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Rev. Calvin Fairbank during slavery times : how he "fought the good fight" to prepare "the way" / edited from his manuscript. Fairbank, Calvin, 1816-1898. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-164-30098390 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Rev. Calvin Fairbank during slavery times : how he "fought the good fight" to prepare "the way" / edited from his manuscript. Fairbank, Calvin, 1816-1898. R.R. McCabe, Chicago : 1890. xi, 207 p. : ports. ; 21 cm. Coleman Cover title: How the way was prepared. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04167.02 KUK) Printing Master B92-164. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Fairbank, Calvin, 1816-1898. Antislavery movements United States. Underground railroad. f 11-2-2 w s4 I This page in the original text is blank. REV. CALVIN FAIRBANK DURING SLAVERY TIMES. HOW HE "FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT" TO PREPARE "THE WAY." EDITED FROM HIS MANUSCRIPT. CHICAGO: R. R. MCCABE CO., PUBLISHERS. 1890. COPYRIGHT, 1890, BY R. R. MCCABE. Vrcso of S. t. McCabe Co.. Cbicago. DEDICATED TO THE ZtDcrtp Guarb. anD tbctr Successors, WHO RECOGNIZE "THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD, AND BHOTUEBHOOD OF MAN.' . F' A UTHOR. This page in the original text is blank. PREFACE. A N presenting to the public so small a volume as a representation of so large and extraordinary an ex- perience, I feel bound by sentiments of propriety to answer beforehand the query of every one, perhaps, who has for several years looked for its publication in a more extensive edition, and at an earlier day. Upon my liberation in April, 1864, my health did not allow me to write. Very soon thereafter the country was flooded with books on the war. Neither then, nor since then have I been able myself to defray the expense of its publication. I had written twelve hundred pages, sufficient to make five hundred pages of readable matter; but every one considered it too long. I had since that time prepared what I thought could be safely published and put in market. But men of experience, in order to avoid the risk of finan- cial failure, advised condensation in this edition and wait results. Please accept this as my apology, and believe me Yours in faith, CALVIN FAIRBANK. ANGELICA, NEW YORK. August, 1890. This page in the original text is blank. CONTENTS. PAGE. CHAPTER I. Parentage Birth-Education ............................. 1- 7 CHAPTER II. Slavery Unconstitutional .................................. 8-11 CHAPTER III. Aiding the Fugitives-Escape of Sam Johrfson-Rescue of a Family of Seven-Meeting in Detroit, Mich., Twelve Years Later-Helen Payne-Cross the River with Fourteen Fugi- tives in a Scow-A Man, his Wife and Three Children in Peril-Cross the Dividing Waters on a Raft-"Get up Quick! do, Mr. Fairbank! "-Taken to a Place of Safety.. 12-17 CHAPTER IV. In the Fifth Generation-A Slave Girl of Fifteen-Three Daughters Rescued-The Mother Would Not Leave Her Mother-Shotgun versus a Colt's Revolver .............. 18-19 CHAPTER V Emily Ward-" I Come to Release You "-Cross the River on a Pine Log-The Apostle of Freedom -- Aunt Katie" -S. P. Chase-Gamaliel Bailey-Samuel Lewis - "The Hunters are Looking for Emily!" - "There is my old Master! "-" Oh! I Beg your Pardon, Lady! "-The British Lion - John Hamilton - The Stanton Family -" Come Over to Kentucky, and Help Us! ........................ 20-25 vii. Viii. CONTENTS. CHAPTER VI. PAGE. Eliza - Nicholas Longworth -The Wealth and Culture of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cincinnati. Washington, New Orleans, Louisville, Frankfort, and Lexington - Hon. Robert Wickliffe - A "Black-eyed Frenchman "-" Eliza Upon the Block"-" Embodiment of Diabolus "-The Auctioneer Directs Attention to "This Valuable Piece of Property "-"Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars "-"How High are You Going to Bid"-" Four- teen Hundred and Fifty!"-" Who is Going to Lose Such a Chance as This!" - "Horrible! "- Smote Her White Flesh"-" Boston and New Orleans Wept Side by Side "-- " Fourteen Hundred and Eighty-Five!"-The Hammer Fell-Eliza Was Mine!-William Minnis-Left Free by His Master-Sold by His Master's Son-A Plan Laid for His Rescue-I am Selected for the Hazardous Undertak- ing-Go to Arkansas - Minnis Discovered after Four Weeks' Investigation - Disguised - Take the Boat for Cincinnati-Minnis Meets His Young Master-The Crisis Safely Passed-Pullum, the Slave Trader, Appears-Does not Recognize Minnis-Reach Cincinnati in Safety-On to Canada-" Shouldered Arms for the Union " ..... ..... 26-44 CHAPTER VII. My First Imprisonment-The Case of Gilson Berry-Miss Delia Webster-Lewis Hayden-" Because I'm a Man!"- Pete Driscoll-"An Abolition Hole" -Eli C. Collins- Levi Collins-Dr. Rankin-Rescue of the Hayden Family -Three Indictments Found-Leslie Coombs- In Stiff Irons-Two Prisoners Escape-" I'll Fix You for Slow Traveling"-Petition for Miss Webster's Release-Plea to the Jury-"There is Not a Slave Legally Held in the United States of Americar'-Conviction-Fifteen Years at Hard Labor-Dressed in Stripes and Put to Sawing Stone ................................................ 45-53 CHAPTER VIII. My Incarceration-Captain Newton Craig-Supplied with Money-Benjamin Howard-Francis Jackson-Ellis Gray PAGE. Loring - My Father's Arrival in Kentucky - Promise of Pardon-Governor Crittenden-Cholera was Raging- Death of My Father-Buried among Strangers ......... 54-56 CHAPTER IX. Pardoned by Governor Crittenden-A Lively Interest in Religion-Isaac Wade-Rev. William Buck-Governor Ouseley-A Boy Pardoned-William Driver Gains His Freedom ............................................. 57-59 CHAPTER X. Among Old Friends-The " Old Guard "-Escape of Two Little Girls-" Where Do All the Niggers Go To "-S. P. Chase Elected United States Senator-The Free Soil Party- A Revival in Progress -Visit Cleveland and Detroit- Meet Coleman and His Family-Sandusky-Invited to Speak at Chicago-Six Fugitives Hotly Pursued-They Escape to Canada-The Hunters Too Late-" Seen Any Niggers About Here "-" If You Can Run on the Water!" -At Buffalo--Abner H. Francis-James G. Birney-Two Anti-Slavery Parties-Garrison-Phillips-Smith-Pills- bury-Abby Kelly Foster-Samuel Ward-Fred Douglass -The Fugitive Slave Law-Henry Clay-Daniel Webster -"When the Iron Pierces Your Heart "-The Legislature of Massachusetta-Mr. Webster Censured--Henry Wilson -" Doughfaces with Their Ears and Eyes Filled with Cotton! "-John G. Whittier-" Conscience and Constitu- tion" - "You Must Conquer Your Prejudices" -' We Must Fight! " ............... .......................... 60-76 CHAPTER XI. The Fugitive Slave Law Passed-James M. Ashley of Ohio Secures its Repeal-Mairiage of William and Ellen Craft -Theodore Parker-"Take This and Defend Your Wife!" - Fillmore and His Cabinet - "A Den of Thieves" - "Liberty Party" Convention at Buffalo - Gerrit Smith for President; Charles Durkee of Iowa for Vice-President -Sojourner Truth.................................... 77-84 ix. CONSTENTS. (.CONTENTS. CHAPTER XII. PAGE. Second Imprisonment-Rescue of Tamar, a Young Mulatto Woman--Cross the Ohio at Night-Return to Jefferson- ville, Indiana - Kidnaped - Inmates of the Prison - "Axes to Grind"-Colonel Buckner-" Hallelujah, I'm Victorious! "-Hon. James Speed-The Higher Law..... 8.5-92 CHAPTER XIII. Laura S. Haviland-" Bail or Break Jail "-Marshall Plays the Knave-Lovell H. Rousseau-I Was Slaughtered ........ 93-96 CHAPTER XIV. Trial and Conviction-The Testimony-'; What is Linsey "- Leave the Jail in Irons-Judge Buckner-Judge Bullock- Fifteen Years at Hard Labor-Five Thousand Dollars Bail .............................................. 97-103 CHAPTER XV. My Reception-Craig's Reign-Prison Government and Pri- son Life-" Black Hole of Calcutta" I................... 104-108 CHAPTER XVI. My Own Experience-Craig's Conduct - The First Ten Ciffs from a Rawhide - Shot in the Back - The School of Scandal - Punishment Escaped - Zebulon Ward- If I Kill You All" .......................................... 109-117 CHAPTER XVII. The Prisoners Overworked - The Smack of the Strap - " Hardy's Best"-Sixty-five Lashes-One More Scene of Barbarity-Playing Marbles .......................... 118-128 CHAPTER XVIII. A Speech Before the People of Kentucky-'-The War is Inevitable '-Governor Morehead-" The Yankees won't Fight "-Senator K -Senator John M. Prall .... 129-132 CHAPTER XIX. The War-" Come on, Boys! Come on! "-A Prophecy Fulfilled -Thirty-five Thousand One Hundred and Five Stripes in Eight Years ......................................... 133-139 X. CONTENTS. CHAPTER XX. PAGE. Harry I. Todd's Reign-" That's My Daylight! "-"W What You Doin' Here" -Skull Fractured-In the Hands of the Government-Richard T. Jacob-General James Harlan -"Suddenly and Mysteriously Went Down "-President Lincoln Sends General Fry to Kentucky-A Bomb-Shell -Thomas E. Bramlette-" Come Before Me Forthwith"- Jacob Was Governor-"Fairbank, You are Going Out!".139-146 CHAPTER XXI. Pardon-Reception in the North-"Now, Ben, I'd Give it Up!" -Reception at Cincinnati, Ohio-" Sing, Chillen, Sing!" -"After Years of Faithful Waiting "-" Barbarism of Slavery "-" The Horrible Whippings " -" The Staff of Life to Him "-Reception at Detroit, Michigan-Welcome at Oberlin ....................................... 147-166 CHAPTER XXII. Election-Vote at Oberlin-At Toronto, Canada-Field Day -Sir Charles Napier-" I am a Gentleman! " .......... 167-172 CHAPTER XXIII. At Baltimore-Washington-Norfolk, Va.