that we were abo- 
litionists and Chester county people. She went to her 
own room as soon as she. could leave the parlor, wrote 
down the names of persons and j)laces, and hastened to 
our house, her face all aglow with excitement as she 
told her story. We did not know any of the persons 
named in West Chester, but we knew Simon Bernard 


who lived there then, and we knew he was true as tem- 
pered steel. A letter went to him by the next mail; all 
was found as described. The slave-catchers made their 
appearance the next dav, but " the bird had flown ;" it 
was off to freedom on the Underground Rulroad and 
the disappointed Southern lady thought this was but 
a })oor world after all ! 

One noteworthv peculiarity of these fugitive parties 
was that the babies never cried. Was it that slave 
mothers had no time to attend to infimtile wants and 
the children f lund that it did not " pay" to cry, or did 
the timid mothers teach their little ones to tremble and 
be still in horrible fear as do the mother partridges im- 
press their young with dread of the hawk as soon as 
the V are out of the shell ? 

"f his is a large subject, and a thousandth part of its 
miseries and heart-breaks can never be written, but, 
thanks to the Father of the poor, the horror is dead, 
the bloodhound is no longer on the track, the Under- 
ground Railroad is no more. 

Edwin Fussell. 

rebkcca l. fijssell. 

Rebecca Lewis, second daughter of John and Esther 
Tjewis, of West Vincent, Chester county, married in 
January of 1838 Dr. Edwin Fussell. In May of that 
year, just before Pennsylvania Hall in Philadelphia 
was burned, her husband and she moved to Pendleton, 
Indiana. In that State and in Ohio they met all the 
friends of the slave at the stirring meetings held from 
time to time during a residence of more than six years 
there. They were accustomed to go more than a hun- 
dred miles, over roads that would appal the traveler 
of to-day, to attend these meetings, taking with them a 
baby, as all others did in the West then. 

In May of 1843, Dr. Edwin Fussell* came to an an- 


niversary meeting in New York with a large company 
of Ohio abolitioniBts in a monster wagon, built by 
Abram Allen, and called "The Liberator." It was 
made for carrying fugitive slaves. It is believed that 
they called at the house of Daniel Gibbons in I^ancas- 
ter county, and certain that they stayed at the house of 
Dr. Bartholomew Fussell, who then had a school in 
York, Pa. 

At that anniversary meeting the Parent Society in 
New York appointed a hundred conventions to be held 
during the year. The lecturers, as far as remembered, 
were Frederick Douglass, William A. White, Greorge 
Bradbum, Sidney Howard (Jay, James Munroe and 
Charles Lennox Remond. The convention at Pendleton 
had the three first named as speakers. The inliabitauts 
of the town were greatly incensed at the attention paid 
to a " nigger " (Fretlerick Douglass) and esiwcially at 
his being an invited guest at the house of Dr. Fussell. 
The usual remedy for such insults (!) was resorted to. 
The meeting was broken up by a mob which threatened 
the life of the distinguished orator. With the quick 
inspiration of the mother, who felt that even these men 
frenzied as they were with anger, could not harm a 
baby, Rebecca Fussell lifted her infant* and held it be- 
tween Mr. Douglass and his assailants, thus saving him 
for a time. Afterwards, when sepanited from these 
tender protectors, Mr. Douglass was overtaken and 
mercilessly cut and bruised by the mob, who thought 
that they had killed him. He required a lengthened 
period of nursing as he lay prostrated at the house of a 
sister of Dr. Fussell, who resided near the scene of ac- 

*Tlli|i Infant is now Dr. Linnietu Fussell, of Media, Pa. 


tion. The other guesta were sent for saftty to the 
hutieee of other relatives, while the citizen of Pendle- 
ton to a man watched Dr. Fusaell's house all itight as 
the cry " Five dollars for Dr. Ftiesell !" had been start- 
ed when they thought they had killed Frederick 
Douglaw. That mob broke up the Fussells' western 
home. In November of that year they came east in 
time for Dr. Fussell to attend the first decade of the 
formation of the Anti-Slaverj' Society. 

The hatreds of that hour have long passed by, and a 
numher of those engaged in the moh have become good 
citizens. The [lerson who nnrsied Frederick Douglaae 
on that occoeion was Elizabeth, wife of NesI Haitly. 
Recently, in her widowhood, this kind and motherly 
woman received an honored visitor, and the town which 
once drove him &om her midst, and with him some of 
her beat citizens, was not slow to recognize in this same 
orator, the favored official, Frederick Douglass, then 
United States Marshal for the District of Columbia. 
A later experience in Philadelphia with the popular 
hatred of the times, affected a most lovely and innocent 
girljuat blooming into womanhood. With her iriends she 
attended a meeting to listen to the eloquence of George 
William Curtis. Whilst there a shower of vitriol was 
thrown into the audience and it fell chiefly on her fiice 
and drees. She was so terribly burned that for weeks 
her face had to he excluded irom the air wrapped up in 
wet cloths. This was Emma J., eldest daughter of Dr. 
Edwin and Rebecca L, Fueaell. Through the care of 
her parents she came out of the ordeal unacarred and 
her bonnet, riddled with holee, was the only external 
memorial of the fiendish vengeance directed, not against 


her peraonallj, but towards the aflsembly of abolition- 
ists of which she formed a part. This experience, no 
doubt, hastened the maturing of an earnest, deep, and 
thoughtful soul, such as looks out from the picture she 
has left behind her. In early life, this devoted girl 
oflbred her services as a teacher in the Bouth.* In pity 
for her youth and in hope of the richness of her pro- 
mise, J. Miller McKim very kindly, but firmly refused 
her. He explained to the writer that he did it because 
he could not endure to see such a martyr. There is no 
doubt that he was moved by a fittherly kindness which 
interfered to prevent a needless sacrifice, but the refusal 
was most painful to her ; and to her friends, as the large 
tears dropped silently, she excused the author of her 
disappointment by saying he did not know her, nor how 
her heart was in it. 

Soon after this, wounded men from our battles began 
to arrive in Philadelphia. At one time four hundred 
and fifty were sent to a hospital near the residence of 
Dr. Fussell. At midnight, with wine and cordials, 
fieither and daughter made their way to where their help 
was so imperatively needed. As the daughter of a physi- 
cian, with the knowledge and skill which many willing 
nurses lacked, she was everywhere in request, and, for- 
getful of her own needs, she only remembered to supply 
as far as in her power, those of the suffering around 
her. It was not at the South, but amid her own kin- 
dred that she labored until nature would bear no more. 
Then she laid down in death, and the martyr soul rose 
beyond our vision, leaving an agonized memory of what 
she was and what she might have been. We do not 

•At Beaufort, 8. C. 


question wae it wise or well. We only state ttiat it wot, 
and that such were the spirits nurtured by the opposi- 
tion to fllavery. Young persons through an illimitable 
condemnation of an illimitable wrong, rose to the 
height of their power for time, or else they passed to 
eternity, and God knows which was best. We only 
know that the silent dead sometimes influence us more 
than the living. Children yet unborn may be lifted to 
a higher plane by spiritual kinship with Emma J. FiUb 
sell, aged '2'i. 




KoR&is Maris.— Lbwis Peabt.— A Dream.— Em mon Kimbbb.— Sketch 
of Experiences of Rachbi. Habbis.— "Cunninsrham's Rache.'* — 
Abbie Kimber. — Gertrude Kimber Burleigh. 

(Fifth Month 24th, 1808.) 

While Norris Maris lived on the farm of Esther 
Liewis and daughters, he was ever willing and ready to 
assist the fugitive, whether at night when fatigued from 
the day's labor, or in cold, dreary or stormy weather 
when lees benevolent hearts would seek their own pro- 
tection and comfort rather than to endure exposure such 
as that merely to aid a colored stranger in securing lib- 
erty. He never looked upon it as a trouble; scarcely as 
a duty; but simply as a blessed privilege to secure the 
freedom and happiness of even a few individuals of an 
oppressed and down-trodden people. 

In 1854 he purchased a farm near Kimberton, and 
his home at once became another " station," and con- 
tinued as such until the government no longer recog- 
nized the negro as chattel property. 

Slaves came to his place from the eastern shore of 
Maryland, from Virginia and from John Vickers. John 
being a potter, frequently gave them a slip of paper 
containing the words : " Thy friend Pot," and gave di- 
rections how to find the place. In the fall of the year 

*The editors think proper to put upon record hero a statement made 
by Dr. R. O. Smedley to a friend before his death, viz. : that to the in- 
terest aroused in his mind by Norris Maris, who told him of what was 
done by the Lewis family, was owing his determination to give this 
work to the world. 


he impreaBtKl the locality more forcibly upon their ' 
ineinoiy by telling them that after passing a place where 
liiey would amell iximace — which was at Abralioni 
Buckwalt«r'B t-ider press — they were Ui stop at the first 
house by the roadside on the right. After delivering 
the puper to Norria they were free to converse with him 
and family. With all others tbey moiutained profound 

Norris cither took them to Elijah F. PeDnypacker's 
or Lewis Peart'a, or sent them in charge of persons 
living with him. John A. GroB, then a lad, and now an 
ex-Justice of the Pea«c in West Chewtcr, ww one of his 
trustwiirthy I'l induct' irs. FrctjucTitlv lie gayp 'lirections 
how to find the next stations ; and his sou Gieorge, who 
was then a small boy, often drew a map of the road 
ibr them ae &r as £. F. Fennypacker's. 

While Norris lived on the ^m of Graoeauna Lewis 
and sisters, a party of twenty-one came and were c«red 
for by the two families. 

So frequently did tugitivee come and go that Norris's 
children while young looked upoR providing for them 
with the same calm, cheerful, " matter of course" feel- 
ing as they did upon preparing the daily meals, or at- 
tending to the various departments of housekeeping. 

(Bom aeptember 3Mb, 180B.— Died Februuy 14(h, 1882.) 

Lewis Peart, of Xiampeter township, Lancaster coun- 
ty, was one of those quiet, cautious men whoee calm, 
cool determination, serene, deliberate forecast, and un- 
wavering judgment made him a reliable ^ent on this 
line of secret transportation. Slaves were sent to him 
chiefiy from Daniel Gibbons and direct from Columbia. 


From his house they were sent to Lindley Coates, 
Thomas Whitson, Thomas Bonsall and others. Some 
were secreted in the house, and some in the barn. He 
generally took them himself, after dusk, to other sta- 
tions, as it were dangerous for negroes to go when the 
Grap gang was prowling around. When he sent them 
he gave verbal directions. • If pursuers were close be- 
hind, or there was danger, he sent a swift messenger in 
advance to the next station agent to apprise him of the 
necessity of hurrying the fugitives along without delay. 

In the spring of 1844 he removed to Chester county, 
near Valley Forge. Here his work in this line of 
travel was quadruple that which he was called upon to 
perform while in the Lancaster section of the route ; 
slaves were sent to him chiefly by the I^cwis sisters and 
by Norris Maris. Ho always kept j>lenty of horses 
and either took the fugitives, or sent them by Henry 
Richards, to Dr. J. L. Paxson, or the C-orsons, in Nor- 
ristown; also to Charles Adamson, Schuylkill, and to 
James Wood, both of whom were ever willing to assist 
all who came to them. 

Henry Richards owned, and lived on, a lot near 
Lewis Peart's. He and his wife had both been slaves 
in Delaware. 

One night Ijewis saw John A. GrofT, in a dream, 
coming at a distance along the road, with a lot of fugi- 
tives he was bringing from Norris Maris. He watched 
him until he came to the house, when a loud rap at the 
door awoke him. He arose, went down stairs, and on 
opening the door, there stood the very boy with the 
load of slaves he had been watching in his dream. 

He believed that many of the African race possessed 


peculiar susceptibilitieiS, and he had strong faith thtit ill 
their flight from bondage they were frequcnlly guided 
to a re-union with their frieads by the fore* and inten- 
sity of their affections. In corroboration of this he re- 
lated an instance of a party of slavea that were con- 
cealed in a covered wagon at his place ready to be con- 
veyed by hitn to another station. Before starting, a 
colored man from another region came up, and learning 
that there were iiigitives in the wagon, felt a strong and 
jjeeuliar drawing toward it. Going up, he gave a low 
tap on the side, and received from the interior tlie de- 
sired reply, which proved to bo from his mother. After 
long wanderinKS, mid wide separation, they were thus 
re-united. Many instances of a similar character came 
under his immediate observation. 

[Boro mS.—lHed Nlnlh Manlh lat, 18S0.) 

Among thoee who took on early and active part in 
the cause of the slave was Emmor Kimber, of Kim- 
berton, Chester county. His house was a welcome 
refiigc to all who sought his aid. He was a man of su- 
perior JLutelligence, extensive etlucation, firm in his con- 
victions, strict in discipline, and was a " recommended 
minister " in the Society of Friends. In 1818 he estab- 
lished a boarding school for girls, which he conducted 
successfully for a period of twenty years. 

But one incident is related in detail of the assistance 
given by him to a long line of fugitives extending over 
many years. A few are referred to in the accounts of 
others who forwarded them to his place. Among the 
most noted who came under his roof, whose character- 


istic traits and ability distinguished her from all others 
and made an impression upon the memory which a mul- 
titude of other events could never efface, was " Cun- 
ningham's Rache/' who was afterwards long and well 
known in West Chester as Rachel Harris. She was 
tally muscular, slight, with an extremely sensitive ner- 
vous organization, a brain of large size, and an expres- 
sion of remarkable sagacity. She was owned by a man 
in Maryland named " Mort " Cunningham. She passed 
into the hands of Henry Waters, a gentleman of estima- 
ble character, in Baltimore. But whether he bought 
her, or hired her of Cunningham for a })eriod of time, is 
not known. He was in delicate health, and wished 
Rachel to accompany liim and his wife to New Orleans 
as their servant. After remaining a short time he re- 
turned. On the voyage he grew worse, and one night 
when about to die, a fearful storm arose. In relating the 
incident to the Kimber family, witli lier remarkable 
dramatic powers, she depicted the scenes and surround- 
ings with such i)ower8 of speech and expression and 
apposite gesticulation as almost to make them feel they 
were witnessing the scenes in reality. She imi)ersonated 
the howling wind, the tumultuous sea, the lurching ship, 
the bellowing of a cow, frighteneil by tlic storm, and 
finally the dying man in his last moments of earth. 
She described the landing at their place of destination, 
and the appearance of the cow as she stepix^l upon terra 
fimuif and, taking a snuff of the land-breeze, darted 
through the crowd. The captain beckoned to Rache 
and points toward the cow. Rache took in the mean- 
ing at once, and taking advantage of that moment when 
her mistress was occui)ied in thought, she, like the cow, 

196 AJUMNttf tff ntt 

daii»d ilmragh the oitrivd wilih tke qme^^ of a %MiB^ 
and diflappeftredL IfaUng her way n orth m tf d^ Ae 
arrived at the house of Emmor Kimber. The ftoAf 
being in need of a eervant employed her ms eooft, M 
which capacity she served them finr a long tbne fldttr 
Ailly, and was much esteemed. Her slave^MBlie thili 
was Henrietta Waters. 

She had a most thorough 'abhorrence of her fbraler. 
master, "Mort" Ciinnini^iam. 

She married Isaac Ehrris, who had Ibmierly beeti a; 
a slave of William Tkylor, Maryboid. His stave^uutts 
was Joe Lusley. 

After their marriage ihey resided in West C hc sieiP' 
many years ; the latter part of the time they occupied a 
small house on West Miner street, where Dr. Thomas 
Ingram's house now stands. She was ever cheerftil and 
lively, and her clear, strong, musical voice, as she sat in 
her doorway in the evenings and sang, was heard in all 
that part of the town. She was employed by as many 
familes as she could serve to do their weekly washing 
and ironing; and in house-cleaning times her services 
were always in demand. 

A large reward had been offered for her, and a man 
in West Chester learning this, and having a more sel- 
fish love of money than a regard for her liberty, in- 
formed the advertiser where she was living. He came, 
engaged a constable to go with him, proceeded to her 
house, arrested her and took her before Judge Thomas 
S. Bell, to prove her to be his property. While the ex- 
amination was going on in the judge's office, then lo- 
cated at the southeast corner of Church and Miner 
streets, she asked permission to step out into the back- 


yard, which was granted, the officer accompanying her. 
The moment she entered the yard she ran to the board 
fence surrounding it, about seven feet high, and, as if 
assisted by an Unseen Hand, scaled it with the agility 
of a cat, and fled. The constable had not time to seize 
her, for she left him in the quickness of a flash, nor 
could he with his best efibrt climb that fence to pursue 

Rachel sped out the alley and down Miner street to 
High, up. High to Samuel Auge's hat store, down an 
alley and through the hat shop, over a vat of boiling ' 
liquid, frightening the men as though an apparition had 
suddenly darted among them, out through an alley back 
of Dr. Worthington*8 stable, and into the kitchen of 
John T. Worthington's house, where Caleb E. Chambers' 
leather store is now situated. Rushing up to Mrs. 
Worthington she threw her arms around her. 

" For God sake, take me in, save me, my master is 
after me !" cried the poor affrighted woman. 

" Oh ! I guess not," said Mrs. Worthington, trying to 
soothe her. 

" He is ! he is ! they had me, but I got away from 
them. Oh hide me somewhere quickly, do !" 

Her emotion and piteous appeals convinced Mrs. 
Worthington that she was actually pursued, and imme- 
diately she took her up to the garret, hid her in a cubby- 
hole, fastened the door, and returned, Shortly aft^r, her 
husband came home to dinner ; the family took their 
seats around the table, and no sign was manifest that 
anything unusual had occurred. 

The constable, exasperated at her successful escape 
and mortified at his discomfiture, went back into the 


ofiBce and told his tale. Bewildered and amaaed at audi 
an instanteouB flight, the alayeholder and his aide kneir 
not for a moment what to da Gathering their senaeB 
again they determined upon an immediate and vigoroua 
pursuit Bashing to the street they looked both wajBp 
but the fleet-footed Bachel was nowhere to beseen. Not 
an individual was in sight save one old man named 
James Hutchinson. Hurrying up to him they inquired 
if he had seen a colored woman running past these. He 
had seen her, and wondered what she was running after. 
Taking in at once the fiusts of the case that these were 
negro hunters he promptly replied, '' Tes, I did." 

"Which way did she go?" 

"Shiire an' she shot along there like a rabbit/' he 
answered, pointing in the opposite direction to that in 
which she ran. The men being thus misled searched for 
her in that part of town. 

Hearing in the afternoon that something like a phan- 
tom had passed through " Sammy " Auge's hat-shop that 
day, they went thither immediately, examined the alley 
and Dr. Worthington's stable, and passed by John T. 
Worthington's house without calling. The Beneficent 
Hand that guided her to this place still threw the pro- 
tecting mantle around her, and it did not enter the minds 
of lier pursuers to make enquiries there, but meeting 
John on the street, they asked if he had seen or heard 
anything of her. He told them he had not. His wife 
had fortunately revealed nothing to him. 

Eachel had washed for Mrs. Worthington for many 
years, and was beloved by her as a faithful, honest 
woman, and now, in her distress, she could return the 
measure of feithfulness. The colored woman had fre- 


quently said she would rather be cut to pieces than be 
returned to slavery. 

Her husband at that time was working in the brick- 
yard of Philip P. Sharpies. By some means, informa- 
tion reached them of where she was. Philip immedi- 
ately set to work to devise some measures for her re- 
moval from West Chester. Active search was made for 
her during the entire afternoon and evening, and every 
movement of those known to be in sympathy with the 
fiigitive was as closely watched as the movements of an 
army by the scouts of the enemy. It would not be safe 
for an abolitionist in West Chester to attempt to convey 
her from town, for the scrutinizing eyes of the hunters 
were vigorously on the alert. Philip knew, that as 
Benjamin Price's sons were attending the Friends' 
school at the High Street Meeting House, and he drove 
in town on that evening of the week to take them to a 
lecture, the appearance of his carriage standing there 
would excite no suspicion. He visited Benjamin, a quiet 
but faithful Underground Railroad agent who lived two 
and a-half miles from the borough, and the proper ar- 
rangements were made. 

About dusk he drove into the sheds as usual, hitched 
his horses and went into the school-room where the 
pupils were engaged in their evening studies. As the 
hour approached for the lecture, he and his son Isaiah 
took their seats in the carriage while the others went to 
the lecture. 

During this time Rachel was being dressed in male 
attire at Mrs. Worthington's, and at the appointed hour 
walked out of the house with her husband, attracting no 
more attention than two men would ordinarily do, and 

went directly to the carriage at the sheds, arriving thero 
a few minutes after Benjamin and Isaiah had entered. 

" Is that you, boys?" was inquired from within. 

" Yes." 

" Then hop right in ; we ebnll be late at the lecture, 
and we have to go on an errand first." 

The darkuees of the night, and a driizling rain de- 
scending fevored their eluding tlie observation of any 
who might be on the watch. They started northward 
out High street " to attend to an errand first," then 
turning to the right at the road below Taylor's brewery 
they drove along a by-way to the State road, and then 
procceiled directly on their courw through Norris- 
town to the residence of a relative, William H. Joho- 
Bon, in Buckfi county, about forty-five miles from West 
Chester, arriving there about ten o'clock next day. 
They were warmly received, and the fugitives were taken 
into the care of the family. Being so fer from West 
Chester, and so little danger of their being discovered 
there, they remained for a considerable time, and then 
removed to Canada. 

This statement of how she was conveyed from West 
Chester, differing from that which is given in the History 
of Chester county, requires an explanation. 

The account of her escape from the officer, and her 
flight fi^m Judge Bell's to John T. Worthington's 
house, was given by Samuel M. and Cyrus Painter, and 
others. Her entrance into Worthington's house, her 
rushing up to Mrs. Worthington and pleading for pro- 
tection, and the way in which she was secreted, was 
related by Mrs. Worthington herself. She could not 
remember who among the abolitionists of the borough 


she spoke to about bringing a carriage for her, but 
thought it was Samuel M. Painter, as he conveyed more 
from West Chester than any other person. He said he 
did not remember taking her, that he took so many he 
could not now separate one incident entirely from 
another, unless something at the time made a special 
impression upon his mind ; but if he did take her, it was 
to John Vickers*, as it was there he took all. Not being 
able to ascertain anything different from all enquiries I 
could make, I accepted that as most likely to be 

In my subsequent gleaning of incidents I asked Capt. 
Isaiah Price for some reminiscences of his father's 
Underground Railroad work. Among thcni he related 
the incident of their taking Rac*hel Harris away while 
her pursuers were searching for her. This could be 
accepted then as correct, and was the first positive in- 
formation received. 

Rachel afterwards wrote to Hannah Jeffries and others 
in West Chester, saying she was contented and happy. 

The slaveholder and his assisUmts continued their 
search in the borough for two days, and then abandoned it. 

For the part Mrs. Worth ington took in the grand 
success, her friends for a long time humorously called 
her " the little abolitionist." 

Some time during their sojourn at Johnson's Rachel 
and her huband were met by Dr. Bartholomew Fussell 
and Graceanna Lewis. As was his wont this kind hearted- 
man soon entered into conversation with her, and in a 
few minutes discovered that she had once been a pupil of 
his during his residence in Maryland many years before. 
At the moment of recognition she sprang up, overwhelm- 

iDp him with her luanifcHAttHiis of delight, crying : "You 
Dr. FuHHfll? You Dr. Fuwell ? Dcm'lj-oareroetnlierme? 
['lu Kachc— CuoniDgham'a Racbc, iIowd st Bush Kiver 
Neok." Thpn receding » view him better, she ex- 
dniinoii, " Lnrdbleaedcchihl! bow he is grown ! " The 
Dfctor 1)y this time had bec-ome quit« corjiulenl. 

H\w, then recouut«d her wretched experiences in 
Biavf'ry whiif! the property of " Mori " Cuaningham, 
who hod cooio to cspture her, and rehoirvcd the tnvi- 
denU of her escape in her naturally dramatic style, and 
said that fVoin her hiding plaee in the garret ehe h< 
Uie men hunting for her in the alley below, 

Gr».TiiiiTiii Lewi*, .=hi.rlly jifttr this ever 
private company, was impersonating Rachel in her 
description of her escape from West Chester, without 
telling who the fiigitive was, when Abbie Kimber, recog- 
nising the description of the woman, and her perfectly 
natural manner of dramatizing scenes and incidents, at 
once exclaimed : " That's our Rache." 

(Bom 1804.— Died third Honlh 22d. 1871.) 

Abigail Kimber, daughter of Emmor Kimber, was a 
woman of superior mind and excellent traits of charac- 
ter. At the early age of fourteen she became a teacher 
in her father's school, and soon exhibited rare capabilities 
for her vocation, Her quick perceptions enabled her 
to comprehend without an eflort the intellectual needs 
of her pupils, and she applied herself with diligence 
and tact to supply the helpa which each required. Her 
high standard of worth, her own example and her en- 
thusiastic love for her pupils inspired them with a 


proper idea of their duty, and no one, it is said, ever 
left the school that did not carry with her grateful re- 
collections of the care and kindnesH of Miss Abbie, as 
well as a warm admiration of her miiK^rior intellect and 
noble nature. She continued in the profc^^^ion of teach- 
ing for thirty years. 

At a very early period of the auti-slavory cause she 
enrolled herself among its advocates, and from that 
hour she labored with rare devotion and activity in its 
behalf. At dificrent i)eriod8 she filk^l the offices of 
President, Vice President, and Recording Secretiiry of 
the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, and for 
many years she was a member of the Executive Com- 
mittee of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. 

In those days when Government officials gave up 
anti-slavery meetings to the mercy or the fury of mobs, 
and abolitionists walked to their assemblies and sat 
therein, solemnly, as confronting mortal i)eril, she never 
&ltered, nor shrank from the duty of nuiintaining free- 
dom of speech, and demanding freedom for the slave. 

She was a delegate to the World's Convention which 
met in London in the summer of 1840. 

To what great extent the influence of her example 
and the noble aims and purjK)ses in life she instilled 
into the minds of her })upils have spread throughout 
the world as they lefl the school-room, and in their turn 
became teachers and mothers, or to what extent she 
swaye<l the sceptre of good over matured minds in thcwe 
days when it required a vast amount of heroism and 
moral stamina in woman to come publicly to the fnmt 
and advocate the rights of humanity, no pen c4in tell, 
nor mind can adequately conceive. 



sister of Abigail Eimber, was also endowed wHh npe- 
rior intelloctual gifts and moral force of cliaiaoter. EBw 
became the wife of that able ^»Bde of aati-fllaTeiyand 
temperanoe, so well known and beloved througlMMtf 
Cheater ooimty , Charles G. Bnrldgh. I append a oom- 
munication sent me hy one of ber fiiends and a fbnner 
pupil of their school. 

Oertnide K. Burleigh, youngest daughter of Emmor 
and Suaanna Kimber, was horu at Kimbertcn, Chester 
county, Pennsylvania, on the 14th of Juue, 1816. 

In a cultured home, she was remarkable for her 
sprightlinees and power of eotertainiug others. In this 
she had a life-long training. 

Her mother, a member of the Chester county Jacksen 
family, was characterized by such sweetness of disposi- 
tion that everybody loved " Friend Susan," and 
throughout the wide circle of the pupils educated at the 
Kimbertcn Boarding School, few were greater &T0rite8 
than she. The rare qualities of her nature reappeared 
in her daughters as an active benevolence which had for 
its object the welfare of others under all the circum- 
stances of the life which surrounded them. Gertrude 
was a most loyal friend, noble and high-minded to a 
superlative degree, exercising a i>owerful influence on 
the pupils of the school. As a matter of course, she 
became an enthusiastic anti-slavery woman, and when 
in the height of his splendid oratorical powers, C. C. 


Burleigh was welcomed to her fiither*s residence, mated 
natures were found. 

In writing concerning her, William Llojd Garrison 
says : " Mrs. Burleigh, long before she became a wife 
and mother, warmly espouses! the cause of the enslaved 
millions at the South, and throughout the long and 
eventful struggle for the overthrow of slavery, remained 
fiiithful to her early convictions and chwrfuUy accepter! 
whatever of private ostracL<«m or public oblixjuy at- 
tended those not ashamed to be known as al>oHtionists 
of an uncompromising stiimp. In whatever she 
did she was sure to l)e thoroughly persuadeii in her 
own mind, and to act independently of all con- 
siderations of selfishness or worldly exi)ediency. She 
had rare elements of character, wliich, as opportunity 
presented, fitted her to be a true heroine ; one afraid of 
no deprivation, disposed to shrink from no cross, and at 
all times prepared to decide for herself what was right 
and where the path of duty lay. I shall always cherish 
her memory and remember with pleasure that she 
place<l me on the list of her closely att^iched friends." 

She died at Florence, Mass., on the 2Bth of August, 
1869, in the fifly-fourth year of her age, mourneti and 
loved by the comnuinitv in which she had zealously la- 
bored. Her true worth was failly understood and most 
highly appreciated by tht^se co-workers, and at her 
funeral, Florence Hall was so densely crowded that all 
could not find seats, some of the discourses being ex- 
ceedingly appropriate and touching. 


Elijah F. PKinrTPACKEB.—Inoidento.~FtoenUi8e.— Member of htgi^ 
lature.— MMTiage.— JEbiten Mlnistry.—JosspB P. Scabuett.— 
flavcd Life of Dickerson Goraaoh al Chrlstluia.— Arrested.— Ac- 
quitted.— Tbomas Lkwu.— Tbohas Rbad.— Inoidente.— DMilel 
K(MM. — Amosinff Incident at Oompany.— Public Ofrinion.— I>b. 
Jacob L. Pajuon.— AesistB Parker, nnkney and Johnson. — ^Inter- 
esting Colored Family. 


(Bom Eleventh Mo. (Nov.) 29th, 18M.) 

Of the many hundreds of fugitives whom Elijah F. 
Pennypacker assisted on their way to freedom, no record 
was ever kept. And of the hundreds of incidents rela- 
tive to their passage through his hands, a distinct recol- 
lection of the entire circumstances connected with one 
case ajMirt from others was not so engraven upon the 
mind as to be related with accuracy after the lapse of 
many years. The aid given to each one of this poor 
oppressed portion of the human family, as they indi- 
vidually applied for assistance, was the work of the 
moment prompted by the spirit of benevolence, of right, 
of justice, and was only fixed in memory as the con- 
sciousness of a good act done leaves its impress upon the 
mind for time and for eternity. 

The cause which they almost always said induced 
them to seek freedom northward was the natural inborn 
love of liberty in connection witli a sense of the tyranny 
and injustice of the slave system. Ill treatment was 
ofttimes an exciting cause. The traflSc in slaves be- 

g ^ jWi^/iW^ 


tween the Northern Slave States and those bordering 
on the Gulf, was always a terror to the slaves. They 
had a deep and intense horror of being " sold to go to 
Georgia," as they expressed it. If they saw a slave- 
trader, or overheard some remarks which induced them 
to believe there was to be a sale, their only safety was 
in escape. This they effected by night, starting on foot, 
or taking their master's horses and wagon, and going as 
far as they could toward the North Star by morning, 
then turning the horses loose, secreting themselves by 
day and traveling at night. The many expedients re- 
sorted to by them for escape, which they related to 
Elijah, he has remarked, would fill a volume. 

There was generally an influx of fugitives after the 
Christmas holidays. They took advantage of the privi- 
leges given them at that season, many having passes 
given them by their masters to attend meeting, or to 
visit some distant relatives, which they used as pass- 
ports to freedom. 

Men frequently said that if an attempt were to be 
made by their masters to reclaim them it would involve 
a question of " liberty or death." 

One stalwart man who had lived in that vicinity 
many years went back to Maryland after the Emanci- 
pation Act to visit the old " quarters," the abode of his 
early years. While it was to him a matter of special 
interest to view the old slave-buildings, the fields where 
he and others had toiled under the austere commands 
of a driver, where weary backs and limbs had accom- 
plished tasks under the daily crack of the whip, and 
where the soil had been watered by the tears of sorrow- 
ing hearts whose children, parents, companions or loved 


ones had been sold and driven off, they knew not where, 
he could not say with Woodworth: 

** How dear to this heart are the scenes of my ohildhood 
When fond recollection presents them to view !** 

But now how marked the change! The prayen of 
the bondman and the prayers of Northern abolitioniBta 
had been answered. The quondam slaye stood there a 
free man, and all around were free. 

The residence of Elijah F. Pennypaeker was the 
most eastern station in Chester county, and the point 
where the three most important routes converged. One 
having its starting point in York, Adams and other 
counties westward along the line bordering on Mary- 
land and Virginia, pitssing through Columbia, Lanca«»- 
ter and the northern part of Chester county ; and 
another starting along the line of Delaware and Mary- 
land, pas8Uig through the middle of the county and 
joining the former at John Vickers, whence they passe<l 
on as one by way of Kimberton; and the third starting 
from the same points as the latter and passing thro^igh 
Kennet and WilHstown. 

From Elijah F. Pennypacker*8 the fugitives were sent 
toPhiladeli>hia, Norristown, Quakertown, Reading and 
to various other stations, as occasion demanded. TIiov 
crossed the Schuylkill river into Montgomery county at 
diflorent points. Some crossed the bridge at Phwnix- 
ville, st)me at Pauling's, and some in paddle canoes at 
Port Providence. It is recalled to mind that in one 
year forty-three were passed over within a period of two 

From this the reader may form some idea of the 
amount of busine^ss conducted at this station, be^iriug in 


mind however, that all fugitives were not passed along 
these three lines. Hundreds were sent to the many 
branch stations along interlacing routes, and hundreds 
of others were sent from Wilmington, G)lumbia, and 
stations westward direct to the New England States and 
Canada. Many of these passed through the hands of 
the Vigilance Committee connected with the anti- 
slavery office in Philadelphia. 

Elijah kept a large two-horse dearborn in which he 
took loads of fugitives by day and by night. If they 
reached his house in the night, and there was urgency 
to proceed, they were taken on without delay. In case 
they were taken in day-time, the women and children 
were placed in the rear end of the wagon, the children 
covered up, and the women disguised by wearing veils. 
The men walked singly so as not to excite suspicion. 
They were sensible that their security from arrest de-* 
pended upon their getting away from the Slave States 
as fast as possible. 

One man arrived at Elijah Pcnnypacker's, leaving 
his wife behind in slavery. He remained and worked 
until he had acquired sufficient means to obtain her es- 
cape. Their reunion took place at Elijah's. They then 
went to Canada. They wrote back some time afterward 
stating that they were doing well, and acquiring pro- 

A remarkably kind, obliging and noble man, who 
had escaped from Maryland, arrived here and remained 
two years. He went to school two winters and made 
progress in learning. When the Fugitive Slave Law 
was passed he went to Massachusetts. The climate not 
agreeing with him, he became consumptive and died. 


JuHt after the pawBge of thu Fugitivo Sli»v« I^an, 
twelve fugitives vfho had bwn reeidinj; temporarily is I 
Klijah F. F^nuyiiHcker'B vicinity, suiumarily left. Ha 
t'Mik n two-horw dearborn load of women aud childreu ta ' 
Philadelphia and the men wnlke<I. From there they 
Di'atlere*! in different dirceti»ii!i, miiis ti) New York, 
Bonie to SlofSBchiuietts and eomo l« Canada. 

One time when Elijah's mother was staying with her 
diiiight<T, Catharino lUnewnll, two fiigitiv<« c»mc tfaore 
and gilt riTfrcAhtiioiits and wont on. They felt they 
iiwn«<l themselves and walked off from their reputed 
iiiiicter. Soon aflcr tliey left two in^n ranie and in- 
quired for them. Hie mother said they were not there, 
knowing at the same time they were not &r away. 
After a little parley she invited the pursuers to stop 
^long enough to have some cuflee and refreshmenta. 
They objected and wished to hurry on. She inaisted 
with such friendliness and hospitality that they eventu- 
ally said : " Well, madam, we are hungry and will be 
glad of some coffee." Gifted with the power of being 
entertaining she used it to good advantage on that oc- 
casion in detaining the two men while John Rioewalt, 
Catharine's husband, who carried on merchant milling 
at Moore Hall mill, took the fugitives across the river 
to a place of security. 

Elijah F. Pennypacker owns and resides on part of 
a large form formerly owned by his father in Schuylkill 
township, Chester county. He was bom at the mansion 
place of that form Eleventh mo. (November) 29th, 1804. 
His parents were both of Cierman descent, aud in early 
married life were connected with the Society of Men- 
Donites. Later in life they connected themselves with 


the Baptist denomination, and were earnest and de- 
voted members of that sect of Christian?. They were 
both very exemplary and circumspect in their life ; felt 
an interest in the temperance and auti-slaverr move- 
mentjs, and in the success of the workings of the Under- 
ground Railroad. 

His mother was remarkable for wisdom and an in- 
tuition or insight into questions or movements wiiich 
relate to the present and their bearing upon the fiiture. 
This innate quality of mind was transmitted in a large 
d^ree to her son. 

He was a member of the State I^egislature four ses- 
sions—that of 1831-2, 1832-3, 1834-0 and 1835-6, was 
elected secretary of the Canal Board, Second mo. (Feb- 
ruary) 1836, and continued in that position till Second 
mo. 1838, when he was appointc»d by Governor Kitner, 
a member of the Canal Board. 

In Second mo. 1839, he retired from iK>litical life, 
and soon thereafter engaged heartily in the anti-slavery 
cause, and also in the Tcnii>erance movement. His 
mind was so con8titute<l as always to be directed toward 
reform. His fine organization was such as to synij)a- 
thize with the suffering and the oppressed wherever 
found, or from whatever cause. His great and sincere 
object in life was to strive by i)recept and example to 
make men purer, wiser, better. 

" For njankind are one in Hpirit, and an instinct heara along: 
Bound the ear'h's electric circle the swift flash of right or wrong: 
Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast frame, 
Through its ocean sundered fibres feels the gush of joy or shame, 
In the grain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim.** 

During his connexion with the affairs of the State 
he was much interested in its improvements by railroads 


and cauale, in a general system of education by com- 
nidu M-'hook, the currency question and the protective 
syetein, And now, when the jieriod of seventy-eight 
cydee marks the point he has attained in the pathway 
of time, it is a satisfaction, while looking back through 
the vista of years to feel and know that all the public 
positioDS lie held were voluntary ofleringB — the gift of a 
people who acknowledged and appreciated his intelli- 
gence, sincerity and marked probity. It was sfdd of 
him by one who was intimate with his private and pub- 
lic life, " that mentally and morally, aa well as in phy- 
sical stature, he stood head and shoulders above the ma- 
jority of others." 

He has been twice married. His present wife, Han- 
nah, is a daughter of Charles and Mary CorsoQ Adam- 
son. His first wife, Sarah W. Coates, to whom he was 
married in the Tenth rao. 1831, descended from Moaea 
Coates, one of the earliest settlers in that vicinity, and 
who purchased a tract of one hundred and fiily acres in 
1731. Both his wives were in &il\ sympathy and ac- 
cord with him in assisting fugitives, and both were mem- 
bers of the Society of Friends. He united himself with 
that religious organization about a year a:^r his retire- 
ment irom political life. 

