Jacob Bigelow (William Penn) to William Still, April 23, 1856

    Source citation
    William Still, The Underground Rail Road (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872), 188-189.
    Author (from)
    Bigelow, Jacob (William Penn)
    Date Certainty
    Zak Rosenberg
    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.

    WASHINGTON, D. C., April 23d, 1856.

    DEAR SIR:-I have to thank you for your last two encouraging letters of 31st of March and 7th April. I have seen nothing in the papers to interest you, and having bad health and a press of other engagements, I have neglected to write you.

    Enclosed is a list of persons referred to in my last letter, all most anxious to travel-all meritorious. In some of these I feel an especial interest for what they have done to help others in distress.

    I suggest for yours and the "powder boy's" consideration the following plan: that he shall take in coal for Washington and come directly here-sell his coal and go to Georgetown for freight, and wait for it. If any fancy articles are sent on board, I understand he has a place to put them in, and if he has I suggest that he lies still, still waiting for freight till the first anxiety is over. Vessels that have just left are the ones that will be inquired after, and perhaps chased. If he lays still a day or two all suspicion will be prevented. If there shall be occasion to refer to any of them hereafter, it may be by their numbers in the list. The family-5 to 11-will be missed and inquired after soon and urgently; 12 and 13 will also be soon missed, but none of the others.

    If all this can be done, some little time or notice must be had to get them all ready. They tell me they can pay the sums marked to their names. The aggregate is small, but as I told you, they are poor. Let me hear from you when convenient.

    Truly Yours, WM. PENN.

    1. A woman, may be 40 years old, $40.00
    2. " " 40 " with 3 children, say 4, 6, and 8,* 15.00
    3. A sister of the above, younger, 10.00
    4. A very genteel mulatto girl about 22, 25.00
    5. A woman, say 45,
    6. A daughter, 18,
    7. A son, 16,
    8. A son, 14,
    9. A daughter, 12,
    10. A son, say 22,
    11. A man, the Uncle, 40, 50.00 {These are all one family, either of them leaving alone, they think, would cause the balance to be sold.}
    12. A very genteel mulatto girl, say 23, 25.00
    13. " " " 24, 25.00

    How to Cite This Page: "Jacob Bigelow (William Penn) to William Still, April 23, 1856," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/960.