-John M. Brown- President Lincoln's Inauguration-The Levee-Sojourner Truth-" I am a Rebel, Sir! "-Fall of Richmond-Assas- sination of the President - "How are the Mighty Fallen " ...........................173-181 APPENDIX. The Elevation of the Colored Race-The Moore Street Indus- trial Society of Richmond, Va.-" The Romantic History" -" Pharaoh Outdone "-Death of Mrs. Fairbank-The Soldier's Award-A Much Whipped Clergyman-Marriage of Calvin C. Fairbank-Statement of Laura S. Haviland. 183-208 xi. This page in the original text is blank. REV. CALVIN FAIRBANK DURING SLAVERY TIMES. HOW HE "FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT" TO PREPARE "THE WAY." EDITED FROM HIS MANUSCRIPT. CHAPTER I. Parentage-Birth-Education. M Y parents were of English extraction. My father's grandfather came to New England about 1730, and settled in Massachusetts, near what is now known as Fall River, in the southern part of the state. My father was born at Swansea, Massachusetts, in 1788, during that terrible, war maintained by King Philip against the white settlements in that vicinity. He re- moved to Windsor county, Vermont, while quite young. My mother, Betsey Abbott, was the daughter of Jacob Abbott, a name now famous in the history of church and state in this country, whose father settled HHW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. on Martha's Vineyard in the year 1750, where Jacob was born. His father, with others of the family, desiring more room, removed to Massachusetts; and thus the family was scattered throughout New England. When my grandmother was only twelve years of age, being left alone one day, she was captured by the Indians, and taken across the Connecticut river in a canoe, then put on horseback, and carried twenty miles into the forest to their settlement. She was kindly treated, though carefully guarded; but she won the confidence of the guard, who, after partaking-with her, as he thought-too freely of "fire water," fell asleep. It was her chance, and while all were locked in pro- found slumber, she slipped her saddle from under the head of the chief, hastily saddled and mounted the old white horse, who knew his young mistress, and was soon beyond the reach of her enemies, whom she heard toward day-break, whooping on her trail. "Whitey" knew his way home, and reaching the Connecticut plunged fearlessly in, and swimming with vigor, soon reached the opposite bank, leaving between him and his savage, disappointed pursuers the broad swift cur- rent of the stream. He bore his precious burden safely up the bank, and as she appeared through the brush, a shout of joy rang out on the morning air, from anxious parents, and friends, who had spent the 2 PARENTAGE-BIRTH-EDUCATION. long night in searching, and watching, and praying for her. My mother was born at Stafford, Tolland county, Connecticut, February 13th, 1787, but soon after re- moved to Windsor county, Vermont, where she grew to womanhood, surrounded, as was also my father, by circumstances favorable to the cultivation of sanctified pluck. On the first of January, 1810, at Judge Key's residence, Stockbridge, Windsor county, Vermont, my father and mother were married, and ever after in the most holy manner, kept their plighted faith. Upon the outbreak of the war in 1812, my father volunteered, leaving my mother, with my oldest brother and sister, in care of the two families. He remained in the service until a short time before the close of the war. Then, in company with other members of both families, he removed to a section of country considered almost beyond the bounds of the civilized world-now Pike, Wyoming county, New York. There in the woods, on the third day of November, 1816, I first saw the light of day. The ancestry of both father and mother, their sur- roundiings in the new world, their experiences, all tended to the development of energy, and courage both moral and physical, and a sense of justice without re- gard to race, class, or sex. 3 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. My earliest recollections carry me back to the forests filled with wolves howling about our cabin, the trees so near that, falling toward it, they often crashed upon its roof. Of society, outside of our own family, I call up Christian communion with the neighbors. My mother, being a pioneer, stirred up all susceptible to gospel truth, to purity, charity, and spirituality. My first impressions were from the Christian efforts from house to house, in the prayer-meeting, the class-meet- ing, and preaching by the circuit preachers. These men were accustomed to traveling over two hundred miles in the round of their circuits, preaching nearly every day, and on Sundays three times, filling their several appointments once in four weeks. As the time for the visitation of tfe circuit preachers drew near, the people in the neighborhood began to so plan their business, that all able to walk through the forest-through mud, or snow, or both-from one-half to two miles, might gather in the log houses-dwelling- houses and school-houses-to listen to the preached Word, to pray and sing praises to God, to encourage one another, and bring old and young into the fold of Christ. The whole community then, so far as I knew, and for many years after, were entirely devoted to the work of the Methodist society there, and the promotion 4 PARENTAGE-BIRTH-EDUCATION. of Methodism throughout that section of country; and to this day the Methodist idea is the prevailing idea in the neighborhood, and Methodism holds the balance of power over an area of a hundred miles. That was Old Genesee Conference, as it is now, and will always be. And that wonderful growth and steadfastness of Chris- tianity was the result, almost entirely, of the fidelity, indomitable courage and executive ability of a noble Christian woman. She was the instrument and power, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, in bringing, first, my father, then many other good men, with their families, into the fold of Christ, following her as she followed Him. And such a follower! I never knew that mother to lay down the armor-to sleep on her watch-to fail, in all kindness, to exhort, reprove, to warn, to commend the religion of Jesus Christ to all- up to the day of her death, December 18th, 1882, at the age of ninety-six. So I inherited the will and the power to be diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. I very early felt the need of the new birth in Christ, and week after week, year after year, mourned over my alienation from God, and from time to time promised myself resignation to His wilL Often, when alone in the forest, I imagined myself with an audience before me, pointing them to the Lamb of God. 5 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. During an extensive revival in the summer and fall of 1832, in which Rev. William Buck, then a young minister, labored faithfully and zealously as the cir- cuit preacher, I was brought to see myself a sinner, in a more distinct and convincing light than ever before; and under the preaching of Rev. Josiah L. Parrish, then of Pike county, New York, now a missionary in Oregon, I was enabled publicly to resolve to renounce the devil and all his works, and turn to God with full purpose of soul, to lay all on the altar of consecration. I heeded the call, and as soon as my means would allow, began preparations for my work. I went to Lima, New York, in 1839. At that time Schuyler Seager was principal of the seminary, which was one of the most efficient and popular institutions in the country. It was about that time that the attention of an earnest class of people was turned toward a new and growing radical institution at Oberlin, Ohio, founded mainly through the efforts of Mr. Shepard. Rev. Asa Mahan, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was called to the presi- dency; Charles G. Finney to the pastorate and the professorship of the theological department. Professor Morgan and Professor Tomes, formerly of Lane Semi- nary, were also called to professorships. Professor Tomes was a Kentuckian (from Augusta, Kentucky), 6 PARENTAGE-BIRTH-EDUCATION. who, disgusted with slavery, had left his native state for one in which no slavery could exist. I took license to preach in 1840, and in 1842 was ordained an elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and closed my course of study, graduating in 1844. One incident, more than anything else outside of my organization, controlled and intensified my sentiments on the slavery question. It was this: I went with my father and mother to Rushford to quarterly meeting when a boy, and we were assigned to the good, clean home of a pair of escaped slaves. One night after service I sat on the hearthstone before the fire, and listened to the woman's story of sorrow. It covered the history of thirty years. She had been sold from home, separated from her husband and family, and all ties of affection broken. My heart wept, my anger was kindled, and antagonism to slavery was fixed upon me. "Father," I said, on going to our room, " when I get bigger they shall not do that;" and the resolve waxed stronger with my growth. 