About two years after his admission to membership 
he obeyed the Mast«r's call to the ministry. Being a 
radical and progressive thinker his communications re- 
ceived the approbation of those who united with him in 
the sincere and earnest support of every reform calcu- 
lated to advance the weliare of humanity, while they 
were as heartily disapproved by those who were con- 
tent with 


'* Trendins the paths thetr aires before them trod/* 

and who looked upon reforms as heterodox innovations 
and fimatical errors. 

During the course of a sermon one First-day (Sun- 
day) morning, in Philadelphia, in 1848, he said : " My 
mind has been occupied with the misdirection of the 
human mind, by which man's veneration and devotion 
are excited toward organizations and conventional laws, 
rather than the truth of God in his own soul ; and men 
are led to tolerate and patronize legalized and popular 
crimes, while they denounce individual sins." He then 
expatiated upon the evils of war, slaver}^ and intempe- 
rance. This was too much for some of the staid and 
conservative Friends, who would rather let God remove 
these curses to humanity " in His own good way and 
time " than to bring the subject into the church and 
make themselves active agents in His hands for the 
removal of those specified crimes. An uneasiness was 
manifest among some of the Friends when one arose 
and requested him to take his seat. Another, speaking 
commendably of his remarks, and of his being a mem- 
ber of that Quarterly Meeting, hopeil he would be 
allowed to proceed without interruption. Another 
Friend " relieved his mind " by requesting the speaker 
to sit down, and then in religious accent counselled 
patience among the members, which adNnce, remarked 
the reporter, seemed very much needed on the " high 
seats." At this several members reciucsted him to go 
on. A womT?n then fainted, and amidst the confusion 
the meeting was broken up by some of the elders. 

A correspondent of one of the pai)ers in commenting 
upon this transaction said : " Thus, a man universally 


beloved and revered bv those who know him, for his 
gentleness of spirit, his int^rity of character, benevo- 
lence of heart, and soundness of mind ; an irreproach- 
able member of that society, whose pure life is an orna- 
ment to his professson — ^was silenced in his ovm society. 
Had Elijah F. Pennypacker spoken thus in any politi- 
cal, social, or religious meeting in Phoenix ville, (near 
which he resides), we believe he would have been heard 
with resj)ect, for however men may differ with him in 
opinion, they there know and esteem him too well to 
lay a finger upon those lips which always breathe bless- 
ings and speak words of love." 

He does not believe in mystifying reli^on, but in 
making it so plain and applicable to our every-day 
transactions in life that " he that runs " may compre- 
hend its meaning, its laws and its requirements. He 
recognizes as a fundamental principle, that the whole 
universe of mind and matter is governed by fixed and 
immutable law ; that God is as immanent in a grain of 
sand or the lower orders of nature, as in the highest 
which is the mind of man : 

** Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, 
Ah full, as perfect, in a hair as heart." 

lie does not inculcate the belief that the divinity of 
Jesus was super-natural, but that his divinity was natur 
ral — the gift of the Creator (differing in measure) to 
every rational being — " the true Light which lighteth 
every man that comcth into the world :" or as Greorge 
Fox succinctly termed it, " the highi wUhin.*^ 

He has lived to see the national sin, slavery, which 
disturbed the fraternal relationship of the country, 
abolished ; he maintains with wonted vigor his testi- 


mony against the legislative sanction of liquors as a 
beverage ; he is desirous of promoting that policy be- 
tween governments of settling differences by arbitration 
instead of the sword, that the finer sensibilities of man 
may not be blunted, nor his fiery passions inflamed by 
scenes of war and bloodshed; that the love of the 
Father may unite His children upon earth into the one 
great brotherhood of man, and that Peace may yet 
weave her olive branch around every nation's sceptre. 

(Born Third Month 15th, 1821.— Died Seventh Month 14th, 1882.) 

Joseph P. Scarlett, Philadelphia, resided during the 
earlier period of his life on the farm of his mother, 
Elizabeth Scarlett, in Robinson township, Berks county, 
six miles from Morgantown on the Chester county line. 

As far back as 1838 slaves were sent to their place, 
chiefly by James Williams — " Abolition Jim" — of Sads- 
bury, Chester county. Williams gave them a paper 
containing the names Waynesburg, Morgantown, 
Joanna Furnace, and Scarlett's. Arriving at the latter 
place they were cared for, and assisted on their way to- 
ward Canada. No especial plan was taken to secrete 
them. Being so far from the Border Slaves States, their 
section was rarely visited by slavehunters. 

Fugitives frequently hired with farmers in the neigh- 
borhood. One named Washington lived with Elizabeth 
Scarlett a number of years. Yearning to see his wife 
and children again, and if possible have them with him, 
he went back to his former home in Virginia, hoping to 
be able by some means to succeed in bringing them 
North. He saw them, but before he could consummate 


any plans for their escape he was captured and sold to 
go South, am! never saw his family again. He was kept 
at hard work and i-losely watched, but finally succeeded 
in getting away, and made a safe journey to Daniel 
Gibbons. After resting awhile he proceeded on the bal- 
ance of his way to Elizabeth Scarlett's, having been ali- 
ment about six years. He wae now becoming an old 
man, but was iudustrious and honest, and was given 
constant employment by the neighboring farmers among 
whom he lived the remainder of hie days. 

After Joseph P. Scarlett moved into Lancaster county 
he freijuently gave employment and asaisUiuce to fugi- 
tive, but did Ui)t pntTHge in llie work as a regular agent. 

He was living near Christiana at the time of the riot 
in that place. His interest in the colored people and 
the excitement occasioned by the firing led him to the 
spot during the contest to see what was happening. Ar- 
riving at the place where Dickerson Gorauch lay 
wounded, and seeing some of the colored men who were 
frenzied by the fight pressing forward with vengeful 
spirit to kill him, he placed himself between them and 
Gorsuch, and advised them against taking his life. 
Having great respect for Scarlett and a warm attach- 
ment to him as their friend, they yielded to his luoni- 
tiona and left their enemy in his protection. Yet, not- 
withstanding he thus calmed the fury of the n^roes in 
the intensest heat of their excitement, and saved the 
life of one of their antagonists whom they sought to de- 
stroy, the very fact of his being on the ground at the 
time of the conflict and of his being a well known 
abolitionist who would not under auy circumstances as- 
sist in arresting a fti^tivc and remanding him to 


slavery, were sufficient grounds for rewarding his kind- 
ness by arrest and imprisonment upon charge of aiding 
and abetting armed resistance to the enforcement of the 
Fugitive Slave Act, constituting as they alleged, High 
Treason against the United States. 

Accordingly, a few days after the riot, a constabulary 
force of twelve men came to his place at Cooperville, 
arrested him, and with Castner Hanway, Elijah Lewis, 
and thirty-five negroes arrested under same charge, he 
was cast into Moyamensiug prison in Philadelphia, and 
confined there ninety-seven days. After the acquittal 
of Castner Hanway, he and the others were released 
without a trial, but were immediately taken to the jail 
at Lancaster to answer at the next term of court to the 
charge of riot and murder. He was released on bail. 
At the opening of next court the jury, as stated in the 
chapter on the Christiana tragedy, ignored the bills, and 
all were set at liberty. 


The home of Thomas Lewis, Robinson township, 
Berks county, was one of the stopping places of the 
fugitive on his way to Canada, after leaving the border 
of Chester county. Many were either brouglit or sent 
by Joseph Haines, near Christiana, while many came 
by way of other stations. Some remained a few days to 
work and earn money. One, while sawing wood in the 
cellar, observed his master ride by. As soon as he was 
out of sight the colored man left. 

Slaves came, showed papers, or gave some signs of 
recognition, were fed, cared for in whatever way was 
necessary and passed on. All was done in such a quiet, 
smooth way that persons about the house seldom ob- 



Hervinl nn}' tlifTereuoc between them anii other voh)red 

A party was brought there one very wet day by two 
colored men from Joseph Hames. At dinner some 
curiosity wae manifest aa to their character and purpose. 
SeetDg this they said tliey were moving and that the 
other part went by wuy of another road. 

They certainly were moving. 

(Born Second Montb. 17W.— Died Ninth Month 23d. tSU. } 

In 1841, Thomas Read lived iu a retired place aloDg 
the Schuylkill, four miles west of NorrisUtwa. The 
fugitives he received were chiefly men. who ihllowiug 
directions ^ven them, came in the night. Some were 
brought. He sent many to J. Miller McKim, at the 
anti-slavery office in Philadelphia, William Still being 
generally the receiving agent. Others were sent in 
various directions. Some remained and worked for him 
when required. 

At one time four came, three of whom were lai^e, 
intelligent young men, the other was an old man who 
was making his second effort at escape. Hifi first at- 
tempt was successAil, and be had enjoyed his freedom for 
some years, when he was betrayed by a colored man and 
reclaimed by his master. These four men were, there- 
fore, very suspicious of persons of their own color in 
the North. They remained for some time and worked 
for Thomas Read ; but one day a colored man appeared 
who said he was a fugitive, and showed numerous scars, 
but from his actions was suspected of being a spy. The 
four men threatened him with instant death if they dis- 
covered his story was not true. He lefl the next night, 



but so frightened were the real fugitives that they were 
anxious to leave the place. They were at once for- 
warded further North. 

A mulatto came and remained during the winter. 
Toward spring he became frightened at rumors that 
slavehunters were on his track, and he was anxious to 
make his way to Canada. He wa^ taken by Thomas 
Read to Philadelphia. The day was very cold, and he 
wore his coachman's overcoat of a peculiar light color. 
When nearing the city he grew apprehensive that the 
color of his coat might identify him too easily, and he 
insisted upon removing it and riding in his shirt sleeves, 
which he did, bearing the cold without a murmur ; be- 
lieving that his ruse made the chances of detection less. 
He reached Philadelphia safely, and was forwarded to 
more Northern agents. 

In 1848 Thomas Read moved to Norristown, and the 
fugitives received there were mostly women and children. 
For years they were forwarded to QuakertowTi, but this 
system was too laborious, the distance being twenty-two 
miles, and the driving to be done at night. To change 
this a few abolitionists organized to unite their efforts 
in securing money to forward fugitives by night trains 
to the anti-slavery office in Philadelphia. The prime 
movers in this were Rev. iSaniuel Aaron, Dr. Wm. 
Corson, Isaac Roberts, John Roberts and others, whose 
names are not now recalled. The fugitives were housed 
by an old colored man named Daniel Ross. He started 
out with his basket and gathered up clothes, money and 
provisions, provided by this abolition organization. He 
was questioned at times by Mary R. Roberts, daughter 
of Thomas Read, whether or not all were fugitives ; were 

220 niFTORY OF THE ^H 

there not Bome impostere among so many? "Oh, no, 
ma'am," be replied. " I'd know deiu ole M&ryland clo'es 

After the piieeage of the Fugitive Slave Law tJie 
determined members of the organization still persevered 
in their eflbrW to aid the fiigitivee to escape. Others 
faltered and knew not what to do. 

At an evening com|)any where several of these &lt4^r- 
iug ones were in attendance, two young school giria 
were present and listened to the conversation. The 
thought occurred to them f> test by actual experience 
the standing of those prewnt. Leaving the room upon 
some pretext they §hortIy ailer knocked at the kit<JM9i 
door, and closely disguised and muffled, said they were 
fugitives, and asked for help. This brought the question 
home to the men present, " Would they give aid? " A 
long parley ensued, the girls being left in the kitchen. 
It was finally decided to take them to a neighboring 
house and, as soon as a wagon could be procured, two 
of the men volunteered to drive them to Quakertown. 
By this time the girls were so full of laughter at the 
success of their plan, that when passing close to a light 
their emotions were discovered to be other than those of 
grief and fright, and the disguise was detected. But 
the joke was so serious to some of the men that they 
could not laugh at it The girls were severely repri- 
manded ; yet all concerned were glad at heart that they 
had discovered how those present stood in regard to the 
Fugitive Slave Law. 

At a convention held in the old Court-house in Nor- 
ristown shortly after the enactment of that law, a com- 
mittee of prominent anti-slavery advocates was appoint- 


ed to circulate petitions for signatures asking for a re- 
peal of the law. Thomas Read's daughter Mary was 
appointed one of the committee. Being young at the 
time, she thought she had but to present the petitions, 
and names would willingly be put thereto. But she was 
astonished at the almost universal reception she met 
with. Doors were shut in her face as soon as she 
made known her desire. People insulted her, snubbed 
her, and would not talk with her on the subject. One 
minister, however, thought it his duty to talk with her, 
and pointed out the wrong she was doing ; " nay ! she 
was committing a crime, for laws were made to be up- 
help, and not to be opposed." His morality took the 
law without question, and he wanted her to do the 
same. Needless to say she did not. 

While this describes the general public opinion, there 
were many benevolent individuals who had not courage 
to express their secret convictions, yet were willing to 
aid the abolitionists by pecuniary contributions. John 
Augusta, an old colored resident of that place, and 
an important attache of the Underground Railroad said 
that many citizens came to him and remarked : " John, 
I know you must be needing considerable money to for- 
ward passengers on your road. When you need con- 
tributions come to me, but do not let my name be men- 
tioned as one contributing." 

Norristown first became a station of the Underground 
Railroad abiut 1839, the year of the first meeting of the 
Anti-Slavery Society at that place. The number of fugi- 
tives who passed through there, assisted by thoir friends, 
increased from year to year — as many as fifteen or twenty 
being occasionally concealed within the town at one time. 

222 HMdoa r or 

A very strcmg and bitter Momamtj cxHied there 
agaiiiift the abolitiaiii8t» eqwcimllj in the evlj dajB of 
the anti-ftlarery agitation ; and for indiridnab to make 
any active eflbrte in bdialf of ingitiTeB vae to incur 
^*iieral denunciation and social oBtraciBm. Malignant 
threatii were made, but never cairied into eflect The 
furthest extent of a mob demonstration vns die atoning 
of the Baptist Meeting House and the breaking op cf 
an antiHsIavery meeting which was being held there. 
This was the only building in which diese meetings 
were held in the early part of the work in that town. 

In later times when public sentiment was growing 
Ktron^ in favor of emancipation, very many, even 
among public ofRcialH, were hearty sympathizere and 
silent heliK»rH. The positions which they held, depend- 
ing upon pul)Iic fluffrage or popular favor, nuide it 
fxilitic for them to enjoin secrecy when bestowing aid, 
and to make their sentiments known to but few, even of 
the well known and trusted abolitionists. 

(ISoni June 17th, 1812.) 

As public sentiment in Norristown was inimical to 
the anti-slavery (^ause until the exigencies of the times 
and the acknowledged justness of universal liberty 
throughout the country made it jK)[)ular, the harboring 
of fugitives in that place was particularly hazardous. 
Yet among those who dared to d<» it, who was openly 
known to do it, and who built a secret apartment in his 
house for that esjKjcial purjiose whicli it was almost 
impossible to discover, was Dr. Jacob L. Paxson. In- 
dependent and fearless, he did his own thinking, kept 



his own counsel, took his own course, and concealed, 
fed, and forwarded hundreds that even the anti-slavery 
people knew nothing of. He kept a horse and wagon, 
and took them himself to William Jackson, Quakertown, 
Jonathan McGill, Solebury, and William H. Johnson, 
Buckingham, all in Bucks county. He entertained 
abolition speakers after the passage of the penal slave 
law, when they were refused admittance to the hotels. 

One evening when Grarrison, Burleigh and several 
others were at his place, Samuel Jamison who owned a 
large manufacturing establishment adjoining, came in 
and informed him of a conversation he had just over- 
heard in a small assemblage of men, concerning a plot 
which was being laid to bum his house if he did not 
dismiss his guests. 

" Tell them to burn it," said Paxson, " and scatter the 
ashes to the four winds : I'm a free man." 

A few days after the Christiana riot, Parker, Pinkney 
and Johnson, an account of whom is given in the de- 
scription of the tragedy, and the narrative of Isaac and 
Dinah Mendenhall, came on foot in the night to Norris- 
town, accompanied by another person whose name is 
not known. Dr. William Corson announced their 
arrival to John Augusta. The four men were concealed 
in a lot of shavings under a carj)enter shop which stood 
three feet above ground on Church street, near Airy. 
There they remained four days, and were fed with food 
passed to them upon an oven-peal across a four-foot 
alley from a frame house in which Samuel Lewis, a 
colored man, lived. During this time the United States 
Marshal's detectives were watching every part of the 
town. On the fourth day a meeting was held by a 


few trusted friend!? in the office of Lawrence 
Corson, Esfj., to devise means for tbeir escape. 
Paxson proptised engaging five wagons for that ev«i 
ing, four to be sent iu different directions 
cove to lead off the vigilant detectivee. The pUj 
was adopted, and the wagon? ajid teams were engage 
of Jncflb Bodey, whose sympathies were known to be in 
favor of fii^tivee. But he would accept no pay, saying 
be would do so much as his share. The first was sent 
up the turnpike road and shortly after, the second was 
sent down that road ; another was sejit across the bridge 
toward West Chester, and the fourth out the State road 
toward Downingtown. Tht allenlii.n of iho alert offi- ^ 
cere being now attracted in these directions, the men 
after having shaved, and otherwise changed their per- 
sonal appearance, walked from the carpenter shop to 
Chestnut street and down Chestnut to the house of 
William Ivewis, colored, where the fifth wagon which 
was to go directly through the town and up the Mill- 
creek road was WMting for them. 

Dr. Paxson was there also, and saw the men with 
William Lewis, colored, as their driver start safely for 
Quakertown. Lewis was a little tremulous with fear at 
the perilous undertaking, which, with the haste, some- 
what confused him at the start. On the road he be- 
came bewildered, and went several miles out of the way, 
vhich gave Parker the impression that he was partly 
intoxicated — a condition in which Lewis never was 
known to be. From Quakertown they journeyed to 
Canada, traveling part of the way on foot and part by 
public conveyance. 

On the following day the United States Marshal was 


informed that they had left Norristown and were out of 
his reach. Officers were at once despatched to Quaker- 
town, but the Underground Railroad there disappeared 
from their view, and its passengers could be tracked no 

At the close of the war, Judge Smyser, of Norrie- 
town, was returning on a train from Philadelphia, and 
seeing Dr. Paxson in the same car called out to him, 
" Paxson, is that you ? I was at an entertainment last 
nightj and some of the party said I was as great a radical 
as you are. I replied, * I thank God that I am !' But," 
he continued, "there was a time when, had you been 
convicted under the Fugitive Slave Law, I would have 
given you the extent of the penalty ; for I looked upon 
you as one of the most dangerous men in the comnm- 
nity, on account of your utter disregard for that law." 

On Dr. Pax8on*8 return home one afternoon in 1846 
he saw on his back porch a very black, gray-haired 
woman, about sixty years of age ; also a mulatto woman 
about thirty, and a small, very fair child, with flaxen 
hair, of about six or seven summers. The old woman 
was conversing with Parker Pilsbury. Her cultivated 
thought and remarkable gift of language excited their 
interest and attention. On questioning her they found 
that she, her daughter and granddaughter, were all slaves. 
Paxson interrogated her relative to their escape. She 
stated that they had traveled through Maryland on foot 
by night, and during the day they crawled under corn- 
shocks or hid under leaves in the woods ; their principal 
food being roots and c(>rn for many days. He said to 
her, " Did you not know that you were ruiming a great 

risk of being caught and taken back, tortured with the 

lash and sold apon the auction block, and separated fVom 
your child and grandchild?" 

She answered "Yee," and the tears rolled down her 
cbeeke ; "but I believed that God would help those who 
tried to help theauelvoB ; and with confidence in that 
power I started out, and it has brought me heire. And 
may God be pnused ! " 

" Now tell me," said Passon, " what induced you to 
make this eifort." 

Kising to her ieet, and taming deliJJwatBly towacd 
her child, with uttenmoe choked by emotion, she nM, 
" See you not, marked upon htx. ftatuna, my own pi^ 
lution that the white man has stamped there ! See you 
not upon this grandchild, with its flaxen hair and florid 
face the pollution of a fiendish nature over her! It was 
to save that grandchild irom the terrible pollution which 
slavery sways over all whom it dare call a slave ; it was 
to save that iair and beautiliil creature from a life of 
shame that I dared, and have accomplished what I did ; 
and there shall ever go forth from my innermost nature 
a feeling of gratitude that I have her thus spared." 

Dr. Paxson is now residing in Philadelphia. With an 
active temperament, a good constitution and good health, 
he possesses mentally and physically the vigor and 
elasticity of his early manhood, when he displayed 
earnestness of purpose and determination of will to dare 
and do for the right. 


JoncPH SxiTH.— Incident in Canada.— Marriage and Death.— Olitev 
PrKjcttB.— Jobs N. Russell.— Thoxas Garrett.— Inspiration. - 
Marriage. — Arrested and Fined.— Prospered Afterm*ard.- Keward 
Offered. — Plan of Management. — Woman Escaped in ^ ife's (^loth- 
ing.— Death.— JacoB Lixdlet. —Earliest Worker.— Death.— Levi 
B. Ward.— Kidnapping.— Jauej* X. Taylor.— Assisted Parker. 
Pinkney and Johnson. 

(Bom Fourth Month 15th, 1801.— Died Seventh Month I9th. 187>!t.i 

Among the first fugitives that c*aine to Jot^oph 
Smith's, Dnimore township, Lancaster county, was one 
from Maryland, in June, 1844. It was early in the m(»rn- 
ing. The man was without hat or sht)es. His apj^ear- 
ance suggested that something was wrong. Jos(.»phV anti- 
slavery principles were known ; and as the men whom 
he had working for him were then at breakfast, and 
were opposed to interfering with slavery, although they 
were members of the Society of Friends, he ordered the 
man to be kept out of sight until he could have the op- 
portunity to question him. 

The ftigitive stated where he was from, and, using his 
expression, said, " his master was h — I." He was fed 
and concealed during the day, and at night was sent in 
care of one of Joseph's colored men to Thomas Whit- 
son, who sent him on the following night to Lindley 
Coates ; from there he was safely sent from friend to 
friend until he reached Canada. 

After this, many came and were forwarded to other 
agents, and his house became widely known as one of 


the iroponant stationit on thi? bug line of nightly trnvel 
with its nmny braarbee like artiii: iif beneliceDoe ex- 
landed to the hunted slave to aid him on his way &odi 
A Innil of Ixindikgc, to w«k frwdom wilhin the American 
iloiYDiiD of England's Queen. 

The largest number that fame at nun lime wan tiiir- 
twii — all fritiii Virginia, On bring trnVvd where ihey 
fi fRt hoard of Joaejih ^litti, they rcpliwl, " Down where 
we <v)mc from. They don't like you down th«re. They J 
eall you nn itbulitionist." I 

"And was ihiit the reason you tried to ffet here?" I 

■■ Y«4, sir, it was. We kmiw'd you'd help us on toM 
Canada where we'd be free," 

They were aeked how long they were planning their 
escape, and said " several weeks, and we've been juat 
three weeks getting here. We were afraid of being 
caught and taken back, and every little noise scared lu. 
But we were determined to be free. We traveled only 
at night, and in day time we lay in swamps where the 
thickets were almost as dark as night itself. There were 
plenty of them in Virginia, but we didn't find any in 
Maryland. Sometimes we were two or three days with- 
out anything to eat." One of this number was a lad of 

Many of the formers in Drumore township went to 
Baltimore market with loads of produce, taking with 
them their colored drivers. The slaves sought opportunity 
to talk with these teamsters and to ask them many 
questions, as to where they came from, whom they 
lived with, and what kind of work they did, how they 
were treated, etc., etc. These colored teamsters gave 
them all the information they could, which was liber- 


ally conyeved to othere. and e^peciallv to the 5]aTei^ who 
aocompanied their masiere from the plantins: states to 
Baltimore on burinefis. These would tell it to other 
slaves on their return South, and sav **if thi-v o«mM 
only get to Joseph Smith's in Pennsylvania he would 
help them on to a land of freedom." Thi? <tirou]at«>d 
their inborn love of liberty to denying plan? by which 
to reach Smiths, and from there be as?i«ted to when? no 
task-master should exact from their wearv limb? the 
daily requirements of uncom|ien?ated toil. And «•• suc- 
cessful was the management of thi? station that all whn 
reached it were passed on safely toward the iroal of 
their desires. 

An old colored man li\'ing near Baltimore wh'» was 
acquainted with Joseph Smith, gave i^aassenjrers a start 
at that end of the road by pili>ting them t<> another 
colored man near the Sustjuehanna. Tliis man woulii 
go in the night, see them acn»ss the river, and tlireot 
them to the house of Isaac Waters, living near Peach 
Bottom Ferrv, York count v, anil then return lH'fi»re 
morning. Waters would then take them to Smith's. 
Here they were concealed in the hack |>art of a dark 
apartment in the bam entirely undergn)und,antl victuals 
carried to them while thev remained. 

While Joseph had many pro-slavery opiH)nents, yet 
none, he believed, informed on him — at least tliey gave 
him no trouble. One of them, while at the ferry, on his 
return from York countv, ol>serve<l some men waitinvr. 
whom he ascertained were slaveholders coming into 
Lancaster county in search ofshives. Thinking if there 
were any fugitives in that neighborhood they would 
most likely be at Smith's, he sent him word that tlu*st» 


men were " huating their oigger?, and might give him 
trouble." The act of warning him wb* certainly kind, 
even if the language was imcouth. The notice, however, 
did not alarm him, as no slaves were then about bio 
premises. Hie "illy feara were that ei)me might come at 
that time. Tlii: following iniimiug four men were seen 
TOiuing up the roa*J toward the house; they lookwi 
steadfastly at it, but piueed by. During four dayfi they 
were obaervod to pass frequently along the road. On 
that fourth night the family kept watch and saw them 
several times lying iu wail iirimnd the houae, e\-idently 
determined not only to foil any efiort cliuidesliuely to 
aid fugitives in cs<'aping, Imt to pnisn-iif ih.isc ivlio 
attempt«d it. It was subsequently ascertained that these 
were the four men whom Smith was apprised of, and 
that the slaves they were in search of had not left the 
plantation when they started in pursuit of them. Leani- 
ing the course their masters took, they left in another 
direction, crossed the river at a lower ferry, and made 
an easy and safe transit to their prospective homes of 

Smith's house was never searched, except once. At 
that time some hunters drove up under pretence of 
looking for stray horses. After a short conversation 
they arrogantly demanded of him to " bring out his 
niggers." He replied that he had none. Unwilling to 
accept his word ns truth, they proceeded, without per- 
mission or ceremony, to search the house. This was 
peremptorily reAised them, unless it be done legally. 
Whereupon some of the men went to a Justice of the 
Peace to procure a warrant, while others were stationed 
to guard the house. After the warrant arrived a search 


was instituted, Joseph's daughter, Rachel, accompany- 
ing them. But no " niggers " were found. Two weeks 
after, the &mily learned from a friend of theirs that he 
had taken that party of negroes to Lindley Coates, and 
by that time they were out of the reach of slavery. The 
hunters had missed the trail. 

The last slaves who came to Joseph Smith's were a 
woman and her two children. Her master had once been 
in affluent circumstances, but was now very much reduced 
in his possessions. His next move to raise funds was to 
sell this woman and her children. His son, a young 
man of tender feelings for others, felt it an act of cruelty 
to sell her and her children who were entwined within 
her affections, and thus to thrust them out upon the 
uncertainty of having a good or a bad master told her 
of the decision of his father and advised her to go away. 
He and his wife were acquainteil with Joseph Smith 
and family, and had visited them and otiicrs in the 
neighborhood. He directed them there, saying that he 
would be chosen to go on the hunt of them, and he 
would be sure not to go to that place. 

They were taken to Smith's in the night. During the 
day she said in a pathetic tone that " she did pity her 
young Missus, for she didn't know how to do any work, 
and she did wonder how they would get along without 
any one to help them." 

In October, 1859, Joseph's daughter Rachel visited 
Niagara Falls, and registered at the Cataract House. 
The head waiter, John Morrison, seeing her name and. 
residence upon the book, approached her one day and 
politely made apology for intruding himself; but said 
he would like to ask if she knew a man named Joseph 

282 BisTORy OF the 


8mith in Penncylvaiiin. !l>hc replied that he waa 1 
father. He eontioued, " I would like to tell you a 
the ptMtr fiigitive*' I ferry ftcra'w the river. Many of them 
tell me the tliat first piw* they came to in Peunsyl- 
vania was Joseph Smith'a. I frequently gve them when 
I vJBit my parents at Lundy's Lane. Many of them 
have nice little homes and are doing well," He ferried 
some acrofB the river during two of the uigbta she wrb 

Jnaeph Bmith was a member of the 8<wirty of 
Friends. He ww bom near London Orovc Meeting 
House. Chester county. Fourth mo. (April) l.nth, IWl; J 
removed to Drumore, I^ncaster county, Third mo. 
(March), 1818 ; was married to Tacy Shoemaker, Ninth 
mo. (September) 17th, 1823; and died Seventh mo. 
(July) 19th, 1878. 

(Born near Ohkdd'x Ford, Oieetcr oountr, Pb.. Fint ma. UUi, im— 
Died In UMe Brilsin Township, LAn«a(«r counlr, EleTenth mo. 

Oliver Fumie^, of Little Britain, assisted in a quiet 
way all fiigitivee who came to him. It was a custom 
with himaclf and family to ask them but few questions 
about where they came from. They were always re- 
ceived warmly and kindly by him as human beings 
whose misfortunes, to be born and owned as slaves 
claimed his sympathy. He was known as the "fiigi- 
tives' friend," and tliey often expressed thp.mselvee as* 
" feeling safe in his hands." The neighb(»rs were not 
generally disposed to interfere much with the colored 
people, or to throw obstructions in the way of assisting 
fugitives to freedom. If any who appeared to be 


strangers in the neighborhood inquired for work, or for 
persons friendly to colored people, they were directed 
to his place. Prom there they were sent on different 
routes through Lancaster and Chester counties. 

As the fiimily were always reticent upon the subject 
of the aid which they contributed, no reminiscences of 
individual cases, or the amount of work done, aside 
from the general labor which all performed, has been 
gleaned. Theirs were good works quietly accom- 



John Neal Russell, of Drumore, Lancaster county, 
received fiigitives from different points, and forwarded 
the greater number to Henry Bushong, about nine miles 
distant. His place was well known throughout Lancas- 
ter and the adjacent counties as one of the regular and 
prominent stations on the slaves* route toward the 
North Star. Many interesting incidents could be related, 
and some of them full of romance. 

During the height of the Torrey campaign, when 
Charles T. Torrey was making his adventurous and 
precipitate excursions into the very heart of the slave 
States, gathering up large numbers of slaves who wished 
to be free, and conducting them northward, a company 
of twenty-two was brought to John N. Russell about 
twelve o'clock one night by Samuel Bond, a thick-set, 
heavy, stout mulatto, who frequently piloted the ebon- 
hued travelers in their nightly peregrinations toward 
an abiding place of freedom. He threw a pebble against 
the window of the sleeping room occupied by John and 

384 ^p BtsTt 

his wife, llic tfii^tuil was imdereftod, ilie window raise 
and " Bam " spoke with his peculiar ^tturnl sotiiid < 
voice, " Plewe cume down quick; I got a whole GeU 
fiiil of 'em." They were taiceu iiiw ihe Bitling-room 
and a large table of subatantiul ftxHl wiut soon s»t for 
them in the kitrbeu. They ml down to it, oud one of 
their niunber, tt very blni-k hut intelligent man asked 
a blening with upliftwl bunds. li^ eeeinc<} u> be the 
leading sinrit uniong thcni, and said that he wnaa body- 
servant (rf Dc. Garrett, of Wasbingtou ; that the Doetor 
was a kind miistur, aud had nflen prtimieed him he sbouM 
be free; but finmehow he always forgot it. It went 
hard with him, he paid, to leave "nmssa" nnd ■' miesiig," _ 
but when bis friends who were not so well treated, were 
guing away, he could not stay behind. While be was a 
fine Bpecimen of a weil-bred negro, the others pre- 
sented quite a different appearance — coarse, dejected 
and ignorant, and were evidently field-hands. Bupper 
over, they tumbled themselves into a fonr-horee covered 
farm wagon, and were driven to Henry Buebong's house. 

The editors of this work have received from 61at«r B. 
Russell, Esq., of West Chester, Pa., the following inter- 
esting reminiscences: "My father, the late John Neal 
Russell, was bom of Quaker parents in Brandywine 
Hundred, Delaware, on the third day of July, 1804, 
and died in Druinore township, Lancaster county, 
Pennsylvania, December 23d, 1876. He was quite a 
small child when the family moved to Lancaster county. 
They bought and settled on a large farm in the valley 
of the Conowingo in Drumore township, at a point 
about dght miles from the Delaware line. 

The proximity to the slave border afforded my father, 


while yet a small boy, a good insight into the workings 
of slavery. When he was about ten years of age, a 
light colored woman, the mother of two small children, 
was taken quite near his father's house in broad day- 
light, tied, gagged, thrown into a wagon and, amid the 
cries of the little ones, hurried off across the border. 
She was sold into Greorgia, and the children grew up in 
my grandfather's family. 

This incident, in particular, seems to have stirred the 
boy's nature to its depths. He became the champion 
and friend of the fleeing slave from that hour and re- 
mained so till slavery was abolished. He was fearless 
and resolute, not to say rash. I oflen look back in 
wonder at the spirit of defiance he manifested toward 
his pro-slavery antagonists on both sides of the border. 
It must have been that his very boldness was his safe- 
guard. * * * 

My father's house sheltered most of the prominent 
abolitionist^!) of the land. Garrison, the Burleighs, 
Thomas Earle, Lucretia Mott, Daniel Gibbons, J. Miller 
McKim, Thomas Whitson, Lucy Stone, Robert Colly er 
and many others. I was just at an age to enjoy their 
rare company, and what a coterie of noble spirits 
they were ! How can we reverence them enough ? 
* * * I have a particularly distinct recollec- 
tion of Thomas Earle ; I remember he was a man to take 
notice of a boy of twelve or fifteen. What most im- 
pressed me in him was his exceeding mildness — as gentle 
as a woman was he. He dressed well, too, I remember, 
and was tall and elegant looking. * * * 

There is another character I will describe to you, who 
lived in Southern Lancaster county, Joseph C. Taylor. 


* * * He was a young farmer. One Jtiue morning 
Homo one rattled and ehuok bis door furioufily. at the 
same time settiiig up an uncarthlj yell that caucied him 
to put his head out of the window in ehort order. The 
cause of the noiee was that a colored girl had been kid- 
napped near by, and that th(^ kidnapi>ert< were making oil 
with her in a covered wagon at break-neck speed toward 
the Maryland line, about three miles distant. In less 
time than it can be told, Taylor waa mounted on the bare 
back of a plow-horae that had only a " blind " bridle, 
and, hatless and bootless, away he went, He had ^me 
to tliink, going along, and he thought how foolish 
would he hi^ jounicy without arms. Just then hi- 
came to Jacob Kirk's store. The clerk was taking 
down the ehutters. " For God's sake, give me a 
gun," siud Taylor. There happened to be one tn the 
store which he took and away. His steed was too fieet 
for the Marylanders. He overtook them, within, I 
think, about one hundred yards of the line. Riding 
around the wagon, he wheeled in the road, aimed his 
old fowling piece at the driver's head in a way that 
seemed to " mean business," and brought the horses to 
their haunches as he exclaimed: "Stir another foot 
and I'll blow your brains out!" A part of the sequel 
is that he marched the party back to a magistrate's 
office, had the girl discharged and the kidnappers put 
in jail. That is not the best part of the sequel, how- 
ever; that remains to be told. The old gun liadu't the 
ghost of a load in it! Taylor didn't know this, neither 
did the kidnappers, of course, but the old gun not 
loaded served its purpose just as well as though it had 





Thomas Gkurett, 9\{% uncompromising advocate of the 
emancipation and education of the colored race, was 
bom in Upper Darby, Delaware county, Pennsylvania, 
on Eighth mo. 2l8t, 1789 ; he was a son of Thomas and 
Sarah Garrett. 

A member of the Society of Friends, he held to that 
&ith which la one of their cardinal principles, that God 
moves and inspires men to fulfill the work which He re- 
quire at their hands ; from this conviction he never 
swerVed, no matter what labor it cost, nor what vicissi- 
tudes and trials might beset him. His motto was 
"Always do right at the time irrespective of conse- 

He was married twice. His first wife was Mary Sharp- 
less, of Birmingham, Chester county, Pennsylvania, who 
died at Wilmington, Delaware, Seventh mo. 18th, 1827 ; 
his second, Rachel Mendenhall, who died Fourth mo. 
20th, 1868. He survived them both. Whilst yet living 
at his fether's house, on his return from a brief absence 
from home, he found the women in great distress, two 
men having kidnapped a colored woman in the employ 
of the family, and removed her in a wagon ; mounting 
a horse, he followed them rapidly by means of a mark 
left by a broken tire. They went to tlic Navy Yard, 
Philadelphia, and thence to Kensington, where he saw 
the wagon. The men were in the bar-room — the woman 
was in the kitchen and was taken home with him. 

It was during this ride, while meditating upcm the 
wrongs and oppressions of the colored race in bonds, 
that he felt the call to aid them in throwing off the 


yoke of slavery, He his a]>ecial miasiim in iil'e. He de- 
voted himself there after fearlessly and faithfiilly to ihie 

He removed to Wilmingloii, Del., in 1822. 

It is a remarkable fact that, while living in a slave 
state, and in the largest city in that State, with a popu- 
lation hostile to abolitionists, and his house frequently 
under the rigid xiirveillance of police, that of the near- 
ly twenty-nine hundred fugitives who passed through hia 
hands, twt oJie was ever recaptured, with tlio exception of 
a man who had lived some years in Canada and re- 
turned to Wilmington to preadi. Remaining tliere some 
time, he wiia seiv.od and returned to bondsg*!. 

He would never directly nor indirectly entice a slave 
to leave his master, but when one applied to him for 
aid in escaping from bondage, he never refused assist- 
ancB, let the consequences bewhat they might. 

Open assistance given at one time involved him in a 
law suit, an account of which we extract from William 
Still's "Underground Railroad," 

"He met at New Castle a man, woman and six chil- 
dren, from down on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 
The man was free, the woman had been a slave, and 
whilst in slavery had had, by her husband, two chil- 
dren ; she was then set iree and afterwards had four 
children. The whole party ran away. They traveled 
several days and finally reached Middletown, Bel., late 
at night, where tliey were taken in and cared for by 
John Hunn, a wealthy Quaker. They were watched 
by some persons in that section, who followed them to 
New Castle, arrested them and sent them to jail. The 
sheriff and his daughter were anti-slavery people and 



wrote to Mr. Grarrett, who went over and had an inter- 
view ; after finding that four of the party were undoubt- 
edly free, he returned to Wilmington and, on the fol- 
lowing day, he and United States Senator Wales went 
to New Castle and had the party taken before Judge 
Booth, on a writ of habeas corpus. Judge Booth decided 
that there was no evidence on which to hold them and 
that, in the absence of evidence, iJie presumption was al- 
toaya in favor of freedom, and discharged them. 

