Abigail Goodwin to William Still, September 9, 1855

    Source citation
    William Still, The Underground Rail Road (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872), 620.
    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 am truly rejoiced and thankful that the right has triumphed. But stranger had it been otherwise, in your intelligent community, where it must be apparent to all who inquire into it, that you had done nothing but what was deserving of high commendation, instead of blame and punishment; and shame on the jury who would bring in the two men guilty of assault and battery. They ought to have another trial; perhaps another jury would be more just. It is well for the credit of Philadelphia, that there is one upright judge, as Kelley seems to be, and his sentence will be a light one it is presumed, showing he considered the charge a mere pretence.

    I hope and trust, that neither thyself nor the other men will have much if any of the expense to bear; your lawyers will not charge anything I suppose, and the good citizens will pay all else. It seems there are hopes entertained that Passmore Williamson will soon be set at liberty. It must be a great comfort to him and wife, in their trials, that it will conduce to the furtherance of the good cause.

    If Philadelphians are not aroused now after this great stretch of power, to consider their safety, they must be a stupid set of people, but it must certainly do good. * * * You will take good care of Jane Johnson, I hope, and not let her get kidnapped back to Slavery. Is it safe for her to remain in your city or anywhere else in our "free land?" I have some doubts and fears for her; do try to impress her with the necessity of being very cautious and careful against deceivers, pretended friends. She had better be off to Canada pretty soon.

    Thy wife must not sit up washing and ironing all night again. She ought to have help in her sympathy and labors for the poor fugitives, and, I should think there are many there who would willingly assist her.

    I intended to be careful of trespassing upon thy time, as thee must have enough to do; the fugitives are still coming I expect. With kind regards, also to thy wife, your friend,


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