7 CHAPTER II. Slavery Unconstitutional. I GREW to manhood with a positive, innate sense of impartial liberty and equality, of inalienable right, without regard to race, color, descent, sex or position. I never trained with the strong party simply because it was strong. From the time I heard that woman's story I felt the most intense hatred and contempt for slavery, as the vilest evil that ever existed; and yet I supposed the institution provided for and protected by the United States Constitution, and legally established by every slave state; and when, previous to investiga- tion, I repeatedly aided the slaves to escape in violation of law, I did it earnestly, honestly, in all good con- science toward God and man. Coming within the influence of active anti-slavery men at Oberlin, Ohio, I was led to examine the subject in the light of law and justice, and soon found the United States Constitution anti-slavery, and the insti- tution existing in violation of law. My conclusion in regard to the anti-slavery character of the Constitution of the United States was based on common law, on its 8 SLA VERY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. interpretation by the whole civilized world, and the recognition of self-evident truth as the basis of that interpretation, viz.: "Where rights are infringed, where fundamental principles are overthrown, where the general system of the law is departed from, the legislative intention must be expressed with irresistible clearness, in order to induce a court of justice to suppose a design to effect such object." This conclusion enabled me to act without misgiv- ing, as to my obligation to the General Government. I was no longer under obligation to respect the evil institution as protected by the Government, but was free to condemn slavery and the slave code,-free to follow the promptings of duty. This was afterward supported by an acknowledg- ment in the United States Senate, by Senator Pratt of Maryland, in resistance to an amendment to the pending Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, offered by William H. Seward, Senator from New York: "That whenever any person, in any free state, shall be claimed as a fugitive from service, or labor, it shall be obligatory on the part of such claimant to prove that slavery exists in such state, by positive law." Senator Pratt said: "If the amendment offered by the Senator from New York shall prevail, the reclama- 9 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. tion of any slave from any state will be an impossibility, for not a State in the Union has slavery established b- positive law." Finding, then, the diabolical institution unprovided for-finding it positively prohibited-finding it to be a conceded fact by our best statesmen, North and South, that not a state in the Union had slavery established by law, I concluded, upon the highest authority in the universe, that slavery was chronic rebellion, and that I was not only justified, but bound by the "higher law," to oppose it in defense of an oppressed people. From that time I never allowed an opportunity to aid the fugitives to pass unimproved; but when men and women came to me, pleading the "Fatherhood of God," and the brotherhood of man, I did all in my power to set them free, subjecting myself to imprisonment and the deepest suffering. Forty-seven slaves I guided toward the North Star, in violation of the state codes of Vir- ginia and Kentucky. I piloted them through the forests, mostly by night,-girls, fair and white, dressed as ladies; men and boys, as gentlemen, or servants, men in women's clothes, and women in men's clothes; boys dressed as girls, and girls as boys; on foot or on horseback, in buggies, carriages, common wagons, in and under loads of hay, straw, old furniture, boxes, and bags; crossed the Jordan of the slave, swimming, so SLA VERY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. or wading chin deep, or in boats, or skiffs, on rafts, and often on a pine log. And I never suffered one to be recaptured. None of them, so far as I have learned, have ever come to poverty, or to disgrace. I have visited a score of those families, finding them all indus- trious, frugal, prosperous, respectable citizens. For aiding those slaves to escape from their bond- age, I was twice imprisoned-in all seventeen years and four months; and received, during the eight years from March first, 1854, to March first, 1862, thirty-five thousand, one hundred and five stripes from a leather strap fifteen to eighteen inches long, one and a half inches wide, and from one-quarter to three-eighths of an inch thick. It was of half-tanned leather, and fre- quently well soaked, so that it might burn the flesh more intensely. These floggings were not with a raw- hide or cowhide, but with a strap of leather attached to a handle of convenient size and length to inflict as much pain as possible, with as little real damage as possible to the working capacity. 11 CHAPTER III. Aiding the Fugitives. THE first slave I assisted to escape was Sam Johnson of West Virginia. It was in April, 1837, that, as I was gliding down the Ohio on a raft of lumber an acre in extent, I saw, on the Virginia side, a large, active-looking black man walking, with his axe on his shoulder. He was singing: "De col' frosty mornin' make er nigger feel good; Wid he axe on he sholer, he go joggin' to de wood." I hailed him. He said he had a wife and two chil- dren thirty or forty miles away. " Neber spec tu see 'em agin." "Why don't you run away" I inquired. "1 Dunno whar tu go." "Get on here; I'll show you where to go." "Ah, white man berry onsartain; nigger mo' so." I argued the case. He came on board. I swung my raft to the Ohio bank, and, springing ashore, and throwing down axe and hat, he shuffled a jig upon free frozen soil, with a "hoop-pee ;" then picking up hat 12 A IDING THE FUGITI VES. and axe, and waving a "good-bye," he was soon out of sight. There was a bend in the river, and when we had rounded it, and came in sight of Mr. Schneider's, where Sam had, by my direction, taken refuge, he and all the family were on the bank waving hats and handkerchiefs. Eight weeks after, I returned, and at midnight was allowed to be put ashore in a yawl, as was customary in those days, and learned that Sam had gone to Michigan, or Canada, with one hundred and fifteen dollars, a part of which had been contributed. I heard nothing more of him for twelve years. A few days after I met Sam Johnson, we landed on the Kentucky side, opposite the Little Miami river. A tall, black woman of about eighty years came to the raft, and among other things said: '"Chillun, yo's all frum free state, I reckon" "Yes," I replied. "Now, I'se got seven chillun, fo' boys an' three gals, an' dey's neber married, kase ef dey do, dar chil- lun will be slaves too." "Well, auntie, why don't they go away" "Oh, chile, ef dey had some one tu he'p 'um dey could get erway. Now, ef yo' all'd he'p urn, dey could go all right." Finally it was agreed that they should come down 13 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. after dark with their clothes in bundles, which they did, and in the presence of their old rejoicing mother, stepped into boats, and were soon beyond Kentucky jurisdiction. Here we-Almon Carpenter and I-left them in our boat with directions to land, if practicable, just above, and make their way to the house of a Friend-a Quaker-near, and there tie up the boat. Next morning, visiting the spot, looking for the boat, we did not find it; but pushing farther up the river we found it, and learned from another Friend, of the welfare of our charges. Of these people I heard nothing until after liberation from my first imprison- ment, September, or October, 1849-twelve years later. I was standing on the street in Detroit, Michigan, one day, when a fine team, and wagon loaded with bags of wheat, attracted my attention. I thought I recognized Sam Johnson sitting on the loaded wagon, cracking his whip with an air of importance. I hailed him. "1 Hello, there! Whose team is that" "Mine, and debts paid too." "Lucky for me, isn't it" " Don't know about that." "You didn't know that I was your young master, eh " "Don't know about that. I had a master once: now it depends on who is the strongest." 14 AIDING THE FUGITIVES. Then looking at me awhile, he leaped from the wagon, shouting: "Dog my skin! ef you aint' the fella helped me er- way frum slavery!" and seizing me as I would an eight- year old boy, he danced about in glee. I went home with him that night- sixteen miles back into the country, and found him independently situated, with a good farm well improved and stocked; his wife and children had been recovered through his old friend Schneider, where he found his first free shelter on the banks of the Ohio-and they were well educated and promising. And I also found there the seven I had piloted to the mouth of the Little Miami a few days after Sam's liberation; every one with a farm of eighty acres; and the men with wives, and the women with husbands, and all industrious and prosperous. But to return. Helen Payne was the next slave I helped to escape. I met her between Washington and Maysville, Kentucky, with carpet-bag in hand. I put her on board a steamer, went with her to Pittsburg, where I left her in good hands, and returned to Cincin- nati, Ohio. She afterward went to New York City. Upon my return to Cincinnati, finding some colored people in great peril, I crossed the river with fourteen in a scow and placed them beyond danger. A hair- breadth escape occurred during this crisis. One 15 16 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. fearless, determined girl, hearing her pursuers talking, and recognizing her master's voice, hid herself under the body of a large sycamore tree that lay on the river bank, so that her master, in his eager pursuit of the others, sprang upon the log, and jumped over ber, as she lay concealed under it. They all made their escape. A short time after, I learned that a man, his wife, and three children. were in peril. They had traveled from East Tennessee and were secreted in Lexington; some one must be their Moses. I therefore started at nightfall, traveling by a compass and bull's-eye lantern at night, and lying in the cedars through the day. We were four days and nights on the road, raiding corn- fields and out-door ovens, and milking the cows, for sub- sistence. We crossed the river at last on a skipper constructed out of slabs and a few planks, and were out of danger. It was the very next day that, after resting until about sunset, I was awakened by the mistress of the house: "M Mr. Fairbank, there is a boy hidden in the bushes on the Kentucky side, and they are hunting him with dogs. Get up quick, do, Mr. Fairbank! " I started up, and just in time to see the boy spring from a clump of bushes to a narrow cove-like bayou, AIDING THE FUGITIVES. 