Mr. Garrett then said, " Here is this woman with a 
babe at her breast, and the child suffering from white 
swelling on its leg ; is there any impropriety in my get- 
ting a carriage and helping them over to Wilmington ? " 
Judge Booth responded, " certainly not." Mr. Garrett 
then hired the carriage, but gave the driver distinctly 
to understand that he only paid for the woman and 
the young children ; the rest might w'alk ; they all got 
in, however, and finally escaped; of course the two 
children born in slavery among the rest. 

Six weeks afterwards the slaveholders followed them, 
and incited, it is said, by the Cochrans and James A. 
Bayard, commenced a suit against Mr. Garrett, claiming 
all the fugitives as slaves. " Mr. Garrett's friends claim 
that the jury was packed to secure an adverse verdict. 
The trial came before Chief Justice Taney and Judge 
Hall in the May term, (1848) of the United States Court 
sitting at New Castle, Bayard representing the prosecu- 
tion, Wales the defendant. There were four trials in 
all, lasting three days ; we have not room here for the 
details of the trial, but the juries awarded even heavier 
damages than the plaintiffs claimed and the judgments 
swept away every dollar of his proj)erty.** 


The amount taken was about 88,000 — all he waa 
worth, but hU spirita were not in tho least affected ; and 
lifter Bcnteni'C, lie arose in open court and said, "Now, 
Judge, I do not think that I have always done my duty, 
being fearful of losing what little I po^eseed; but now 
tliat you have relieved me, I will go home and put kb- 
other story on my housi?, go I hat I cau accommodate 
more of God's poor." Then turning to the large crowd 
in the court-room he addressed them. He was listened 
to throughout with the closest attention. Sometimee 
profound i<ilencc prevailed. Sometimes his bold asser- 
tione were applauded, while aome who felt the keenness 
of Ilia remarks tried to relieve their feelings by hissing. 

But those who iiriieet'Utw] him, were so impressed 
with hie candor and honesty that one of them came 
forward and shook him by the hand, asked his for^ve- 
ness and desired hia friendship, which was fully promised 
on condition of the person's " ceasing to be an advocate 
of the iniquitous system of slavery." 

His household goods, along with his other property, 
were sold, but were purchased by his friends and were 
used by him until he was able to pay for them. 

He was at that time keeping an iron store and coal 
yard. His friends volunteered all the means needed to 
continue the business, and even more than he required ; 
they saw his liiith, honesty and boldness put through a 
severe test in the crucible of a Bouthern court, and that 
these came out pure as gold. 

He was then sixty years of age, but he applied him- 
self assiduously to business, which vastly increased ; 
he put the additional story on his house, as he promised 
the Judge ; fugitives came to him in greater numbers, 


for his name became more known in the Southern States 
than ever before ; he aided all who came, at the same 
time contributing to the reliet of other suffering poor, 
T^ardless of color, and with all these acts of charity, 
he was enabled to repay all who had loaned him money, 
and amassed a competence within a few years. 

Charitable friends in England had long assisted him 
with funds for the relief of the slave, and of later time 
they furnished more than he could advantageously use 
in the cause. This excess he returned to them. 

In an obituary it is said of him that he seemed 
scarcely to know what fear was, and although irate slave- 
holders often called on him to know the whereabouts of 
their slaves, he met them placidly, and never denied 
having helped the fugitives on their way, but positively 
declined to give any information, and when they flourished 
pistols or bowie knives to force their demand, he calmly 
pushed the weapons aside and told them that none hut 
cowards resorted to such means to carry out their ends, 
and that Quakers were not afraid of such things. 

On one occasion $10,000 were offered for him in 
Mar}'land ; he wrote to the parties, that this was not 
enough ; send 820,000 and he would go himself. They 
did not send it, nor did they make any further efforts 
to be confronted by a man of such boldness. 

For a long time when it was expected that he would 
be murdered for his avowed interest in the poor slave, 
many of the blacks would get into his yard by turns 
and stay there all night to protect him, against his posi- 
tive orders, for he feared nothing except neglect of his 
duty to the cause which he had espoused. 

He was fertile in plans for directing or c(mveying fu- 

242 BIBTORT OP THS ^^^| 

gitivea out of Wilminglon to safer places. As the pty- 
aic'iiui pre«crll>es for each iodividual case accnrding to 
condition? and aymploms, so did he promptly adviiie 
means to meet the neoessittes of each individual case 
that applied to him. Freqiieaily he would give a man 
a scythe, hoe, rake or somii other implemeut to carry on 
the shoulder through the town a» if going to work, 
with directions that when a certain bridge waa reached 
to hide the tool under it, then strictly follow directions 
to the next station. 

These tools would find their way back and again be 
ready for similar dutv. 

abled them readily to find the places of safety, and gave 
the fiigitives papers by which the persona to whom they 
were aeot would know from whom they came, and that 
they were neither impostors nor spies. 

He wrote many letters to the managers of the anti- 
slavery office in Philadelphia, informing them of slaves 
en nmte for their place, sometimes of single individuals, 
sometimes of parties of from two to thirty or more ; if 
hunters were in close pursuit and large rewards offered, 
he apprised them of all danger and gave them such di- 
rections as were necessary to secure protection and 
safety. These letters gave evidence of his ever-watch- 
ful mind, the secrecy, wisdom, discreetness and success 
of his plannings, his indefatigable labors and his liber- 
ality in paying money where needed for the assistance 
of " God's poor," as he waa pleased to call them, out of 

If he knew of a party coming who were in danger, he 
sent his agents to intercept them before entering the 


city, and have them ferried across the Christiana river, 
where a carriage would meet them, if they were women 
and children ; if men, they were guided to some safe 
place on foot, and then directions were given them how 
to proceed. 

Joseph G. Walker, now living, Tenth mo. 1881, at the 
-age of seventy-six years, was one of Thomas Garrett's 
principal assistants in the removal of fugitives out of 
Wilmington to safe routes northward. Though now 
quite crippled and nearly blind, he warms up with the 
animation of earlier days when he recounts the many 
exploits and the long journeys he frequently made to 

" Point the bondman's way, 
And turn the Hpoiler from him prey/' 

During one fall he took away one hundred and thirty 
slaves ; on one occasion he went with seven. From three 
o*clock in the afternoon until six o'clock next morning 
he walked over sixty miles ; he did complain a little of 
this, however, and said he would not do it again in the 
same time. His father was a West Indian and his 
mother was English or Scotch ; hence his inherited 
powers of locomotion and endurance. 

Fugitives were frequently taken from Thomas Gar- 
rett's in carriages or on foot, while tlie rej)uted owners 
or their agents were watching his movements in other 
parts of the city where he was apparently engaged in 
his business pursuits. 

Officers were sometimes stationed around the house to 
capture slaves who liad been traced to Wilmington. 
At times it wiis necessary to wade the Brandywine in 
winter with ftigitives ; after which careful directions 
were given and the agents would return by the bridge. 

ou seeing whom, the cooatables in watting, on one o( 
Bion, eaid quietly, "it is bU over, we may as well 

Hie house being a Southern station of the under- 
ground line WAS the scene of many etartling and ev«n 
iiniiisbg experiences. One summer evening when there 
was a collection of old plain Friends at the house, he 
was called to the kitchen where he found a greatly ter- 
rified poor woman who had run away, and from her 
statement it was evident that pursuers would be there 
io a few nainutes to watch the house. He took her up 
stairs, dressed her in his wife's clothes, with plain hand- 
kerchief, bonnet and veil, and made her lake his arm. 
They walked out of the front door where she recog- 
nized her master as she passed. He was eagerly watch- 
ing the house at the time. 

(There were several underground stations below Wil- 
mington, nearly all Friends. Those who resided down 
the Stat« could be depended upon for the service. 
John Hunn, spoken of in the extract irom " William 
Still's Undei^round Railroad," was particularly active 
and was at one time fined very heavily, perhaps to the 
extent of his property). 

Thomas Garrett, after the opening of the Rebellion, 
wrote several very strong letters to President Lincoln, 
urging the " Emancipation Proclamation." He lived 
to see his most earnest wish accomplished — that to 
which he had devoted the energies of a lifetime — vii, : 
the Emancipation of the Slaves of the United Stat«8 of 
America. On the arrival of the glorious news he was 
w^ted upon by a delegation of his colored friends re- 
quefldng him to surrender himself to them for the day. 


"^ yielded to their wishes implicitly and the event was 
*^y celebrated, without noise but with thankfulness and 

He expressed himself as entirely satisfied with his 
work and died calmly and peacefully on First mo. 25th, 
1871, in the eighty-second year of his age. 

He was interred in Friends' Grounds at Wilmington, 
Del.; a vigorous oak (now of good size) was planted be- 
tween the head and foot stones of his grave. 


Jacob Lindley, who lived in New Garden, Chester 
county, near where the village of Avondale is now situ- 
ated, and owned six hundred acres of land in that 
vicinity, was the first to give assistance to fugitives in 
Chester county, of whom we have been able to glean 
any account. He aided many on their way to freedom 
long before the Underground Railroad was established. 

About the year 1801, a line was formed by a few 
friends from Elisha Tyson's, Baltimore, to his place, 
thence to Pughtown and Valley Forge as described in 
the account of Abraham Bonsall. 

Jacob Lindley was sympathizing and affable in dis- 
position, sensitive in feeling and energetic in action. He 
was a prominent and powerful minister in the Society of 
Friends, a man of extraordinary intelligence and ability, 
a pungent writer when he assailed either open vice or 
the sinister means used to deceive and wrong others for 
pecuniary gain. 

He possessed a large and strong physique, and a voice 
of great volume. When addressing an assemblage, and 
powerfiiUy moved by the earnestness of his feelings in 


ia biy pliaae or beneath any guise, or in 
pleadfaig tha rif^ts of humanity, cepecially of the down- 
trodden, cmbved and oppressed African, he expressed 
hiniMlf in WI9^ and tone and manner so empliatic aa 
to reach tJia noit common understanding, or to touch 
the mo8t ndnniitine heart. While he sent the poniard 
of otuivktioa directly home to the hearts of the guilty, 
he was tender toward the feelings of the uniDteQliunally 
erring, or thote who strove to do right against adverse 
influenoec of a potential character difficult ill timee 
vholl; to orenxkme. 

His geautoe kiudne^s. and love for all the children of 
God, was a nuulied irwh <>l'!iis <'ijHrncler. A ri'^pcolable ^ 
mechanic who had been the recipient of his hoBpitality 
remarked that " the house of Jacob Lindley and hie 
wife waa in one respect like the kingdom of Heaven, no 
proiession or complexion being excluded." 

Toward the close of his life he wrote : " Oh ! surely 
I may say, I shudder and my tears involuntarily st«al 
from my eyes, for my poor, oppressed, afflicted, tor- 
mented black brethren — hunted — frightened to see a 
whit« man — turned from every source of comfort that a 
worth living for in this stage of being. The tears, the 
groans, the sighs of these, have surely ascended to the 
ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and as a thick cloud are 
awiiilly suspended over this land. I tenderly and 
tremblingly feel for the poor masters involved in this 
difficulty. I am awfully awakened into fear for our 
poor country." He was twice married ; both wives 
being ministers of the gospel. 

On the twelfth of Sixth mo. (June) 1814, he attended 
New Qarden meeting, and spoke with his usual earnest- 


nees and power. During the course of his sermon he 
intimated ** his conviction that there were those present 
who would not see the light of another day," and added, 
" perhaps it may be myself." That afternoon he was 
thrown out of a carriage upon his head, dislocating his 
neck. He was aged about seventy. 


In 1848, two men drove up to the house of Levi B. 
Ward, East Marlborough, Chester county, while he was 
absent from home, seized upon a colored boy seventeen 
years of age, and claimed him as their property. Mrs. 
Ward remonstrated against their taking him, but they 
replied that they had papers to prove that he belonged 
to them. They did not show the papers, but hurried 
away with the boy and the family never heard from 
him after-ward. 

It was supposed that the men were kidnappers who 
had been waiting an opportunity to take him when no 
one but women was about to interfere. 

(Born Third month 4th, 1813.) 

James N. Taylor, from early boyhood, felt an interest 
in the anti-slavery movement, and a sympathy for the 
fugitive. In 1841 he removed from East Fallowfield, 
Chester county, to West Marlborough. Prior to that 
date he assisted all slaves who came to his place, but 
was not then connected with the Underground Railroad 
management. After removing to Marlborough, his 
willingness to aid fugitives being known, his residence 
was made a branch station, and he received passengers 
from William Rakestraw and Day Wood, in Lancaster 



coan^, ud from James Fulton and Araua Preston, 
Chester oonn^. 

One ftigitiTe wm m doMi^ ponoed tiut Jtaum took 
him to lAnowter, put him <m dw em and MOt Uni to 
La&Tette, IndiUB. He me m nearlj irUts that bnt 
few would IwTe Bw^aoted that IB hh Trine flowed a tiBoe 
of African blood. 

In 1S4^ eighteen mn, women and dtiUnn oame to 
his place on their WBj "toward the KorthSbur." lliejr 
were ihelteied in the dearths of aooie atraw, and next 
night takoi to Iiaaa Mendmhall't. 

After the OtrisliaDa riot, Parker, Finknef and Jdin- 
BOD and one other came to his place, and were taken to 
Isaac Mendenhall'a. He was not aware at the time who 
they were. 

The last who came were brought in a dearborn in 
day-time by Ann Preston and Elizabeth Coatee. They 
were well covered so as to attract no attention. 

James N. Taylor assisted in organizing the first Anti- 
Slavery Society in Chester county. 



Isaac and Dinah Mkndenhall.— Interesting Incidents.— Habkut 
Tubman.— Assists Parker, Pinkney and Johnson.— *Squire Jacob 
Lamborn.— Sarah Pearson Opens Free Produce Store in Hamor- 
ton.— Isaac Mendenhall Disowned.— Assist in Organising Society 
of Progressive Friends.— Reunited to Original Society.— Golden 
Anniversaryof Wedding.— Original Estate. 


(Isaac Mendenhall, Born Ninth Mo. 26th, 1806, Died Twelfth Mo. 23d, 
1882. Dinah Hannum Mendenhall, Bom Tenth Mo. 15th, 1807.) 

The home of Isaac and Dinah Mendenhall, in Ken- 
nett township, near Longwood, ten miles from Wilming- 
ton, was always open to receive the liberty-seeking slave. 
Their station being nearest the Delaware line was 
eagerly sought by fiigitives as soon as they entered the 
Free State. They were generally sent by Thomas 
Garrett, of Wilmington, who, starting them on the road, 
directed them to " go on and on until they came to a 
stone-gate post, and then turn in." Sometimes he sent 
a note by them saying, " I send you three," (or four or 
five, as the case might be) "bales of black -wool," which 
was to assure them that these colored persons were not 

No record was kept of the number they aided, but 
during a period of thirty-four years it amounted to 
several hundred. Many were well dressed and intelli- 

At one time fourteen came on a Seventh-day (Satur- 
day) night and remained over next day. The women 

and children were secreted in a room in the spring-house, 

250 HDTOfBT or THB 

and the men in the bam. Ab thejUBCudly entertained a 
great many visiton on FiiBt-daya (Sundays), and some of 
these were pro-elavery Friends, the fbgitives had to be 
kept very quiet On Third-day (Tuesday) night Isaac 
and Joeiah Wilson, who lived near by, took them to 
John Jackson's, Darby. Josiah and his wife, Mary, were 
ever ready to give their personal ud and counsel. 

One woman whom Thomas Garrett brought there was 
a somewhat curious, but interesting character, and 
endowed with a spiritualistic fiuth. The first night after 
leaving her master she began to regret and to wonder 
whether or not she was doing right ; whether she should 
return or continue her course and risk being captured 
and taken back. She went into a woods, and sat down 
and cried. While in that deep, prayerfiil spirit, as to 
what was best for her to do, a voice seemed to say to 
her, " Cheer up, Mary ; go on, I will protect thee." 
With this fresh cheer in her heart, she went on, arrived 
at Thomas Garrett's, who, as above related, took her to 
Isaac Mendcnhall's, where she remained three months, 
and was a most faithful servant. She said they were 
told in the South that " abolitionists were wicked people," 
but that " she never knowed there was such kind people 
in the world as they." 

A colored woman named Harriet Tubman, living 
near the line, was active in helping hundreds to escape. 
In point of bravery and success she might well be 
called a second Joan of Arc. She would go fearlessly 
into the Slave States, talk with the slaves, tell them 
how to escape, direct them on the road, and thus during 
one visit among them, would start numbers on their 
way northward to freedom. Large sums of money were 




offered for her capture, but all in vain. She could elude 
patrols and pursuers with as much ease and unconcern 
as an eagle would soar through the heavens. She " had 
faith in God ;" always asked Him what to do, and to di. 
rect her, "which," she said, "He always did." She 
would talk about " consulting with God," or " asking 
of Him," just as one would consult a friend upon mat- 
ters of business ; and she said " He never deceived her." 

After escaping from bondage herself, she set about 
devising means by which she could assist others in leav- 
ing. In her first effort she brought away her brother, 
with his wife and several children. Next she helped 
her aged parents from Virginia to a comfortable home 
in Auburn, N. Y. And thus encouraged, she continued 
making these trips, at intervals, for several years. 
Many who escaped through her directions to Thomas 
Garrett were sent by him to Isaac Mendenhall. 

When the war broke out, she felt, as she said, that 
" the good Lord had come down to deliver her people, 
and she must go and help Him." She went into Georgia 
and Florida, attached herself to the army, performed 
an incredible amount of labor as cook, laundress, and 
nurse, and still more as the leader of soldiers in scout- 
ing parties and raids. She seemed to know no fear, and 
scarcely ever fatigue. They called her their Moses, On 
account of the valuable services she rendered, several 
of the officers testified that she was entitled to a pen- 
sion from the Government. 

After the Christiana riot, James N. Taylor brought 
Parker, Pinkney, and Johnson and one other whose 
name was not known, to Isaac Mendenhall's. When 
James returned, the hunters had been at his place in 

YOx nioTORy OP the ^H 

search of any colorerl people who might hnve AM to 
hiiu from the vicinity of ChriBtiann. 

The four men slept in the bam at Isaac MeDdeoball's 
at nights, but (luring the day they husked corn in Uie 
(ield, with all the appearance of regular farm hands. If 
pursuers came, the family were to give a certain sound 
when the nieu were to flee to the woods. One day a 
messenger came and said there was a party on the track 
of them? men, and it would not 1)c safe to keep them 
longer. During the remainder of the day they con- 
cealed themselvea in the woods. Isaac decided to take 
ihem that night to John Vickers; but Dr. Bartholo- 
mew FuBsell, then living; nenrby, at Hainortim, hearing 
that the men were there, went to consult with him 
about them. Learning his decision, he said, " Isaac, I 
am better acquainted with the route than thee is ; and 
beside, I have no property to sacrifice if I am detected 
and thee has. Thee start with them on the road and I 
will meet thee and go on with them and thee can re- 
turn." Aft«r some deliberation, Isaac accepted the prop- 
osition, and at an appointed hour in the evening, started. 

Dinah Alendenhall, in relating this case, said : " These 
men were not only fugitives but participants in the 
tragedy, and harboring them subjected us to heavy fine 
and imprisonment. But we had always said we would 
never submit to carry out that accursed Fugitive Slave 
Law, come what might. But that night when they 
started, the poor quivering fleah was weak and I had 
scarce strength to get into the house. But I held to my 
iaith in an Overruling Providence, and we c&me 
through it in safety." " These," she remarked, " were 
the times which tried men's souls, and women's too." 

inn>EROB0uin> railboad. 253 

Doctor Fussell, inatead of taking them to John 
Vickers, took them to his niece, Graceanna Lewis, 
arriving there before midnight. Leaving them in the 
conveyance, he went to the house, awoke the family, told 
them whom he had with him and what the danger 
would be in harboring them. They admitted them, 
however, and put them in a third-story room, the door 
of which locked on the inside. They were told not to 
unlock it unless a certain signal was given. As the girl 
then living with the family was not to be trusted, they 
borrowed food for the men from a neighbor, so as not to 
excite her suspicion. The following day arrangements 
were made with J. Pierce West, living near by, to take 
them to the house of a friend in Montgomery county, 
about a mile or more from Phoenix ville. A little after 
dark he and his brother, Thomas, started with them in a 
market dearborn, throwing some old carpet over them, 
just as they would cover a butter-tub. Passing through 
Phoenixville about midnight, they arrived at the friend's 
house, whose name is not now remembered, and there left 

(A ftirther description is given of them in the remi- 
niscences of Dr. J. L. Paxson, of Norristowu.) 

Fugitives were taken from Isaac MendenhalFs to John 
Vickers, William and Simon Barnard, John Jack- 
son, in Darby, and to Philadelphia. James Pugh, of 
Pennsbury, would frequently go to Philadelphia and 
make arrangements with Miller McKim and William 
Still, to meet Isaac outside the city and take the ftigi- 
tives into their care. 

Many families along these routes who were inherently 
opposed to slavery, reftised, through fear, to give any 


B»>utaiine whRlever in facilitating the fugitira' Mmpe. 
JaiiK« Ru»«n Lowell truir wft : 

Thorn V9K tnauy pcvsons in Keimett to<m»l)ip who 
wore not etrenuoiwly opposed lo the anti-«l*v«rT move- 
nient : vere inclined to be sj-mpathizen in the muse, but 
thought abolitinuUtJ* were running greal risfciL 

Hquiru liiu^oli LanilKim was honestly oppiwed to tli« 
Iniinticuiin of nlHilitionistA, ae their najring ftgninst the 
institution of slavery wan engendering n spirit of ani- 
moflity in the tninda of the Southern people toward tboN 
of the Niirlli. Itiit aUcr hcario); a cogent and exham- 
tive argument by Abbie Relley, he was convinced of the 
true principles upon which they etood and united with 
them always afterwards. 

Anti-slavery lectures in that township did much to 
enlighten the people upon universal liberty and to 
Boften the asperity of antagonism toward abolitionists, 
although many meetings, in the early part of the time, 
were but slimly attended. 

Many persons in Kennett and vicinity grew to be ■ 
conscientiously opposed to using the products of slave 
labor, as by so doing they were patronizing an evil that 
they were endeavoring to uproot. To meet the demand 
of these pereons, Sarah Pearson opened a free produce 
store in Hamorton, about the year 1844, and continued 
it fourteen years. She was well patronized. At first 
she kept only free produce ; but later kept mixed goods. 

Kennett Monthly Meeting of Friends disowned seve- 
ral of its members who had, in a measure, separated 
themselves from it, on account of the meeting's not 


taking as active a part in anti-slavery, temperance, and 
other needed reforms of the day, as they held it to be 
the moral duty of a religious body to do. Isaac Men- 
denhall was one who came under this decree of disown- 
ment, but his wife, as earnest in the progressive move- 
ment of reform as he, was never disowned. It is a 
principle of Friends to act in harmony. In the consid- 
eration of her case there was a " division of sentiment." 
They united with a number of others in organizing 
the Society of Progressive Friends at Longwood. In 
conformity with a " Ccdl for a General Religious Con- 
fer ence^ vnth a view to the enfablishment of a Yearly 
Meeting in Pennsylvania,^^ a large number of persons 
assembled in Old Kennett (Friends) Meeting House, on 
the twenty-second of Fifth month (May), 1853. The 
house was filled and many could not gain entrance. 
They invited to membership, " not only members of the 
Society of Friends, but all those who felt the need of 
social and religious co-operation, who looked to God as 
a Universal Father, and who regarded as one Brother- 
hood the whole family of maji." Tney invited all such 
. persons to take part in the deliberations upon such a 
plan of organization as might commend itself to their 
judgment, and to take action upon such other subjects 
pertaining to human duty and welfare as might appear 
to demand the attention of the assembly. The call to 
this Conference was signed by fifty-eight persons, chiefly 
Friends. Its sessions continued four days and were 
marked by free and cordial interchange of views, de- 
velopment of thought, and an earnestness and unity of 
action for the enlightenment, improvement and general 
welfare of the whole human family. That aged and 


religious ei»tuicipAt«d slave, SojoumerTnith, was there, 
and spoke ou several occasions. She touched the sym- 
pathies of all, and reached the deep fount of parenlaJ 
tendemem, when, after a few impresBive remarks, ehe 


. her Hul (kW, aJ 


Ip]e» uid drniry. 


nl for hat wowi, 



ciui inuiKine h(> 



, Uiiiikiofhort 

1 about tQ be Milil : 

r ri<^nrv the Ini 

undi dI 





A permanent organizatioc was eflectwl, iiud weekly 
Biid yearly meeting esUihlished. Joseph A, Dii^fdnle 
was appointed their first treasurer. He served for 
several years. Isaac Mendenhall was next appointed 
and served until his son, Aaron, took his place. 

Isaac was Treasurer of the Chester County Anti- 
Slavery Society from its organization at Coateeville, in 
May, 1838, until its labors closed at the terminatioQ of 
the war. 

After the downfall of slavery and the establishment 
of universal liberty hy the Government, the great object 
which had brought them together, had cemented their 
hearts in the one grand design and impelled them with 
enthusiasm and unfaltering devotion toward the one 
great end, was accomplished ; and with one accord they 
could offer up thankegiving and praise to the Father of 
all, that four millions of human beings held as chattel 
slaves under our laws were now, henceforth, and forever 


After the close of the war, when the slavery question 
ceased to be a disturbing element, the Friends of Ken- 


nett Monthly Meeting invited those back into the 
Society, whom they had disowned, without requiring of 
them the usual acknowledgment. 

Outside of their daily avocations and domestic duties, 
Isaac and Dinah Mendenhall were active and zealous 
workers whenever the cause of humanity needed earnest 
supporters. They were a firm and solid rock upon which 
the friends of progress and reform could ever rely. The 
earnest appeal for temperance, for the advancement of 
women, for the free expression of thought upon religion, 
found them strenuously, yet unostentatiously, working in 
the van. 

On the twelfth of Fifth month (May), 1881, their 
life of united honest toil and faithfnl devotion to each 
other, reached the rounded period oi fifty years. This 
Oolden Anniversary of their nuptials was celebrated at 
their home by the assembling of two hundred and 
twenty-five guests of all ages, from the little frolicking 
child to the friends whose advanced age and feebleness 
rendered it necessary for them to be lifted from their 
carriages. Yet to these, the happy commingling of old- 
time friends, enlivened by the sprightliness and vigor of 
joyous youth, was like the balmy breezes and the fra- 
grant blossoms of the return of spring. 

Fifteen of the seventy-two persons who signed their 
marriage certificate were present at this anniversary, 
and among them were the two first waiters on that 

Their eldest son Aaron, living on the old family 
estate, now known as Oakdale, was there with his wife and 
three children, one of whom bears the name of Isaac. 
This property was originally purchased of William 

Penn, by Robert Pcnnell and Benjamin Mendenhall, ani] 
the deed WHS eigncd by his deputies, Edward Bliiiipen. 
Griffith Owen and Jamce Logan, (Penn being then in 
England). The deed was dated FifWnth day of June 
A. D. 1703, and was for six hundred acres of land, 
which according to present survey makes une thousand, 
and for which they were to " yield and (lay therefor, 
yearly from the wud date of survey, to me, uiy heirs 
and successors at Cheater, at or upon the first day of 
March in every year forever thereafter, sis bushels of 
gocd and merchantable wheat, to mch persons as shall 
be appointed to receive, the same." 

The p.^tnto nft.Twurd!^ pii^^Ml iulo ihe hands ol Ben- 
jamin Mendenhall's son Joseph, then to an Isaac Since 
then it has passed alternately from an Isaac to an 
Aaron, and from an Aaron to an Isaac through four 
generations. It haa descended from the possession of 
one occupant to the other by will — but one deed was 
ever given, which bears the date of 1703. 

Many testimonials of esteem and love were sent by 
persons who could not be present. Among these was 
one from John G. Whittier, who said, " I knew you in 
the brave old anti-slavery days, and have never forgot- 
ten you. Whenever and wherever the cause of free- 
dom needed aid and countenance you were sure to be 
found with the noble band of Chester county men and 
women to whose mental culture, moral stamina and 
generous self-sacrifice I can bear emphatic testimony." 

Mary A. Liverraore, in a letter addressed to their 
daughter Sallie, on that occasion says, " With what 
noble people have they been associated ! How rich in 
reminiscences their memories must be ! They have wit- 



neesed the unparalled growth of the country, the down- 
fieJl of slavery, the nation convulsed with civil war, 
which ended in the death of a colossal national sin and 
the freeing of four million slaves." 

Isaac and Dinah H. Mendenhall are living at the pres- 
ent writing. They have reached that summit in the 
upward progress of human existence, from which, in re- 
tirement, they can look down upon a beautifnlly diver- 
sified landscape, richly adorned with the fruits of their 
own labors. The sunset sky, toward which they are 
tending, is ruddy in its glow, while the sun of glory 
sends forth its effulgent beams from an unclouded sky, 
significant of the celestial brightness awaiting them 
around the Throne of eternal peace. 

[Since the above sketch was written, Isaac Menden- 
hall has passed away, dying at his home at Hamorton, 
" foil of years and honors," in peace, after so many con- 
flicts ; in honor, after so much obloquy.] 

Dr. BBitholomew Fnaidl,' aon of "BtxAoksaur wM 

Rebecca B. Fuaeell, was bom in Cheeter county, Penn- 
Bylvania, in the year 1794, and was by birthri^t, as 
well as by conviction, a member of the Sod^y of 
Friends. Hie &ther, Bartholomew Pussell, Sr., was an 
approved miniater in that denomination, but of remark- 
ably liberal t«ndencieB, his peculiar miesion being ire- 
quently t« bold meetings among persons of different 
beliefe and often in remote country districts where 
religiouB meetings of any kind were rare. To gather 
the Iambs and the loet sheep into the fold, seemed to be, 
lately, the work to which he felt himself assigned. He 
was a man of genial and cheerful disposition, often 
saying that " he served a good Master, and he did not 
see why he should be sad." His conversation was re- 
markably entertaining and inatructive, and he had the 
power of winning young people to an unusual degree. 
His mother, Rebecca Bond Fussell, was of a shy and 
self-distrustful nature, lacking in confidence, but self- 
foigetful and devoted to the welfare of others and. 



perhaps, one of the kindest of her sex. Their son, 
Dr. Bartholomew Fussell, differed from either parent, 
and was apparently a new combination, unlike any 
one but himself, differing as strongly from his brothers 
and sisters as he did from his parents. In the period 
to which his youth belonged, the country schools 
in northern Chester county, where he resided, were 
not equal to the needs of a few families of Friends. 
In consequence his father, Bartholomew Fussell, Sr., 
although unaccustomed to the work, built with his 
own hands a school-house, the walls of which are 
still in a perfect condition. Here his eldest sister, 
Esther, began her career as a successful teacher, begin- 
ning when only sixteen years of age, with her brothers 
and sisters and the children of a few friends. To this 
sister, more than to any one else. Dr. Fussell always re- 
ferred as the person who had stimulated, aided and 
encouraged him in his efforts to obtain a broad and 
useful education. 

Removing with his father to Maryland, he decided 
upon the study of medicine, teaching school by day, 
and reading for his profession at night. But even this 
heavy strain upon his energies was not sufficient. Being 
deeply impressed with the ignorance, misery and degra- 
dation around him, he sought to alleviate the condition 
of the slaves, by opening a Sabbath School and inviting 
their attendance. Here he taught the rudiments of 
knowledge, not for a few hours only, but for the whole 
day, frequently having as many as ninety pupils in at- 
tendance, their advancement being the sole reward he 
desired or obtained. When they had progressed suffi- 
ciently to be able to read the Bible for themselv^, it 


was a manifwt eoiirce of satisfsction and delight to 
them and it was too early for the slaveholders to aee in 
his efforts any occasion of danger to themselves. Wc 
do not leurn that he tnet with any opposition from th« 
mast«re, while he did win the life-long gratitude of eume 
of his pupila. It was an evidence of the splendid phy- 
sical constitution of the young student, that his health 
did not break down under these exhausting etfort^. He 
continued on every ciccasion to manifest his opposition 
to slavery, becoming the friend and co-laborer of Elisha 
Tyson, one of the most courageous and devoted philan- 
thropists that the institution of slavery ever called into 
existence. At the time of his graduation, and in ihe 
iace of the most in fluent Inl slavehoUk-re belonging to 
the medical profession in Baltimore, Dr. Fusaell uttered 
his solemn prot«at against slavery, as a fruitful Bourse 
of disease and demoralization and as a stigma on the 
race of those who enslaved their kind. 

Ketuming to Pennsylvania to practice his choerai 
profession, he became eminently succesaful, both on ac- 
count of his knowledge and judgment, and his intense 
sympathy with suffering, which seemed to inspire him 
with the faoulty of entering into the feelings of othen, 
of tracing the hidden sources of disease, and of keeping 
his mind ever on the alert, to select and adminiBter 
the proper remedies. These principles actuated him 
just as much in the hovel of the poor as in the 
elaborately furnished mansions of the rich. When 
life was hanging tremblingly in the balance, when the 
closest watching and the strictest care were needed, 
when the timely administration of a remedy, or judicious 
nursing might save life, or the neglect of these imperil 


all chancee of recovery, he would spend whole nights by 
the bedside of the indigent where he expected little or 
no reward, with just as assiduous devotion to the sufier- 
ing fiunily as if he were attending the only daughter of 
a millionaire whose recovery would compensate him 
with a worldly fortune. His heart was in the welfare 
and happiness of the human family, and not in hb purse. 

He was fortunate in selecting for the companion of 
his life one who entered fully into sympathy with him, 
and who aided him in all his endeavors with wifely 
devotion. Lydia Morris 'Fussell was greatly beloved, 
not only in his own family, but in the neighborhood, 
where she was a spirit of kindness, doing good wherever 
opportunity afforded. She was an admirable hostess, 
and her doors were ever open to the mast generous 
hospitality ; her cheerful spirit and free social nature 
making her home a delightful place of sojourn. 
Many were the guests there entertained, only to speak 
her praises. None knew her that were not attracted to 
her. During the greater part of her married life she 
and her husband owned the dwelling afterwards occu- 
pied by Chandler Darlington and his wife, near Ken- 
pett Square, Chester county, Pennsylvania, and as this 
house was always open to fugitives and their friends, 
it has already become historic. Nearly all of the dis- 
tinguished persons who visited Kennett Square, in the 
exercise of anti-slavery duties, were at one time or 
another entertained there as guests. 

This house soon became the goal of the slaves and 
thither they made their way long before the general pub- 
lic was awakened to the iniquity of the system of slavery. 
Dr. Fussell had become a strong and determined oppo- 

nuinber \va< issued until, the but 
last luinihcr wius announced. 

The real earnestness and activity 
abolitionism had its date with the a4 
Burleigh, who, about the year 18 
lecturer in the neighborhood of Ken. 

There being at that time no railrc 
ties by which he could be accommo 
remarkable walker, this gifted orator 
for Dr. FusselPs, one mile east of th 
nett Square, traveling on foot over bat 
distance. Arriving at his destination h 
learned that the doctor and his wife 
parted to attend a discussion on the su 
logy, in the village. Tired as he wa 
our friend immediately followed, and s< 
passed the doctor and his wife in their 
excessively muddy with travel, this ] 
not present an extraordinarily attracti 
first impulse of the Vi'r-'^ " 

r%^ «•** • 


lowed he modestly asked permission to speak, exhibiting 
sach an amount of knowledge, extent of research, pro- 
fbndity of thought, and such oratorical and logical 
powers as to astonish and captivate his hearers. Dr. 
Foffiell used often to tell the story of how he was 
cheated of doing a kindness to Charles C. Burleigh, by 
allowing himself to be governed by a pair of muddy 

At this meeting, all were so delighted that Charles C. 
Burleigh had only to express the wish to have ap- 
pointed and announced a meeting on the subject of 
slavery. This meeting was largely attended, for the 
fame of the speaker had gone abroad. Here he pictured 
slavery and liberty in such clear contrast, and depicted 
the Christian duty of man to his fellow men in such 
glowing colors, embellished by the sublime rhetoric of 
which he was master, that the latent sense of justice and 
anti-slavery emotions were stirred up in the hearte of 
the good people of Kennett, and organization and agita- 
tion were at once instituted. From that time onward 
until emancipation was effected, Kennett Square was 
noted among those who were slow to accept the move- 
ment, as the " hot-bed of abolitionism " while the earnest 
sympathizers with the negro in bondage, in this and in 
other States, found here kind-hearted, able, and intelli- 
gent men and women to aid in the cause, ever ready to 
assist with their money and their labor, and in whose 
homes they always had a hearty welcome. It was the 
cynosure alike of the fugitive and his friends. 

Discussions were now held in West Chester, Lion- 
ville and various other places throughout the country, 
between the abolitionists and colonizationists, each side 



being supported by able speakere. These discufsion* 
aided greatly in aroming public sentiment, which grew 
in favor of freedom for the nogro under our own Got- 

Dr. Pussell was an mtimate friend of Thomas Gar- 
rett, of Wilmington, and laboring in connection witb 
him and many others at aviulable pointe, about two 
thousand fugitivea passed through his hands on their 
way to freedom. Among these he freijuently had the 
pleasure of welcoming some of his old Maryland Sab- 
bath School pupils, who made the knowledge he had 
adlirded them of st-rvice in thtir escape frooi slAvwr ' 
long years afterward. The delighted recogntlioQ of him 
by these poor beings in a strange land, was the occasion 
of the most heart-touching scenes. 

In his practice as a physician, while at Kennett 
Square, Dr. Fussell occasionally met with colored per- 
sons whose constant dread of being recaptured ao 
affected their health as to render his medical services 
necessary. In one instance, the shocking detaik of 
which are omitted, he was called upon to save the life 
of one who had preferred death by his own hand tc 
such a Ate. In many cases he gave far more sympathy 
than medicine, benefitting each by administering what 
their needs required, whether it be clothing or food, en- 
couragement, mirth or reprimand, which ]att«r was 
sometimes needed, but was kindly and wisely given. 

During their residence at Kennett Square, both he 
and hia wife were untiring in their efforts to aid all per- 
sons of color, whether bond or free. Towards the close 
of the first decade of the anti-slavery fetation, they 
removed to West Vincent, Chest«r county, purchasing a 


fiunu adjoining that of their sister Esther Fussell Lewis, 
herself a well-known abolitionist, and there they con- 
tinued their work of receiving fugitives. About the 
year 1838, Lydia M. Fussell died, mourned by all who 
knew her and leaving a young and helpless family to 
the care of her husband. 

After his second marriage with Rebecca C. Hewes, he 
removed to York, Pennsylvania, and opened a school 
there, doing anti-slavery work as formerly. Later he 
came to Hamorton, not far distant from his former 
residence, at Kennett Square. Here he gave a practical 
illustration of his principles by admitting colored youth 
to his school. 

