Abigail Goodwin to William Still, January 1, 1855

    Source citation
    William Still, The Underground Rail Road (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872), 618.
    Author (from)
    Goodwin, Abigail
    Date Certainty
    Michael Blake
    Transcription date

    The following text is presented here in complete form, as true to the original written document as possible. Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    DEAR FRIEND: - I sent E. M. (Esther Moore) forty-one dollars more by half than I expected to when I set about it. I expect that abolitionists there are all opposed to buying slaves, and will not give anything. I don't like buying them, or giving money to slave-holders either; but this seems to be a peculiar case, can be bad so cheap, and so many young ones that would be separated from their parents; slavery is peculiarly hard for children, that cannot do anything to protect themselves, nor can their parents, and the old too, it is hard for them; but it is a terrible thing altogether. The case of the fugitive thee mentioned was indeed truly affecting; it makes one ashamed as well as sad to read such things, that human beings, or any other beings should be so treated. I cannot but hope and believe that slavery will ere long eerie. I have a strong impression that the colored people and the women are to have a day of prosperity and triumph over their oppressors. We must patiently wait and quietly hope; but not keep too much `in the quiet.' Shall have to work our deliverance from bondage. `Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow.'

    I regret very much that I have not more clothing to send than the stockings. I have not had time since I thought of it, to make anything; am ashamed that I was so inconsiderate of the poor runaways. I will go to work as soon as I have earned money to buy materials; have managed so as to spend my little annual allowance in nine months, and shall not be able to give you any money for some months, but if more stockings are wanted let me know, our benevolent society have plenty on hand; and I have some credit if not money; they will trust me till I have; they furnish work for poor women and sell it. I get then for fifty cents a pair.

    My sister says Lucretia (Mott) told her that there was not much clothing in the trunk, only a few old things. I think she told me there was nothing in it, she meant, I suppose, of any consequence.

    I should like to know if the fugitives are mostly large. I have an idea they are generally small in stature; that slavery stunts the body as well as mind. I want to know in regard to the clothes that I intend making; it's best to have them fit as well as can be. I shall work pretty much for women. I hope and expect there are many friends of the cause who furnish clothing in the city. They ought to be fitted out for Canada with strong, warm clothing in cold weather, and their sad fate alleviated as much as can be.

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