17 and plunging in, crawl under the bank. Down came the human and canine hunters, leaping directly over, from bank to bank, where the fugitive lay concealed with his nose just out of water. The dogs followed his track to the very edge of the bank, then leaping over to the other side, they ran round, and round, with noses to the ground, in great bewilderment. I watched with intense anxiety, expecting every moment to see them plunge into the water, and so discover his retreat; but it seemed providential that he should be left un- harmed until darkness covered the world, when I went with a skiff, and took him to a place of safety. CHAPTER IV. In the Fifth Generation. IN June, 1842, at the foot of the mountains in Mont- gomery county, I think, I came upon an old plantation, with cattle and horses and slaves. Many of the slaves were so nearly of white blood, that they could be distinguished from the privileged class only by their short checked dresses, and short hair. The lord of the estate, an octogenarian, made me welcome to anything I desired. I became interested in a young slave girl of fifteen, who was the fifth in direct descent from her master, being the great-great-great-grand-daughter of a slave whom he took as his mistress at the age of fourteen, five being his own daughters, and all by daughters, except the first, and all were his slaves. And now he was expecting to make this girl his mistress. I remained there, a guest of the family, two weeks, and became quite well acquainted with their habits, and felt sure I could run the risk of putting my hand against the authority of the state in defense of as lovely a young woman as there was in Kentucky. The 18 .IN THE FIFTH GENERRA TION. fate in store for her seemed too horrible, and when I went away I promised to meet her and her mother at an appointed place, with preparations all made, to place the family-the mother and three daughters, beyond the power of the slaveholder. The time came. I was promptly on the spot, so were they; but no argument could prevail upon the mother to take her children and leave the state. Her mother was behind, and she wanted to provide some way for her escape. So taking leave of mother and little sisters,-how they wept at parting from her!-the eldest girl took her seat in the carriage and we drove swiftly away. Once, during that long night-drive, we were halted by a ruffian springing from the bush and leveling a shotgun close to my face; but I thrust it aside in an instant, and covered him with a Colt's revolver. We arrived in Lexington-ninety-five miles-about half-past nine the next morning; and the day after, took the train to Frankfort. There we boarded a steamer for Cincinnati, Ohio. Once in that city my way was clear. The old hero, Levi Coffin, president, director, and proprietor of the "Underground Railroad," was always grandly ready with advice. He went with me to one of his friends, who at once solved fhe problem by taking my prize into his own family and adopting her. 19 CHAPTER V. Emily Ward. E MILY WARD was the property of a family of that name closely related to a man who, from time to time, did me much evil. She was of a bright brunette complexion, and her age not over seventeen. She had been sold to slavetraders, and by them committed to the safekeeping of a family living in a two-story house facing the Ohio river. The house had a cellar, and an attic also, and in this attic she was confined to await the convenience of the traders to remove her to New Orleans. A messenger came to me with the intelligence of her situation, and I at once prepared to help her. I wrote a brief letter as follows: "I come to release you. Dress in boy's clothes quick, if you can, and come down from the window on a rope if you have one. If not, make one of blankets, and come down." I crossed on the ferry, found two large pine logs in the water near the place, and selected one as our ship. Then placing myself between two buildings, I 20 EMILY WAR2D. tossed pebbles against the window until I attracted her attention, and exhibited my letter-rolled up and tied with a string-in such a way as to indicate what I wanted. She let down a string, pulled up the letter, read it, nodded assent, and soon lowering her blanket rope, slid out on it, and down to the ground, and in a short time we were crossing the river. When we reached Cincinnati, Emily was placed in the care of the Apostle of Freedom, Levi Coffin, and his peerless wife, "Aunt Katie." We passed the night in intense excite- ment, not knowing but some vigilant eye had followed our flight, and that in an unguarded moment the slave- hunters might pounce upon us. We watched through the long hours, planning many ways of escape; but we were unmolested, and the next day was devoted to the fitting up of my ward for a northern journey, by the good ladies belonging to the families of S. P. Chase, Gamaliel Bailey, and Samuel Lewis. Nightfall found us ready to move to a place of greater security. Emily had been dressed in the most approved style, in the best silk, with kid gloves on her hands, and a veil covering her charming brunette face. My horse and buggy stood waiting a square away, and just as twilight began to fall we were ready to start. Levi looked from his south window and exclaimed: "Calvin, I think the hunters are looking for Emily! 21 22 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. There is the officer who makes it his business, and another man with him, coming right this way. Take Emily quick, go out through the back door into the street, turn the corner, and come around in front and go to the buggy." Emily looked-" There is my old master!" In an instant we were out of the room and on the sidewalk, Emily holding my arm. While we were passing along the eastern walk, turning the corner, approaching the front gate with an air of calm indiffer- ence, the hunters had been admitted to the house. They looked hurriedly, begged pardon for the intrusion, and hastened out to the front again in such a way as to arouse the most desperate apprehension for our safety. We had approached so near the gate, it was unsafe to retreat, or even slacken our steps, for fear of creating a suspicion of our identity. It was apparent that we were to come in contact with our foe, and all we could do was to maintain courage and composure. As we approached the gate with an appearance of careless security, the old, eagle-eyed, demon-hearted master opened it upon Emily, who walked next to the fence. He jostled her against me, and even crowded so near that it seemed, at the time, his purpose was inspection, and capture if he recognized his victim. All our hopes of safety were put to flight; it seemed almost certain JOHN HAMILTON. that this one day of liberty was to be the first and the last for Emily Ward. Her heart beat so violently, so audibly, that I could distinctly hear it, as she stag- gered against me. But she did not betray her agitation. The instant the old master discovered his rudeness, he almost prostrated himself at the feet of the girl he sought, with manacles in his pocket for the hands and arms then gloved in kid, and draped in silk. He had not recognized her. "Oh! I beg your pardon, lady-I beg your pardon. Accept my apologies, sir, will you" "Oh, certainly, certainly," I replied. They passed to the east, we to the west, and in five minutes we were driving, behind a fast horse, out of the city, and away from danger. It was a narrow escape, and we hardly dared to breathe freely, until we had put twenty miles or more between us and our enemies. A few days more, and this child of bondage was singing-her sorrows over-safe under the protec- tion of the British Lion. Subsequently she returned to the United States, and lived in peace and safety. John Hamilton. A few days after this rescue I met a young man named John Hamilton, thirsting for freedom, and espoused his cause. Remembering the pine log anch- 23 24 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. ored to the shore, where I found the one on which Emily escaped, I appropriated it, put him on board, and set sail. We had to sit astride it, but it was as safe for the fugitive as the "Great Eastern." I left this young man with Uncle Levi, as usual; and keeping track of him, I am quite sure he was afterward shot in South Carolina, during an election campaign. The Stanton Family. I had just rescued Emily Ward and John Hamilton, when a whole family sold to a dealer in human bodies, cried out: " Come over to Kentucky, and help us!" Casey was an expert, and he and I at once laid our plans to go over to the Kentucky side for a load of straw. We constructed a rack just the size of the interior of the straw rack, two feet high, and strong enough to protect a part of the family under it, and proceeded to the barn of a free African, very near the Stanton family, who were promptly on the spot. We spread about one foot of straw on the bottom of the wagon, upon which five of the children were laid, and then three feet more of straw loaded over them. Upon this, Mr. and Mrs. Stanton, and the oldest son were placed, and carefully covered with another layer of the straw. Then we had a load worth twenty-four hundred THE STANTON FAMILY. 