At all times he took an active interest in all educa- 
tional and moral reforms, but was addicted to the use of 
tobacco, which habit he had acquired while young. 
When he was about seventy years of age, a very aged 
relative earnestly remonstrated with him against the 
continuance of this habit, as being inconsistent with a 
life devoted as his had been to the advocacy of many 
different reforms. On his replying that a sudden cessa- 
tion from a practice so long indulged in might result in 
his death, her answer was, ** Well, die then, and go to 
heaven decently." He delighted in after years to recur 
to this conversation, feeling that the faithfulness of his 
mentor, had stimulated him to the resolution of aban- 
doning a habit so much at variance with his otherwise 
exemplary life. 

From early youth, owing to the aid rendered him by 
his eldest sister, he had been led to consider the fitness 
of women for the study and practice of medicine. On 
his own graduation, he mentally resolved that if ever 

.....iuiiicjiI(mI to a iew lil)e 
own proi'cssion, a jilan lor the estj 
ol" the highest grade lor the medic; 
holding a meeting for the purpo 
Those comprising the meeting wen 
Edwin Fussell, M. D., Franklin Ti 
Harvey, M. D., and Sylvester Birdi 
himself, six physicians. In invitin 
be present, he reminded her that it 
sake — she who had more than any 
his character, and inspired him with 
niece still lives to testify that it wi 
his thought, hallowed by brotherly 
Woman's Medical College of Phila 
existence, one of its early graduates 1 
so long a part of the life of the < 
never -at any time officially connecte* 
tion, he yet regarded it as the result 
efforts, and he continued through 1 
welfiu*e with the deepest interest. 
Like othf^r '*'-'•' 


with the oppressed and their defenders, at that period 
BO unpopular. 

At another time, while speaking at Centreville, Dela- 
ware, he waa attacked by a party of Irish from Dupont's 
Powder Mills, who were incited to violence by a person 
who told them that Dr. Fussell had said that " the 
colored persons made better citizens than did the Irish." 
During the most- vigorous period of the anti-slavery 
agitation his life was an almost continual warfare with 
the opponents of that cause, he being prompted by no 
hope of reward, present or prospective, but like other 
abolitionists, solely by benevolent purposes, and by a 
sense of justice and of right ; and no aspersion, however 
infamous, no contumely, however vile, no ostracism, how- 
ever cold, could turn these from the frilfillment of what 
they conscientiously held as a Christian duty. A part 
of his days towards the close of his career, were spent 
with hb son, Joshua, at Pendleton, Indiana, and as age 
and infirmity increased, he was most faithfully and 
tenderly cared for by his children, in the home of his 
son. Dr. Morris Fussell, near Chester Springs, Chester 
county, where he died on the fourteenth of Second mo., 
1871. Hb mortal part was interred near those of his 
ancestors and by the side of his wife, Lydia M. Fussell, 
in Friend's grave yard at Pikeland, where formerly 
stood a meeting house, now gone to decay. 

His son, Joshua L. Fussell, contributes a few inci- 
dents which he can remember connected with the escape 
of frigiti ve slaves. There was an old man named " Davy," 
who gained a livelihood by selling peaches, fresh fish, 
and other commodities, purchased in Delaware, and sold 
in the neighborhood of Kennett Square. Thb person 


be<'iime & very important agent between Thomna Garrett 
anti Dr. Pusaell. His bueiness being known it exited 
no fiuspiciou to see his frequent journeys to Wilmington 
And back, nor wBiB tliere ani-thing remarkable in his 
being Hccompanied by friends of hia owii color, either 
by day or night. There ean be no doubt that maaf 
loads other than fish or peaches, came in the dark fnt 
Tlioraas Garrett's to the house of Dr. Fussell, and \ 
forwarded by him in safety. 

One fugitive from the iar South, was giiided alone fa 
the " dipper." He knew there was a land of libertj 
Boraewhere at the North, and that if he directed h»^ 
course to the right or to the left, a*" that constellation 
turned arouiid the polnr criiiro. hi' would reach the 
land he Bought. This much he seemed to have learned 
even in the darkness of slavery. Where freedom de- 
pended on observation, these bondmen became intease 
watchers of tlie stars at night. 

All who were interrogated as to why they left their 
homes, gave nearly related answers. In the majority 
of cases it waa the fear of being sold to go iiirther 
South. Being "sold to Georgia" was the terror of 
plantation life, although the testimony usually was 
that very few slaveholders would do this unless com- 
pelled by needy circumstances. Hence the slaves 
learned to look with dismay on extravagances which 
sooner or later would bring the anguish of parting upon 
themselves. Some escaped rather than submit to pro- 
mised punishmenla. Two good looking women, digni- 
fied and upright in department and conversation, left 
for the most womanly of all reasons. They prized their 
pative purity as highly as do the most chaste and re- 


fined of their sex, and only by escaping to a land of 
freedom, could they preserve it. 

One man leaving the South in mid-winter, had his 
fingers frozen so that the flesh was sloughing off, the 
ends of the bones protruding half an inch, yet the idea 
.of liberty was so dear to this man that his suffering 
seemed trivial in comparison with the bondage he had 

After Dr. Fussell had left Kennett Square, and 
resided in West Vincent, as formerly mentioned, a girl 
named Eliza came to them. She had been a field hand, 
was only 18 years of age, and was quite masculine in 
appearance. She had charge of the horses belonging 
to her master, and being a good rider, she one evening 
selected a suitable steed, and as soon as it was safe, 
started northward. Pressed by the fear of capture, she 
rode bare-backed, about forty miles that night, and 
towards morning, dismounting, she turned the horse 
homeward, hiding the bridle to thwart the suspicion 
that she had ridden the horse away. Tired as she must 
have been with her long ride, she knew no rest, but 
continued her journey on foot, walking thirty miles by 
evening, making in all seventy miles of travel in twenty- 
four hours. She lived for a considerable time in the 
family, and proved an excellent girl, but was at first 
extremely awkward in learning anything pertaining to 
housewifery. She was never better pleased than when 
permitted to work on the farm, and, as a harvest hand, 
was hard to excel, even by the stoutest men. Here she 
became acquainted with James Washington, another 
fugitive, and after a time the pair were married at the 
house of Dr. Fussell, by Friend's ceremony — a marriage 

272 nlFTOBT OF THB fl 

certifi^to bung provided for them, aigaed by the 
requigite Dumber of witneeHt. On tiie nine BVeaiag 
anolber pwr was also muted in * siiuilarDiuincr, before 
tbe auoe witnenu. In these times, in the year 1838, 
aboltiouiatH Mt it nicedlul to be exlremelv chary about 
trusting magistnuee with secrHs of this or any other 
character pertainuig to fiigitir<«, but these marriagw 
were made strictly l^al by providing a sufficient num- 
ber of trusted friends as iritnesees. 

Earlier than this, another fugitive seems vi^-idly to 
have impressed the boyish memory of Jiehua L. Pus- 
sell. Thi* wa." Geiir^e HarrL?, who was remarkable for 
hi* extr:ir,n,:T,,,rv .i^i^tl-V-- ..f njiti."!, auiJ tor hb 
itable perseverance in obtaining liberty. He was reared 
in Maryland or Virginia, and had been sold and taken 
to Georgia, near the boundary line with Florida. He 
was quite a young man, but must have been gifted with 
extraordinary geographical powers. Undeterred by the 
long distance to be traveled on foot, or the privations to 
be endured and risks incurred before he could reach 
" Mason and Dixon's line," he started on his journey, 
determined not only to attempt .the undertaking, but to 
succeed in it. For his guides, he relied wholly upon 
the course of railroads running northward and upon 
his knowledge of the country, gained in his compulsory 
journey southward. It is probable that he then had 
escape in view, and that all his faculties were bent in 
one direction, for so accurate was his memory that he 
could enumerate in successive order every county 
through which he passed, as evinced by tracing his 
courae upon the map of the country. The narrative of 
his journey abounded in incidents of peril, humor, and 



even romance 00 interesting that the friends who listened 
to it intended to preserve it. This was, however, never 
done, and after leaving Dr. FusselFs, Greorge Harris 
hired with Pusey Cland, near Marlborough Meeting 
House, and soon afterward died. 

Among active abolitionists it too often happened that 
one story succeeded another with great rapidity, while 
the main thought centered upon the safety of the narra- 
tors. Daily life and its duties interfered to prevent a 
written record of these narratives, and it is now too late 
to restore them vdth any degree of vividness. Fre- 
quently the speed of transit did not admit of sufficient 
delay to listen to life histories ; and sometimes there was 
little to tell except the unconscious heroism of escape 
from a system of barbarity, which lifted above the com- 
mon level of slavery natures which had been depraved 
by generations of ignorance, submission, and all the 
other vices inherent in the system to which they had 
been subjected. 


(John Ck>x, Bom Third Mo. 12th, 1786, Died Second Mo. 22d, 1880. 
HAnnsth Pearce Cox, Born Eleventh Mo. 12th, 1797, Died Fourth 
Mo. 24th. 1876.) 

Longwood, Chester county, being one of the first 
stations after leaving Wilmington, John and Hannah 
Cox, with their children, were frequently called upon, 
and generally in the night, to aid fugitives on their way 
to freedom. This aid was ever cheerfully, gladly given. 
They fed all, clothed those who needed clothing, and 
either conveyed or directed them to stations further 
northward. As it was unsafe to keep them so near the 



State Ubc^ &o delay was risked in tnortng A«i matA- 
ward bef<md the predncts of daDger. 

ThevomeD nod cliildreo nho n-cre broiij^ to diair 
place from Wilmfa^itoii, mca genenlly eo p fgyed ia a 
dearborn hj a ooliwed nua ttUB«d JadEwa. If mn 
were aimig, and the partj null, thij n>da. If Utem 
were sereral, the men Mlowod on fbot When airinii^ 
Jackson gave three diatinot r^ii npon the jwhi Han in 
This awakened Q» fiimilf nbo nqModed: "Wlw'i 
therdT" "Frienda," waa the nplj. Jacboo titan 
immediateljr tamed hk v^ole and left. The fii^ttna 
were admitted, a good mppar girai them, and • qieedj 
conveyanoe fbniidwd to otfwr fHcDds. Hihb hoikdrada 
were aided, and inetances of peril and anxiety were not 
rare. Many came directly from their owners in Dela- 
ware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. Few 
questions were asked beyond what were necessary to 
satisfy themselves that the parties were really fiigitiTes 
irom slavery. 

A man and woman with their child, tired and hun- 
gry, called at their place one night. They had come 
from near ElktoD, had ridden one of their master's 
horses as far as they dare, then traveled the rest of the 
way on foot. They were attired in some of " Massa's 
clo'es." The woman wore a pair of his fine boots. 
Their reason for leaving was a " fear of being sold to 
go South." They were fed, properly clothed, and as- 
sisted further on their journey. 

It was a custom in the South to give slaves once a 
year a week of holiday in which to enjoy themselves 
without being required to work, and to visit relatives and 
friends on other plantations. Many of them were not 



i-equired to return or to give an account of themselves 
<luring that time. As this week was their own, and 
some of them liked to earn a little spending money, 
they remained and worked ; the masters paying them 
for the labor. But many felt that as one week of lib- 
erty in a year was a glorious respite from the long 
weeks of unrequited tasks, a lifetime of such liberty 
would be better, and they took advantage of that time 
to leave for the North. So, after the holidays, a greater 
number of fugitives were passed along. In after years 
the slaveholders discontinued this custom. 

It was after one of these seasons that two fine looking 
colored men and a woman came from Maryland and 
were passed to other stations. Several years after, one 
of the men met Hannah Cox at an anti-slavery meet- 
ing, and reminded her of the time she " helped him to 

One woman came there from Wilmington, who was 
the slave of a Presbyterian minister. She had been 
kindly treated, but heard a whisper in the family that 
she was to be sold next day. She was very nervous 
through fear that her " kind massa" would be after her. 
While she was secreted in the garret, a carriage drove 
by which they knew was from Wilmington. 

As soon as it was dark she was taken to another 
station and rapidly sent on to Canada. Next day they 
heard that some persons were in Kennett Square hunt- 
ing a ftigitive slave, but could not find her. 

Eight men came at one time, just after the passage of 
the " Fugitive Slave Law." They were in haste to reach 
Philadelphia to meet another party. There being no 
railroad in the lower part of the county then, J. William 


276 BtetoEV OP thb 

Cox, who W8a but a lad, took them to West Chester in 
the night, in time to take the first train in the morning. 
As the horees were busy he took but one, whicli he rode ; 
the men followed. Before reaching We«t Chwter ho 
halted and g»ve. them directions to walk by twos at some 
distance apart, bo ae not to excite euspicion along the 
Btre«tH and when he arrived opposite the depot he 
would raise hia hat ; the first two were then to cross th<i 
street and entei' the door, the others were to follow. On 
reaching the place he gave the signal and rode ou to 
Simon Barnard's to ask if he would go to the depot and 
eee that the men were started rightly. He met 8iniOD 
at the gate, and while talking he was aftonished to aM 1 
six of ihc men coming up behind him. Tliev had not 
observed the first two enter the depot, and had followed 
him. He gave them at once into Simon's charge and 

. In the summer of 1843, eight men came in the night. 
It was hay-harvest, and John Cox was needing help. 
He kept them in the bam to assist. Ab soon aa one 
cart was loaded it was driven in, and the man returned 
with the empty one to the field — John and the boy re- 
maining in the barn. The men wondered how they 
unloaded so quickly. But they were men not to be 
trusted with the secret, and it was careAilly kept from 

One midnight, in 1857, they were startled by the sig- 
nal that " Conductor Jackson's" train was at Longwood, 
with a party that needed immediate assistance. They 
comprised eighteen in all, seven men, the rest women 
and children. They had been attacked near Centre- 
ville, Del., by a party of Iriebmen, whom they took to 


be kidnappers. They fought desperately ; one of the 
n^roes showed a knife with which he had stabbed an 
Irishman. The whole party were intensely excited and 
the ffunily very much alarmed, not knowing but that 
the pursuers were close upon them. A hot supper was 
at once prepared for them, and as quickly as possible 
they were taken further North. They had not been 
gone more than fifteen minutes, when loud talking was 
heard from two carriages coming from toward Wil- 
mington, and one person was heard saying, " We*ll 
overtake them yet." Tlie anxious family awaited trem- 
blingly the return of those who took the slaves, know- 
ing well the consequences should they be overtaken and 

They learned afterwards that the persons who drove 
by were returning from a party ; and that the Irish- 
men were not kidnappers, but lived in the neighbor- 
hood, and had gone out to have a little sport on Hallow 
Eve. The unfortunate one who received the injury, 
died shortly after in Centreville. 

A slave and a free colored man in their employ were 
foddering the stock one morning at daybreak, when two 
men in a carriage stopped near the fodder-stock. One 
exclaimed, "that is he." At this moment one of the 
men ran to the stack and caught the negro who was de- 
scending the ladder, but who happened to be the free 
man. A sharp fight ensued, in which the white man 
received some severe injuries. The colored man de- 
clared in emphatic language, not wholly in conformity 
with one of the Commandments, that he would shoot 
him. The one in the carriage called out " That is not 
Sam." Sam knew his master's voice and hid. The free 


man ran to the houee, got the gun, and started ui hot. 
pursuit of the men ; but they drove ao fast as to keep 
beyond the reiu?h of hU ammunition. That iiiglit the 
slave left for a safer home (Hrthor North. 

John HJid Hannali Cox were members of the Sodrty 
of Prieufis, and wure endued with a great iov« of 
jiifltice and right, and a desire to fulfill in their lives 
the Divine law. It was this inherent principle in 
the days of slavery thnt made abnlitionisls of meti and 
women who " considered those in chains sf bound with 

They became interested in ajiti-«lnvcry meetings, and 
from reading the lAberaior and hearing Charles C 
Burleijjh in one of his lei'lures rqieat Whiltier'f" poem, 
" Our Fellow Countrymep in Chains," they advocated 
immediate emancipation. They thought with William 
Lloyd Garrison that while the slave was made to work 
uoder the laab, that while a husband was sold by a 
Virginia gentleman to be taken to Louisiana, children 
sold to slave-traders to go under different masters, and 
the wife and mother kept at home to pine in a hovel 
made desolate, to talk of the gradual extermination of 
these evils was as unwise in principle aa " to tell a man 
to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the 
ravisher, or tell the mother to gradually extricate her 
babe from the fire." The burning of Pennsylvania 
Hall, in Philadelphia, on May 17th, 1838, and what 
they saw and heard there, aroused them to increased 
interest and activity in the cause. It was there they 
became personally acquainted with Garrison and the 
warm friendship which began then continued during 
life. He was a frequent visitor at their place, especially 


during the meetings of Progressive Friends at Long- 
wood, as were also Isaac T. Hopper, John G. Whittier, 
Lucretia Mott, Sarah Pugh, Abby Kelley, Lucy Stone, 
Mary Grew, James Russell Lowell, Samuel J. May^ 
Theodore Parker, Robert Collyer, James Freeman 
Clarke, and a host of others who were interested in the 
progress and elevation of the human family. 

John Cox was President of the Kennett Anti-slavery 
Society, and both he and his wife were frequently sent 
as delegates to Anti-slavery State and National Conven- 

On the eleventh of Ninth mo. (September), 1873, the 
fiftieth anniversary of their wedding was celebrated at 
their home at Longwood, and eighty-two guests signed the 
certificate. Many of them were old anti-slavery friends 
and co-laborers in the various reforms in which hus- 
band and wife were so warmly interested. 

Their friend and neighbor. Chandler Darlington, in 
recounting the works of their life in a poem prepared 
for the occasion, said : 

We saw you early on the watch-tower stand, 
When Slavery's curse polluted all the land : 
You've lived to see that blighting curse removed, 
And Freedom triumph in the land you loved : 
For Woman's right to equal be with Man 
You've borne the taunt and labored in the van : 
Nor were you circumscribed to those alone ; 
The Temperance cause you fully made your own. 
In works of Charity, at open door 
Your liberal hands have freely served the poor : 
Where'er was sorrow, suflfering or despair. 
Your kindly sympathy was ever there. 

Bayard Taylor, whose boyhood *8 home was near them, 
sent a greeting from Germany, where he was then resid- 
ing, in which he said : 


Awl mulherlj wa* UaniiBb : 
Anil wh*ii with hupu uT hlwhct l«w 

The air of bome 
How Ruuy B pivHliEr Uiun 1 

Th«r poet fliend, John O. Whlttiar, who ma nnahle 

to be preseot, sent them a congratulation, in which, re- 
ferring to the happy visits he had made to their home, 
and to the coagenial spirita with whom he had there 
met and conversed, he eaid : 

Kov K\»d\y would I tread again lb« old remembered placea, 

ait down beside your linitli on« more, and look Id (he dear old hcea ; 

And thank you for (he lewona four flfly rears an Maohlng, 

For honest liv« that louder speak than half nur noisy preaching; 

For works ot love and duty Ihat knew no aelBsh ends. 

For bearU and doors Ml open ror the bondman and bis fHendsi 

For your steady Ikllb and ooun>«e In that dark and evil time 

When the Golden Rule waa treason, and to reed the huusry, crime: 

For Ibe poor slave's house of refuge when Ihe hounds were on bis 

■, Joined bauds ti 

end him 

Since then John and Hannah Cox have ceased their 
labors upon earth. The fruits of their good works re- 
main behind them ; the record of their earnest, faithful 
lives preceded them into eternity. After a long life 



of rare goodness and usefulness, we can but feel assured 
that the Master's call was theirs, " Come ye blessed of 
my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from 
the foundation of the world,'' and that a blissful im- 
mortality is now their glorious reward. 


rnos BiKiAKD,— Nfferpnocs at KmarM Bqasn.— InndEiMii.— -Ancal 
or Chkrlca C, Bnrlefgb.- ElH^nr* Bwrian.— ImddcDU.— Erne- 

— WUIlaia BHiiud with Eo*eUua and Olhcn AjBtnu tn PosndiDB 
Smrlelr oT Prosre^Te F^^nds.— Kldoappiue aJ bou>r of Zebalau 

rBuni BiRhih Mo. (Atic<ut)Tili. UDS.1 

Simon Barnard, of Newlin, was itoe of the Rblest 
adroc&tea of the anti-slaverr cause within that southern; 3] 
nectiijn of Chester couiily. Pi >A-Wji?ing nvn- ihiin or'lin- 
arj mental ability, sound in logic, clear and convincing 
in speech, and undaunted in purpose, he was looked up 
to as the leader and pillar of the anti-slavery movement 
in that vicinity. 

The opponents of anti-slavery there had well-grounded 
reasons, as they thought, for adhering to the claims of 
slavery. The Constitution of the United States guaran- 
teed it ; it was an institution of the South, and we had 
no right to meddle with it ; slavery was not so bad as it 
was represented to be ; slaves did not want to be free, 
except a few who were made dissatisfied by abolition 
preaching and disturbances; if they were set free they 
would all come North ; they were property by inherit- 
ance, and belonged to their masters as much as our land 
belonged to us, and the doctrine of States Rights had 
been so well digested and proclaimed in the South, and 
disseminated in the North, that the majority of the 
people felt themselves absolved from all responsibility 


pertaining to it. This was the firmly maintained public 
opinion which the rising spirit of abolitionism in and 
around Kennett Square had to contend against, and it 
required a man of Simon Barnard's nerve, intelligence 
and ability as a speaker, to take a position in the van, 
to breast this tide of opposition and subdue its force. 

Meetings were frequently held in that neighborhood, 
addressed by the ablest speakers. In the earlier days 
of the anti-slavery uprising these were but poorly 
attended. Those who were opposed to the movement, 
and who should have attended the meetings to know 
whether or not the arguments advanced were valid, 
remained at home, and many of these discouraged others 
from going. Simon Barnard on some occasions traveled 
many miles, day and night, to give information of meet- 
ings, took speakers to and from them and was rewarded 
for his labor by an audience of less than a dozen — nearly 
all abolitionists — and that, too, at one time, when the 
speaker was the eloquent Charles C. Burleigh. 

Behold the difiiculty of instructing and convincing 
individuals upon any reform or upon any subject in 
which they feel no interest, and upon which they do not 
wish to be convinced. 

At that time the church, of all denominations, con- 
demned the movement as fanatical and incendiary. 
And the church sways a power like Archimedes' lever. 
But no great reform, however salutary, no great first 
step in the jidvancement of science calculated to benefit 
the human family in its entirety, has ever been adopted 
without earnest opposition. Even the broad doctrine 
of Christianity, of salvation through Jesus Christ, was 
bitterly opposed, and Jesus was put to death. Men and 


womeD hsvp been tortured upoa the rack, buffeted in 
the streeta, and Lave had their tonguet pierced with red 
hot iroas for preaching religions doctrines different 
from the belief of others. Michael Servetua and John 
Bogere were botli burned to death for this ufiense. 
Cialileo was imprisoned and threal«ned with death for 
teaching the theory of tfie earth's motion. Harvey lost 
A great portion of bia practice for a time after he pub- 
lished a Treatise upon hia Discovery of the Circulation 
of the Blood. He was defamed by eminent professors 
and by the older members of the pnifession generally. 
Jenner waa stigmatiKetl for introducing vaecinatioOi 
doctors refiised to try it, uthI it w;i.-' diTioiiin'cl fnim the 
pulpit aa "diabolical." Franklin had evil things atud 
of him for interfering with heaven'a lightning, in at- 
tracting it from its course and making it to lie down 
harmless at his feet. We are not to wonder then that 
abolitioDiats were reviled throughout the whole country, 
mobbed in the North, and tarred and feathered in the 
South for advocating freedom to the negro. The spirit 
of denunciation is not confined to any age of the world, 
nor to any race or sect of people. But Progress is a 
law of Nature, stamped upon our being by the hand of 
Deity, and cannot be inhibited or repressed. Radical 
thinkers are necessary for the enlightenment and ad- 
vancement of every age, and the slow and deliberative 
reasoning of conservatives is oft-times essential to the 
modifying and maturing of original thought. Hence 
all fill important niches in the onward progress of the 
world's events. 

As it is not to be expected^that all will see and believe 
alike at the same time, a respectful consideration for the 


honest views of others is ever due from man to man. 
And as religious beliefe and tenets are always dear to 
those who espouse them, it was as painful a course of 
action for the reformatory Friends in Kennett Square 
and the vicinity who sought, by extraordinary and ultra 
means, to ameliorate the condition of humanity, to 
absolve themselves from allegiance to their former re- 
ligious ties, as it was for those who remained within the 
pale of the church to disown from membership their 
former co-laborers. 

Times since then have changed. A new era has 
dawned upon our nation. Differences have been settled. 
Over all the past the veil of charity should now be 
tenderly drawn, and the warm hand of love and friend- 
ship be cordially and tenderly extended. 

The house of Simon Barnard being on the direct line 
of " underground " travel, was an asylum for the hunted 
slave on his perilous nocturnal joumeyings toward the 
North Star and freedom. Hundreds received the usual 
attention, were harbored, fed, clothed and forwarded to 
other friends. But scarcely any reminiscences can be 
given in detail. Secrecy in the work was the one great 
feature, and not to know or remember too much was one 
of the essentials. The younger members of the family 
were exhorted to silence. They would hear whisperings, 
sometimes see colored people; the very atmosphere 
seemed laden with an impressive hush ; then soon, all 
was again as usual. 

The effort was to pass all fugitives along as quickly 
as possible. Simon Barnard kept a large, two-horse, 
close-covered wagon, which was called " Black Maria," 
and by hanging a quilt close to the front seat where he 


sat, he could carry ten or a dozen men. women and 
children, with several babies, well concealed. Hie fear 
always was that the babies would cry. But the women 
eeemed to have uo a^ttoaiahing power in stopping their 
cries. The moment one would begin, it was silenced as 
if by magic. This was a fortunate circumBtance, for had 
the little ones cried when passing through a village at 
midnight, or by a hotel where, perchance, a slave-hunter 
waa sleeping, as was sometimes the case, the success of the 
undertaking would have been seriously endangered. 
Marshallton, Dowuingtown and West Chester were in 
his direct routes to other stations. 

A party of thirteen came to Simon Barnard's house 
one nii'ht and were taken t.> Niithaii Eviiiis. The men 
were well armed. There was cause for apprehension as 
they passed through West Chester at midnight, but all 
were delivered safely. 

A party in a wagon of peculiar construction which 
was easily tracked, arrived at one time at his place in 
Newlin. He piloted them to John Viekers by way of 
Isaac Meredith's, taking Isaac with him through Mar- 
shallton. This ride waa in the very fece of most immi- 
nent risk, for slave-catchers were in close pursuit — 
somewhere in the neighborhood, they knew not where. 
It waa discovered afterward that they had stopped for 
the night at a tavern in Marshallton, and were quietly 
sleeping there when the party passed by the house. [A 
further deacription of them is given in the account of 
John Viekers,] 

So close was the chase sometimes that Simon thought 
it best to encumber his property that it might be un- 
avfdtable for damages to slave property. 


On one occasion, Charles C. Burleigh was arrested 
in Oxford and sent to jail in West Chester. He was 
in custody of a constable passing throngh Unionville, 
when word was sent to Simon Barnard, who immediately 
started, although the roads were deep with mud. He 
arrived there just as the door of the jail was about to 
close upon Burleigh, and took him out of custody on bail. 

Burleigh deeming his mission at Oxford unfinished, 
repeated his offence by preaching abolition and selling 
his tracts there on the next Sunday. He was re-arrested, 
and on the evening of a bitter cold day, he and the 
Oxford constable drove up to Simon Barnard's com- 
fortable house, nearly perished — both nearly frozen. 
The ludicrous part of the scene was keenly relished by 
Simon, who used to say that instead of the constable 
taking Burleigh to jail, Burleigh was conducting the 
frozen officer to the house of his friend, where they were 
both kindly treated to a warm supper, lodging and 
breakfast ; not only they but their horses. Next morn- 
ing they departed, and Simon humorously remarked 
afterward that he was left in doubt as to whether the 
constable took Burleigh, or Burleigh took the constable. 

His home was the frequent visiting place of the emi- 
nent abolitionists of those times, then unpopular, but 
now renowned, such as Isaac T. Hopper, Edmund 
Quincy, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, 
Theodore Parker, John G. Whittier, Frederick Douglass, 
Charles C, William and Cyrus Burleigh, James Russell 
Lowell, Lucretia Mott, Joshua R. Giddings, and others. 

In his humanitarian labors he was warmly seconded 
by his wife, a woman of superior intelligence and charac- 
ter. She died in March, 1881. 

SiBM Bftnisrd, b sou of Jo^ph Bamurd, Rnd faflj 
wift, Ifarv Meredith, was born in N'ewlin, Cheetor' 
oowatf, Kighth mo. (Augusi) 7th, 1*^02, on KnewtimV 
Uodi Aoquired in 1726 by Kichard Uarnard, theeecon^ 
who WW a son of the emigrant ancestor who arrive^ 
here in 1685. 

Id Ihnth inu., 1827, he married Sarah, daughter of 
y-'-'^fftfl and Martha Darlinghm, of East Bradford. 
In 1862 they removed to We»t CliMter, and in U63 to 
Philadelphia, where he ?till resides in the enjoj-ment of 
good health. 

&iras engaged in farming until about his fifltetit 
year. In Weal ClKster iie engaged in the liiuiljer buai- 
new and the building of hoosm; and in FtitlRdelphia 
in the manutacturiug of bricks by eteam and in real ee- 
tate investmenta. He is now enjoying in retiremeat the 
fruite of an active life. 

The Bamards were all abolitionists. lUchard M. 
Barnard, a brother of Simon, and occupying an adjoin- 
ing &rn], rendered some effective service to fhgitiv« 
slaves, but he was more of a politidan in those Sajb, 
and more conservative. He was a representative in the 
Legislature at Harrisburg in 1837-38. He was a 
prominent and influential man of the neighborhood, 
and was much relied upon as an umpire in disputed 
questions, being a clear-beaded accountant, mathemati- 
cian, surveyor, conveyancer and man of affiurs. 

(Bom Seventh Honth (Jul;) 1MB.— Died l§as.) 

When the number of slaves that were forwarded by 
Daniel Gibbons to friends in Lancaster county and the 
northern part of Chester county, and by Thomas Oar- 



rett to Philadelphia and other places, became so great 
as to necessitate another route through Chester county, 
Eusebius and Sarah P. Barnard, of Pocopsin, were 
among the first to make their residence an established 
station on this new line of travel. Slaves came to their 
place chiefly from Thomas Garrett, Isaac and Dinah 
Mendenhall, Dr. Bartholomew Fussell and others. If 
they arrived in the early part of the night, they were 
fed, and about two o'clock in the morning were taken to 
other stations, generally by Eusebius himself, until his 
sons were old enough to be sent on these hazardous 
missions. During his absence on one occasion, his wife 
sent their oldest daughter Elizabeth. If fugitives ar- 
rived in busy seasons, or at other times when their labor 
would be of service, and there was no immediate dan- 
ger, they remained a few days, worked, and were paid 
the customary wages. If women and children came, 
they were taken in a dearborn to other places. If there 
were no children along, and the fugitives were able to 
walk, they were taken part way to some other station, 
generally to William Sugar, six miles distant, and 
given a slip of paper containing his name, and direc- 
tions how to find his place. 

Seventeen men came on foot one evening, when no 
one was at home but the daughters and the youngest 
son, Enos. He knew where his uncle William Barnard 
lived, and being just old enough to ride a horse, he 
mounted one and rode in front of the men to the place, 
and delivered his charge safely. 

A party of six or eight came one First-day (Sunday) 
morning, just as the family were starting for meeting. 
Eusebius and his brother William were on a religious 


290 HISTORY OF THE ^^^1 

visit to Ohio, and were expecting some of the family to 
njeet ihem on their return to Downingtown the next 
day. Upon the oldest son, JBusebiiis R,, now devolved 
the task of conducting these pa^engcra. It was some- 
what hftzardoue to venture out with them at that 
time of day, but he loaded some in a dear- 
born so aa to give them the appearance of going 
to a colored Quarterly Meeting, then in eesaion near 
by. The balance of the party were to walk fer 
enongh behind to keep in Bightofthedearhorn, while he 
rode on liorse-back some distance in advance. He took 
them to Dr. Eshleman's, left the horse there which he 
rode, iind returned with the dearborn. They met a 
great number of persona, but no one suspected that the 
load of dusky humanity which passed, were passengers 
on the " Underground Railroad," traveling in open 
daylight, with their conductor in front, piloting them 
with as much calmness as though he were riding on «a 
ordinary errand. On the following day the deartwm 
was driven to Downingtown, Eueebius and William re- 
turned in it, and the horse was ridden home from Dr. 
Eshleman's house. 

On the 27th of October, 1855, while a number of 
friends were assembled at Longwood to level the ground 
and make arrangements for building sheds, a party of 
eleven came there from Wilmington; they were kept 
until evening, when Eusebius took them home with him, 
gave them supper and lodging, and at two o'clock next 
morning sent Eusebius R. with them to Downingtown. 
To avoid suspicion which so many in one gang at that 
place would excite, he was directed to divide the party 
before reaching there, to take those in the dearborn to 



Zebulon Thomas, and send the others on foot to Dr. 
Eshleman. Arriving at a wood near the town, he 
separated them as directed. When he arrived at Zebu- 
lon Thomas's house and Zebulon saw the number he 
had, he advised him not to stop a moment, but to keep 
on toward John Viekers. Eusebius remarked that he 
thought he had gone far enough, but Zebulon, knowing 
the risk of delay just then, replied, " We cannot talk 
now, this is a very dangerous pro-slavery place ; keep 
on and I will gear up and overtake thee soon." As he 
was starting he saw the remainder of the party still 
following him. Whether they had failed to comprehend 
his directions, or were afraid to go without a guide, or 
were unwilling to be separated from the others, he could 
not devise, and he began to tell about them. Zebulon 
quickly interrupted him and told him to go on and he 
would attend to them. He drove on some distance to a 
suitable place, where he waited until Zebulon with his 
colored men came up with the others, and took them on 
toward John Viekers* place. Returning to Thomas's, 
he ate his breakfast, had his horses fed, and then started 
homeward, rejoiced that he had passed them so far in 

This party lefl their master's plantation in Maryland 
about eight o'clock the night before, taking with them 
a couple of two-horse carriages, and arrived in Wilming- 
ton early next morning. They went immediately to 
Thomas Garrett's. He told them to leave the horses 
hitched on the street, while he conducted them quickly 
out of town, and directed them up the Kennett " pike," 
to friends at Longwood. Their meeting with a number 
of them together at that place was casual. 


About eleven o'clock Thomas Garrett paseed along 
the street and called attcntiou to the horses ; said they 
looked in bad condition, and wondered whose they were. 
No one knew, but some observed that they had seen 
them there since early in the morning. He suggested 
their being taken to a stable and cared for. Perhaps 
some people had stolen them in the night and driven 
them to Wilmington for a ride, or for some other pur- 
pose. K the owners should call they could he toH 
where to find them, and the matter be explained. The 
crowd which had then collected thought this the best 
thing to do, as the horses looked badly in need rf 
provender. The news soon spread over town. In th« 
afternoon the slave-hunters came, and were told where 
the horses were. They supposed then that the alavee 
were hidden somewhere in the town, and would be 
crawling out of their coverts at night. Bo every sus- 
pected place was well watched — Thomas Oarrett's in 
particular. The hunters remained in town a day or 
two and continued an assiduous and determined search, 
but bearing no tidings whatever of their slaves, they 
abandoned their efforts and returned home. 

The fugitives reached the home of Graceanna Levis 
and sisters, where they were separated and forwarded 
OD different roads toward Canada. 

About the middle of March 1861, two women, both 
somewhat crippled, with four children, were brou^t to 
Eusebiue Barnard's place late in the evening. The 
reasons given for leaving their master, were^hat one or 
more of the children were about to be sold, and that in 
their own crippled condition they could not perform the 
tasks given them each day without great &tigue and 


Buffering. They were given food and comfortable beds. 
At two o'clock in the morning Eusebius R. was called. 
He had retired early in the evening, before the party 
arrived, as he had to prepare a lecture next day to 
deliver at the close of the session of Fairville Seminary 
which he was attending, five miles from home. 

It was the custom to select one or two members of 
each class to give a lecture on Commencement Day 
upon such subject as the professors might select. One 
hour was allotted to each class for this purpose. The 
subject given to Eusebius R. Barnard was Electricity. 
Being called at two o'clock, the hour invariably fixed 
for starting with fugitives, he knew well what it meant. 
He was always willing to rise at night and do whatever 
was asked of him, but having only three days left of the 
session, and that being the last day of the week, on 
which they had but few lessons to recite, he wished to 
devote the whole day, aside from the time required for 
those lessons, in preparing himself to meet the large 
audience which always assembled on those occasions, to 
give an instructive lecture in a clear manner, and to 
make it still more interesting by illustrating different 
parts of it with appropriate apparatus. He therefore 
asked to be excused from going that morning. But 
excuses were vain. The demand was absolute. The 
women and children had to be hurried along as fast as 
possible, and no one could then go in his stead. For once 
he arose with reluctance, and mused pensively over the 
gloomy prospect of preparing his lecture that day. 

He took them to the nearest station, one to which he 
seldom went, thinking if they could be received there it 
would enable him to return soon. But peculiar circum- 



Btiinc«a just then mude it impossible for the fkmily U 
give any [wsistance at that time. He went to anotheT 
p]ac«, which formerly was a good station, but the 
member of the family who had given it his personal 
Bupervifiiou for years, hnviug rei.«ntly died, the otliere 
did not feel easy to undertake the contiiiuanoe of tlie 
work. This second refusal came to him like a stunniug 
blow. He knew not what to do next. He was off his 
usual rout«. It was then breakfast time, nod he had 
been travelling aince two o'clock through deep, muddy 
roads. He was asked to get out and take breakfast, but 
he declined. The women were invited ; they accepted. 
But he was not in a mood to wait for them. He said 
they wert! cripples and bundled up, and it would take 
too long for them to get out and eat. The family then 
brought victuals out to them, and a plate for him. But 
he again declined, saying " he could not eat anything ; 
it would choke him." The disappointment that morning 
bad spoiled his appetite. He was in a complete dilemma 
as to what to do. He inquired for a place he had fre- 
quently heard his mother speak of The family advised 
him not to go there, but directed him to a person in 
Coatesviile. He persisted in going to the nearest place. 
Again they advised him not to go, but gave no reaaons. 
But he wanted to unload quickly and get home, and 
was therefore willing to risk more than usual. He went 
there. He was not acquainted with any of the family. 
He asked first for the man ; was told he was not at 
home. Then he asked for the.wite, to whom he told his 
errand. She would not accept the fugitives. He begged 
her to accomodate him that time. But shestill refused, 
as the^ were not in that busineaa and didti't wish to 


b^in it. On his way out the lane he met a man whom 
he supposed to be the one he wished to see ; but he was 
afraid to importune any further, and passed silently by. 
In a few days Eusebius Barnard received a note from 
this man requesting him not to send any more fugitives 
to his place as he did not wish to identify himself with 
the work. 

