Abigail Goodwin to William Still, March 25, 1855

    Source citation
    William Still, The Underground Rail Road (Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, 1872), 256-257.
    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.

    3 mo., 25, '55.

    DEAR FRIEND:-Thine of the 22d came to hand yesterday noon.

    I do not believe that any of them are the ones thee wrote about, who wanted Dr. Lundy to come for them, and promised they would pay his expenses. They had no money, the minister said, but were pretty well off for clothes. I gave him all I had and more, but it seemed very little for four travelers-only a dollar for each-but they will meet with friends and helpers on the way. He said they expected to go away to-morrow. I am afraid, it's so cold, and one of them had a sore foot, they will not get away-it's dangerous staying here. There has been a slave-hunter here lately, I was told yesterday, in search of a woman; he tracked her to our Alms-house-she had lately been confined and was not able to go-he will come back for her and his infant-and will not wait long I expect. I want much to get her away first-and if one bad a C. C. Torney here no doubt it would be done; but she will be well guarded. How much I wish the poor thing could be secreted in some safe place till she is able to travel Northward; but where that could be it's not easy to see. I presume the Carolina freed people have arrived ere now. I hope they will meet many friends, and be well provided for. Mary Davis will be then paid-her cousins have sent her twenty-four dollars, as it was not wanted for the purchase money-it was to be kept for them when they arrive. I am glad thee did keep the ten for the fugitives.

    Samuel Nixon is now here, just come-a smart young man-they will be after him soon. I advise him to hurry on to Canada; he will leave here to-morrow, but don't say that he will go straight to the city. I would send this by him if he did. I am afraid he will loiter about and be taken-do make them go on fast-he has left. I could not hear much he said-some who did don't like him at all-think him an impostor-a great brag-said he was a dentist ten years. He was asked where be came from, but would not tell till he looked at the letter that lay on the table and that he had just brought back. I don't feel much confidence in him-don't believe he is the one thee alluded to. He was asked his name-he looked at the letter to find it out. Says nobody can make a better set of teeth than he can. He said they will go on to-morrow in the stage-he took down the number and street of the Anti-slavery office-you will be on your guard against imposition-he kept the letter thee sent from Norfolk. I had then no doubt of him, and had no objection to it. I now rather regret it. I would send it to thee if I had it, but perhaps it is of no importance.

    He wanted the names taken down of nine more who expected to get off soon and might come here. He told us to send them to him, but did not seem to know where he was going to. He was well dressed in fine broad-cloth coat and overcoat, and has a very active tongue in his head.

    But I have said enough-don't want to prejudice thee against him, but only be on thy guard, and do not let him deceive thee, as I fear he has some of us here.

    With kind regards, A. GOODWIN.

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