25 dollars. Once in Cincinnati, there were as many places of safety as the number of fugitives demanded. There were a father, mother, and six children saved from the jaws of hell, through the exercise of charity, courage, and prudence, disciplined by experience. CHA PTR VI. Eliza. I NOW approach the most extraordinary incident in my history, except my long imprisonment. I can- not recall the exact date. I only remember that it was early in May, 1843, that my sympathy and patriotism were roused in behalf of one of the most beautiful and exquisite young girls one could expect to find in free- dom or slavery. She was the daughter of her master, whose name I withhold for laudable reasons, and was as free of African blood as Kate McFarland, being only one sixty-fourth African. She was self-educated, and accomplished in literature and social manners, in spite of the institution cursing her race; and her heartless, jealous mistress had doomed her to be sold on the block, hating her for her beauty and accomplishments. Eliza had been confined in an upper room of the Lex- ington jail. She recognized me as I was walking in the jail-yard, and drew my attention by tapping upon the window. I called upon her in her room, learned her situation, and hastened to Cincinnati to Levi Coffin, 26 then with him to Hon. S. P. Chase, Nicholas Longworth, Samuel Lewis and others, returning to Lexington with twenty-two hundred and seventy-five dollars, and a paper authorizing me to draw twenty-five thousand if necessary to save the girl. I was invincible, Eliza was assured; but she feared, as was natural, dreading the uncertainty, shrinking from the possibility of being offered up a-sacrifice on the altar of lust and greed. There were two thousand people at that sale, repre- senting the wealth and culture of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Washington, New Orleans, Louisville, and Frankfort; also the city of Lex- ington and vicinity. There were ladies and gentlemen, slave-masters and mistresses, and speculators in human chattels-all anxiously waiting. Hon. Robert Wick- liffe-brother of the late Charles A. Wickliffe, Post- master-General under John Tyler,-the master of five hundred slaves, was there with his family. And a short, thick-necked, black-eyed Frenchman from New Orleans, the co-conspirator with the girl's mistress, was there. And I was there, and defied the powers of dark- ness to foil my purpose, my righteous purpose. I felt confident of my ability to compete with any man whose only stimulus was lust or greed, and rose above all thought of danger in the rescue of the hapless girL At my left stood Eliza's aunt, a cool, intrepid, self- 27 ELIZA. 28 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. poised woman, and at my right were two counselors-at- law retained in my service. Upon the block, before all that gazing multitude, stood the auctioneer by his victim, who seemed ready to drop to the earth-not a man, with a touch of manly feeling, but the embodiment of Diabolus, trained and anxious for his work. He directed attention to the val- uable piece of property, using all his cultivated art to enhance its interest, calling particular attention to her exquisite qualities as a mistress for any gentleman. And this he kept prominent, in the most insinuating and vile manner, outraging common decency. Bids began at two hundred and fifty dollars, and went up to five hundred, when the more respectable men of the South left the field to the Frenchman and myself. When twelve hundred dollars was reached, my an- tagonist turned to me with an evil gleam in his eyes, and said: "How high are you going to bid" "Higher than you do, Monsieur." And the bids rose to thirteen hundred. Again my enemy, shrugging his shoulders, nervously asked: "How high are you going to bid" And again I replied: "Higher than you do, sir. You cannot raise money enough to take her." Our bidding had become slower, more cautious, each ready to take advantage of the other. Then the villain on the block, becoming impatient, raved and cursed, crying: "Give! give! give!" for the higher the bids rose, the more anxious he became. I bid fourteen hundred and fifty. My contestant stood silent. The hammer rose-trembled-lowered- rose-fell-and the fiend flushed, and quick as thought dropped his hammer, and unbuttoning Eliza's cress, threw it back, exhibiting to the gaze of two thousand people, her superb neck and breast, shouting in the true professional tone: " Look here, gentlemen! Who is going to lose such a chance as this Here is a girl fit to be the mistress of a king!" A suppressed cry of shame, and contempt-of anger and grief-a bitter murmur of Kentucky wrath and disgust, rolled like a wave through that throng. South- ern women blushed, and Mr. Wickliffe hung his head for shame; and such exclamations as "Too bad!" "What a shame!" "Horrible!" could be heard on every side, from both North and South. Bids rose to fourteen hundred and seventy-five. That was my bid. Then there was another lull in the contest, another moment of suspense. My antagonist eyed me viciously, and asked the third time: 29 ELIZAo. HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. " How high are you going to bid " Now I thought it time to let him know my real purpose. "It is noneof your business, sir; but understand that you cannot command money enough to take this girl." The auctioneer seemed at his wits' end, and then followed a scene at which 'civilization blushed, and angels wept, and the human heart sickened and turned away; for to stimulate bidding, to appeal to and rouse the lowest passions in man, he turned his victim's pro- file to that excited crowd, and lifting her skirts, laid bare her beautiful, symmetrical body, from her feet to her waist, and with his brutal, sacrilegious hand smote her white flesh, exclaiming: "Ah! gentlemen, who is going to be the winner of this prize Whose is the next bid" The people had forgotten their identity with the -Institution." They had lost their latitude, and their social level The exhibition of a beautiful, helpless Caucasian girl, in the shambles of Republican Amer- ica, had taken all the aristocracy out of them. " Shame! shame!" they cried; and Boston and New Orleans shed tears, wept, side by side. The Frenchman bid fourteen hundred and eighty. The hammer rose high, quivered, lowered. Eliza gave 30 me an appealing, agonized look, and her aunt turned on me a glance I shall never forget. "Are you all done Once-twice-do I hear no more th-r-e-e" -and the hammer quivered, as the Frenchman's face flushed with triumph. " Th-r-e-e "- and the hammer fell slowly "Fourteen hundred and eighty-five!" My contestant turned away, with an air of indiffer- ence. "Eighty-five eighty-five -ighty-five. I'm going to sell this girl in one minute. Are you going to bid again " The Frenchman shook his head. " Once-twice-th-r-e-e times-and gone." The hammer fell. She was mine. She fainted. "You've got her d--d cheap, sir," said the auc- tioneer. "What are you going to do with her" "Free her, sir," I cried, and woke a cheer which rose to a true Kentucky shout that rent the air and rang "far and wide, proclaiming liberty to the captives of America, Russia, Brazil, and all the world." Eliza was then borne to the carriage of Mr. Wick- liffe, which was standing near-borne by the repre- sentatives of wealth and power, and driven to her aunt's in the city, and attended by the elite of Kentucky-a retinue fit to be the escort of a princess. Her free 31 ELIZA. HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. papers were soon made legal, and as I entered the room adjoining the one she occupied, I heard her say: "Auntie, where is my savior" Her aunt not being in the room, the question was answered by an old, Christian, free black woman, physically and morally a facsimile of " Sojourner Truth": " Child, your Savior is in heaven. Yes, honey, your Savior is in heaven." '"No, auntie, I mean Mr. Fairbank" Just then I stepped into the room, and handing her the folded papers, said: "Here I am, Eliza." "Mr. Fairbank, what are you going to do with me'" "Nothing; you can do for yourself." "But I belong to you." "No, you have your free papers. You are as free as I am." She looked, she read. "Am I dreaming" she murmured, "am I dream- ing" A lady who had attended her from the sale said: " Let me see the papers;" and looking them over care- fully, and passing them back, said: "Eliza, you are as free as Governor Letcher.' 32 But it was difficult for her to realize the blessed truth. She turned the papers over and over- "I must be dreaming." "No, honey," said the old colored woman,-"no, you are free." "Oh, is it possible Is it possible Blessed Lord! Who has done this for me! It is surely the work of my Jesus. Oh, my blessed Lord, I am committed to Thee for life and death! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!" "M Mr. Fairbank, what is your will, that I may obey" she asked, when her transport of joy was over. "Eliza, I would like to take you to Cincinnati, place you in a family of wealth and high social position in which you can be an equal, finish your education and live the remainder of your life in peace, plenty, honor and usefulness." "M Mr. Fairbank, I will go wherever you wish to take me." It was decided. After four days we took the train for Frankfort, and thence by boat to Cincinnati. There she was educated, there she married, and has for forty- three years filled a position of honor and usefulness in society, and none but her husband and a few chosen friends know that she was ever a slave, or that she has a drop of African blood in her veins. Her master was well-disposed. He had, just before 3 33 ELIZA. 34 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. the sale, paid twenty thousand dollars as the price of generosity toward an unlucky friend. It was not his wish that she should be sold, and he came to me and said: " Here, Mr. Fairbank-here is one hundred dollars; all that I have. Take seventy-five of it, save my child if you can. Keep the money, no matter what you have to pay for Eliza." But no need to dwell any longer on this sale. It was the most remarkable I ever witnessed. William Minnis was willed free by his master upon his death in Jessa- mine countv, Kentucky, about fifteen miles from Lex- ington. He, as well as the other servants made free by this will, was kept in entire ignorance, even by the executor of the will, and others privy to it, whose sworn or implied oath bound them to inform such legatees of their right. William, knowing nothing of the law, or the fact, raised no voice, entered no protest, which might have saved him and his friends indescribable anguish, a whole year's servitude at Little Rock, Arkan- sas, where he was sold by his master's son and successor, and his friends in Lexington, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio, heavy expenditure and extreme peril. Ten months had passed away since July, 1842, and WILLIAM MINNIS. Dennis Seals-I think his name was Dennis-had brooded over the fate of a boy for whose person and family he had cherished the most kindly attachment. He, with Nancy Straus in the city, Father Ferril, a minister of high repute in the city of Lexington, Henry Boyd, William Watson, Kitty Dorum, the Morrises and Taylors, and others in Cincinnati, Ohio, were soon in alliance, pledged in any amount necessary for the vin- dication of the rights of this worthy young slave. May was fairly ushered. Eliza had been duly in- ducted into her new home. Seals at once as the boys say-" caught on." The case of Eliza-her sale- rescue-in Lexington at the mouth of hell, had stirred the public, high and low, to a ferment; and my name was in the mind and mouth of every one. Hope, glory, and shame excited the masses-hope for the oppressed, glory in the pluck of the man who dared, and shame for the crime of Kentucky. Seals drank of the hope and glory. He appeared in Cincinnati soon as we arrived; sought me out; sought out the "sentinels;" and all in convention, with the acquiescence and advice of the old hero, Levi Coffin, laid a plan for the rescue. I was summoned before the council, and approved the plan. I was to undertake the very hazardous enter- prise. With two hundred and fifty dollars in my hands I 35 36 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. bade farewell to friends, country, and life. I felt that the chances for life and liberty were against me: to go into wild Arkansas upon an errand of charity in behalf of an unknown boy whose character and physique were entirely strange to me-against a favorite idea and institution-among a wild, half-civilized, half-barbarous people who valued life less than money, and their social cornerstone,-less than to brook an insult. But the Rubicon was crossed. I left Cincinnati on the 13th day of May, 1843, I think, and arrived in Little Rock sometime during the 16th, and began a careful, diligent inquiry for my boy. Every one scanned me with suspicion. There were three classes: the ruling, upper class of whites; the poor " white trash," who were, morally and intellectually, on a level with or below the slaves they watched for their subsistence; and the slave. The whites suspected the stranger, if he appeared at all in command of himself, as an enemy to the "Divine Institution." The slave, as an enemy to his race,-seeking bargains in human property. So, I was held at arm's-length by one, and closely, most ingeniously and treacherously interviewed by the other. But I had been in the world too long, and seen too much of men and things to be drawn on and sold. I put up at a hotel in which, after four weeks' care- WILLIAM MINNIS. ful, apparently careless, indifferent investigation I dis- covered that William was a servant,-hired out by his master, who lived in another part of the city. I tried all plans to learn the names of the men, and their integ- rity, that I might make some inquiry for my boy. After about four weeks I conceived a plan to call for a "boy" to carry my carpet-sack to the boat, to take a short trip to the next town; and calling one of the ser- vants, I said: "Boy, see here! take this to the boat for me." IIMas', dat not my work. Dat Bill's work. He do dat are work." Well, now, I thought, I've got so much; maybe I've found my boy; and Dimond called out, "Bill! see here. Dis here geman want you. "Bill" took my bag; and all quiet, a little way out I ventured to ask,-"What is your name" "William Minnis." Now, just imagine my surprise. "How long have you been in this city" "Well, massa, jis' about a year ago I lef' Lexing- ton, Kentucky. I was sol' to de traider, Pullum, an' he fotch me here an' sol' me. I belongs to Mr. Bren- nan, an' he hires me out here at de hotel." There! all in a lump I had the whole story. "Did your master live in Jessamine county" 37 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. "Yes, sir." "He died, and his son sold you, eh" "Yes, sir. Did you know him" "Yes. William, did you know Dennis Seals, and Nancy Straus, and Father Ferril" "Yes, sir." "Did you ever know that your master willed you free before he died and that your young master sold you, knowing all about it" " No, sir, I did not." That quite overcame him. He panted like a scared bird. I said to him: "Go back with my bag. I'll not take the boat. Come to my room to-night as early as you can safely." After four weeks I had found out the riddle. I had already made the acquaintance of a Creole-French barber and a New-England teacher-a lady skilled in portraiture. I had, after four weeks' careful, prudent, anxious, mostly reticent inquiry, found the object of my mission. William Minnis was a well-developed, finely-organ- ized, smooth, handsome mulatto of eighteen, worth, probably, in that vicinity, eight hundred dollars. I was satisfied at once of his integrity; and, without the least restraint, divulged to him the whole secret. Of course, there was the possibility of danger-of indis- 38 WILLIAM MINNIS. creet communication,-of inconsiderate words-even of treachery. But I could discover nothing from which I could draw the conclusion of the faintest probability of danger arising from either. Now, for MY PLAN: my French-Creole I had found voluntarily, deeply interested in the future well-being- the oppressed side of his oppressed people. I confided in him. I withhold his name, not from any sense of danger to any one-not from policy, but because it was so peculiarly French, that, though I cultivated a pleas- ant acquaintance with him for five weeks, it had evapo- rated through the law of association in five more weeks, so that I entertained not the slightest conception of its form. My other assistant married and settled in Arkansas, and, for aught I know, may be living in that vicinity to-day-among a people to whom such antecedents would not only not be popular, but decidedly and dangerously unpopular. That night William met me in my room. Our plan, in a nut-shell, was: 1. To find a man like whom William could be made to appear-wig, beard, mius- tache, etc. William knew a young man from up the river, Mr. Young, with whom Mr. Brennan had formed the slightest acquaintance, to whom, under like circum- stances-like dress, hair, beard, and mustache, he bore 39 40 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. a very strong physical resemblance,-a real facsimile. 2. My Frenchman could "do him up brown" in all that, so as to pass for Mr. Young: long black hair, a wig, whiskers and mustache, in true Southern style. 