Thus disappointed at every step, Eusebius R. Barnard 
started next for the place of their old, tried and true 
friend, Dr. Eshleman. It was nearly night when he 
arrived there ; neither he nor his horses having eaten 
an3rthing all day. While dragging along at a slow, 
labored gait, through the deep, heavy mud, he met a 
stranger who looked scrutinizingly at him, and then 
peering into the wagon, asked what he had there. Fear 
for a moment tingled through every nerve. He imagined 
the man must be a slave-hunter, for he could not suppose 
that any other stranger would have the audacity to act 
in that manner. He gave a short answer, and drove on 
with apparent unconcern. The inquisitive stranger 
stood there for awhile gazing at him, and then started 
off, much to the relief of Eusebius' mind. 

It was nearly night when he reached Dr. Eshleman's. 
He related his day's tribulations to the good doctor, who 
told him to unload and he would take care of the party. 
These were the most joyous words that fell upon his 
ears that day. 

'* Joy never feasts so high, 
As when the first course is of misery." 

Ailer the women and children were taken into the 
house, he 'was asked to stay, have supper, and let his 
horses be fed. He accepted the invitation for the horses, 

but dMlined for hinieclf. The fatigue and disiippoint- 
mcnte of the diiy bad dutroyed all appetite. 

He had now but two days left in which to prepare 
his lecture, in conuection with other school lesaoos. But 

Tlie more he's ceni down will the hieber riw." 

llo applied himself with redoubled energy, and when 
tlip day arrived ho and another stiident, who was 
at the same time a l«achcr of eome branches, were to 
occupy the hour allotted to that ela«s. EuBebiua wo« 
called first, altiimigh he wished the teacher to lead offin 
the programine. Tremblingly, but trustfully, he eteppp'i 
upon the rosti'iini and fiifcd hi.s niulk'nce. 

He expounded the principles and propertiee of elec- 
tricity, illustrating the lecture with the apparatus at his 
command ; nor was he conscious of how time was pass- 
ing until nearly the whole hour was consumed. The 
second speaker had scarcely finished his exordium 
when the bell tapped, announcing the expiration of the 
time — much to the disappointment of the latter as he 
had prepared with great care a very elaborate speech 
for the occasion. 

This terminated the labors of Eusebius Barnard in 
the Underground Railroad work. These were the last 
iugitives that called on him for assistance. The war 
broke out soon after and he lived to see the glorious 
work accomplished — the abolition of slavery — for 
which he had given his time, labor and money for a 
number of years. 

Like all others on regular routes he had passed hun- 
dreds on their way to freedom. 


The old house is still standing, and the kitchen floor 
upon which so many fugitives lay and slept upon comfort- 
able beds waiting for the " two o'clock A. M. train" to 
leave, frequently calls up reminiscences of by-gone times. 

Eusebius Barnard was a " recommended minister " in 
the Society of Friends, and a member of Kennett 
Monthly Meeting. He spoke at anti-slavery and tem- 
perance meetings, and preached against the evils of 
slavery and intemperance in the meetings for worship 
in the Society. He was'dbowned from membership 
along with William Barnard, Isaac and Dinah Menden- 
hall, Isaac Meredith and other reformers. He then 
united himself with the Progressive Friends. At the 
close of the war when slavery was no longer an ex- 
citing topic, and Friends were no longer exercised upon 
the subject, he was about asking to be again taken into 
membership when he died. 

His first wife, Sarah Painter, was an excellent 
woman and united with him in all his religious and re- 
formatory labors. His second wife, Sarah Marsh, was 
also in sympathy with him in all the good works that 
characterized his life. Thus two congenial companions 
were faithful helpers to him in the performance of his 
life's mission. 

(Born.Fourth Month 16th, 1800.— Died First Month 22nd, 1864.) 

William Barnard, of Pocopsin, Chester county, be- 
gan assisting slaves about the year 1840. They came 
to him chiefly through the hands of Thomas Garrett 
and Dr. Fussell, and were from Delaware, Maryland, 
Virginia, and as far South as Greorgia. When they 
were on foot, and were asked how they found his place, 


»i i 1 im n »i iv.-^ ii< M jj 

cjirly ])Mrt of* tlu' nijilit, they wci 
and l)C'(ls, and i?tartod again or. 
daylight. If very weary from tra 
they were kept until next night, 
were always brought and taken in 
there were reports of close pursu 
ward without delay. 

After the enactment of the Fugit 
rough looking men drove up in 
whose demeanor aroused suspicion t 
ing for negroes. There were six coi 
at that time. These were hurried 
into a wheat-field, while William ei 

Immediately after the Christiana : 
country was aroused, the vicinity o 
state of excitement, and the negroes 
hunted in every direction, a numbe 
William Barnard's almost crazed wi 
for protection. THp^^^--^ 


William Barnard was a man of warm, social nature, 
strongly attached to friends, and, having a Christian 
love for the whole human family, his desire always was 
to promote their best interest and happiness. 

Firm in his adherence to what he believed to be 
right, conscientious in his business relations, and keenly 
alive to the wrongs of slavery, he abstained from the 
use of all articles produced by the unpaid labor of the 

Being descended from a long line of Quaker ancestry, 
his love for that Society was strong; but when they 
were unwilling to advance as far as he in works of 
moral reform, his feeling of unity with them began to 
wane, and by an act of the Society, he, with several 
others of a reformatory spirit, ceased to be members. 
He then gave his support in organizing the Society of 
Progressive Friends. 

He was a sincere seeker after truth, and always wel- 
comed to his home and heart all who sought to promote 
the higher culture of humanity, however much their 
views might differ from his own. 

** No soul can soar too loftily whose aim 
Is God-sfiven Truth and brother love of man." 

He was twice married, his second wife being a sister 
of that earnest pioneer in the anti-slavery cause, Benja- 
min Lundy. 

The name of 2^bulon Thomas, (Bom 1781 — Died 
1865), occurs several times in this history. His house in 
Downingtown was the scene of one of the most infamous 
cases of kidnapping that ever took place in Pennsyl- 
vania. This event occurred early one morning in the 
Fourth Month (April) of 1848. The colored boy had 


just arisen, opened the houee and waa kindling the Sic 
when three white men ent«re<i. Frightened at their 
appearance he ran and hid. Taking the lighted candle, 
they went up stairs directly to the chamber where the 
poor girl lay sound asleep. They lifted her froiD the 
bed and carried her down stairs. In t)ie entry of the 
second floor they met one of the women who, bearing 
an unusual aound, had sprung from ber bed. Her 
BcreaniB and those of the girl, aroused Zebulon, whu 
hurried, undrtsaed, from hid chamber on the ground 
floor. He endeavored to aave the girl, but hia efforts 
were powerless againat the three. . With frightfiil im- 
precations they hurried her to the carriage which wa« 
in waiting, and drove off Quickly as possible bo 
started in pursuil. Reaciiing West Chester be learned 
that they had driven through the borough in a tno- 
borse vehicle at full speed a half an hour before. 

This stealing of the girl must have been concocted, 
and the carrying out of the plan aided by persons well 
acquainted with the premises and the town. And a 
knowledge of the scheme was not confined to those who 
came to the house, as three or four men of that village 
took a position in a barn close by, to " see the fun." 

Through the efforts of many friend, this unfortunate 
child was rescued from the hands of slave-traders in 
Baltimore and, with her mother, was afte.rward helped 
on to the North. When Zebulon Thomas's lamily last 
heard from mother and daughter, they were living in 


Isaac ahd Thamazute P. Mxrbdith.— Mordbcai and Esthbk Hatks. 
— Mahlon and AmosPbbston.— Cuandlek and Hannah M. Dab- 
UNOTON.— Benjamin and Hannah S. Kent.— A Largre Party of 
Fugitivetf.— Enoch Lewis.— Comtcientiouii lAboni.— Redeems a 
Nc^ro at Great Risk. 


(Isaac Meredith, Born Eleventh Mo. 18th, IdOl.— Died Ninth Mo. 28th, 
1874.) (Thamaxine P. Meredith, Bom First Mo. 11th, 1812.) 

The home of Isaac and Thamazine P. Meredith, 
Newlin, Chester county, was situated in a secluded spot, 
and therefore possessed rare advantages as a station for 
the aid of " God's Poor " to freedom. Slaves were 
brought there from Thomas Garrett, John Cox, Simon 
and AVilliam Barnard, Moses and Samuel Pennock, 
Dr. Fussell, and frequently from other places ; and were 
generally taken to Dr. Eshleman, Gravener Marsh, 
Benjamin Price, John Vickers, Nathan Evans and 
Maris Woodward. 

Simon Barnard frequently brought them part way, 
then gave them a slip of paper with writing to show 
they were not imposters. Isaac Meredith, or some other 
trusted {Mjrson, took them to other stations, or so far on 
the way as to obviate the necessity of their making any 
enquiries along such sections of the routes as were known 
to be hostile to them. 

There were more arrivals in winter than in summer. 
Scarcely a week passed during that season in which one 
or more " trains " did not arrive with passengers leaving 



the pleasant breezes of the South for a more rigorous 
olimnte Xorth, that the natural rights aad bleesmgs of 
liberty might be enjoj-ed by themFelves and their childre 

A slave womao w&a at one time brought by her i 
treea to Wilmington. While in the back yard adjoinin 
Thomas Garrett's residence, his hired girl told her tfai 
if she wished to be free, she could be. Slie accepted tl 
offer, and waa taken to Dr. Bartholomew Fiusell, frnioil 
there to Isaac Meredith and thence to Joseph Haw ley's ' 
house, where she hired. She soon became discontented 
on account of her husband and child, whom she had lefl 
behind. She " wanted to go hsck tn msAsa," for, she 
said, ■■ wo'll all Ur fV,-' .■^■■u^<- Urn- ; ^u-\v M jirnyin' for 
it; and we'seeuredeLordwiliset us free soon. I knows 
he will ; he will hear ; 'cause we'se all prayin." She went 
back, but the family never heard from her afterward. 

Six large, strong men, were brought to Isaac Mere- 
dith's bouse at one time by William Barnard. They had 
escaped from Maryland, had been pursued and shot 
at, and the bullet-holes in their coats attested to the 
proximity of the death-dealing missiles to their bodies. 
Isaac Meredith and Lewis Marshall took them to a 
station further northward. 

Many ^gjtives when arriving were weary and ex- 
hausted from anxiety and rapid flight. If inmiediate 
danger waa not apprehended, they were kept a few days 
to rest. 

John Cox's train, conducted by his son, J. William, 
frequently came well laden. He announced bis arrival 
by a rap at the door ; and when called to from a win- 
dow above "Who's there?" replied in his ^miliar, 
cheerful style, " Will Cox ; got a wi^n load." 


One cold November night about twelve o'clock, he 
brought fifteen men, women and children, cold, hungry 
and excited. They had come from Delaware City, and 
were brought to John Cox's by " Conductor Jackson,'' 
who drove fast with the women and children while the 
men ran. The women at John Cox's prepared a hot 
substantial supper for them, but they were afraid to 
take time to eat. They warmed themselves while the 
horses were being harnessed to a large dearborn. The 
moment he drove up to Isaac and Thamazine Meredith's 
house, their son who had been away, returned. The 
fugitives were affrighted, thinking he was one of their 
pursuers and had overtaken them. And he, just being 
able in the darkness to distinguish a dearborn and per- 
sons moving hurriedly around it, thought they were 
robbers. Both parties were for the instant surprised, 
and not a little disconcerted. By some, almost invol- 
untary, expressions, each at once recognized the other's 
voice — a mutual relief. 

The fugitives were willing to remain there long 
enough to eat. The women had just finished a baking, 
of which, after the fifteen had satisfied their hunger, 
unlike the loaves and fishes told of in the Scriptures, 
there was nothing left. 

Isaac and his son took this party on different roads 
that night, and met at a designated place above Marshall- 
ton ; then separated and met near Downingtown, where 
they made a disposition of them among agents at and 
near that place. 

Isaac Meredith was a member of Kennett Monthly 
Meeting of Friends, took an active part in the business 
of the Society, and was clerk for many years, until the 





settled down once more uj)on the So 
briuich WHS tendered to Isaac and his 
the offering and the unity of former 
tablished. They, however, maintain' 
thought,, and their desire to see and ai< 
of all necessary reforms. 

(Mordecai Hayes, 1794—1837.) (Esther Hi 

Mordecai and Esther Hayes, Newlii 
first agents on that branch of the rout( 
county. They were earnest in the caus( 
however stormy, deterred them from 
slavery meetings within reasonable dist 

Fugitives were brought to their plac 
ton, from William Barnard's and othei 
route, in numbers ranging from two t 
It was customary for those bringing th« 
an open wagon-shed, arouse the family. 
They were secreted in ^^^^ ^ 



(Mahlon Preston, 1781—1855.) (Amos Preston, Bom Seventh Mo., I5th, 

1786. Died Twelfth Mo. 2d. 1856.) 

Mahlon and Amos Preston, two brothers, members of 
the Society of Friends, the latter a minister, lived on 
adjoining farms, near West Grove, Chester county. 
Their places were not regular stations, but when fugi- 
tives came, they always gave assistance. 

About the year 1819 or 1820, a colored man named 
Jarvis Griffith, with his wife and three or four children, 
came to Amos Preston's, and was allowed by him to live 
in an apartment over his spring-house. The man and 
wife proved to be industrious, faithful, hard-working 
people, and Amos was so well pleased with them that he 
built a small house for them on one part of his land. 
The children were put under the care of farmers in the 
neighborhood. All went on well for about two years, 
when one morning, about daylight, a person came run- 
ning to Mahlon's house with a message that kidnappers 
were at Jarvis's. . He hastened there and found three 
or four rough men with pistols. They had obtained 
entrance into the house by finesse, had pinioned the 
father, mother and youngest child, and were about 
starting with them for Maryland, when a number of the 
neighbors, who had by that time arrived, deterred them. 
Slave-hunters were not quite so bold and defiant then as 
in after years, when the Fugitive Slave Law gave them 
greater authority upon free soil, and these men were com- 
pelled to go to West Chester to prove their property be- 
fore a judge. After hearing the evidence, the judge gave 
them the requisite authority to carry the family back to 
Maryland. A few months after, a person, purporting to 


come from that part of the 8tat«, said that Jarrts and 
Mary were both working for their maat«r and professed 
to be glad they had got back ; that the maeter was well 
pleaded with them and had made Jarrie foreman on hJa 

A few weeks later, a knocking wa* heard one morning 
befi>re daylight at Mablou Preston's door. He arose, 
went down, and there were Jarvis and Mary, tired and 
foot-sore, just arrived from Maryland. The horsee 
were hitched to a dearborn as quickly as possible, and 
with utmost speed they were taken to one of the stations 
in the Great Valley, from which they were passed be- 
yimd the reach of any slaveholders' claims in the 

Their profession of contentment was a mere niee to 
gain the favor of their master; and their industrious 
habits and the knowledge they had acquired of the 
northern method of farming, which was superior to the 
negligent practice which prevailed to a great extent in 
the South, made them valuable hands pn the plantation. 
They had been given a holiday of two days to attend a 
meeting; which time they employed in making their 
escape on foot. 

One morning soon after this, a daughter of theirs, 
about twelve or thirteen years of age, living with 
Mahlon, was missing, and was never heard from after- 
ward. It was supposed that slavehunteiB had been 
lying in ambush about the premises and when out at 
one of the buildings which stood some distance ftx)m the 
house, she had been seized, gagged, and carried off by 

Their oldest son, William, a bright boy, received a 


fair education, and several years afterward went to 
Wilmington, where he was employed to teach a colored 
school. One day his master with an officer entered the 
school-room while he was in the midst of bis duties, 
seized him aa a ftigitive slave and took him before a 
magistrate, who, after hearing the evidence for a few 
minutes, gave judgment in the master's favor, and 
William in charge of a constable was hurried down the 
street to where a carriage was in waiting to take him to 
Maryland. On the way he remarked that the watch 
he carried belonged to another person, and he would be 
obliged to return it. This was reftised, the officer say- 
ing he would return it to the person named as the 
owner. At the instant the officer reached out his hand 
to receive it, William took advantage of the slackened 
grasp upon his arm, broke loose and dashed down the 
street with a speed that defied all efforts to overtake 
him. He was noted at school as being a fast runner. 
How little did he then, or any of his schoolmates whom 
he distanced in the race, suspect that those fleet limbs 
would one day in the future bear him from the very jaws 
of the monster slavery into which he was being led by a 
policeman's grasp, and secure to him the undisturbed 
rights of a free man ! Yet they were the means at his 
command in the hour of necessity, and very effectually 
did he use them, for he out-ran all his pursuers, and 
eluded every effort made to retake him. He reached 
New York safely, where he hired with a gentleman as 
coachman. His employer became so much attached to 
him, that in order to secure his absolute freedom from 
any future molestation, he wrote to the man who 
claimed to be his master, offering to pay him fifty dol- 

inns every nieinber of that fiii 
tioii of one girl, Ava.s rescued by dc 
system which held them as chattel { 


(Chandler Darlington, Bom Eleventh Mo. (Nc 
Third Mo. (March) 29th, 1879.) (Hannah B 

Chandler and Hannah M. Darlingt< 
as friends of the slave. Their place ' 
underground station. Their locality 
! were uniavorable to concealment, or 

search. The slaves who were helped i 
from the District of Columbia, Virgin 
Delaware, under the auspices of Thomi 
were brought from the vicinity of ^ 
conductor in a close carriage, arrivi 
o'clock, P. M. A gentle tap was usuf 
window, and a suppressed call, ** Can 
people ? " giving the number. They t 
the carriage, and the es^'^'^ ^ "^ 


answers : " Anything the matter last night ? I heard 
a noise." One dark, dismal night, the transfer was 
rendered difficult by bad roads ; dawn of day approached 
before the horses were in their stall. A member of 
the household hastened from the bam to announce the 
fact that " somebody had the horses out last night ; they 
were all over wet and muddy," and one of "Miss 
Opie's white lies " could scarce appease his consternation. 
Occasionally a footman presented himself, offering a 
small piece of paper with a written request, " please 
help this traveller to a place of safety," or something of 
similar import. 


(Benjamin Kent, Bom Third Mo., 2ad, 1806.— Died Eleventh Mo. 29th, 
1881.) (Hannah S. Kent, Born Second Mo.. 18th, 1806. --Died 
Seventh Mo., 4th, 1882.) 

Benjamin and Hannah S. Kent, Penn township, were 
zealous laborers in the anti-slavery cause. While taking 
an active part at public meetings, their greatest work 
was done in a quiet, pri vate way. They assisted in organ- 
izing the Clarkson Anti-slavery Society at West Grove 
Meeting House, about the year 1831. They gave of 
their means for anti-slavery purposes, and while their 
home was not on the main route, it was a branch station 
where the fugitives who came that way received prompt 

At one time Benjamin Kent, with others, went on a 
hazardous journey into Maryland to bring away thirty- 
five men, women and children, who were awaiting means 
of escape. With prayerful hearts, and trusting in 
Divine guidance and protection, they made the trip 
safely and successfully. The ^gitives were armed with 


pistols, axes, knives, com-cutters and old BCjrthes, evi- 
dently intpuding thut li' forced by pursuers to turn thei r 
faces toward the Soutb, it would be in a bloody combat 
for liberty. Tbe whole party were taken to the houae 
of Mahlon Brosius, reaching there between daylight and 
sunriae. They were quickly secreted in the barn, and 
being quite hungry, it required no little amount of food 
to supply their needs. The next night the women and 
children were taken in two wagons, (commonly used for 
hauling earthenware) to James Pulton's and Gideon 
Pierce's, at Ercildoun, a distance of twelve miles ; the 
men being compelled to walk. Their only guides were 
Mahlon's two sons, Edwin and Daniel K., then but lads. 
But their youthful spirita, animated by the importance 
of the trust, proved equal to the occasion. On ap- 
proaching a burning lime kiln near their journey's end, 
they knew that the light from it across the road would 
expose the whole party to the view of those at work, 
and thus excite suspicion if they attempted to pass in a 
body. To avoid this, they drove the w^ona by at 
such distance apart not as to attract attention, whUe the 
colored men were ordered to take a circuitous route 
through an adjoining wood. They met in the darkness 
beyond, and traveled the remainder of the way without 

From Ercildoun they were sent to John Vickers, 
thence to Kimberton, and thus by way of the various 
stations to Canada. 

Quite early one morning, Benjamin Kent sent a 
slave boy who was working for him on an errand to a 
neighbor's while he fed the stock. The boy had just 
got out of sight when the owner, with a constable and 


two or three others, came to the barn in search of him. 
Benjamin told them there was no slave about his pre- 
mises. The constable knowing his conscientious regard 
for truth could take his word on all occasions ; but in 
his official capacity felt that he must go through the 
routine of search, which he did. Satisfied that the boy 
was not there, the party lefk only a few minutes before 
he returned. 

In 1833, Benjamin and Hannah S. Kent bought a 
woolen factory and store at Andrew's bridge, Lancaster 
county, to which place they removed. They were in- 
strumental there in organizing the Ck)leraine Anti- 
slavery Society, and their house was always open to the 
reception of all anti-slavery speakers who held meetings 
in that section of country. There were many opponents 
of " abolitionism " in that vicinity, and their factory and 
store, with a hotel close by, made their place too public 
to be a safe station for fugitives, and but few called. 

In 1842, their store, factory and dwelling were 
burned. They rebuilt, and in 1845 sold and removed 
to Jackson's Valley, West Grove, Chester county, and 
continued their anti-slavery labors as before. After the 
Christiana riot, six colored men who had been engaged 
in it came to their place in the night, were kept in the 
house until morning, and at the barn during the day. 
Next night, their son Henry took them to Dr. Bar- 
tholomew Fussell. 

Their family of seven children were so imbued with 
opposition to the unjust principle of slavery, from daily 
conversation and example, that they would eat nothing, 
not even confectionery, that was the product of slave 

AboHt the year 1837, Eli»ibet±i Kent, sister of Ben- 
jamin, began keeping a free-produce store at Andrew's 
Bridge, for the accoanncxiatiuD of herself and frienda 
who bore a testimony against using the products of the 
slave's uncompensated toil. Although her pro-slavery 
neighbors refused to buy at her store, she received a 
fair share of patronage. Benjamin manufactured tree 
natinetts for her— always at a loss to himself tie flax waa 
higher priced than cotton. 

After remaining there live or six years she removal 
to Penn's Grove, Chester county, and opiened a store for 
the sale of free produce exclusively. As this could doI 
complete in cheapness with thut of shive-lHbnr, the 
profits were much less. She liimished clothing and 
money when needed for the aid of fugitives. Among 
her free-produce customers were Thomas, Eli, and 
Charles Hambleton, of Chester county, and Joseph 
Smith, Thomas Whitson, and William Broeius, of Lan- 
caster county. 

Benjamin ajid Hannah Kent were distinguished as 
active abolitionists for a period of thirty years — until 
slavery had no longer an existence. 


Enoch Lewis was an active and energetic friend of 
the colored race. When quite a young man and a 
teacher at the Friend's Boarding School at Westtown, 
he was frequently applied to, on behalf of colored per- 
sons claimed as fugitives from labor, and in such cases 
he exerted himself to the utmost to prevent free persons 
from being carried off ae slaves. For upwards of a 
quarter of a century free n^roes were subject to the dan- 


ger of being sent into slavery on certificates of Justices 
of the Peace fabricated by kidnappers for the purpose. 
When a negro was arrested as a slave, all that could be 
done was to attend the hearing before the justice, ascer- 
tain the character of the evidence exhibited by the 
claimant, and present such proofe of a contrary tendency 
as could be had. Enoch Lewis was very well acquainted 
with the law relating to the rendition of fugitive slaves, 
and his services on such occasions were valuable in 
keeping the justices, who usually favored their claim- 
ants, to the strict line of their duty. It not unfrequently 
happened that persons supposed to be free were unex- 
pectedly found to be slaves, and that all efforts to rescue 
them from the hands of their captors were unavailing. 
One instance of this kind is recollected. While Enoch 
Lewis was a teacher at Westtown, he was aroused from 
his bed before daylight one morning by a negro woman 
in great alarm, who came to inform him that her hus- 
band had been arrested in the night by slave-catchers, 
and carried off to West Chester. 

Her husband was an industrious and well-behaved 
colored man, who had lived in the neighborhood some 
eight or ten years, and was supposed to be free. He 
was taken before the judge of the district at West 
Chester, and before Enoch Lewis arrived the hearing 
had begun, and the man had acknowledged that he was 
the slave of the claimant. Enoch Lewis then proposed to 
purcliase the man, and after some negotiation the master 
agreed to take $400 for him in cash. Enoch drew up a 
paper, to which he subscribed his own name as one of 
the purchasers and in a short time $100 were thus 

raised. The other $300 Enoch himself paid, taking the 

1 " 

slave established the eharacter of a<r<n)(l ( 
})ayiiig his bond <riveii for his free(h)in, h( 
house and lot of some ten or twelve acr« 
lived comfortably and respectably to a go 
The residence of Enoch Lewis, at Ne^ 
long a station on the Underground Rai 
the time of Isaac Jackson, its former ownt 
tinued to be so, many years after. Altl 
did not approve of encouragement being g 
to leave their masters and he thought no 
would be accomplished by it, if a fiigit 
temporary asylum beneath his roof or a 
on the way, when fleeing from slavery, his 
pitality and charitable aid in the name 
was not to be denied. When a slave-catc 
in the neighborhood, Enoch Lewis was uj 
the first that was informed of it, and a h 
riage to convey the fugitive who was suppo 
danger of arrest to a safe distance were p 
nished. Enoch's eldest son, Joseph J. Tip 


warrant for her arrest and was in search of her. The 
route taken to Nixon's factory was by no means the 
most direct, but was deemed the most safe. It led by 
Kimberton where the woman and child were left in the 
charge of Emmor Kimber, who gave them, the same 
night/ a free passage to the next station northward. 

A fugitive once stopped at Enoch Lewis's and re- 
mained several days. He was a preacher and had fled 
from the far South, and, afler a series of romantic ad- 
ventures, effected his complete escape. The narrative 
of his experiences was so interesting that Enoch Lewis 
assembled his pupils in his school-room to listen to it. 
One incident is still remembered. A short time after 
the fiigitive left his master, he took refuge with a col- 
ored friend who found him a well-contrived hiding- 
place. Though well secreted he became forcibly im- 
pressed one night, though without any apparent reason, 
that he was not safe where he was, and that he must 
immediately seek some new covert. Obeying the moni- 
tion, he left his place of concealment and, entering a 
small stream of water which flowed near by, he followed 
it for a short distance, so that the scent of his foot-steps 
could not be traced by dogs, till he came to the over- 
hanging branches of a tree of thick foliage. This he 
ascended, and found himself well hidden within an 
hundred yards of his former hiding-place. " Jist," said 
the narrator, " as I'se got fixed, lyin' strait out along a 
big lim', when here dey come, massa and a dozen more 
on hoss-back, hollowin' and screetchin', de bosses at fiill 
jump, and de dogs yelpin', right up to de little cave 
whar dey spect to find de poor nigger. But no poor 
nigger dar. Den de dogs run about from cave to de 


creek, and from creek back to de cove, sinellen' do 
groun". Dc men stamp and thraah about, ride up aud 
down de eieek pass my tree. De moon perty bright, 
but de same good apcret what t«ll me to git away from 
de cave, wouldn't let 'em see me dar iyin' on dat lim' 
like a coon." ' 

This colored preacher brought with him to Enoch 
Lewis's a little nephew, about five years old, whom Enoch 
reared and educated. Being inclined to adventure, 
tliis boy waa given his liberty wlieu about eighteen, 
became steward on a passenger ship plying between New 
York and Liverpool, and sulwequently on alargeateani- 
hoat on the Hudson, siiid whPM last heiird from was thus 
employed aJid prospering. 

The outrages formerly inflicted on free colored people 
by the slave system, are illustrated by an instance which 
occurred over sixty years ago. A free negro, redding 
in the western part of LondoDgrove, or in one of the 
adjacent townships, had occasion to go to Baltimore on 
busine^. Having no pass from any slave-owner, he was 
liable to arrest on suspicion of being a runaway slave, 
under a law of Maryland, and advertised, and if, after 
a certain number of days, no claimants appeared, the 
auspceted runaway was sold for his jail fees at public 
auction. The man, in this case, being found without a 
pass, and knowing no white man in Baltimore to vouch 
for him, was arrested and thrown in prison, and no 
person appearing to claim him, he was advertised to be 
sold on a certain day. Information of the facts having 
been communicated to Enoch Lewis and his friends in 
the neighborhood, Israel Jaekson, who knew the man, 
hastened to Baltimore, procured a writ of habeas corpus. 


proved his freedom, and, after a pretty sharp contro- 
versy as to the legal right of the authorities to detain 
him, obtained his release and brought him away with 

Evan Lewis, the youngest brother of Enoch, resided 
in Wilmington, Delaware, and was a zealous and active 
abolitionbt. His house was for many years a much 
frequented station on the Underground Railroad. The 
fugitives who came his way were generally forwarded 
in the direction of Philadelphia, but some, when cir- 
cumstances required that they should pursue a different 
route, took the road to New Garden and were conmiit- 
ted to the care of Enoch Lewis for such friendly aid as 
was needed. 

By an Act of Congress of February 12, 1793, Judges 
and Justices of the Peace of the several States were 
authorized to issue warrants for the removal of negroes 
and mulattoes claimed as slaves. Under this Act many 
and terrible abuses were practiced. On fictitious claims, 
free colored persons were arrested without notice and 
hurried before justices favoring this species of kidnap- 
ping, and sharing with the perpetrators the profits of it. 
When thus arrested, the alleged fugitives were sum- 
marily dealt with. On hasty examinations, conducted 
with little regard to rules of evidence or considerations 
of justice, warrants of removal were granted. The 
victims of these practices, when once fairly within the 
clutches of these manstealers, were not likely ever to 
return. They were usually sold to some trader, who 
^carried them far South, whence there was little chance 
of escape. To put a stop to this odious traffic, it was 
necessary to obtain a law of our State Legislature^ de- 

318 HieroHY of the ^" 

priving ju9li«8 of the peace of jurisdiction in cases of 
ciaimB to fugitive bIkvcb. As justices of the peace were 
Btate officers, it wae competent to the State Legit^lature 
to defiue their jurisdiction. Enoch Jjeyfia was one of 
those who made earnest efforts to procure the passage of 
an Act prohibiting justice? from issuing warrants of re- 
moval. He called public attention to the subject in 
various newspaper articles and visited Harrisburg in 
conjunction with certain members of committees of the 
Meetttig for Sufferings and other Society OrgauiEatiooB 
of Friends, to hold c(itifereiice8 with members of the 
legislature. At leugtli in 1820, by an Act passed the 
twenty -Mcvcnlh of March of ihat year, the object of 
these efforts was attained.* 

A good deal of excitement and annoyance in the 
Southern townships of Chester county were formerly 
caused by the incursions of slave-hunters from Mary- 
land. These men were generally of loose morals and 
lawless conduct, profane in language, coarse and brutal 
in appearance and Bwt4;gering in their demeanor. They 
inspired a feeling of detestation wherever they ap- 
' peared, none favored their nefarious enterprises except 
the very lowest and meanest of the population. Among 
such they were accustomed, not unfrequently, to find 
spies and informers. A posse of these miscreants once 
started a negro whom they took to be a slave or wished 
to make one, from his covert in the neighborhood of 
Pleasant Garden Forge and chased him to the vicinity 
of the Foi^. The fugitive took refuge in the dwelling 

*rhe Act of Consreu aulhorLilntc "Aldermen or Justleea of the 

to be s ^ilive bom Ubor," wu paaaed on the twelfth day of Febru- 
■17, ITW. 


of Samuel Irwin, the proprietor of the Forge, and was 
directed by some' of the family to ascend to the • second 
story, which on the opposite side was on a level with the 
ground, and to make his egress on that side. Aa the 
pursuers approached, Mr. Irwin took his stand at the 
door, which was divided in the middle, one-half being 
open and the other closed, and standing behind the 
lower part which was closed, stopped the rush of the 
party and parleyed with the leader who demanded 
entrance to search, for the fugitive. The men were 
hot with the chase and fierce and furious, and the 
leader, who represented himself as the owner of the fu- 
gitive, insisted on his right to enter and capture his 
" nigger," whom he had seen pass into the house. Mr. 
Irwin met the demand with great coolness and perfect 
civility, stated that he did not at all believe that the 
" nigger " was in his house, demanded to see the warrant 
authorizing the arrest, and by a series of questions in a 
quiet and gentlemanly tone contrived to detain the 
claimant and his crew for several minutes before allow- 
ing them to enter. When they entered he offered them 
every facility for a thorough search, conducted them 
leisurely through every room in his house, opened every 
closet, and showed them every nook which might 
serve for a hiding-place. In the meantime, the poor fu- 
gitive was busy in putting as much space between him- 
self and his pursuers as possible, and he made so good a 
use of his opportunity as to effect his escape. Mr. 
Irwin used to tell of another slave-catcher who, by a 
singular series of coincidences, was baffled in the pursuit 
of his pleasant occupation. Passing on horseback by 
the hut of a negro femily on one of the roads near 

320 luaroRY of 

PleaaUDt Gardt-u Forge, he leaned furwartl tu get a 
view of the interior of the mhin aud wna seen to scan 
with feu iuquiaitive ajr the family group withitL The 
mother of the family waa of large aiie aiid determined 
character. Obscrviug the demeanor of the elj-onger, and 
rightly judging his purpose, she suddenly gnatehcd u 
large hntcher-kniie and rushed at him furiously. Ho 
immediately put spurs to his horae, and getting beyond 
her reach, pushed on his way. He had not gone far 
before he saw a couple of uegroea coming out of a bushy 
piece of woodland trimming ox wattles which they ha4l 
just out, while their team.^ were standing in the road. 
The dJave-'Mlclieo r-tMl ncrvms tnuu lii.^ ji.ivi-iiUir^- with 
the woman, suspected that the wattles were intonded for 
him, and not daring to face his supposed antagonists, 
he turned his horse and rode back a few hundred yards 
to a place where the road forked. Taking the other 
prong of the fork, he followed it for a short distance 
and then happened to see two men, one white and the 
other colored, approaching him in such a way as to in- 
tercept his progress, with guns in their hands. Alarmed 
at this additional manifestation of hostility, the poor 
slave-catcher hurried back to the Forge, and calling 
upon Mr. Irwin, claimed his protection against the 
" niggers" of the neighborhood who, he believed had 
formed a conspiracy to murder him, Mr. Irwin, per- 
ceiving from the man's own statement that the cause of 
his apprehensions was his own consciousness of his 
detestable purposes, assured him that if he would take 
the road leading south and pursue that to the State 
line he would escape all molestation; but that if he 
ventured to go in a different direction, he, Mr, Irwin, 


would not insure his life for an hour. This excellent 
advice was followed thankfully, and the face of this 
redoubtable slave-catcher was not seen afterwards in 
those parts. Verily, " the wicked flee when no man 

Enoch Lewis was born in Radnor, Delaware county, 
First mo. (January) 29th, 1776. He was mainly self- 
taught. His opportunities for receiving an education 
when a boy were quite limited. Yet having an insati- 
able fondness for learning, he found the time and means 
to acquire knowledge by unwearied diligence, and at the 
age of fifteen began his successful career as a teacher. 
He was the author of several works on mathematics, one 
on Grammar, several on religious and moral subjects ; 
edited at different times the African Observer and the 
Friends* Review^ and contributed many essays to lead- 
ing journals upon various subjects. 

On ninth of Fifth rao. (May), 1799, he married Alice 
Jackson, daughter of Isaac and Hannah Jackson, of 
New Garden, Chester county, a woman of fine educa- 
tion and of literary taste. She died Twelfth mo. (De- 
cember), 1813. In Fifth mo. (May), 1815, he married 
a daughter of Jonn Jackson, of London Grove, a first 
cousin of his first wife, and woman of excellent mind 
and more than ordinary culture. 

He died Seventh mo. (July), 1856. He was a mem- 
ber of the Society of Friends, as were both his wives, 
and was scrupulous in his attendance at both the First- 
day and mid-week meetings. 

An interesting biography of him has recently been 

published by his son, the Hon. Joseph J. Lewis, long 

the oldest member of the West Chester bar, and who 


was emploTed m une of the eqimsel in the dcfenm of 
CMtner HoniniT ; an accooot of whoee trial b given in 
Chapter Ei^t of tbts vork. 


Benjamin Prick.— His Father, Philip Price, Assists Runaways.— In- 
cidents.— Golden Weddings.— Samuel M. Painter.— Abraham D. 
Shadd. John Brown and Benjamin Freemen.— Nathan Evans. 


(Born Tweiah Mo., 1793.— Died First Mo., 8th, 1871.) 

Taken by pcrmi«wion from the M8S. Memoir of Benjamin and Jane 
Price, now in course of Preparation by their son, Isaiah Price, D.D.S., 
Major 9Tth Pennsylvania V^ohmtcers. Author and Publisher of a 
*' History of the 97th Pennsylvania Volunteers during the War of the 
Rebellion," etc., etc. 

"About the earliest knowledge we had of the anti- 
slavery cause was derived from the experiences related 
to us while very young children, by our parents and 
others, of incidents in the perilous service of aiding 
fugitive slaves in their escape from bondage, so courage- 
ously engaged in by many of the humane inhabitants of 
the country early in the present century. 

" Our father entered upon this fulfillment of the Divine 
command in his youth, following the example of his 
father, and took his place upon the road at a very early 

" When he was about sixteen, a case of threatened re- 
capture of some slaves then at his father's and on the 
adjoining farm, demanded the utmost care and skill in 
extricating the fugitives from the grasp of the slave- 
catchers who had reached the neighborhood. Being 
apprised of the danger, our grandfather, Philip Price, 
hurried the three — two men and a woman, the wife of 
one of the men, to a hiding-place in the thicket, then 
abounding near his place. The woman was disguised as 


a rnxn. He directed them to eiuerge at dork and mftke 
their way across the fields to an uafrequent«d road in 
the vicinity, in a direction not likely to be observed by 
their ]>iirsuere, aiid to lookout for a guide with horsee. 
At night&ll he directed his sou, Benjamin, to luount 
one of the horf>cx and to lead another, nod take eome, 
baga an though goiug upon an errand to the adjoining 
mill. This wna then a frequent mode of bringing home 
the grist. Grandfather had also given him the requisite 
directions for overtaking the fiigitivee upoD the unfre- 
quented road, 

" He thus itafely eluded ohservaliou and joined the 
party on tlie rond ; ihtvc ihpii inoiiiitcd, one behind him 
and the other on the other horse, and passed by the by- 
road acroae the Wilmington road and through by Jeese 
Mercer's place, and out on the street-road east of Dar- 
lington's Corner Inn, which was regarded as too public 
fbr them to pass. They then went on safely to a desig- 
nated station, not now remembered, somewhere in the 
neighborhood of Darby. 

