Thomas Garrett to William Still and James Miller McKim, September 6, 1858

    Source citation
    William Still, The Underground Rail Road (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872), 476.
    Date Certainty
    Michael Blake, Dickinson College
    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.

    WILMINGTON, 9th mo. 6th, 1858.

    ESTEEMED FRIENDS, J. M. MCKIM AND WM. STILL: - I have a mixture of good and bad news for you. Good in having passed five of God's poor safely to Jersey, and Chester county, last week; and this day sent on four more, that have caused me much anxiety. They were within twenty miles of here on sixth day last, and by agreement I had a man out all seventh day night watching for them, to pilot them safely, as 1,000 dollars reward was offered for four of the five; and I went several miles yesterday in the country to try to learn what bad become of them, but could not hear of them. A man of tried integrity just called to say that they arrived at his house last night, about midnight, and I employed him to pilot them to a place of safety in Pennsylvania, to-night, after which I trust they will be out of reach of their pursuers. Now for the bad news. That old scoundrel, who applied to me some three weeks since, pretending that he wished me to assist him in getting his seven slaves into a free state, to avoid the sheriff, and which I agreed to do, if he would bring them here; but positively refused to send for them. Ten days since I received another letter from him, saying that the sheriff had been there, and taken away two of the children, which he wished me to raise money to purchase and set free, and then closed by saying that his other slaves, a man, his wife, and three children had left the same evening and he had no doubt I would find them at a colored man's house, he named, here, and wished me to ascertain at once and let him know. I at once was convinced he wished to know so as to have them arrested and taken back. I found the man had arrived; but the woman and children had given out, and he left them with a colored family in Cecil. I wrote him word the family had not got here, but said nothing of the man being here. On seventh day evening I saw a colored woman from the neighborhood; she told me that the owner and sheriff were out hunting five days for them before they found them, and says there is not a greater hypocrite in that part of the world. I wrote him a letter yesterday letting him know just what I thought of him. Your Friend,


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