3. My Yankee girl could bring the complexion, already fair, to any required shade. This we decided next day. 4. A certain boat left the wharf about twilight for her trip to Cincinnati. We must go on that-the same boat which had just left. 5. Mr. Brennan often took this boat for Vicksburg, where he was concerned in business. In case of such a concurrence-the master and slave meeting-if necessarily involving social etiquette, Mr. Minnis must be ready to play Mr. Young. Everything was settled as to manner. The time of escape must be left for circumstances to decide; and that would probably be a word and a move. My bag was always packed after noon. Finally, on the evening before the departure of the boat, early in July-about the fourth,-we took the risk of our recitation, or rehearsal, in the private room of our Frenchman, in presence of our Yankee girl. All was most complete. Minnis presented a facsimile of the Southerner we wished him to personate-good height, graceful in bearing; speech, anent-dialect. Be it remembered, most Southern people speak with the same provincialism -anent-dialect and tone, as WILLIAM MINNIS. the slaves who serve them; as instances, Mr. Berrien, of Georgia, was accustomed to say "dis here," "dat ar." Captain Newton Craig, my old prison-keeper, used to say, "thar," for there; "far," for fair; "Farbank," for Fairbank. So, with a little training Minnis presented a fine specimen of a Southern chevalier. I had felt all through the day-it was the fourth of July-that the time was imminent; that we must be like the bird watching the approach of an enemy- "Nor willed to go, nor dared to stay, But, warbling mellow, sped away." The sun had gone behind the bluff. Our boat would be on the move in thirty minutes. The word came to me with an impression, "Such as a sudden passing bell Makes, though but for a stranger's knell." In a moment I was off, Mr. Young (') by my side gold-headed cane in hand. My bill had been settled. Mr. Young accidentally struck my way; and in a few minutes we were in the cabin. The Rubicon had been crossed. Our bridges were burned behind us. It was now, "liberty or death." There was nothing, now, to be gained by our close, particular association; and we simply associated as the other passengers. But,-Mr. Young had signified to me in an earnest way,-betraying no trepidation noticeable by others, 41 42 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. "Mr. Brennan is on the boat." I said, apparently in a joke, "Pitt on airs." Very soon, walking at leisure in the cabin, filled with business men and pleasure-seekers, they met recognized with some surprise.- "Mr. Brennan!" "Mr. Young!" "0o-fine evening." "Very, sir, very." And the colloquy ended. The crisis had been passed. Our plans had more than met our expectations. We retired early; and so avoided a second encounter, which might possibly have resulted in harm to us both. When morning dawned, the danger had passed. Mr. Brennan had left the boat, taking a down-river craft for Vicksburg. Now, maybe all this had to be done by the instru- mentality of lies. I don't think so. It was strategy, to avoid injustice. That is no lie. "A lie is the mis- representation of the truth to the injury of some party having a right to know the truth."-PRES. MAHAN. Mr. Minnis had changed his name from William Minnis to John Crawford, by which I knew him after- ward. We were several days reaching Cincinnati, the boat stopping at all towns of any importance for trade. I said, a little while ago, "the danger had passed." WILLIAM MINNIS. Often, when we think we are out of danger we are in danger. Pullum, the slave-trader of the vicinity of Lexington, Kentucky-whom I knew well-who had sold Mr. Crawford (Minnis) at Little Rock, was at Memphis, Tennessee, transacting the same class of busi- ness. That was his only business. While we lay there waiting the affairs of the boat he came on board, and recognized me at once. We had a long and varied talk, about everything; and especially about Little Rock; and among other things he spoke of a "IMinnis boy whom I sold there. He had belonged to Minnis, of Jessamine county. Did you know him" " Oh, yes. He is owned by Mr. Brennan-hired at the Little Rock House. He makes a good steward." "Yes, he's smart. I made three hundred dollars on him." All this time John Crawford was giving the closest attention-heard nearly every word-walked pompously to and fro swinging his gold-headed cane in true Southern style. After an hour's talk, and trepidation lest the slave- trader might identify the gentleman once a part of his stock in trade, the bell rang as a signal to weigh anchor, and our unwelcome visitor, politely bowing all around, bade us "good bye," and left the boat. We were once more relieved. 43 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. Several times before reaching Cincinnati I recog- nized and was recognized by Kentuckians, but not under circumstances to excite any great alarm. We were at last safe in Cincinnati, in care of frie'nds; but deeming the situation extremely dangerous, under the Black laws of Ohio,-(though free by will, all papers on the subject being destroyed through the treachery of officials whose office bound them in fidelity to all persons, he was a "I iggar;" and "a black man has no rights which a while man is bound to respect.-CHIEF JUSTICE TANEY),-Crawford took the "flood of fortune," and went to Canada. I saw him in Toronto in 1851. Next year he went to California. At the outbreak of the Rebellion he allied himself with the army, and, upon the reception of the black man as a soldier, " shouldered arms" for the Union. 44 CHAPTER VII. My First Imprisonment. I WAS passing Chapel Hall at Oberlin, Ohio, in August, 1844, when a call from an upper window drew my attention. "Brother Fairbank!" It was John M. Brown, now Rev. John M. Brown, D.D., a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and resident at Washington. The case of Gil- son Berry, an escaped slave, whose wife and babies had been left behind, was laid before me, as all such cases usually were. I heard the call, espoused his cause, and after commencement left for Lexington, Kentucky, where I found Miss Delia A. Webster of Vergennes, Vermont, then teaching in the city, and ready to second my efforts. We soon found the escape of the wife impracticable, without the combination of some other worthy person. An appointment was made for her rescue, but for reasons never explained to me, she did not meet the appointment. She was probably detected, and stopped, or so closely watched as to render her escape dangerous, and perhaps impossible. 4t1 46 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. Another case came before us: that of Lewis Hayden, now Hon. Lewis Hayden. Mr. Hayden was a waiter at the Brennan House. To my question: " Why do you want your freedom" he replied: "Because I'm a man." I was deeply interested in him, and at once began to plan a way for his escape. I went to Ripley, Ohio, where, Dr. Blanchard of Cincinnati had informed me, I would find friends of the fugitives; and it was not only to see them, but to learn the way to them, that I took the trip. While crossing on the ferry in the morning, from the Kentucky side, with my horse, I noticed a man above me, crossing in a skiff, and concluded instantly that he would be a good source of information. It proved true. He was Pete Driscol, a spy, a patroller, whose business was the detection, and if possible the capture, of fugi- tive slaves. I soon met him, when the following con- versation took place: "Mister, are you a Kentuckian" "Yes." "Well, what kind of a place is this" "It is a black, dirty, Abolition hole, sir." So far, so good-just what I wanted to know; and now how to fool him without telling an absolute lie. I MY FIRST IMPRISONMENT. must give him a false impression, so that no suspicion would be roused. "Is not this a great hiding place for runaway slaves " "Yes." " Well, I'm just from Lexington, and I am interested in discdvering the hiding places among the Abolition- ists." "Well, sir, you see that red house there" "Yes." "There Eli C. Collins lives; and in that house Levi Collins lives; and Dr. Rankin occupies the one on the hill." I went to Collins', as directed by my Kentuckian, and as he advised me to pass for a good Abolitionist I did so. I also went to Dr. Rankin's; but while I was on my way to his house, the people, having seen me with Pete Driscol, set me down as a slave-hunter, and sent young Collins ahead of me, to put the family on their guard. So I learned nothing there, and supposed that I had been wrongly advised. I returned to Mr. Eli C. Collins'; was invited to dine; was at the table, when young Collins came in, and with fury in his man- ner, ordered me to leave the house-that I was a spy, a slave-hunter. He was plucky, but I finished my dinner, and afterward tried to convince them of my 47 48 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. oneness with them in the cause. And all the time Eli Collins advised the largest charity. " Maybe he is a friend. We will see when the time comes." I then said: "I like your zeal in this cause, even though it makes you reluctant to believe in me." It was altogether an unpleasant experience, for I came near being mobbed by the girls of a hotel, and others gathered there to talk over the case, and only escaped by hastening away from the house. On Saturday, the 28th day of September, 1844, at .eight P. M., in company with Miss Webster, and the Haydens, father, mother, and one son, I started from Lexington for Ohio, with hack and driver (a slave). The boy, in times of danger, was stowed away under the seat of his father and mother, and they acted as servants, or passed as white lady and gentleman, veiled and cloaked, as occasion required. At Millersburg, twenty-four miles out from Lexington, we lost a horse from bots, stood an hour and a half in the street, took refreshments, played Yankee, changed horses, escaped by strategy, crossed the Ohio river at nine o'clock in the morning in great danger, changed teams two miles out in Ohio, passed through Ripley,' and back four miles to Hopkins', where I left the Hayden family. Then I returned to Eli C. Collins' at Ripley, where I MY FIRST IMPRISONMENT. had left Miss Webster, and with her returned to Ken- tucky, resting at Washington, four miles south of Maysville. This town is on the Ohio river, about sixty miles from Cincinnati, and