" Our father returned alone ; being familiar with the 
road he had no difficulty in finding his way going or re- 
turning, and was capable of finding safe shelter from 
pursuit, had any been made, by taking to the by-lanes 
and roads or even to the woods, if none of those were 
at hand. 

" Having reached Osborn's Hill on his return, about 
two A. M. bis attention was arrested by the sound of 
the distant clatter of horse's feet and the rumble of 
wheels upon the stony road-bed, mingled with voices 
in boisterous ri^e, oaths and curses being distinctly 
heard. Rightly conjecturing that these sounds might 


proceed from the disappointed slave-hunters, either re- 
turning for another search at his father's house, or on 
their way to Wilmington by the road he was on, he re- 
traced his road a few paces and entered the lane leading 
to John Forsyth's place, which would shield him from 
observation, the hedges being much overgrown, and 
thus he could escape if they should enter after him, by 
passing out toward Forsyth's. But the sound soon in- 
dicated that the party had passed toward the Brandy- 
wine, the last he heard being the clatter of crossing the 
bridge at Wistar's. He then emerged from his conceal- 
ment and soon found a welcome needed rest at his home 
where his anxious parents had become quite uneasy at 
his prolonged absence. Having also heard the noise of 
the disappointed hunters, they feared he might encoun- 
ter them in the road upon his return. 

" Our father has told us of the thoughts that occupied 
his mind, as he rode beneath the canopy of stars, going 
and returning upon his errand of mercy ; how his abhor- 
rence of slavery grew into a glowing purpose to do all 
in his power to aid those seeking to escape from its 
grievous injustice. Never was a fugitive turned away 
from the shelter of his home, or bid to pursue his toil- 
ing journey unrelieved by food, raiment, means, or a 
conveyance to some other shelter on the way beyond. 

" There was no record kept of the cases in which our 
father actively aided in the escape of fugitive slaves. 
He did what he could for them, in that judicious pru- 
dent manner in which it is enjoined to * let not the left 
hand know what the right hand doeth,' not through 
any fear of the reproach of men, but in order the bet- 
ter to serve and to shield those whom he would aid 


from the dangers which a garruluuB tongue might en- 
tail Uiwii them. 

"He received fugitives from nlmoet every otiiliun lie- 
tween hio home and the land of bondage. It conont now 
be Bxcertained what directions tiieoe received, or what 
were the purticuiar laiiiluiarlce or utUur indicatiuiui by 
wht<.'h they found their way to bis liume. They came 
from his cousin, Thomas Giirrtftt, of Wilmington, Del.; 
Eziokel Hunu, of near C'-aniden, Del.; William Jackaon, 
Londongrove; Isaac and Dinah Mendeahail, 8imoD 
and Sarali Barnard, at Avoudalo; from Jacob Liiid- 
ley's home (to his father's during his boyhood) ; Amoe 
Preston's at Weat Grove, and from many othersnot 
now recalled. 

"He forwarded them to various points beyond: To 
John Sugar, West Bradford ; John Vickers, Uwchlan ; 
Dr. Bartholomew Fussell and Graceanna Liewis, West 
Vincent ; Emmor Kiniber, Kimberton ; Elijah F. Penny- 
packer, Benjamin Garrigues, Montgomery county; 
Jacob L. Paxson, Norristown ; to his brother-in-law, 
William H. Johnson, Buckingham, Bucks county ; 
John Sellers, Darby, Pa. ; Eli D. Fierce, Providence, 
and John Jackson, Darby, Delaware county, Pa.; to 
his cousins, Philip, Isaac and Samuel Garrett, Delaware 
county. Pa., and to many others of which there is 
no record. 

" Our earliest recollections are dotted with the memory 
of strange, dark iaces, coming in at nightfall, partak- 
ing of supper, and afterward being mysteriously stowed 
away, with blankets for covering, in the barn or on the 
garret floor, where, in some instances, they remained 
concealed for a few days and nights, being fed cautious- 


ly at our meal-time ; and on some propitious night they 
would disappear and be heard of no more, and the 
horses in the stable next morning would bear evidence 
of having traversed the roads during the night and the 
carriage wheels would still be moist with fresh mud, 
when we knew they were dry on the on the evening be- 
fore. Our father, (an unusual occurrence at other times) 
being not yet astir, we were cautioned by our mother 
* to make no noise to disturb father's rest, as he had not 
gone to bed till late.' His errand was not concealed 
from us, but we were thus taught practically to leave un- 
spoken the words that might give improper information 
to others less cautious and considerate of the peril of 
those fleeing from bondage. In some instances, when 
the fugitives were considered to be in less immediate 
danger of pursuit, they were given work on the farm or 
in the house, where they remained for some weeks or 
months, earning means to enable them to reach Canada, 
the only place of absolute safety. Of these, the earliest 
recollected arrived on a stormy day in December, 1829. 
We first encountered hira in the granary getting chaff 
to mix feed for the stock ; we had just returned from 
school, and one of us asked * who is this ? ' and received 
the aaswer, * Ned Wilson, sir,' and his white teeth dis- 
closed the * open countenance ' of a genial nature, to 
which boys naturally take with a sincere appreciation. 
From that day, while he remained with us, *Ned 
Wilson, sir' and the boys were fast friends. At every 
opportunity we sought him at his work, or wherever he 
might be, and in the evening we became his instructors 
in the alphabet, which, with great perseverence, he 
mastered ; then in writing and spelling, until the difficul- 

ties of these eleni«nts were surmounted and he became 
enabled to read with mure facility thitn \s oflett reiwhed 
by younger scholars in the Mime period. His interest 
and gratitude were unbounded. Hia Bafety at length 
rendered it ne(!e*isary for him to ' run on,' and he left 
us with saddened heart at the parting, yet with graleful 
reinembrauee of his iKijoum in our home. 

" The next remembered were Johii and Araminta Dor- 
Bey; they came, at the pork-b utche ring- time ; the year 
not romlled. Tiie impression of thtur advent is that 
aeeing the woman engaged at the tahlo where the eiauaagcit 
was being prepared, her name was asked. ' My name is 
Arrowminta, litit you may! nu- Minin, P.r ^h^^rl,' and 
' Minta ' became established in the kitchen at the bead 
of the culinary department, proving to be an excellent 
helper to our mother, capable of relieving her of many 
cares. Her huaband, John, had been a minister or 
exhurter among their people ; ho was intelligent and 
with some qualifications for a preacher if be had had a 
better opportunity for education ; but he did not take 
ardeotly to work, and was fonder of an arg:umeut than 
such employment as required the diligence of his hands. 
After remaining a short period they were forwarded to 
our Uncle William H. Johnson, and &om there eubee- 
quently proceeded to Canada. 

" One of the most exciting incidents of capture and 
escape which occurred in West Chester, was that of 
Rachel Harris. The succeesfiil manner in which she 
was conveyed out of West Clieater, by Benjamin and 
Isaiah Price, is narrated in her History. 

" A later case was that of Henry Clark, alias Andrew 
CommegyB, who was a character of notable interest. He 


arrived at the farm-gate one sultry summer morning, 
enquired the way to Mr. Benjamin Price's, and was 
quite glad to find himself so near his destination. Be- 
ing piloted to where our father was at work in one of 
the fields, he told the story of his escape. He was 
owned by a Mr. Commegys, who lived near CantwelFs 
Bridge in Delaware. To avoid being sold at the settle- 
ment of his late master's estate, or of falling into the 
hands of the young master, whose disposition was reck- 
lessly cruel and extravagant, he resolved upon flight. 
He was familiar with the roads to Wilmington and the 
vicinity, where, as the trusted servant of his old master, 
he was often permitted to drive his carriage and teams, 
and even to go there alone on some holiday excursion 
to visit his friends. 

" He made his case known to the veteran friend of the 
slave, Thomas Garrett, who gave him accurate direc- 
tions for finding our father's place. He had set out be- 
fore midnight and had reached his destination in safety, 
and without having made a single enquiry, until he 
asked his question at the gate. He afterward said that 
* his heart jumped right up in his mouth as he asked, 
from fear of being betrayed and sent back,' and he 
thought that every eye that looked toward him, as he 
came along afi^r daylight, might be an enemy who 
would give information that he had been seen upon the 

"It now seems incredible that it should have been 
deemed safe for him to remain in a neighborhood so 
little removed from the vicinity of his former home. 
But he became impressed with a feeling of security, re- 
sulting from his confidence in our father, which made 

330 HI8TOBV OF THE ^^ 

him reluctant to leave lu. He engaged in wurk uti the 
fenu ood proved lo bo wi indiwtriouB and reliable 
hand, was a groat talker, verj- jocular, was notionato 
and peculiar tu a degree, eoraewhat eupeiBtitiouti, and 
hail imbibed a dread nf medical students, whom be called 
' Studeong,' getting posHKsinn of his body afo.r death. 
He was aoniothing of a wit and became a great favor- 
ite with us all, in our work together on the farm. He 
continued with \ia for Home Tears, during which time lie 
became desirous of having his wife and &mtlj' join 
him. They were free and had for some time resided in 
^Vilminglon, but it was deemed inadvisable on account 
of increasing hia liability to recapture. The only com- 
ninnication between them was through Thomas Garrett. 
He now began to entertain the project of purchasing his 
freedom from his young master, who, it was ascertained, 
had taken the absconded chattel at a risk at a moderate 
rate, upon an appraisement in the adjustment of the 
estate. Negotiations for this purposes were opened 
through Thomas Garrett, which, after much unsatisfac- 
tory parley and delay, evidently prolonged in the hope 
of discovering the refiige of the slave, were finally 
successfully accomplished and the money paid by 
Thomas Garrett, who then received a clear bill of sale. 
" Henry had been very saving and had a considerable 
sum laid by for this purpose. Some contributions were 
added and he was soon enabled to clear his indebted- 
ness. He now rented a house belonging to the late 
James Painter which stood by the road-side, between 
Painter's dwelling and the Street Road ; here bia family 
came to live, and remained for several years. Having 
now obtained his freedom, Henry resumed his former 


name of Andy (Andrew) with his master's surname, as 
of old, and by this name he was afterwards known. He 
continued to work for our father for a considerable 
period ; but his landlord having need of a large force of 
help, became desirous of his services if he should con- 
tinue to occupy his house. After this he only worked 
for us occasionally, when he could get off from his 
employer, at the end of harvest, corn-husking, etc. In 
later years he became afflicted and helpless from the 
exposure and overwork of his early years under the 
task-master. His constitution, originally of the most 
robust character, became broken and he gradually suc- 
cumbed to the encroachments of disease. He died in 
the old log house at the corner of the Wilmington Road 
and the road leading to Jessee Mercer's place, in the 
year 18 — . Our brother. Dr. Jacob Price, of West 
Chester, long gave him comfort and faithful attention 
and strove, as far as possible, to smooth the declining 
path of the faithful servant of many years in our early 
home. He was always grateful for the kindness and 
care manifested for his welfare, which he felt had been 
uninterrupted from the morning he first entered the 
lane to our parent's dwelling. 

" These few cases may serve to give some insight into 
the unobtrusive fulfillment on the part of our parents 
of the Christian command, *As you would that men 
should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.' 

" Benjamin Price, son of Philip and Rachel Price, of 
East Bradford, Chester county, was bom Twelfth Month, 
(December) 17th, 1793. He died First Month (January) 
8th, 1871. Jane Price, daughter of Jacob and Mary 
Shaw Paxson, was born in Abington township, Mont- 

332 BiBTony OF the ^H 

gi.mery w>unty. Tenth Month (October) 18th, 17^1, and 
.li^d at West Himter, Fifth Month (May) 8tJi, ia7«. 
TliL'y were niarrieil at Ahiugton Mt'eliug Houae, on llie 
12th of Sis Mouth, 1817, and cek'bmted thuir goldeD 
wwlding 12th of Sixth Month, 1867. 


Siiinuci M. Painter, of West Cheater, was an earnest 
advocate and supporter of human liberty and of justitie 
to all ; and, like Abraham Linwlu, " he wimld that all 
men, everywhere, were free," He was an outspoken, 
uncumprumieing opponent of negro bondage ; and as a 
(•iiiisei|iicn(.'f, hfid jusl as miL^poken pniwlavery oppo- 
nents. He kept a book store and circulated many anti- 
slavery tracts from the central anti-slavery office of 
J. Miller McKim, in Philadelphia. 

At one time a prominent citizen of West Cheater, 
purchased paper at his store, which his wife chanced U> 
wrap in an anti-slavery tract. Seeing the word anb*- 
ilavery, he tore off the wrapper, threw it way contempt- 
ously, and walked out saying " I didn't come here to be 

A neighlior remonstrated with the subject of thiB 
sketch for being an abolitionist, and proceeded to advise 
him in the matter. .Satnuel replied, "My religion is to 
relieve those who are oppressed, as I would have them 
do for me under similar circumstances." 

"Yes," responded the neighbor, "you would wrong 
the Southerners and sell your soul for a nigger." 

A young, genteel, intelligent looking colored man, 
once called at the store with a note from Thomas Gar- 
rett, Wilmington, written in hieroglyphics, and said he 


knew his pursuers were close after him. He was well- 
bred and used extraordinarily good language. 

Samuel kept him until night and then took him to 
John Vickers, whence he was sent to Emmor Kimber, 
Kimberton, thence to Boston. He had been brought 
up as a house servant. His suavity and intelligence 
won for him the esteem of some friends who took him 
to Europe. Here he met with unexpected success, and 
wrote back to the friends who assisted him, expressing 
his deep gratitude for the unselfish, unrecompensed 
kindness they had bestowed upon him in his hazardous 
journey from bondage to freedom. 

A messenger came in haste to the store one night and 
told Samuel that he was wanted at the Sheriffs office ; 
" that two negro women had been arrested and taken 
there by their masters who had proven them be- 
fore Judge Darlington to be their slaves ; but the 
papers the owners presented were defective in some 
legal point, and P. Frazer Smith, Esq., who was ever 
active in defending fugitives, seeing this, was demanding 
their release. While the slave-catchers were devising 
some plan by which the women could be secured until 
other papers were obtained, Samuel told these that 
he wished to see them alone in another room. The 
owners objected, but he persisted and obtained the in- 
terview. He told them to come with him, that he would 
provide for them during the night and they should not 
be returned to slavery. They hesitated, saying that 
their masters had promised them silk dresses if they 
would return, that they could be in the parlor and would 
not have to work out, and that they should not be sold. 
Samuel told them they knew the slave-holders well 


eDough not to boliovc that they wouli] go to the trouble 
and ex]>ense of comiiig so &r and capturing tlieni. just 
to take theni back and keep them in thai style ; that aa 
soon as they returned with their inaatere they would be 
sold into Georgia. They went with hira, the slave- 
holders following them to the bouRe. Samuel forbade 
the ma«terB to enter. In the night he took the women 
to John Vickers, who immediately* sent them with u 
colored man to Esther Lewis. The night being verr 
dark and stormy, the man missed the road and upeet 
the dearborn. After considerable effort in the impene- 
trable darkneea, he got it right side up again ; but getting 
bewildered he started in the wrong direction and fioalljr 
found himself at Ins starting |iomt, al John Viokere' 
house. The next night they were more successful, and 
the Lewis &mily started them on a direct line for Boston, 
which they reached in safety. , 

One day a man came hurriedly into the store and 
told Samuel Fainter he was wanted at the oSce of 
Judge Thomas 9. Bell immediat«ly — that a slave had 
been brought there. He locked the store-door at once 
and started, Jnat then a Friend accosted him and asked 
" why he was locking up at that time of day." Samuel 
told him : " Thee had better attend to thy business 
and let the niggers take care of themselves," was the 
volunteer advice of the man in plain attire. But it did 
not accord with Samuel's view of a Christian's duty, and 
he proceeded to the judge's office and found there a 
woman whom her master had captured and proved to 
be his property. The required certi ficate of rendition 
had been made out, and the poor woman had to return 
to her former dreaded condition as a slave. 


It was the custom of slave owners to employ persons 
in the North known by the sobriquet of " kidnappers " 
to assist them in catching " runaways." About 1837, a 
carriage was driven up to the Washington House, West 
Chester, where David M. McFarland's bank now stands, 
with two men in it, who, after having ordered their din- 
ners and their horses to be fed, inquired of the landlord 
where they could find some one who would catch a slave 
for them, whom they described very minutely, saying 
at the same time that " he was now in the employ of 
Joshua Sharpless, near Downingtown." They were re- 
ferred to one who would do this shameful thing. 
- It so happened that Samuel M. Painter was standing 
unobserved on his doorsteps, directly adjoining the 
hotel, where he overheard the conversation, and imme- 
diately dispatched a messenger to Joshua with the in- 
telligence, who notified the slave of the circumstance, 
when the latter at once started in haste toward Lion- 
ville. Here he met with John Vickers and begged of 
him to secrete him somewhere about the premises. John 
knew he would be suspected and was fearful of the re- 
sult, but finally concluded to take him to his woodpile, 
where he had a great many cords of wood ranked 
away. There they fixed him up a secure hiding-place 
and had but just left when the party who had struck 
the trail came driving up and inquired if there was such 
a person about. Vickers said : " There is no such man 
in my house." " How is it at the barn ?" the party in- 
quired. " I know of none there ; if there is any such 
person in any of my buildings it is unknown to me," 
replied Vickers. The guide told his employers that if 
Mr. Vickers passed his word there was no use in search- 


ing, 80 ihey drove on. The Btranger was fied in his ooop 
for some days and then sent off for Canada. 

In 1862, during the war, a free colored woman inoM 
of the northern slave States, learned one night that her 
husband, living with his master ten miles distant, was to 
be sold next day. Braving the darkness of night she 
started on foot through fields and forests to viait him, 
reaching the place long before morning. Arousing some 
of the colored inmates, she told her errand, found the 
report to be true, and that her husband was then locked 
in jail to prevent his trying to escape before auction- 
day. In the morning she remonstrated with his master 
and implored him not to sell her husband, reminding 
him of the promise made his wife before her death that 
he would not sell Mike, but would give him his freedom. 
The appeal toucheil a sympathizing cord in the slave- 
holder's heart, and lie yieldeil to her earnest supj)lication, 
so far as to revoke his decision to sell him at that time. 

While there, there api>eared to her in a dream a 
northern town and in it a brick house with ivy clinging 
to the walls; to that place she felt herself directed t«) <ro. 
Being devoted to prayer, and having full faith in tlie 
manifestations and directions of Divine Provi<lence, she 
resolved to leave her husband, take her child and i)ro- 
ceed northward, trusting that the way would be pointed 
out to her, and that her husband would soon find means 
to escape and follow her. 81ie was i)assed from friend 
to friend until she reached West Chester, Pa. Here her 
child was taken sick. On her way uj) High street to 
the office of Dr. J. B. Wood, she saw the identical 
house that she had seen in her vision. ]^]ntering it she 
found it to be the residence of Samuel M. Painter. He 


^' had a sick soldier in the house, whom his wife was 
caring for, and they were in pressing need of help. 

' After the woman related her story they engaged her to 
assist them. She remained with them three months, and 
proved herself an excellent woman and faithful servant. 
At the end of this time she learned that two men who 
had fled from the South were then in Kennett ; the 
description of one of them corresponded with that of her 
husband. Means were furnished her to go there and see 
if it were he. To her unbounded joy, her fond 
anticipations were realized. The heart that has never 
known the ecstasy and sweet delights of home-love can 
scarcely conceive the rapture of a meeting such as this. 
Escaped from the bonds of a hated slavery, reunited by 
the guidance of a Divine Providence amidst friends in a 
free State, exulting in the consciousness that no slave 
owner could now separate them, their thanksgiving and 
praise went up to Heaven as earnestly and devoutly as 
ever these ascended from the banks of the Red Sea or 
the Rock of Plymouth. 

They went to Samuel M. Painter's, house and in a few 
days started for Harrisburg. 



These three colored men lived in West Chester, and 
were considered by Samuel M. Painter among his most 
reliable assistants. 

Abraham Shadd owned property and entertained and 
forwarded fugitives. He was free-born in Maryland, 
was intelligent and quite well educated. 

John Brown rendered assistance at all times when 

called upon. 


Beajaaiin Freeman had Bot Rccommodations kr 
lodging fugitives, but gave them food and conducted 
thcra to places in f nd uut of the town. 

At one time a man and a woman called. He con- 
sented til fix a place in which they could sleep that 
night. Hext day he took them as fkr as the malt-house 
north of Weet Cheater and directed them to John 
Vickers. Arriving there, the family had doubts about 
their being genuine Underground Uailr»ad passengera, 
A few well-directed queMtionn wtire put to them, wlieii it 
was decided they were impoBtora. They were turned out 
to take core of themselvM. 


The anti-Blavery cause and the negro fleeing from 
bondage, had no more staimch friend th&n Xathan 
Lvans, of Willistown, Chester county. Living in a 
conservative neighborhood, surrounded by a conserva- 
tive element, hia labors in that vicinity in behalf of the 
colored race had but few sympathizers and fewer sup- 
porters. Hia honest opponents disparaged him; the 
bigoted decried him, but 

" Like A firm rock thai In mldiDooui braTcB 
Tb« war or whIrlwlndB uid the dub oT wavM," 

be waa unmoved by any opposition, and maintained 
calmly, persistently and uprightly what he believed to 
be the true principles of righteousness and the duty of 
man to his fellow-man. 

He was a minister in the Society of Friends. His 
discourses were pure, earnest, solid and instructive, but 
he would introduce into them the subjects of slavery 
and temperance. These were objected to; they were 
not popular in his neighborhood, and his persistence in 



speaking of them in religious meetings and in private 
conversation made him also unpopular. The meeting 
admonished him to cease from bringing these subjects 
into his sermons, or they would have to deal with him for 
the offence. But he paid no heed to their counsel, be- 
lieving the cause he advocated to be just and that people 
must be spoken to before they would learn. He often 
repeated the couplet : 

** Truths would you teach to save a sinking land 
All shun, none aid you, and few understand.'* 

He held it to be a religious duty that devolved upon 
him to speak against all manner of sin or evil, no 
matter what fascinations it presented, nor how lucrative 
it might be to individuals, society or the State. If it 
received the sanction of Government and was legalized 
by statutes, the church should exclaim against it, and 
the people be instructed to oppose it. 

The opposition to him, however, in the meeting was 
so strong that he was disowned from membership. He 
bore this act with patience and charity, never uttering 
a word of contumely against his adversaries. He was 
willing to concede that they acted according to the 
highest light they had received or comprehended. But 
he considered that they needed more light to dispel the 
Egyptian darkness through which they were travelling. 
He continued to attend meeting as before, and took his 
accustomed seat and preached as usual. A little amuse- 
ment was created on one occasion when he alluded in a 
sermon to a party of men and women who had come to 
his place a few nights before, poorly clad, tired and 
hungry, their flesh bearing the marks of the lash ; when 
he depicted the agonies of the mother, whose child had 



been torn from her and §oM to traders, luiH spoke of hj 
hearers' apathy b this matt*r a* jiiofesBing ('hriatiai 
because they wer>! mil |«rerinal cibseri.-ersi)t'ih<*ie wrooglfl 
and sufierings, and bewtuiM tiieir dwii [leTsiiDs, luid those 
of their friends were exempt from this system of holding 
chattel property in man ; and when, at this point, one 
of the elderly friends in the " gallery " behind him 
remarked : " Have a little mexcy on ub," he paused for 
a moment, turned his eyes reverently upward, and then, 
with a grave and gtiiitle air, replied : "' I have yet many 
things U) say nuto you, hut I see ye are not able to bear 
them now." He alluded no more to the aubject, but 
the remainder of his sermon was a touching one on loro^ 
and kindness. 

Fugitives were sent to his place from West Chester, 
and from the western and southern parts of Chester 
county, and were gent, or taken by him to Elijah F. 
Penny packer's, to Philadelphia, and to James Lewis's, 
in Delaware county. 

His son David, now living, has kept a diary since he 
waa a boy, in which he noted anti-slavery and Under- 
ground Railroad incidents as they transpired, a few of 
which we extract to show how the business was con- 
ducted at that station. 

A memorandum is made of the^rst anti-elavery vwet- 
ing in WiUUtown, which was held in the Friends' Meeting 
School House, Twelfth mo. (December) 17th, 1836; 
addressed by William Whitehead, of West Chester; 
Nathan Evans presided and Dr. Joseph Hickman acted 
as Secretary. 

Twelfth mo. 30th.— Charles C. Burleigh lectured at 
the same school house. 


1842 — Eighth mo. 19th. — I started at two o'clock, A. 
M., with four colored persons to the anti-slavery office 
in Philadelphia. They were sent here last evening by 
James Fulton, in care of Henry Lee (colored). These 
were t/ie first taken to the anti-slavery office. 

Eighth mo. 28th. — Two more came from the land of 
bondage, on their way to Canada. 

Ninth mo. 22nd. — About two A. M., Lukens Pierce 
drove here with a four-horse wagon containing twenty- 
five colored persons — men, women and children. I took 
thirteen that evening to the anti-slavery office in Phila- 
delphia ; and on the night of the 24th, Davis (Jarrett, 
Jr., and John Wright (colored) took the remainder in 
two dearborns. 

Ninth mo. 27th. — Maris Woodward, of Marshallton, 
brought two colored women, " on their way toward the 
North Star ; " mother took them to Philadelphia on the 

Tenth mo. 10th. — A man and woman came this even- 
ing ; John Wright took them to Philadelphia on the 12th. 

Tenth mo. 19th. — Henry Lee (colored) brought two 
women and three children from James Fulton's; cousin 
Joshua Clendenon took them to Philadelphia that night. 

Tentli mo. 20th. — Lukens Pierce came with sixteen ; 
father took them to Philadelphia next night. This 
party was from Washington City and they seemed re- 
markably well-bred and intelligent. 

Davis Garret, Jr., took to Philadel- 
phia a man and a woman. 

Tenth mo. 27th. — Cousin Joshua Clendenon and 
mother took three men to Philadelphia. 

Eleventh mo. 2ud. — A colored traveler arrived, a^d 

]-:u-vvia\, 111.1. Kill,.— Morti 

'■> ii'rlofk in the morning will 
to Philadelphia that night e:i 
mained and hired with us. 

Eleventh mo. 15th.— Three 
them to James Lewis' on the !> 

These dates of arrival and de 
of busineas done at that statioi 
ducted. It will be seen that the 
and that no little labor was requi 
and house work, to provide foi 
number that called yearly. A 
through a period of several yea 
FuBsell, and Joseph Painter, of ^ 
fugitives to this place. 

Nathan Evans frequently said 
would yet befall this Nation if t' 
tinucd to be upheld by the peop 
the Government. He seempfl *'• 
vision nf*^- 


own section, on account of his persistence in speaking of 
slavery in religious gatherings, and to his neighbors who 
opposed him, yet amongst abolitionists he was regarded 
as a worthy, conscientious man, warm-hearted, and, 
though advanced in years, his hands and heart and 
and pocket were all combined to aid in the cause. As 
a speaker at antinslavery meetings he was regarded as 
earnest, sincere and truthful, and his discourses were 
weighty and argumentative, based upon scriptural 
grounds. Therefore, while they were solid, they did 
not especially attract the masses, and he was considered 
a little more tedious than the speaker who warms up 
with the enthusiasm of the moment, and carries his audi- 
ence with him upon the tide of pleasing and thrilling 

His adherence to the principles of right, as he saw and 
believed them, in all his intercourse in life, and his 
charity for those who held views different from his own, 
drew to him others who began to think and believe with 
himself. But it was not until during the war when the 
general opinion of the country concerning slavery was 
changed, that the principles he maintained were adopted 
in his own neighborhood — a period he did not live to see. 


Id the latter part of 1837, 
tanner, in Marple township, 1 
from Philadelphia, felt constri 
to the anti-alavcry movement th< 
out the country. He was unit* 
Btep in their neighborhood by .. 
intelligent, radical thinker, then 
who was hia co-worker in the te 
was the oppoeition to this " nev 
Lewis that some of hia customer 
age. But this neither changed 
nor caused him to swerve from h 
in what he felt to be a moral dut 
are attracted towards each othei 
found gathering around him n< 
lectual and mf"' 



caused much excitement, and when the appointed time 
came the house was crowded with friends and foes, a 
large number being unable to gain admittance. A gang 
of twenty came for the express purpose of breaking up 
the meeting when anything should be said that they 
could use as a provocation to carrying out their plot. 
The speaker, Thomas Earle, arrived, accompanied by S. 
Sellers, and moved through the crowd to the platform. 
After a few moments of impressive silence, Thomas 
Earle arose, and in a quiet, dignified manner, said that 
he had come there for the purpose of talking upon the 
subject of American slavery, but having heard on his 
way that there was some opposition, he did not wish to 
intrude and proposed that James Lewis take the sense 
of the meeting whether or not he should speak. The 
vote was almost unanimous for him to proceed. He 
spoke nearly two hours, and held the audience throughout 
in rapt attention, as if spell-bound, by his touching 
appeals and persuasive oratory. He pictured the life 
of the unrequited laborer, of families separated at the 
auction-block and fond affections outraged. He brought 
this condition of servitude directly home to the firesides 
and hearts of his audience, " remembering those who 
were in chains as bound with them," and so effective 
was this portraiture that at the close of the meeting 
" many who came to scoff remained to pray." Among 
the first to take the speaker by the hand and thank him 
for the light and the instructions given, were some of 
the leaders of the party who had designed to be ob- 
streperous. This meeting was followed by others, and 
by debates in different parts of Delaware and Chester 
counties, which largely changed sentiment in favor of 


the abolition of elnvery. Jnnice Lewis non 1 
known ax a firm and earnest abulitiot 

Altout the year 183H. Nathan Evans, an aged Frii 
of Willistown, Cheeter county, who had fur years made 
frequent tripe to Philadelpliia with liirge numtiers of 
fugitives, called on James Lewie In ask if lie wotdil 
make his pltice an intormcdinte station. Thia wasagrimd 
to, kud James T. Danuikker accepted the position of 
" couductnr " on that part of the route. He acfompa- 
nied Xathan to the city with eight t'ugitivcg, the latter'! 
then in charge, and was introduced to faniiliea wiUv 
whom "SttiiMn lad beoi ■oonatomed to Wve tbam and 
told how to Dunage the hnrinmn wantlj. 

If drcunistancee rendered it inconvenient or danger- 
ous for any one of these families to accommodate the 
ftigitivea at that time, they were taken to another. 

This trip wae, fortunately, rather an eventful one, and 
the impreaaions made by this initiary leeson were the 
more valuable. Nathan had not been accustomed to 
taking fiigitives to the anti-elavery office. On this 
occasion he wished to go there. It chanced to be at a 
time when no one was in, and he would not risk waiting, 
but proceeded to one of his usual stations. Here, as 
they were about to unload, they observed an inquisitive 
looking man walking around as if intent upon watching 
their actions. They judged that he suspected their 
business, and deeming it unsafe to leave the passengers 
there, drove one-and-a-half miles to another place, where 
they unloaded in safety. They remained in the city over 
night, and next morning learned that the house at which 
they first stopped had been searched about daylight, but 
DO fugitivee found in it. 



James T. Dannaker then felt the importance of having 
several places to call at in case danger should be lurking 
around any one of them. In addition to the families he 
had been introduced to, he subsequently, through his 
friends, became acquainted with others. He made the 
arrangement with them that when he arrived with pas- 
sengers he would announce it by three distinct raps at 
the door. The family understanding the meaning of 
this, would know what precautions to take before going 
to the door, especially if strangers were in the house. 
When he had two or more wagon loads, he preceded 
them a square or two, carrying a white handkerchief in 
his hand, by which to direct their movements. If they 
could not be taken in at one place, he went to another, 
until he found accommodations for all. 

James Lewis's house now became a prominent station, 
and Dannaker an efficient conductor ; never being de- 
tected, although he frequently made two trips a week. 

At one time Friend Evans kept twenty-six at his place 
for two weeks, as he heard the hunters were assiduously 
watching for them in Philadelphia. When danger was 
past he took them to James Lewis, there they remained 
until next night, when Dannaker, with two assistants, 
took them by different routes to Arch street wharf, 
Philadelphia, arriving there at midnight. He put them 
on board Captain Whildon's boat, which plied between 
Philadelphia, Trenton and Bordentown. The Captain 
kept a state-room in which he carried fugitives whenever 
they could be put in there without exciting suspicion. 

Four brothers and sisters, who had })een separated for 
years, casually^or Providentially [met at Columbia, and 
came on this route to James Lewis. These were, as if 




charge of his master's law office and library, from which 
he had acquired much knowledge, after stealthily learning 
the alphabet from white school-boys on the street. The 
other was a coachman, belonging to a lady, a relative of 
Mr. Johnson, living in Mississippi, and had accompanied 
her on a visit to Baltimore. When starting on this 
journey with his mistress, the idea of coming so near a 
free State inspired him with a desire and determination 
to become free himself While these two men were 
planning their escape, five fugitives were captured at 
Wrightsville and returned to slavery. The following 
night a party was given in honor of the lady from 
Mississippi. As she was entering her carriage, the 
Wrightsville capture was being spoken of, when a 
person remarked to her that she " had better keep a 
sharp lookout on Charles, the tjoachman." " I do not 
believe," she said, "that he could be coaxed to leave 
me." Charles seized that opportune moment of asserted 
confidence and replied, "I know when I am well ofi* and 
well cared for." After stabling the horses carefully, as 
was his custom, he and his companion started on foot, 
and the third evening reached James Lewis's house, and 
in two weeks arrived safely in Canada. When near 
Wrightsville, after leaving Baltimore, they were accosted 
by some rude looking men, who attempted to arrest 
them. Being well armed they drew their weapons upon 
their assailants, who, doubtless thinking " discretion the 
better part of valor," fled and gave them no fiirther 

In 1866, while James Dannaker was standing at the 
depot in Chester, a colored man alighted from a train, 
and aft;er looking into his face a moment, approached 


him, and asked if his name was not Dannaker. He re- 
plied that it was. The colored man then introduced 
himself as the slave of Reverdy Johnson, whom he had 
helped to freedom twenty-four years before. After 
expressing his gratitude he stated that he was then 
residing in Rochester, New York; had acquired a 
considerable fortune ; was married, and was then accom- 
panied by his wife on his way to visit Baltimore. 

Many testified to their being well treated and cared 
for, both in health and in sickness ; but they left through 
the fear of their being sold to go South, or of having 
their families sold from them. 

Occasionally before starting with a load James Lewis 
would receive intelligence that the masters, learning 
where the slaves had crossed the Susquehanna, instead 
of attempting to pursue them in their underground route 
through the country, had gone directly to Philadeiphia, 
to intercept them there. He then sent them to Norristown. 

At one time, just as Dannaker arrived at a station in 
the city with eight, he received word that the pursuers 
were close upon them. He took them immediately to 
another place, and then returned to watch the course of 
their pursuers. They soon arrived with a constable and 
search-warrant. After a fruitless search through the 
house, the constable remarked that there were two other 
places where they might be, and he knew they were the 
only houses in the city, besides this, where slaves were 
harbored. One of them was where Dannaker had just 
taken the fugitives. Before the party arrived at this 
latter place with another warrant he had his men safely 
removed to a secure retreat >vhich the slave-hunting 
constable wot not of. 


In 1843 James T. Dannaker married and removed to 
le suburbs of Philadelphia, where he made his home 
lother station. He soon became known in that vicinity 
ifaui an abolitionist, and his house was closely watched. 
[Knowing this, he ceased to harbor slaves, but took them 
[to the city as soon as practicable after they were de- 
livered into his care. 

At one time James Lewis, assisted by two friends, 
brought sixteen to his place. He accompanied them to 
the city in the evening, walking as usual on the streets, 
in advance of the wagons, and directing the course of 
the drivers by the motions of a handkerchief. They saw 
they were suspected by a man who followed them a long 
distance, until they had nearly reached the last station 
in the lower part of the city, when a furious thunder- 
storm burst upon them and drove their unwelcome friend 
to seek shelter. Being thus relieved of uncongenial 
company, they hastened to the next stopping-place and 
unloaded in safety. 

Two slaves from Havre-de-Grace came to James 
Dannaker's house one morning before daylight. He 
concealed them for that day. After breakfast he called 
on a man residing four doors from his place, for whom 
he was transacting business in the city. This man 
had formerly lived in Maryland, but had grown to dis- 
approve of slavery. Quite a facetious smile played over 
the face of the wife as she met Dannaker, and invited 
him into another room. He wiis there introduced to a 
man from Maryland, in search of two runaway slaves. 
This man, after a little conversation, gave him one of 
the handbills describing the slaves, which description 
tallied exactly with the appearance of the two at his 

All illIrn>ll[i,L::tll.lgt 

un..iL,Mit'Jaiin.-sT. I)»ui; 
the huuBc of two sisten 
was a valued ntation. 
Bcrutioizing glances upon 
and then left the room. . 
bringing with them a coi 
wildered with a sudden flael 
recognized the fiigitive as ht 
meeting was equally uverwl 
been separated from each o 
having been sold to a mast 
sold again, and brought bac 
Here he heard of his wife's e 
her. They had taken diffi 
their way to Canada, and wi 
in the house of straoger-friei 
Jamefl T. Dannaker is, at 
at Chester, Pa., a vigorous 
memorv. * •" 



In a letter to the editors, under date of Ai-ril l'"»d. 
L883, James T. Daunaker wriii* a> ftJj-.-iK^* : " Aij-i 
low, at the ajjje of seventy years, the wriur jivk? liiict 
jpon that part of his lile with ijnai saii«fii'.ii -l.. hi* 
mlv reiiret l)ein'j: that he wa? n«»i aMr i" «3o iii r*-.' 

ROr.ERT Pl-RVl-. 
I Bom Aug-u»l 4th. 1*10 

After describiug the manner in whi'-L Tuji:iv»> lur- 
assisted through Chester and ad i«.»iij in j •.■••jijTif^. n;sii:y 
3f whom were sent or taken x*j PhiLidtlr«h:ii. :h^ i:«: rv 
would s^eem incomplete withuui a kL"T»I«:-ijv :' 'l- 
management of that i)laee. Act^.«rdiniriy ;ijr a ;-::-• r 
addresi^sed a letter to Robert Purvis, one -a iLt :v«» ?"ur- 
vivintj memlx*rs of the Anii-?laver>" Kxr'.iiTivr < ::.- 
mittee, and an agent of the Undergr-und ..l : 
received the following response tu the sevi :-.:■ :;: .:;!•- 

Deak Friend: — In compliance with yi.iir rv ;■.:..-:. I 
send you the following siaiemeni. as an aiir-w.-r :■• v. ;r 
inquiries concerning ray personal histiiry :ind t-'iiiU'::- n 
with the Underground Railroad. 

