the process of paying close and continuous attention
Secondly, such a statement would most undoubtedly induce greater
vigilance on the part of slaveholders than has existed heretofore among them; which would, of course, be the means of guarding a door whereby some dear brother bondman might escape his galling chains.
control and refrain from showing
I deeply regret the necessity that impels me to
suppress any thing of importance connected with my experience in slavery.
pronounce not guilty of criminal charges
I would allow myself to suffer under the greatest imputations which evil-minded men might suggest, rather than
exculpate myself, and thereby run the hazard of closing the slightest avenue by which a brother slave might clear himself of the chains and fetters of slavery.
without question and beyond doubt
I have never approved of the very public manner in which some of our western friends have conducted what they call the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, but which I think, by their open declarations, has been made most
emphatically the UPPERGROUND RAILROAD.
to a great depth psychologically
I would keep the merciless slaveholder
profoundly ignorant of the means of flight adopted by the slave.
a large indefinite number
I would leave him to imagine himself surrounded by
myriads of invisible tormentors, ever ready to snatch from his infernal grasp his trembling prey.
corresponding in size or degree or extent
Let him be left to feel his way in the dark; let darkness
commensurate with his crime hover over him; and let him feel that at every step he takes, in pursuit of the flying bondman, he is running the frightful risk of having his hot brains dashed out by an invisible agency.
force or impel in an indicated direction
He told me I could go nowhere but that he could get me; and that, in the event of my running away, he should spare no pains in his efforts to catch me. He
exhorted me to content myself, and be obedient.
undergo or be subjected to
He received all the benefits of slaveholding without its evils; while I
endured all the evils of a slave, and suffered all the care and anxiety of a freeman.
The wretchedness of slavery, and the blessedness of freedom, were
perpetually before me.
something that serves as a means of transportation
But I remained firm, and, according to my resolution, on the third day of September, 1838, I left my chains, and succeeded in reaching New York without the slightest interruption of any kind. How I did so,--what means I adopted,--what direction I travelled, and by what mode of
conveyance,--I must leave unexplained, for the reasons before mentioned.
feelings of great warmth and intensity
I was yet liable to be taken back, and subjected to all the tortures of slavery. This in itself was enough to damp the
ardor of my enthusiasm.
arrange by systematic planning and united effort
Mr. Ruggles was then very deeply engaged in the memorable DARG case, as well as attending to a number of other fugitive slaves,
devising ways and means for their successful escape; and, though watched and hemmed in on almost every side, he seemed to be more than a match for his
disposed to treat guests and strangers with generosity
Upon reaching New Bedford, we were directed to the house of Mr. Nathan Johnson, by whom we were kindly received, and hospitably provided for.
mark as different
But when I got to New Bedford, I found it necessary again to change my name. The reason of this necessity was, that there were so many Johnsons in New Bedford, it was already quite difficult to
distinguish between them.
ceremonial elegance and splendor
And upon coming to the north, I expected to meet with a rough, hard-handed, and uncultivated population, living in the most Spartan-like simplicity, knowing nothing of the ease, luxury,
pomp, and grandeur of southern slaveholders.
in deplorable condition
I saw few or no
dilapidated houses, with poverty-stricken inmates; no half-naked children and bare-footed women, such as I had been accustomed to see in Hillsborough, Easton, St. Michael's, and Baltimore.
marked by harshly abusive criticism
Its sympathy for my brethren in bonds--its
scathing denunciations of slaveholders--its faithful exposures of slavery--and its powerful attacks upon the upholders of the institution--sent a thrill of joy through my soul, such as I had never felt before!
having little or no knowledge of
I find, since reading over the foregoing Narrative, that I have, in several instances, spoken in such a tone and manner, respecting religion, as may possibly lead those
unacquainted with my religious views to suppose me an opponent of all religion.
showing lack of favoritism
I love the pure, peaceable, and
impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.
an incorrect or unsuitable name
Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all
misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels.
a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea
He who sells my sister, for purposes of prostitution, stands forth as the pious
advocate of purity.
a destructive action
He who is the religious advocate of marriage robs whole millions of its sacred influence, and leaves them to the
ravages of wholesale pollution.
an outward appearance that is deliberately misleading
Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other--devils dressed in angels' robes, and hell presenting the
semblance of paradise.
morally objectionable behavior
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and