I was born in Charleston. Snuth Car-»liria. Aul".:-: 
4th, 1810. My father wa;5 an Englishman, my iiHiilur 
a free-born woman ; a native of Charle>i«»n. Mv mater- 
nal grandmother, wh<>se name was Diilo Kadaraoka. 
was a ^[oore, born in Morocco. When twi-lve viars o\d, 
she, with an Arab girl, of about the saino ii\z(\ was »lo- 
coyed by a native to go a mile or two out ot tlio citv, to 
aw. a deer that had been caught. 

They were seizerl, placed upon tho backs ol' camels, 
and cjirried over the country to a Slave Mart on llu' 
coast, to be shipped to America. This was about the 
year ITfiG, when the slave-trade was tolerated iu this 
Christian country! She was taken with a eargo o\' 
kidnapped Africans to Charleston, South Carolina, 


rNJn;i:<;K<)rNi> iiAiLUoAn. ^*^)^> 

In a letter to tlie editors, under date of April 1^3d, 
1883, James T. Dannaker writes as follows : " And 
now, at the age of seventy years, the writer looks back 
upon that part of his life with great satisfaction, his 
only regret being that he was not able to do more." 

(Born August 4th, 1810.) 

After describing the manner in which fugitives were 
assisted through Chester and adjoining counties, many 
of whom were sent or taken to Philadelphia, the history 
would seem incomplete without a knowledge of the 
management of that place. Accordingly the author 
addressed a letter to Robert Purvis, one of the few sur- 
viving members of the 'Anti-slavery Executive CJom- 
mittee, and an agent of the Underground Railroad, and 
received the following response to the several inquiries 

Dear Friend : — In compliance with your request, I 
send you the following statement, as an answer to your 
inquiries concerning my personal history and connection 
with the Underground Railroad. 

I was born in Charleston, South Carolina, August 
4th, 1810. My father was an Englishman, my mother 
a free-born woman ; a native of Charleston. My mater- 
nal grandmother, whose name was Dido Badaracka, 
was a Moore, born in Morocco. When twelve years old, 
she, with an Arab girl, of about the same age, was de- 
coyed by a native to go a mile or two out of the city, to 
see a deer that had been caught. 

They were seized, placed upon the backs of camels, 
and carried over the country to a Slave Mart on the 
coast, to be shipped to America. This was about the 
year 1766, when the slave-trade was tolerated in this 
Christian country ! She was taken with a cargo of 
kidnapped Africans to Charleston, South Carolina, 


wliere, by resaon of her comeliness, she was purchased 
fur n niaidea tady, whose name wns Deos. 

Her mistress became exceedingly attached to her, snd 
at her death, when my grandmother vas about ainetees 
yeara of age, emanoipated her ; leaving her also na 
annuity of sixty dollars. 

Her Arab companion was not long held in bond^e, 
as the luws did not permit ownership in persons of pan 
Arab blood. My grandmother, after being reinsUled 
in her freedom, married a German, who professed the 
Jewish faith. 

In the spring of 1819, my &ther, William Furvis, 
having retired n'om business, sent my mother and tlieir 
three sons to Philadelphia, with the view of goicg from 
there to Enetond to reside pOTmaoently. The exttn- 
tion of this plan was prevented by his untimely death. 

He was instinctively and practiealiy an abolitionist, 
even at that early date. Mv tirst inipreasions of the 
evils <.f sh.v,-rj' svere (krived tr.mi the iwoks be placed 
into our hands, viz : " Torrey'a Portraiture of Slavery " 
and " Sandford and Merton." 

When he arrived in Philadelphia, finding there were 
no schools of a higher grade for " colored" children, he 
established a school on Spruce street, near Eighth street, 
and paid the teacher's salary for one year. 

Ill the year 1830 I became interested in anti-slavery 
through my acquaintance with Benjamin Lundy, and 
William Lloyd Garrison — the latter, who called to see 
me, had just been released from a Baltimore prison, 
where he was placed for a libel on Francis Todd, of 
Newburyport, Mass. He unfolded to me his plans for 
publishing The Liberator, the first number of which 
came out on January first, 1831. 

In 1833 the American Anti-Slavery Society was 
formed in Philadelphia. I was a member of the con- 
vention, and Vice President of the society for many 
years — I was also President for several yeara of the 
Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, and a member of 
the Executive Committee. 


I think it was about the year 1838, that the first or- 
ganized society of the Underground Railroad came 
into existence — of this, I was made President, and 
Jacob C. White, Secretary. With the exception of my- 
aelf, I believe Edwin H. Ck)ates is the only remaining 
one of the original members. 

The funds for carrying on this enterprise were raised 
&om our anti-slavery friends, as the cases came up, and 
their needs demanded it, for many of the ftigitives re- 
quired no other help than advice and direction how to 
proceed. To the late Daniel Neall, the society was greatly 
indebted for his generous gifts, as well as for his en- 
couraging words and fearless independence, for he was 
a believer in the " Higher Law," and practised it. 

The most efficient helpers, or agents we had, were 
two market women, who lived in Baltimore, one of 
whom was white, the other " colored." 

By some means, they obtained a number of genuine 
certificates of freedom or passports, which they gave to 
slaves who wished to escape. These passports were after- 
wards returned to them, and used again by other ftigi- 
tives. The generally received opinion, that "all ne- 
groes look alike," prevented too close a scrutiny by 
the officials. 

Another most effective worker, was a son of a slave- 
holder, who lived at Newberne, N. C. Through his 
agency, the slaves were forwarded, by placing them on 
vessels engaged in the lumber trade, which plied be- 
tween Newberne and Philadelphia, and the captains of 
which had hearts. Having the address of the active 
members of the Committee, they were enabled to find 
us, when not accompanied by our agents. Many were 
sent, by our well known friend, Thomas Grarrett, and 
Samuel D. Burvis, a native of Delaware and a man of 
marked courage and daring. The fiigitives were distri- 
buted among the members of the society, but most of 
them were received at my house in Philadelphia, where 
by the ingenuity of a carpenter, I caused a place to be 
constructed underneath a room, which could only be 

356 HiaxoKY OF the 

entered by a trap door in the floor. This we deenud 
perfectly secure, should any Hcaruti be made by tfaa 

authorized officials. 


Among tbe hundreds of cnseti which came under wj 
notice, none excited my interest more deeply tliau Hbti 
of four brothers, who tame from Frederick oountr, Md., 
and arrived in Philadelphia in tbe summer »f \^W. 
They were finely developed and handsome yoiinz men, 
reputed to bo the children of their master, and after bin 
death, finding themselves slaves, when they had beun 
promised tlieir freedom, they took " French leave," 
and arrived safety in Philadelphia, under the aaBumff} 
Christian names ofBasil, Thomas, Charles and Williaa; 
all retaining the surname of Porsey. I took three nf 
the brothers t^ my farm in Bucks county — Thuma^ pn-- 
ferring to live in the city. 1 succeeded in securing plaits 
with some of the neighboring Ihrmers for Charles and 
William, Basil remaining in my employ. The latter 
was a married man, having a wife and two children 
whom he left in Maryland. She was a free woman, and 
by a previous arrangement with her brolher-iu-la», 
liliewise free, they were brought to Philadelphia, where 
I met them and took them to my house. 

This man proved afterwards to be a false and treacher- 
ous villain. He opened n correspondence with the son 
of their old master, who bought these men at the settle- 
ment of his father's estate and had become their owner. 
By a well arranged plan, with the aasistanee of a notori- 
ous slave-catcher, they were enabletl to surprise and 
capture Thomas, who was hurried before one of the 
Judges of the Court luid sent back to slavery. Hewu 
carrhd to Baltimore lUid iitiprisoaed with the view of 
shipping him thence to the fTew Orleans market. By 
tbe timely efforts of his friends in Philadelphia, money 
was raisM, and the sum of one thousand dollars paid 
for his freedom. He afterwards became the popular 
caterer ofPhiladelphia, and diedafew years ago, leaving 


handsome competence to his family. Immediately 
[lowing the the capture of Thomas, by the direction of 
e brother-in-law, they went to Bristol and secured the 
rvices of a constable by the name of Brown, who re- 
tired with the claimant and his friends to Doylestown, 
id obtained warrants from Judge Fox for the arrest of 
e three brothers. Basil, while ploughing at some 
stance from the house, was overpowered aifer a severe 
puggle by the slave-holder and his friends, placed in 
carriage and taken to Bristol, three miles distant, 
iere he was thrown into a cell used for criminals. I 
id just returned from the city, and was in the act of 
ting my supper, when a neighbor's son came in great 
:citement to tell me that Basil had been carried off. I 
•rang from the table, and hastening in the direction 
bere I knew the man had been working, learned from 
e farmers I found assembled there the particulars of 
is outrage, with the added information that he had 
^n taken to Bristol. Burning with indignation, hat- 
88 as I was, I hurried thither, where I found the captors 
id the captive. 

An excited crowd of people was gathered about the 
arket house, whom I addressed and succeeded in en- 
jting their sympathies in behalf of the poor victiin. 
After a parley with the slave-holder, it was agreed 
at we should meet there at seven o'clock in the morn- 
g, and start thence for the purpose of appearing before 
idge Fox, at Doylestown. Availing myself of the 
nd offer of a friend, I was driven rapidly home 
r the purpose of securing the safety of Basil's 
•others. I was rejoiced to find them already 
ere. They had heard of Basil's capture and 
3re pursued by a part of those men, led by 
rown, who had taken him. These men had halted 
a field near my residence, evidently deliberating how 
proceed. By my advice, Charles, in whose hands I 
aced a double barrelled gun heavily charged, walked 
it in front of the house and defied them. The slave- 
tchers, thinking doubtless " discretion the better part 

3oo HiaTORV OF tas ■ 

of valor," instantly departed, t'nder the cover of the 
darknefs, I was enobled to convey the two men to my 
brother Ji«eph'a farm, about two miles dietAnt, and ihat 
night, he drove forty miles, and left them in K«r 
Jersey at the houee of a friend. There they remained 
safely, until an opportunity ottered to send them to 
Canada. The next moruiug about six o'clock I wiu on 
my "ft-uy to Bristol. Before reaching there, I met a 
woman, who informed me that at live o'clock a wsgoii 
passed her house, and she heard Basil cry out: "Ua 
tell Mr. Purvis, they are taking ine off." The ohjectof 
this movement was to deceive me in rc^rd to time and 
enable them to appear before Judge Fox, and by i3>- 
parte testimony have the case closed, and the victim 
delivered into their custody. Upon reodving t&iB ia- 
formation I hastened liome. and quickly harnet^ing a 
fleet trotting horse pursued them. I left instructions 
that Basil's wife and children should follow in another 
carriage. By good fortune I came upon the fuffiUve 
kidnappers about four miles from Doylestown, where 
they had stf)pi)ed for breakfast. 

I immediately drove to the residence of William H. 
Johnson, the noted abolitionist, who instantly took bold 
of the matter, and went out to spread the news &r and 
wideamong the anti-slavery people. I arrived in Doyles- 
town fully an hour before Basil was brought by his 
captors, who were of course amazingly surprised to see 
me. I at once secured the services of the ablest lawyer 
in the town, Mr. Ross, the father of the late Judge Roes, 
who urged the postponement of the case upon Basifs 
oath of naving free papers left in the hands of a friend 
living in Columbia, Pennsylvania. 

Doubtless the judge was deeply impressed by the ap- 
pearance in the court-room of the delicate and beautitul 
wife and the young children clinging to the husband 
and father, who, looking the picture of despair, sat with 
the evidences in his torn and soiled garments of the 
terrible conflict through which he had passed. 

The claimant obtained l^al services in the person of 


a Mr. Griffith, a young lawyer. Notwithstanding the 
urgency of their counsel to have the case immediately 
decided, the judge postponed it for two weeks. 

This was all I expected to obtain. My duty lay 
clearly before me, and I resolved that no effort should 
be spared to secure Basil's freedom. With this view I 
strove to arouse the colored people to rescue him in the 
event of his being remanded to his captors. 

The plan adopted was to assemble in squads about the 
three leading roads of the town, and use means adequate 
for the purpose of liberating him. Most fortunately, 
however, by an unexpected turn of events, a resort to 
these desperate measures was rendered unnecessary. 
Desiring to make use of every available means to secure 
the liberty of this worthy man, I called upon that emi- 
nent lawyer and philanthropist, David Paul Brown, and 
asked him if he would not appear in behalf of the de- 
fense. He promptly responded to my request, saying : 
" I am always ready to defend the liberty of any human 
being." I then tendered him a fee of fifty dollars, which 
he at once refused. " I shall not now, he said, " nor 
have I ever accepted fee or reward, other than the 
approval of my own conscience, and I respectfully de- 
cline receiving your money, I shall be there, and 
turning to his oarber he asked : " Will you get me up 
so that I can go in the stage coach which leaves at four 
o'clock in the morning ?" 

The day of trial came, and the slave-holder was there, 
bringing with him additional proof in the persons of his 
neighbors, to swear as to the identity of the man. Armed 
with the bill of sale, the victory seemed an easy one. 
The claimant at one time was willing to take five hun- 
dred dollars for his slave which we agreed to give, 
yielding to the earnest entreaty of Basil, ^though it was 
in violation of our principles, as we have always denied 
the right of property in man. 

He advanced his price to eight hundred at Doylestown, 
and when that was agreed to declined taking less than 
one thousand dollars. Basil then said, ** no more offers, 

360 Bl^TOBV or THE ^^H 

if the rlecision'goee against roe, I will cut tny tliroM 
JQ theCwirt House, I will not go back to slavery," I 
iipplaudt^d liie resoliitioD ; horrible an it might bo. Il 
Buetiicd better thtm his return to k living death. Thwi 
for the tirst time I unfolded our plana for hie libemtioo. 
The rase wus callerl promptly a,t the hour agreed upon, 
and Mr. GriSitl] spreading out hie bill of sale, and 
pointing to his witnesses, the friends of the elaimant, 
who hsA come for the purpoee of idejitifying this man 
Bs hifl property opened bia case with an air of Ihe 
utmost conhdenw in the result. Mr Brown in his turn 
uuiukly arose, and the magnetUm of hia presence wm 
lelt by the crowded court room, nine tenths of whom 
were doubtless in sympathy with the poor slave. Ho 
commenced by saying; "Ideaire to U»t this esse by 
raising everv objection, and may it please ^-onr honor, 
tlitw j^cntliiiijiii. who liiiil fVoni Liberty, Frc(i<;ric county, 
Maryland, are here according to law to secure their 
'pound of flesh,' and it is my duty to see that they 
shall not ' get one drop of blood.' As a preliminary 
question I aeroand authority to show that Maryland u 
a slave State." 

Mr. Griffith, with aaelf-satisfied air, remarked: "Why, 
Mr. Brown, everybody knows Maryland is a slave Stal«." 

" Sir, everybody is nobody," was the quick retort of 
his opponent. 

The judge entertained the objection, and Mr. Griffith 
went out and soon returned with a book containing a 
compilation of the Laws of Maryland. 

The book was not considered authority, and poor Mr. 
Griffith, confused and disconcerted, requested Mr. Brown 
to have the lease postponed until afternoon. 

" Do you make that request," inquired his adversary, 
" OD the ground of ignorance of the law ? " 

Mr. Griffith in an appealing tone said : " Mr, Brown, I 
am a young man, and this is my first case ; I pray you 
do not press ^our objections ; give me some time, for, 
should I ful in this case, it would be ruinous to my 
fiiture prospects." 


Laying his hand on the young lawyer's shoulder, Mr. 
Brown replied : " Then, my dear sir, vou will have the 
consolation of having done a good deed, though you did 
not intend it." 

The judge was prompt in dismissing the case, saying 
that he would not furnish another warrant, but they 
might secure his re-arrest by obtaining one from a 
magistrate. Profiting by this suggestion, Griffith and 
his clients hastily left the court-room. I was equally 
prompt ; having previously ordered my horse and buggy 
to be brought in front of the Court House, I took hold 
of Basil, and hurried him towards the door. In the 
excitement which prevailed, a colored man, who waa 
outside, seeing me hustling Basil before me, and think- 
ing he had been remanded to slavery, and I was his 
master, raised a heavy stick, and was about to strike me, 
when a friendly hand interposed, and saved me from 
the blow. 

We were no sooner seated in the vehicle than the 
slave-catchers, armed with a magistrate's warrant, came 
rushing upon us. As they were about to seize the horse, 
a stroke of the whip on the young and excited animal, 
caused him to rear and dash ahead. A round of hearty 
applause from the sympathizing crowd served as an 
additional impetus to urge us onward. After running 
the horse about two miles, I came upon a party of 
colored men who were to assist in rescuing the slave. 
Resting a short time, I pursued my journey to Phila- 
delphia, a distance of twenty-six miles, and drove directly 
to my mother's house, where Basil was safely lodged. I 
afterwards accompanied him to New York, and placed 
him in the hands of Joshua Leavett, the editor of The 
Emancipator, who sent him to Connecticut to find em- 
ployment on his father's farm. He remained there some 
time, and then removed with his family to Northampton, 
where he worked for Mr. Benson, a brother-in-law of 
William Lloyd Garrison. Mr. Dorsey died a few years 
ago, a highly-esteemed and respectable citizen, leaving a 
widow and a number of children. 


Robert Purvis h well knomi Uirougbont the conotry 
as an earnest speaker in tfae Anti-sUvery cause, rIhim 
fervid elwjuence, when he was warmed up with indig- 
n&tinn at the wrongs eufiered by the colored race in this 
couiitrr, woe like the ligbtning etroke from heaven. 
He hat«d glavery la intensely as he loved liberty. 


The following letters received by William Still at the 
Anti-slavery office in Philadelphia, illustrate the corres- 
pondence between agents. 

KiMBERTON, October 28th, 1855. 

Esteemed Friend: — ^This evening a company of 
eleven friends reached here, having left their homes on 
the night of the 26th inst. They came into Wilmington 
on the morning of the 27th, and left there in the town 
their two carriages drawn by two horses. They went to 
Thomas Garrett's by open day-light, and thence 
were sent hastily onward for fear of pursuit. After re- 
maining all night with one of the Kennett friends, they 
were brought to Downingtown early in the morning, 
and thence by daylight to wuthin a short distance of 
this place. 

They came from New Chestertown, within five miles 
of the place from which the nine lately forwarded came, 
and left behind them a colored woman who knew of 
their intended flight and of their intention of passing 
through Wilmington. 

I have been thus particular in my statement, because 
the case seems to us one of unusual danger. We have 
separated the company for the present, sending a mother 
and five children, two of them quite small, in one direc- 
tion and a husband and wife and three children in 
another, until I could write to you and get advice ; if 
you have any to ^ive, as to the best method of forward- 
mg them, and assistance pecuniarily, in getting them to 
Canada. The mother and children we have sent off the 
usual route and to a place where I do not think they 
can remain many days. 

364 HISTOBT OF THE ^^^| 

We ahttll awftit hearing from you ; H. Eirabor will be 
in tliedty on Tliird-day, the 30th, and anything left al 
408 Green street, directed to his carti, will most witli 
prompt attention. 

Please give me a^in tho direction of Hiram Wilson, 
and the friend in Elmlra. Mr. Jonos, I think. If you 
liave licard from any of the nitte since their safe arrival, 
pleaae let us know when you write. 
Very respectiuUly, 

G. A. Lewis. 

Sictmd-dav morning, 2i)M. — The person who took the 
hiishiuid and wife and three lads to E. F. I'ennypacker 
and Lewie Peart, hn^ returned iind regwrts that L. 
Peart sent three on to Norristiw-n. Tlie women and 
children detained in this neighborhood, are a very help- 
less set. Our plan was to assist them as much as pos- 
sible, and when wo get things into the proper train for 
sending them on, to get the aasiatance of the husband 
and wife who have no children, but are uncle and aunt 
to the woman with five, in taking with them one of the 
younger children, leaving fewer for the mother. Of the 
lads, or young men, there is also one who we thought 
capable of accompanying one of the older giria to one 
of whom he is paying attention, tliey told us. Would 
it not be the best way to get those in Norristown under 
your own care? It Ecemstome their being sent on could 
then be better arranged. This however Is only a sug- 

Hastily Yours, 

G. A. Lewis. 

The above party of eleven is described in the account 
of Eusebius and Sarah P. Barnard. 

Scmn-LKiLL, 11th mo. 29th, 1855. 
Dear Friend, William Still: — Those boya will 
be along by the laat Norristown train to-morrow even- 


ing. I think the train leaves Norristown at six o'clock, 
but of this inform thyself. The boys will be sent to a 
friend at Norristown, with instructions to assist them in 
getting seats in the last train that leaves Norristown to- 
morrow evening. They are two of the eleven who left 
some time since, and took with them some of their 
master's horses. I have told them to remain in the cars 
at Green St., until somebody meets them. 

E. F. Pennypacker. 

Schuylkill, 11th Mo. 7th, 1867. 
William Still, Respected Friend: — There are 
three colored friends at my house now, who will reach 
the city by the Philadelphia and Reading train this 
evening. Please meet them. 

Thine &c., E. F. Pennypacker. 

We have within the past two months, passed forty- 
three through our hands, transported most of them to 
Norristown, in our own conveyance. E. F. P. 

Wilmington, 3d Mo. 23d, 1856. 
Dear Friend, William Still : — ^Since I wrote thee 
this morning informing thee of the safe arrival of the 
eight from Norfolk, Harry Craig has informed me that 
he has a man from Delaware that he proposes to take 
along, who arrived since noon. He will take the man, 
woman and two children from here with him, and the 
four men will get in at Marcus Hook. Thee may take 
Harry Craig by the hand as a brother, true to the cause ; 
he is one of the most efficient aids on the Railroad, and 
worthy of full confidence. May they all be favored to 
get on safe. The woman and three children are no 
common stock. I assure thee finer specimens of human- 
ity are seldom met with. I hope herself and children 
may be enabled to find her husband who has been absent 
some years, and the rest of their days be happy together. 
1 am as ever, thy friend, 

Thomas Garrett, 

366 B18T0ET OF THE ^^| 

WiLMINOTOK, 10th Mo. 3l8t, 1857. 

Esteemed Friend, Wri-LiAM Stili,: — I wTite hi 
infurm thee that wp have either seventeen or twenty- 
^ven, I ani uot certxiii nhieh, of thai large gaog of 
God's poor, and I hope ihey are safe. The raaa who 
has them in charge informed me there were twenty- 
seven eafe, and one boy lost during the last night, about 
fotirl««u yeurB of age, without ehoes ; we hare felt some 
ansiety about him, for fear he may be taken up and 
betray the rest. I have since been informed there are 
but seventeen, so that at present I cannot tell which is 
correct. I have several looking out for the lad; they 
will be kept from Philadelphia for the preaent. My 
principal object in writing thee at Ihi? time is to inform 
thee of what one of our oonstablra t«Id me this mominff ; 
he told me that a colored man in Philadelphia, who 
professed to he a Kfeat friend of the colored peoiilc, wa^ 
a traitJjr, thiit he had been ivrilleii to by an abolitionist 
in Baltimore to keep a look out for those slaves that 
left Cambridge this night week ; told him they would be 
likely to pass through Wilmington on Sixth-day or 
Seventh-day night, and the colored man in Philadel- 

Ehia had written to the master of part of them telling 
im the above, and the master arrived here yesterday in 
consequence of the information, and told one of our con- 
stables the above. The man told the name of the 
Baltimore writer, which he had forgotten, but declined 
telling the name of the colored man in Philadelphia. I 
hope 3'ou will he able to find out who he is, and should 
I be able to learn the name of the Baltimore friend, I 
will put him on his guard respecting his Philadelphia 

As ever thy friend, and the friend of humanity, with- 
out regard to color or clime. 

Thomas Garrett, 

9th Mo. 26th, 1856. 
Rksfected Friend, William Still :--I send on to 
thy care this evening by rmlroad, five able-bodied men, 


on their way North ; receive them as the Good Samaritan 
of old, and oblige thy friend. 

Thomas Garrett. 

Respected Friend, William Still : — I now have 
the pleasure of consigning to thy care four able-bodied, 
human beings, from North Carolina, and five from 
Virginia — one of which is a girl twelve or thirteen 
years of age — the rest all men. After thee has seen and 
conversed with them, thee can determine what is best to 
be done with them. I am assured they are such as can 
take care of themselves. Elijah F. Pennypacker some 
time since informed me he could find employment in his 
neighborhood for two or three good hands. I should 
think those from Carolina would be about as safe in that 
neighborhood as any place this side of Canada. Wish- 
ing our friends a safe trip, I remain thy sincere friend. 

Thomas Garrett. 

After conferring with Harry Craig, we have con- 
cluded to send five or six in the cars to-night, and the 
balance, if those go safe, to-morrow night, or m the steam 
boat. Second-day morning, directed to the anti-slavery 

Wilmington, 5th Mo. 11th, 1856. 

Esteemed Friends, M'Kim and Still: — I propose 
sending to-morrow morning by the steam-boat, a woman 
and child whose husband, I think, went some nine months 
previous to New Bedford. She was furnished with a 
free passage by the same line her husband came in. 
She has been away from the person claiming to be her 
master some five months, we therefore think there can- 
not be much risk at present. Those four I wrote thee 
about, arrived safe up in the neighborhood of Longwood, 
and Harriet Tubman followed after in the stage yester- 
day. I shall expect five more from the same neighbor- 
hood next trip. 

As ever your friend, Thomas Gabbbtt. 

a*Mi saMk^ ^mU ftr ^ mm. to %am 



As ibe abolidontftE, prior lo the Rebellion, were vili- 
Scd. revikd and persecuted, their Ubots and purposes 
mi^epreented — sometimes through a want of proper 
knowledge, and sometimes through malice — I have 
deemed il advisable to insert in this work the Conttiht- 


tion of the American Antv^lavei'y Society, with the Decla- 
ration of Sentivients adopted by them as embracing the 
principles and motives which actuated them in their 
efforts in behalf of the slave. 

Local anti-slavery societies had already been formed 
in different parts of the Middle and New England 
States, and Colonization Societies had been organized, 
whose object was the gradual emancipation of slaves and 
their colonization in Africa; but William Lloyd 
Garrison, editor of The Liberator, felt that the time 
had come for more united and vigorous action which 
could best be set on foot by a call for a National Con- 
vention, having for its object immedictte emancipation 
vnthout expatriation. His views met with approval, and 
the convention was held in Philadelphia on the fourth, 
fifth and sixth of December, 1833. As the time ap- 
proached the fire of opposition and malice was kindled 
through the columns of different newspapers. The 
characters and purposes of the leading abolitionists were 
grossly misrepresented, and the fury of the mob element 
was ready to be aroused in that City of Brotherly Love, 
whose commercial interest in the South leagued them in 
feeling together. 

On the day prior to the convention, several delegates 
and others were on board the steamer from New York 
to Philadelphia, coming to attend it, and some earnest 
discussions were held by difierent parties respecting it. 
One person, addressing himself to Samuel J. May, in- 
quired, " What, sir, are the abolitionists going to do in 
Philadelphia ? " Samuel replied that " they intended to 
form a National Anti-slavery Society." This elicited 
an outpouring of those common-place and oft-reiterated 


;\.- iiiiii h mimIoni, iL-i iniich proj 
tiuu us they might. 

After a long conversation wl 
could get within hearing, the 
ously : " I have been much inti 
have said, and in the exceeding 
manner in which you have trea 
akolitiunbts were like you ther 
objection to your enterprise. B 
that hair-bruined, reckless, vioh 
will damage, if he doea not s' 
Samuel J, May, stepping forward, 
to introduce to you !Sfr. G&rrisoi 
tain eo bad an opinion. The gen 
talking with is he," Tlie look o 
when this announcement was m: 

When they arrival in the citv 
hats, nrtten ■"-— 


peace, that their meetings be presided over by some 
prominent citizen of Philadelphia. But none who were 
spoken to would accept, and finally Rev. Beriah Green, 
of New York, was chosen President. 

After drafting and adopting a Constitution, it was 
unanimously agreed that it was needful to give to the 
country and to the world a fuller declaration of the 
sentiments and purposes of the American Anti-slavery 
Society than could be embodied in its Constitution, and 
which should be to them in their efforts to secure lib- 
erty to the slave in this country, what the Declaration 
of Independence was to our Revolutionary Fathers in 
their efforts to "secure liberty to themselves and their 
posterity." It was therefore resolved " that Messrs. 
Atlee, Wright, Garrison, Joselyn, Thurston, Sterling, 
Wm. Green, Jr., Whittier, Goodell and May, be a com- 
mittee to draft a Declaration of Principles of the Amer- 
ican Anti-slavery Society for publication, to which the 
signatures of the members of this Convention shall be 

This committee, feeling that the work assigned them 
ought to be most carefully and thoroughly done, 
embodying as far as possible the best thoughts of the 
whole Convention, invited about half of their members 
to meet them at the office of their chairman. Dr. Edwin 
P. Atlee. This was done, each one expressing the senti- 
ment, or announcing the purpose, which he thought 
ought to be given in the declaration. After a session 
of more than two hours, in which great unanimity pre- 
vailed, a sub-committee of three was appointed to pre- 
pare a draft of the proposed declaration, consisting of 
William L. Garrison, John G. Whittier and Samuel J, 


May, aud to repurt uest morning At 9 o'clock to the 
whole committee. As Glarriwm was looked n[i t« by 
them as their Oorypkieus, tht>y lofl Uie writiug of the 
document with liiin, and relJrcd to meet him at 8 o'clock 
iu t)ie moruinj;. At teti th»t night he sat down to the 
work, und when the [."ommiltBc arrived at llic appointed 
hour they tuund him with shutters closed and lumps 
stil! burning, just writing the last paragraph. The 
declaration was read liefore the Convention, und care- 
fully considered iu all its parte, and with very few 
chungee adopted. 

Siimuol J. May. in s])eaking of the eamt:«tnGss, 
Huliiiiuily and ('liri.^'liau uhiirai-tor whiili marked the 
proceedings of that Convention throughout, said : " If 
there was ever a praying asseinbly I believe that was 

Of the sixty-one members who signed that Declara- 
tion, but two are now living : John G. Whittier and 
Robert Purvis. 

Whereas, The Most High God " hath made of one 
blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the 
earth," and hath commanded them to love their neigh- 
bora as themselves ; and 

Whereas, Our national existence is baaed upon this 
principle, as recognized in the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, "thatallmen are created equal, and that they are 
endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, 
among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happi- 
ness; and 

Whereas, After the lapse of sixty years, since the 
faith and honor of the American people were pledged to 
this avowal before Almighty God and the world, nearly 


one-sixth part of the Nation are held in bondage by 
their fellow-citizens ; and 

Whereas, Slavery is contrary to the principles of 
natural justice of our American form of government 
and of the Christiiin religion, and is destructive of the 
prosperity of the country, while it is endangering the 
peace, union and liberties of the States ; and 

Whereas, We believe it the duty and interest of the 
masters immediately to emancipate their slaves, and that 
no scheme of expatriation, either voluntary or by ex- 
pulsion, can remove this great and increasing evil; and 

Whereas, We believe that it is practicable, by ap- 
peals to the consciences, hearts and interests of the 
people, to awaken a public sentiment throughout the 
Nation that will be opposed to the continuance of 
slavery in any part of the republic, and by effecting the 
speedy abolition of slavery, prevent a general convul- 
sion ; and 

Whereas, We believe we owe it to the oppressed, to 
our fellow-citizens who hold slaves, to our whole country, 
to posterity, and to God, to do all that is lawfully in 
our power to bring about the extinction of slavery ; we 
do hereby agree, with a prayerful reliance on the Divine 
aid, to form ourselves into a society, to be governed by 
the following constitution : 

Article I. — This society shall be called the Ameri- 
can Anti-slavery Society. 

Article II. — The objects of this society are the 
entire abolition of slavery in the United States. While 
it admits that each State in w^hich slavery exists has by 
the Constitution of the United States the exclusive right 
to legislate in regard to its abolition in said State, it 
shall aim to convince all our fellow-citizens, by argu- 
ments addressed to their understandings and consciences, 
that slave-holding is a henious crime in the sight of 
God, and that the duty, safety and best interests of all 
concerned, require its immediate abandonment, without 
expatriation. This society will also endeavor, in a con- 
stitutional way, to influence Congress to put an end to 

-TT-*^ f Tspsffiac "* 

I'v^rrt n "^II* in 

■iff Jiaaofiv •«» ipi»fl.-» -m*. • 

M.f3aaTT Mil -ziti inrauE n 


able results upon the destiny of the world, as far 
as transcends theirs as moral truth does physical force. 

In purity of motive, in earnestness of zeal, in decision 
of purpose, in intrepidity of action, in steadfastness of 
faith, m sincerity of spirit, we would not be inferior to 

Their principles led them to wage war against their 
oppressors, and to spill human blood like water, in 
order to be free. Chira forbid the doing of evil that 
good may come, and lead us to reject, and to entreat 
the oppressed to reject the use of all carnal weapons 
for deliverance from bondage ; relying solely upon those 
which are spiritual and mighty through God -to the 
pulling down of strongholds. 

Their measures were spiritual resistance — the mar- 
shalling in arms — the hostile array — the mortal encoun- 
ter. Ours shall be such only as the opposition of 
moral purity to moral corruption — ^the destruction oi 
error by the potency of truth — the overthrow of preju- 
dice by the power of love — and the abolition of slavery 
by the spirit of repentence. 

Their grievences, great as they were, were trifling in 
comparison with the wrongs and sufferings of those for 
whom we plead. Our fathers were never slaves — never 
bought and sold like cattle — never shut out from the 
light of knowledge and religion — never subjected to the 
lash of brutal taskmasters. 

But those for whose emancipation we are striving — 
constituting at the present time at least one-sixth part 
of our countrymen — are recognized by the law, and 
treated by their fellow-beings as marketable commodi- 
ties, as goods and chattels, as brute beasts ; are plundered 
daily of the fruits of their toil without redress — really 
enjoying no constitutional nor legal protection from 
licentious and murderous outrages upon their persons ; 
are ruthlessly torn asunder; the tender babe from the 
arms of its frantic mother, the heart-broken wife from 
her weeping husband, at the caprice or pleasure of irre- 
sponsible tyrants. For the crime of having a dark 


complexion they suffer the pangs of hunger, the inflic- 
tion of stripes iiud the ignominy of bruttil servitude. 
They are kept in heathenish darkness by laws expressiy 
enacted to make their instruction a criminal oflense. 

These are the i)rominent circumstances in the condi- 
tion of more than two millions of our i)eople, the proof of 
which may be found in thousands of indisputable facts, 
and in the laws of the slave-holding States. 

Hence we maintain that in view of the civil and 
religious privileges of this Nation, the guilt of its 
opprcssi(m is unetiualled by any other on the face of the 
earth ; and therefore that it is bound to repent, to undo 
the heavy burdens, to break every yoke and to let the 
opprciwed go free. 

We further maintain that no man has a right to 
enslave or imbrute his brother ; to hold or acknowledge 
him for one moment as a piece of merchandise, to keep 
back his hire by fraud, or to brutalize his mind by 
denying him the means of intellectual, social and" moral 

Tlic right to enjoy liberty is inalienable ; to invade it 
is to usurp the prerogative of Jehovah. Every man has 
a right to his own body ; to the products of his own labor ; 
to tlic protection of law, and to the common advantages 
of society. It is piracy to buy or steal a native African, 
and subject him to servitude. Surely the sin is as great 
to enslave an Amkuican as an African. 

Therefore we believe and affirm, that there is no 
diflerence in principle between the African slave-trade 
and the American slavery. 

That every American citizen who retains a human 
being in iiivoluntjiry bondage as his property is, ac<K)rd- 
ing to Scripture, (Ex. xxi. l()j a Man Stealer. 

That tlie slaves ought instantly to be set free, and 
brought under the protection of the law. 

Tliat if tliey lived ironi the time of Pharoah down to 
the present j)eriod, and had been entailed through suc- 
cessive generations, their right to be free could never 
have been alienated, but their claims would have con- 
stantly risen in solemnity. 


That all those laws now in force, admitting the right 
of slavery, are, therefore, before God utterly null and 
void, being an audacious usurpation of the Divine pre- 
rogative ; a daring infringement on the laws of nature, 
a base overthrow of the very foundations of the social 
compact, a complete extinction of all rclati«is, endear- 
ments, and obligations of mankind, and a j)resumptuous 
transgression of all holy commandments; and, that, 
therefore they ought instantly to be abrogated. 

We further believe and affirm — That all persons of 
color who possess the qualifications which are demanded 
of others, ought to be admitted forthwith to the enjoy- 
ment of the same privileges, and the exercise of the 
same prerogatives as others ; and that the paths of pre- 
ferment, of wealth and of intelligence should be opened 
as widely to them as to i)ersons of a white complexion. 

We maintain that no compensation should be given 
to the planters emancipating the slaves. 

Because it would be a surrender of the great funda- 
mental principle that man should not hold property in 
man ; 

Because Slavery is a Crime, and therefore is 


Because the holders of slaves are not the just propri- 
etors of what they claim; freeing the slaves is not 
depriving them of property, but restoring it to its right- 
ful owners ; it is not wronging the master, but righting 
the slave — restoring him to himself 

Because immediate and general emancipation would 
only destroy nominal, not real property: it would not 
amputate a limb or break a bone of the slaves, but by 
infusing motives into their breasts, would make them 
doubly valuable to the masters as free laborers, and 

Because, if compensation is to be given at all, it 
should be given to the outraged and guiltless slaves and 
not to those who have plundered and abused them. 

We regard as delusive, cruel and dangerous any 
scheme of expatriation which pretends to aid, either 
directly or indirectly, in the emancipation of the slaves, 


or to be a Bubetitute for the iaimedtate and total aboli- 
tion of Blavurj-, 

We fully and unaniuioUHlj' recognize tlic eovcreignly 
of each State to legislate exclusively on the sul)j«ct of 
the slavery vhich is tolerated witliui \ta limits : wc con- 
cede that cidttgTem,under Uie present natiotial compact, bus 
no right Uj interfere with any of the slaTO States in re- 
lation t<i this momentous subject. 

But We maintain that Congre^ has a right, and a 
solemnly Iwund, to suppress the domestic slave trade 
betweoi the several States, and to abolieb slavery in 
tbooe portiooB of our territory' which the Conatitution 
has placed under its exclusive juriadi<At on. 

We also maintain that there are at the present time 
the hwheet obiigattons reating upon the people of the 
iree States to remove sltivery by moral and political 
action as pre.^cribed in the Constitution of the I'niHil 

They are now living under pledge of their tremen- 
dous physical force, to (asfen the galling fetters of 
tyranny upon the limbs of millions in the Southern 
8tal«8 ; they are liable to be called at any moment to 
suppress a general insurrection of the slaves ; they author- 
ize the slaveK>wner to vote on three-fifths of hia slaves as 
property, and thus enable him to perpetuate hia oppres- 
sion ; they support a standing army at the South for its 
protection ; and they seize the slave who has escaped 
into their territories, and send him back to be tortured 
by an enraged master, or a brutal driver. This relation 
to slavery is criminal, and full of danger, and it must 

These are our views and principles ; these our designs 
and measures. With entire confidence in the over- 
ruling justice ofGod, we plant ourselves upon the Decla- 
ration of our Independence, and the truth of Divine 
revelation as upon the Everlasting Rock. 

We shall organize Anti-slavery Societies, if possible, 
in every city, town and village in our land. 

We shall send forth c^nts to lift up their voice of 
remonstrance, of warning, of entreaty, of rebuke. 


We shall circulate, unsparingly, and extensively, anti- 
slavery tracts and periodicals. 

We shall enlist the pulpit and the press in the cause 
of the suffering and the dumb. 

We shall aim at a purification of the churches from 
all participation in the guilt of slavery. 

We shall encourage the labor of freemen rather than 
that of slaves, by giving a preference to their produc- 
tions, and 

We shall spare no exertions nor means to bring the 
whole nation to speedy repentence. 

Our trust for victory is solely in God. We may be 
personally defeated, but our principles never. Truth, 
Justice, Reason, Humanity, must and will gloriously 
triumph. Already a host is coming up to the help of 
the Lord against the mighty, and the prospect before 
us is full of encouragement. 

Submitting this Declaration to the candid exami- 
nation of the people of this country, and of the friends 
of liberty throughout the world, we hereby affix our 
signatures to it, pledging ourselves that under the 
guidance and by the help of Almighty God we will 
do all that in us lies, consistently witn this Declaration 
of our principles, to overthrow the most execrable 
system of slavery that has ever been witnessed upon the 
earth — to deliver our land from its deadliest curse — to 
wipe out the foulest stain which rests upon our national 
escutcheon — and to secure to the colored population of 
the United States all the rights and privileges which 
belong to them as men and as Americans — come what 
may to our persons, our interests, or our reputation — 
whether we live to witness the triumph of Liberty, 
Justice and Humanity, or perish untimely as martyrs 
in this great, benevolent and holy cause. 

Done at Philadelphia, the sixth day of December, a. 
D. 1833. 



r>avid Thurston, 
NHlh&n WiniJow, 
,l<«t'{]h Bouthwiek, 
.litiiiM Frwlerick OtJit, 
Isiitti; Winalow. 


Diivid Campbell. 

Oraou S. Murray. 

I>aDiel S, Boutlimayd. 
li^ffingliiim L. Caprou, 
Joshua CottiD, 
Amos A. Phelpe, 
John G. Whittier, 
Horace P. Wakefield, 
James B. Barbadoea, 
David T. Kimball, Jr., 
Daniel E. Jewett, 
John R. Campbell, 
Nathaniel Southard, 
Arnold BuSiim, 
William L. Garrieon. 

John Prentice, 
George W. Benson, 
Ray Potter. 


Samuel J. May. 
AlpheuB Kingsley, 
Edwin A. Stillman, 
Simeon 8. Jocelyn, 
Robert B. Hall. 


Berinh Greene, Jr., 
Lewis Tappan, 
John Rjmkin, 
William Greene, Jr., 
Abm. L. Cos, 
William Goodeil, 
Eliziir Wright, Jr.. 
Charles W. Uenison, 
John Frost. 


Jonathan Parkhuret, 
CTialkley Gillingham, 
John MeOuUongb, 
.Jtimefl White. 


Evan Lewis, 
Edwin A. Atlee, 
Robert Purvis, 
Jbs. MeCrummill, 
Tliomaa ShipW, 
Bartholomew Fussell, 
David Joues, 
Enoch Mack, 
James McKim, 
Aaron Vickere, 
James Loughbead, 
Edwin P. Atlee, 
Thomas Whitson, 
John E. Sleeper, 
John Sharp, Jr., 
James Mott. 

John M. Sterling, 
Milton Sutliff, 
Levi Sutliff. 




Article IV, Section 2. — ^No person held to service 
or labor in our State, under the laws thereof, escaping 
into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regula- 
tion therein, be discharged from such service or labor, 
but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom 
such service or labor may be due. 

There was much wrangling over the adoption of this 
clause in the Constitution which its framers were de- 
vising for a Government whose professed purpose was to 
guarantee liberty and protection to its people. But the 
idea of extending the blessings of that liberty to the 
African race then held as slaves in this country, did not 
seem to enter the minds of some of those patriotic fathers. 
It will, however, be observed that the terms slave and 
slavery were carefully omitted, and the term service or 
labor used instead. 

On the 18th of September, 1850, Congress passed the 
law known as the " Fugitive Slave Law of 1850." 

It was pretty definitely understood by the friends of 
that bill in Congress, that if they passed it, Zachary 
Taylor, then President, would veto it. Before it was 
voted upon General Taylor died, -and Millard Fillmore, 
who succeeded him, when the bill passed Congress, 
affixed his signature to it, and it became a law. 




Section 3. — And be it further enacted, That the Circuit 
Courts of the United States, and the Superior Courts of 
each organized Territory of the United States, shall 

382 msTORT OF the ^^H 

from time to time enlarge the number of Commiasioners. 
with a view to afford reaeonable facilities to reclaim 
fiigitives from labor, aud to the prompt discharge of 
the duties imposed bj this act. 

Skction 4. — And be it further enaeted. That the C-om- 
mieaionera above named shall have concurrent jurisdic- 
tion with the Judgee of the Circuit and District Courts 
of the United States, iu their respective circuits and 
diatrictfl within the several Stales, and the Judges of 
the Superior Court* of the Territories, severally and 
collectively, iu term-time and vacation ; and shall grant 
certificates to such claimants, upon satisfactory prtwf 
bein^ made, with authority to take and remove sucli 
fugitives from service or labor, under tlie restrictions 
herein contained, to the State or Territory from which 
sTich persons may have escaped or fled. 

Sections. — indbe it further enacted, That it shall 
be the duty of all marshals aud deputy marshals to 
obey and execute all warrants and preceps issued under 
the provisions of this act when to them directed ; and 
should any marshal or deputy marshal refuse to receive 
such warrant or other process wheil tendered, or to use 
all proper means diligODtly to execute the same, he 
shall on conviction thereof be fined in the sum of one 
thousand dollars to the use of such claimant, on the 
motion of such claimant, by the Circuit or District 
Court for the district of such marshal, and after arrest 
of such fugitives by such marshal, or his deputy, or 
whilst at any time in his custody under the provisions 
of this act should such fugitive escape, whether with or 
without the assent of such marshal or his deputy, such 
marshal shall be liable on his official bond to be prose- 
cuted for the benefit of such claimant, for the full value 
of the service or labor of said fugitive in the Stat«, 
Territory or District whence he escaped ; and the better 
to enable the said Commissioners, when thus appointed, 
to execute their duties faithfully and efficiently, in con- 
formity with the requirements of the Constitution of the 
United States, and of this act, they are hereby author* 


ized and empowered within their counties respectively, 
to appoint in writing under their hands, any one or 
more suitable persons, from time to time, to execute all 
such warrants and other process as may be issued by 
them in the lawful perrormance of their respective 
duties; with authority to such Commissioners or the 
persons to be appointed by them to execute process as 
aforesaid, to summon or call to their aid the bystanders 
or po88^ eomitatiLS of the proper county, when necessary 
to insure a faithful observance of the clause of the Con- 
stitution referred to, in conformity with the provision of 
this act, and all good citizens are commanded to aid and 
assist in the prompt and efficient execution of this law, 
whenever their services may be required, as aforesaid 
for that purpose, and said warrants shall run and be 
executed by said officers anywhere in the State, within 
which they are issued. 

Section 6. — And be it further enacted, That when a 
person held to service or labor in any State or Territory 
in the United States has heretofore or shall hereafter 
escape into any other State or Territory of the United 
States, the person or persons to whom such service or 
Labor may be due, or his, her, or their agent or attorney, 
duly authorized, by power of attorney, in writing, 
acknowledged and certified under the seal of some legal 
officer or Court of the State or Territory in which the 
same may be executed, may pursue and reclaim such 
fugitive person, either by procuring a warrant from 
some one of the courts. Judges or Commissioners as 
aforesaid, of the proper circuit, district or county for 
the apprehension oi such fugitive from service or 
labor, or by seizing and arresting such fugitive, where 
the same can be done without process, and by taking, or 
causing such persons to be taken, forthwith before such 
court. Judge or Commissioner, whose duty it shall be to 
hear and determine the case of such claimant in a sum- 
mary manner, and upon satisfactory proof being made, 
by disposition or affidavit, in writing, to be certified to 
such court, Judge or Commissioner, or by other satis- 


fectory testimony, duly taken and certified by some 
court, inagistmte, justice of the peace, or other legal 
officer, autburiiEed to administer un oath and take dcpu- 
Bition under the laws of the Stat« or Territory f'roKi 
which Buch person owing serviee or labor may have 
escaped, with a certificate of auch magiatmcy or other 
niit.horit)', as aforesaid, with the seal of the proper court 
ur officer thereto attached, which seal shall be siitficient 
to establish the comjtctency of the proof, and with proof 
also by afiidavit of the identity of the person whose 
service or labor is claimed to be due aa atbresaid, thai 
the jwrson so arreattid does in fiict owe aevice or labor to 
the person or persons claiming him or her, in the State 
or Territory from which such fiiptive may have escaped 
as aforesaid, nnd that eaid person escaped, to make out 
and deliver to such elaimnnt, his or her agent or attor- 
ney, !i certificate setting toi-tli the substimtia) fiictw a-* Im 
the service or labor due from anch fiig^tive to the claim- 
ant, and of his or her escape from the State and Terri- 
tory in which he or she was arrested, with authority to 
such claimant, or his or her agent or attorney, to nse 
such reasonable force and restraint, as may be necessary, 
mider the circumstances of the case, to take and remove 
auch fugitive person back to the State or Territory 
whence be or she may have e3cn[)ed as aforesaid. In no 
trial or hearing under this act shall the testimony of 
such alleged fugitive be admitted in evidence, and the 
certificates in this and the first section mentioned shall 
be conclusive of the right of the person or persons in 
whose favor granted, to remove such fugitive to the 
State or Territory ftrom which he escaped, and shall 
prevent all molestation of such person or persons by any 
pi-ocess issued by any court, judge, magistrate or other 
person whomsoever. 

Section 7. — And be it further enaded, That any per- 
son who shall knowingly and willfully obstruct, hinder, 
or prevent such claimant, his agent or attorney, or any 
person or persons lawfully assisting him, her, or them, 
from arresting such a fugitive from service or labor, 


either with or without process, as aforesaid ; or shall 
rescue, or attempt to rescue, such fugitive from service 
or labor, from tne custody of such claimant, his or her 
agent or attorney, or other person or persons lawfully 
assisting as aforesaid, when so arrested, pursuant to the 
authority herein given and declared ; or shall aid, abet, 
or assist such person so owing service or labor as afore- 
said, directly or indirectly, to escape from such claimant, 
his agent or attorney, or other person or persons legally 
authorized as aforesaid ; or shall harbor or conceal such 
fugitive, so as to prevent the discovery and arrest of 
such person, after notice or knowledge of the fact that 
such person was a fugitive from labor or service as afore- 
said, shall for either of said offences, be subject to a fine 
not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisonment 
not exceeding six months, by indictment and con- 
viction before the District Court of the United States 
for the district in which such offense may have been 
committed, or before the proper court of criminal juris- 
diction, if committed within any one of the organized 
Territories of the United States; and shall moreover 
forfeit and pay, by way of civil damages to the party, 
injured by such illegal conduct, the sum of one thousand 
dollars for each ftigitive so lost as aforesaid, to be re- 
covered bv action of debt, in any of the District or 
Territorial Courts as aforesaid, within whose jurisdiction 
the said offence may have been committed. 

Section 8. — And be it further enaetedy That the mar- 
shals, their deputies, and the clerks of the said District 
and Territorial Courts, shall be paid for their services 
the like fees as may be allowed to them for similar ser- 
vices in other cases ; and where such services are ren- 
dered exclusively in the arrest, custody, and delivery 
of the fugitive to the claimant, his or her a^ent or attor- 
ney, or where such supposed fugitive may be discharged 
out of custody for the want of sufficient proof as afore- 
said, then such fees are to be paid in the whole by such 
claimant, his pgent or attorney, and in all cases where 
the proceedings are before a commissioner, he shall be 


entitled to n fee of ten dullare in full for his services in 
each case, upon the delivery of the said certificate to the 
claiinaot, his or her agent or attorney; or a fee of five 
dollars in caws where the proof shall not in the opinion 
of such commissioner warrant such certificate and deliv- 
ery, inclusive of all services incident to sucli arrest and 
examination, to be paid, in either wise, by the claimant. 
Ilia or her agent or attorney. The person or [rersons 
authoriised to execute the process to be iseued by snch 
comiiiisBionera for the arrest and detention of fligitives 
from service or labor ati afurcsaid, shall be entitled to a 
fee of five dollarn each tor each person he or they may 
tirresl and take before any such i-omniifia loner aa atbre- 
said, at the iuatanue and request of such claimant, with 
euL'h other feed aa may be deemed reasonable by such 
cuniiiiis.iiiin for jjuch itther iidditionnl servicei^ ns umy he 
necessarily pertbrmed by him or them ; such aa atteud- 
ing at the examination, keeping the fugitive iu custody, 
and providing him with food and lod^ng during his 
detention, and until the final determination of such 
commissioner; and in general for performing such other 
duties as may be required by such claimant, his or her 
attorney or agent, or commissioner in the premises, such 
fees to be made up in conformity with the fees usually 
charged by the officers of the courts of justice within the 
proper district or county, as near as may be practicable, 
and itaid by such claimant, their agents or attorneys, 
whether sucli fugitives from service or labor be ordered 
to be delivered to such claimants by the final determin- 
ation of such commissioners or not. 

Section 9.— And be U Jurlher enacted, That upon 
affidavit made by the claimant of such fugitive, his or 
her agent or attorney, ailer such certificate has been 
issued, that he has reason to apprehend that such fugi- 
tive will be rescued by force from his or their possession 
before he can be taken beyond the limits of the State in 
which the arrest is made, it shall be the duty of the 
officer making the arrest to retain such fugitive in his 
custody, and to remove him to the State whence he 


fled, and there to deliver him to said claimant, his agent, 
or attorney. And to this end, the officer aforesaid is 
hereby authorized and required to employ so many per- 
sons as he may deem necessary to overcome such force, 
and to retain them in his service so long as circum- 
stances may require. The said officer and his assist- 
ants, while so employed, to receive the same compensa- 
tion, and to be allowed the same expenses as are now 
allowed by law for transportation of criminals, to be 
certified by the judge of the district within which the 
arrest is made, and paid out of the Treasury of the 
United States. 


During the early period of the war President Lincoln 
was severely and mercilessly criticised, not only by his 
political opponents, for the measures he had taken to 
crush the rebellion, but by his im|>etuous anti-slavery 
friends, who thought him too tardy in availing himself 
of an opportunity to declare freedom to the slave, which 
they claimed was then within his power, and which it 
was his duty to enforce. 

Although the Southern States were in rebellion, and 
had seceded when he assumed the duties of President of 
the United States, he felt that he was conscientiously 
bound to preserve the union of States, if possible, by the 
best means he could employ, according to the Constitu- 
tion, and in fulfillment of the following oath of office: 

" I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully 

*v mil KiiowhHlge of the entire sitimt 
countrv, iind in arcordaiice with thi 
adapt the best means to the best ends. 
Sitting upon the highest place in th« 
emment, he had a better opportunit 
1 1 knowing the varied condition of affairs, 

ments to make, than many in lower pot 
sumed to knew more. 

" His soul, whose vision, place nor power < 
< Moved slow and reverently, that he migl 

And not mistake the part assigned to him 
In the Creator's plan.** 

He was always looking toward emanci 
ready to issue such a proclamation when 
would be sustained by the army and by 
then in rebellion. Hence he said : " AgiU 
Get the people ready. Agitate, AG! 
Horace Greeley, growing impatient, publ 
the New York Tribuney directed to Linc< 
made the following reply : 

"Executive Manstov 

1 ■ 


it any inferences which I may believe to be &lsely 
drawn, I do not now and here argue against them. If 
there be perceptible in it an impatient and dictatorial 
tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose 
heart I have always supposed to be right. 

"As to the policy I ' seem to be pursuing,' as you say, 
I have not meant to leave any one in doubt. 

" I would save the Union. I would save it the short- 
est way under the Constitution. The sooner the National 
authority can be restored, the nearer the Union will 
be * the Union as it was.' If there be those who would 
not save the Union unless they could at the same time 
save Slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be 
those who would not save the Union unless they could 
at the same time destroy Slavery, I do not agree with 
them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save 
the Union, and is not to save or destroy Slavery. If I 
could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would 
do it, and if I could do it by freeing all the slaves I 
would do it, and if I could do it by n-eeing some and 
leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do 
about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I 
believe it helps to save the Union, and what I forbear, 
I forbear because I do not believe it would save the 
Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I 
am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever 
I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall 
try to correct errors when shown to be errors, and I 
shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be 
true views. I have here stated my purpose according 
to my view of * official duty,' and I intend no modifica- 
tion of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men, 
everywhere, could oe free. 

"Yours, A. Lincoln." 

When Horace Greeley published his letter he was 

ignorant of the fact that Lincoln had already matured a 

definite policy of emancipation, ready to be announced at 

a suitable moment. 



Henas waited iipou some time after that by a church 
(k'U'gation trom Chicago, to urge upon him the necesgity, 
and to impress upon him that ll waa hia duty to issue a 
proclamation of emancipation. It was Lincoln's jjolicy 
in all eases before taking an imjiortant and advanced 
st«p, to weigh the argument!* un both sides, and tlie 
chances of failure or success, ami to act accordingly. 
He therefore presented the adverse arguments and facts 
which had all along confronted him, especially in the 
army, and in the border StAtes, and asked them to con- 
fute those arguments, and to show to him that the 
way was clear, that the obstacles he had shown to be in 
the wiiy would no longer be a bnrrier, but that themass 
of the people would support the proclamation. His 
object was to draw from them any new thought, or any 
fact he had not himself considered. But he discovered 
they had nothing new to give him, that they did not 
know all the opposition he had to contend with, that 
their chief line of argument was the oft-reiterated decla- 
ration that it was clearly his duty to abolish, by procla- 
mation, the institution of slavery. He listened to their 
advice, but gave them no satisfaction as to what h« 
would do, and they left him, saying there was no use in 
pleading further with him. One of them, however, 
returned immediately and said : " Mr. Lincoln, I cannot 
leave 'you yet ; I have a message direct Jrom Ood to 
you, and that i» that you tet his people free." 

" Well, now," said Lincoln, " if God intended that 
message to come ' direct to me,' why didn't he send it to 
me directly, instead of sending It away around by that 
terribly wicked city of Chicago ? " The minister turned 
and left, and thus ended the visit. 


Little did they know that in his coat-pocket was then 
folded that important document which in a short time 
was to go out upon the wings of the American press, 
proclaiming freedom to four millions of slaves whose 
sweat had bedewed American soil. 

On the twenty-second day of September, 1862, he 
issued that memorable Proclamation, that ''on the 
first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thou- 
sand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as 
slaves within any State, or any designated part of a 
State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion 
against the United States, shall be tuhn, thence- 
forward, AND FOREVER FREE." 

On the first of January, 1868, he issued the following 
Proclamation, which was to supplement that of Septem- 
ber, 1862, and which crowned the Teiui)le of American 
Liberty with the completeness of its arcliitecturaldesign: 

Whereas, On the twenty-second day of Se])tember, 
in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred 
and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the Presi- 
dent of the United States containing, among other 
things, the following, to wit : 

That on the first day of January, in the yenr of our 
Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-throe, all 
persons held as slaves within any State, or any desig- 
nated part of a State, the people whereof shall then 
be in rebellion against the tfnited States, shall be 
thenceforward and forever free, and the Executive Gov- 
ernment of the United States, including the military 
and naval authority thereof, will recognize and main- 
tain the freedom of such persons, or any of them, in any 
eflbrts they may make for their actual freedom. 

That the Executive will on the first day of January 
aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and 
parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof re- 


epectively shall then be in rebellion against 
United Ststes, and tlie fact that any State, or 
people thereof, ehal] on that day be in good faitJi repra-'' 
sented in the Congress of tite United States by tnembers, 
chosen therefor at elections, wherein a majority of the 

Qualified voters of such State shall have participated 
lall, in the absence of strong countervailing teatiniony, 
be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the 

feople thereof are not then in rebellion against the 
Fnitcd States. 

" Now, therefore, I Abraham Lincoln, President of the 
United States, by virtue of the power in me vested 
Commander-in-Chief of the Array and Navy of 
United States, in time of actual armed rebellion 
the authority and GovBrnment of the United 
and as a fit and necesBary war measure for repressing^ 
said vebell ion, do, ^.d tliis First duy of Jiimiiiry, in the year 
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty- 
three, aud in accordance with my purpose ao to do, 
Sublicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred 
ays from the day of the first above-mentioned order, 
designate aa the States and parts of States, wherein the 
people thereof respectively are this day in rebellion 
against the United States, the following, to wit : Arkan- 
sas, Texas, Louisiana, except the parishes of St. Bernard, 
Plaquemines, Jefierson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, 
Ascension, Assumption, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. 
Mary, St Martin, and Orleans, including the city of 
New Orleans, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, 
South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia except 
the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, 
and also the counties of Berkely, Accomac, Northamp- 
ton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess, Ann and Norfolk, 
including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, and 
which excepted parte are, for the present, left precisely 
as if this proclamation were not issued. 

"And by virtue of the power and for the purpose 
aforesaid, I do order and declare, that all persons held 
as slaves within said designated States and parts of 


States, are and henceforward shall be free; and that 
the Executive Grovernment of the United States, in- 
including the military and naval authorities thereof, 
will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons. 

"And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to 
be free, to abstam from all violence, unless in necessary 
self-defense, and I recommend to them, that in all 
cases, when allowed, they labor faithfully for reason- 
able wages. 

"And I further declare and make known that such 
persons of suitable condition will be received into 
armed service of the United States, to garrison forts, 
positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels 
of all sorts in said service. 

"And upon this, sincerely believed to be an act of 
justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military 
necessity I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind 
and the gracious favor of Almighty God." 

At the close of the annual message to Congress, 
December, 1864, Lincoln said : 

" I repeat the declaration made a year ago, that while 
I remain in my present position, I shall not attempt to 
retract or modify the Emancipation Proclamation, nor 
shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the 
terms of that Proclamation or by any of the Acts of 

" If the people should, by whatever mode, or means, 
make it an Executive duty to re-enslave such persons, 
another, and not I, must be the instrument to perform it." 

In his second Inaugural Address, speaking of the 

North and the South, and the continuance of the war, 

he said : 

"Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same 
God, and each invokes His aid a^inst the other. It 
may seem strange that any man should dare to ask a 
just God's assistance in wringing his bread from the 
sweat of other men's faces. But let us judge not that 
we be not judged.' 


394 HI8TOKY OF THE ^^ 

" Fondly do we hope, ferveiitlv do we pray that this 
mighty scourge of war may B])eeclilv pass away. Yet if 
God wills that it continue until nil the wealth piled by 
the boudsman'B two hundred and fifty years of unre- 

Suited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood 
rnwu by the lash shall be paid by another drawn hv 
the sword as was said three thousand years ago, so still 
it most be said that the judgments of the Lord are true 
and righteoiy! altogether. 

Witli malice towards none, with charity for all, with 
iirmoMS in the right aa Gixl gives us to see the right, 
let us Htrive on to finish the work we nrc in, to bind up 
the nation's wounds, to eare for him who Hhall have 
borne the battle, and for hu widow and his orphiins, to 
do all which may Rohievo and rhsrish a just and lasting 
peace iinmng ourselves and with iiU nations."' 
amesdmlints to the cosstitltion, abolishinq and 
prohibiting slavery. 
XIIItr Amesdmest, pashed 1865. 
Bectios 1. — Neither slavery nor involuntary servi- 
tude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the 
partv sliall have been duly convicted shall exist within 
the United States, or any place subject to their juris- 

XIVtii Amendment. 
Sectios 1.— All persona born or naturalized in the 
United fitates, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, 
are citizens of the United States, and of the ^tate wherein 
they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law 
which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of 
citizens of the United States. Nor shall any State de- 
prive any person of life, liberty or property without due 
Srocess of law, nor deny to any person within ita jurie- 
ietion the equal protection of the laws. 
XVth Amendment. 
Section 1. The right of citizens of the Uniten States 
to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United 



States or by any State, on account of race, color, or 
previous condition of servitude. 

These Amendments were ratified by the requisite 
number of States according to the requirements of the 
Constitution, and certified to as follows : 

Secretary Seward certified to the ratification of the 
13th Amendment on December 18th, 1865 ; and to that 
of the 14th Amendment, July 20th, 1868. 

Secretary Fish certified to the ratification of the 15th 
Amendment March 30th, 1870. On the same day Gen. 
Grant sent a message to Congress, in which he said, 
** I consider the adoption of the 15th Amendment to 
the Constituton completes the greatest civil change, and 
constitutes the most important event that has occurred 
since the nation came into life." 

The adoption of an Amendment dates from the certi- 
fication of the Secretarv of State. 

" It Is the Lord's doingrs and marvelous in our eyes." 


r i 

i • 

I ' 



Aaron, Rev. Staunuel 30, 219. 

Adams, John Quincy ^102. 

AdamBon, Charles 198, 212. 

Adamson, Mary O 212. 

Agnew, Allen 32. 

Affnew, Maria 82. 

Allen, Abram. 187. 

Ames, Charles G 145. 

Ashmead, J. W 130. 

Badaracka, Dido 858. 

Baer, WUliam 70. 90, 98, 127. 

Barber, Robert — 27,47. 

Barnard, Eusebius 33, 131, 141, 282, 288, 297. 

Barnard, Eusebius R 282, 290, 298. 

Barnard, Joseph 288. 

Barnard, Richard 288. 

Barnard, Richard M 288. 

Barnard, Sarah D 38, 288. 

Barnard, Sarah M 83, 138, 141, 297. 

Barnard, Sarah P 289, 297. 

Barnard, Simon 33, 185, 253, 275, 282, 285, 301, 326, 342. 

Barnard, William 88, 268,282, 289,297, 301, 304. 

Bayard, James A. 239. 

Bell, Sally 28. 

Bell, Thomas S 196, 334. 

Benezet, Anthony 148. 

Bessick, Thomas 47. 

Birdsall, Sylvester 268. 

Blunson, Samuel. 27. 

Bonsall, Abraham 90, 99, 100, 245. 

Bonaall, Thomas 30. 57, 73, 78, 90, 100, 101, 108, 103, 105, 138, 198. 

Bodey, Jacob.. 224, 

Bond, Samuel 288. 

Boston, Abraham 66. 

Boude, Gen. Thomas 27, 28. 

Bradbum, George 187. 

Brinton, Caleb 95,182. 

Brinton, Joseph 88, 

Brinton, Joshua 80, 89, 132. 


^....itMu'H, ('lu\rlcH C r>4, 170, 20r), i^'), LW, 2 

Hurk'iuli, Cyrus^ 

Burleigh, (Jortnule K 

Burleigh, William 

Burrowes, Dr. Francis S 

Bunria, Samuel D 

Bushong, Henry 

Bushonff, Jacob 

Bushong, John 

Gain, Dr. Augustus W 

Gain, John 

Garter, Henry 

Garter, Jacob 

Garter, Joseph 

Garter, Richard 

Ghamberlain, Marsh 

Gland, Pnaey 

Glark, John 

Glark, James Freeman 

Glendenon, Joshua 

Goates, Deborah S 

Goates, Edwin H 

Goates, Emmeline 

I Goates, Elizabeth 

{ Goates, Levi. 

Goates, Lindley— 80, 57, M, 67, 75, 78, 80, 84, 87, 89, 9C 
103, 113, 128, 132, 135, 186, 138, 164, 198, 227, 231. 

Goates, Moses 

Goates, Sarah W. 

INDEX. 399 

Cox, J. WUliiun 276, 302. 

Cummichael, James 161, 

Curtis, George William __ _ 188. 

Cuyler, Theodore 124. 

Dannaker. James T 344, 346, 347, 349, 351, 3S2, 353. 

Darlington, Chandler 33, 263, 279, 301, 308. 

Darlington, Hannah M 301, 308. 

Dawsey, James 81. 

Dayton, William L 45, 60. 

Dorsey, Araminta 328. 

Dorsey, Basil. 356. 

Dorsey, Charles 356. 

Dorsey, John. 328. 

Dorsey, Thomas 356. 

Dorsey, William 386. 

Douglass, Frederick 181, 187, 188, 287. 

Dugdale, Joseph A. 256. 

Earle, Mary _-.61. 

Earle, Thomas „61, 89, 235, 345. 

Eshloman, Dr. J. K 30, 33, 59, 63, 66, 138, 290, 295, 301, 304. 

Evans, Nathan 33, 135, 136, 286, 301, 301, 338, 340, 312, 346. 

Everett, Hamilton 36. 

Everhart. Hon. William 288. 

Fcrrce, Diller — —128. 

Fisher, Joel - 39, 45. 

Flint, iMaaoS.— 31. 

Franklin, Benjamin 62, 143. 

Freeman, Benjamin 333, 837, 338. 

Fremont, John C — -45, 60 

Fulton, James, Jr 30, 33, 77, 80, 131, 134, 135, 138, JM8, 310, 841. 

Fulton, Joseph - 85, 90, 91, 93, 126, 132, 

Fumiss, Oliver 31, 227, 282. 

Fusscll, Bartholomew — 169, 260, 261. 

Fusscll, Dr. Bartholomew„32, 169, 170, 182, 187,201, 252, 260,261, 289, 297. 
301, 3(r2, 326, 342. 

Fussell, Dr. Edwin 30, 33, 168, 175, 182, 186, 187, 188, 189, 268. 

Fussell, Emma J — 188, 190. 

Fussell Joshua L _ - 269, 272. 

Fusscll, Lydia Morris - -260, 263, 267, 289. 

Fussell, Dr. Morris 269. 

Fusscll, Rebecca Bond. 280. 

Fussell, Rebecca Lewis - 171, 186, 187. 188. 

Fussell, Solomon 178, 

Fusscll. William - —30, 33, 175. 

Garfleld, James A 146. 

Garrett, Diivis, Jr — - 341, 342. 

OaiH-14 ThouiM. .81, tU. K7. 237, 

2:4, W7. aui. xtt, ma, ass, aaa. i 

239. WS, 2M, MB. W, Ml. »«. 170. M. 

00,332. 3U. 



linns, DwiteU^n. 30,97, 38, 4S, 03, fiS, K. 
lOD, I<U, Ifla. lOB, us, 138, UH. 1^. 103, 

Ghwdricta, WllKamC. 

QoMuch, Dirkereon — 
GoTBuch, Fklward 

, M, M. W, n. T4, rr, W, 90, «•, 

US. uas, 21W. 

3r.S8.». M. 

^ j™. 

H - J h 

138 an ais. 

..JJI7, 118, 1», 12S, 139, 217, SSt. 

BiirTiB, Rachel 

Harvey. Dr. Elwooi 

Hawley, Jooepb 

Hsye», EBther 

Hayea. jMob 

HajTM, Mordecal.— 

—88, 88, 138, 301. 3M. 3U. 

INDEX. 401 

Hood, Caleb C 30, 80, 81, 82. 

Hood, John 83. 

Hood, Joseph 80. 

Hood, Thomas 83. 

Hoopes, Joflhua B9. 

Hopkins, Henry C 128. 

Hopkins, Thomas 98. 

Hopper, Isaac T- 143, 180, 159, 279, 287. 

Howard, William 81,82. 

Hunn, Ezckiel I 326. 

Hunn, John 288,244. 

Hutchinson, James 198. 

Insrnim, Dr. Thomas 196. 

Irwin, Samuel 319. 

Jackson, Alice 321. 

Jackson, Isaac 8H. 

Jackson, Israel 316. 

Jackson, John 250, 253, 326. 

Jackson, Thomas 74., 

Jackson, William 34, 223, 326. 

Jamison, Samuel 223. 

Janney, Richard 164. 

JeffHes, Hannah 201. 

Johnson, Abraham 77, 116, 248, 251. 

Johnson, Bei^jamin 93. 

Johnson, Moses 74, 75. 

Johnson, Susan P 90, 106. 

Johnson, Hon. Reverdy 348, 350. 

Johnson, William H 200, 223, 826, 328,358. 

Jones, •• Ben," 151. 

Jones, Bei^jamin 68, 85. 

Jones, John ^47. 

Jones, •• Tom," 152, 158. 

Jourdou, Cato 46. 

Kelley, Abby 254,279. 

Kent. Beivjamin 34, 301, 309. 

Kent, Daniel K 310. 

Kent, Edwin 310. 

Kent, Elizabeth 812. 

Kent, Hannah S 84. 301, 309. 

Kent, Henry 811. 

Kidd, John 75. 

Kimber, Abifirail 191,202. 

Kimber, Emmor 30, 88, 85, 97, 191, 194, 196, 202, 815, 326, 888. 

Kimber, Susanna 204. 

Kirk, Isaac 100. 



Le«i«. Eiithiir_ail, St, SI, IM, III), ITI, 1T3, IR, 

in. IM, 1B», m. 3M. 3M. 


1, u*, 190, 1B2. aoi, SOB, MS, aa. w. 

affl. ■«.»«, MI. 350, a»i. 

" " 

30. S2. 101, in. I 


, Aeron JBB. VB. 


, EHiah H TO. ZB, I«. 352, SW. 2W, SW. 3ia. 

. iMao-32, m. MS, M, aso, sBi. aa. 2ISB. ». a», j». »r. aai. 


,R«hel J87. 

Meredith. L 

™» 3S, Me, m, 301, ato. 


INDEX. 403 

Mifflin, John 48. 

Mifflin, Jonathan 48. 

Mifflin, Samuel W 36, 45, 48, 50, 51, 52. 

Mifflin, Suaan 48. 

Mickle, Samuel ^75. 

MUIer, David 78. 

Miller, Robert 188. 

Mitchener, Dr. Ezra 388. 

McKim, J. Miller 143, 158. 150, 167, 180, 218, 235, 268, 882. 

McKim, Lucy 167. 

McKinley, John 155. 

Moore, Charles. 83,84, 143, 163. 

Moore, Gainer ^75. 

Moore, Hamilton 71. 

Moore, Jamea ^30. 

Moore, Jeremiah 83, 67, 77, 78, 84. 

Moore, Joseph 33, 182. 

Morrison, John 281. 

Mott, James 158, 169. 

Mott, Lucretia 286, 270, 287. 

Munroe, James , 187. 

Myers. Michael 181, 132, 184. 

Neall. Daniel 365. 

Owen. Griffith .^-268. 

Painter, Cyrus 200, 

Painter, James 330. 

Painter, Joseph 842. 

Painter, Samuel M 200, 201, 323. 332, 334, 386, 33T. 

Parker, Theodore 270,287. 

Parker, William 02, 07, 107, 108. 129, 248, 251. 

Patterson, Dr. A. P 120. 

Paxson, Abigail 148. 

Paxson, Dr. Jacob L 80, 108, 206, 222, 224, 226, 226, 826. 

Peart, Le\vl8 174, 101, 102, 198. 

Peart, Thomas 30,73. 

Pearson. Sarah 240, 254. 

Poirco, Joseph 76. 

Penn, John 89. 

Penn, Richard 89. 

Penn, WiUiam 258. 

Pennell, Robert 268. 

Pennock, Moses 801. 

Pennook, Samuel 178, 801. 

Pennsrpacker, El^ah F.-80, 82, 33, 174, 192, 206, 208, 200, 210, 214, 826, 840. 

Pennypacker, Hannah 212. 

Phillips, WendeU 167, 28T. 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^M ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H 




Pownall, L«vi„„ 

lOT, 110, 130, ISl. US. 

i>_.™' ii»i.i. 

■m vn na 

Pugh, Juhh 


Robeiie, rsssc-.. 
Roberta, JohD... 
Roberta, Muty B. 
Robinson, Joahui 

Scarlett, EliubeUi^. 

lis, US, m, SDC, US. IIS. 

INDEX. 405 

Sellers, John 326 

Sellers, S 845. 

Shadd, Abraham D 83, 823, 337. 

Sharpless, Joshua ^ 835. 

Sharpless, Mary 237. 

Sharpless, Philip P 199 

Shippen, Edward 258, 

Shoemaker, Tacy 232. 

Slack, Isaac 86. 

Smith, Allen 74,83. 

Smith, Gerrit 181. 

Smith, Joseph 81, 80, 227, 228, 231, 232, 812. 

Smith, P. Frazer 888. 

Smith, Rachel 281. 

Smith, Stephen 28, 46, 50. 

Spackman, Thomas 141. 

Speakman, Micajah 80, 88, 94, 184, 138, 143, 164. 

Speakman, Sarah A (MoKim) 143, 167. 

Speakman, William A 80, 89, 184, 143, 164. 

Stevens, Thaddens 36, 38, 46, 89. 

Still, William 176, 178, 218, 253. 

Stowe, Harriet Beecher 32. 

Stone, Lucy 235, 27^. 

Suf^ar, John 326. 

Sujfar, William 289, 

Tappan, Arthur 69. 

Taylor, Bayard 168, 279. 

Taylor, Charles 29. 

Taylor, Franklin 268. 

Taylor, Joseph C - 76, 285. 

Taylor, James N 227, 247, 248, 251. 

Thomas, Richard- 162. 

Thomas, Zebulon— 80. 33, 282, 291, 299. 

Thome, J. Williams 33, 131. 

Todd, Francis 354. 

Torrey, Charles T 52, 80, 233. 

Townsend, Mary 181. 

Trimble, William 34,150. 

Truth, Sojourner 256. 

Tubman, Harriet 249,250. 

Tyson, Elisha 90,100, 245, 262, 264. 

Urick, John 72. 

Vickere, Aaron 154. 

Yickers, Abby 168. 

Tickers, John.90, 82, 33, 64, 73, 101, 106, 138, 189, 148, 146, 148, 151, 152, 158, 
154, 156, 157, 158, 160, 161, 162, 191, 201, 206, 252, 253, 286, 291, 801, 804, 
310, 326, 333, 334, 33\^338. 





■ ^ 

W>.l«l>-r. Ocorge Jr. 


Whipper, Beniamin. 

WhiUon, Mica 

83, 90, M, S6, 96. 07 

I, tS, N, «, (T, (B, TO, SB, SD, 101, 102, 131, 1SX. 

INDEX. 407 

Wright, Phebe 3T, 40, 41, 42, 43, 52, 170. 

Wright, Samuel 2T. 

Wright, WUliam (of Ctolumbia) 25, 28, 81, 46, 48, T8. 

Wright, William (of Adams county) 86, 8T, 89, 41, 42, 43, 45, 52. 

Yokum, William ^46. 


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