sixty-four miles from Lexington, and Hopkins' is fourteen miles beyond, making seventy-eight miles. At Millersburg we were met, and followed closely into Lexington, so that there was no escape; and after making a hundred and fifty- six miles in forty-eight hours, we were driven to the jail, on Monday evening at eight o'clock, to await the result. I had, in my trepidation, retained on my person a letter signed "Frater," addressed to parties in Oberlin, not in my writing, which was the only testimony that could be brought against either Miss Webster, or my- self. Three indictments were found against us, suffi- cient to imprison us for sixty years. We employed Sam Shy and Leslie Coombs as our attorneys; then, in order to work to better advantage, we had the cases separated, upon the plea, in behalf of Miss Webster, that my case being tried upon the same indictment with hers, what was evidence against me would be evidence against her and therefore prejudicial to her case. Miss Webster's father, Benaiah Webster, came on from Vermont, and every influence to be commanded 4 49 50 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. was brought into requisition for her acquittal; but she was tried and sentenced for two years, upon the strength of that letter found on my person. Mark this, so that when you come to my trial in Louisville before Judge Bullock, in February, 1852, you can see how much liberty courts use in interpreting common law. The jail was constantly filled with slaves brought in for sale, and often visited by buyers from the sur- rounding country, and from New Orleans, for that market. There were also in the jail Robert Bartley, of South Carolina, convicted of counterfeiting; Jerry Bran, a slave, who had attempted to escape, had got into Ohio, was captured, brought back, and put in jail for sale; John Minnis, sent to jail on suspicion of longing for freedom; and Richard Moore, sentenced to be hanged for breaking the neck of his brutal mistress, who had abused him in ways too vile to be spoken of in these pages. I had relinquished all hope of acquittal; for though no legitimate testimony could be brought against me, I realized from Miss Webster's case, that any testimony, however slight or indirect, would be used in favor of slavery, and for the punishment of those working against it. So I began to look about for a way of escape. Years before, some prisoners had broken through MY FIRST IMPRISONMENT. 51 the wall on the north side of the jail-yard, and escaped, and the county had put oak planks over the break-after replacing the stones without mortar-and fastened these planks with iron bars running through from one side to the other. The planks had become warped, and cracked, and I found that by working them up and down, I could break the iron bars. Then the planks could be removed, then the stone, so that whoever wanted to escape, could do so. I was in stiff irons, weighing twenty-four pounds, and twenty-four inches long. The time for escape was fixed for the first Sunday in November. Bran went out at the breakfast hour, broke the bars, took off the planks, pulled out some stones, then replaced it all again, until dinner time, when Bartley, Bran, Minnis, and two other slaves, escaped, and had been gone an hour before it was known. Two of them I heard nothing from, but Bartley escaped, Minnis went back to his mistress, and Bran wrote, soon after, that he was earning a dollar and a half a day, smoking Spanish cigars at night, and no master to thank for it all. After they were gone, Richard secured two of the bars from the wall, and hid them in the stove-pipe pro- jecting from our window, so that if we should need them when our turn came to try and escape, they would be on hand. Very soon we made an attempt to break 52 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. jail. Night fell, we commenced. It was Tuesday night, and Richard was to be executed on Friday. All night we labored, sometimes together, sometimes sepa- rately, standing on stools, the heavy irons on my ankles cutting cruelly into the flesh; but five o'clock struck, morning had come, and found us still there. " Death struck, I ceased the tide to stem." Richard fell despairingly upon the floor. "Oh! I'm a dead man!" My hands, in the palms, were worn deep into the flesh, and bleeding; my beard was filled with dry lime mortar; my hair like the brush of a sweep. I was a frightful sight. When the jailor came in, he looked around in amazement. "Who did this" "Dick and I." "I'll fix you for slow traveling," he said grimly; and we were then handcuffed together, day and night, until a short time before Dick was taken out for execu- tion. His peace was fully made with God. The morn- ing of the execution, when the military arrived, and the door swung open, we were found on our knees, commending that soul to Him who had given it, and the armed men stood silent and awestruck in the pres- ence of Jehovah, and the pleading dying man. He finished his course in peace. MY FIRST IMPRISONMENT. I had petitioned the legislature and obtained the passage of a bill giving me a change of venue to Paris, Bourbon county; but the governor, William Owsley, having been petitioned for Miss Webster's release, and refusing to grant her pardon until I came to trial, I waived my claim, instructed His Excellency not to make it a law by fixing his signature, and went at once to trial, pleaded not guilty, selected a jury, then changing my plea, pleaded guilty by Kentucky statutes, and argued my own case. In my plea to the jury I said: "Gentlemen of the jury, 'but for the grace of God there goes John Bun- yan.' Had I been born and educated here, I might have been as you are. But thank God I am what I am, and I would that ye all were as I am, except these bonds. Your Honor, and gentlemen of the jury, are you aware that by the strict rules of legal interpre- tation you have no legal slavery that there is not a slave legally held in the United States of America There is not a state in the Union in which slavery exists by positive law." But I was convicted, and my punishment fixed at fifteen years in the Kentucky penitentiary at Frankfort, at hard labor. I was conveyed there on the 18th day of February, 1845, my head shaven close, I dressed in stripes and put to sawing stone. CHAPTER VIII. My Incarceration. CAPTAIN NEWTON CRAIG, the warden, was very considerate of me, treated me much better than I had expected he would, giving me a choice of labor, and in many other ways treating me with respect. He was a man of large self-esteem, courted the regard of wise people, thought well of Yankee excellence, and therefore bent his energies to signalize his magnanim- ity in our case. I selected shoemaking as my work, and labored at the trade for about three years. But my sedentary life, my worry and dissatisfaction with imprisonment, and the poor food-old, fat, greasy bacon -and the bad air in the cell where I slept every night, soon undermined my health. Dyspepsia fastened upon me, and I was changed to the hospital as steward. Sometimes I went into the cooper-shop, and sometimes at other work favoring proper exercise. During this imprisonment I was supplied with money by James Canning Fuller, of New York, when- ever I wrote for it, and after his death, by his widow, Lydia Fuller, and other friends and relatives. Mr. 54 MY INCARCERATION. ,5 Hayden of Boston had been active in enlisting sympa- thy in my behalf, in and about Boston. Captain New- ton Craig was in correspondence with gentlemen and ladies in Boston of such a nature as to conciliate his dissatisfied mind and temper, and promise some remu- neration to the parties claiming redress for the loss of their slaves. Benjamin Howard, Francis Jackson, and Ellis Gray Loring, were parties on each side to pay and receive a stipulated sum-six hundred dollars-when- ever my release should be certified to by myself in Ohio. At the same time that these measures were in con- templation, my father was also in correspondence with Captain Craig, and securing petitions from the people of Allegany and Wyoming counties, and in other ways arranging his affairs so as to be able to leave home and come to my relief. He arrived in Frankfort April 5th, 1849, leaving my mother and sisters in my brother's care. I had been a little over four years in the prison, and had won the respect of the citizens of Kentucky by my prudent behavior, and there was a strong sentiment in favor of my liberation. Upon my father's arrival in Kentucky with large petitions from Allegany and Wyoming counties, New York, he very easily obtained Governor Crittenden's promise to grant my pardon as soon as a petition from 56 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. Lexington with the names of Judge Buckner, Common- wealth-Attorney Robinson, the jury, the claimants of the slaves, and Hon. Henry Clay could be secured. This was accomplished early in June. But now some- thing else interfered. The question of emancipation was to come before the people in the August election. The question was not, " Shall the constitution be changed by convention" but, whether anti-slavery or pro-slavery men should sit in the convention. The Governor made the plea that he feared my pardon at that time would prejudice the election, and decided to wait until after the election was over. Cholera was raging at that time, and carrying off the people in great numbers. My father was unaccli- mated, and Captain Craig and I urged him to leave the state, to go home, and -protect himself from the terrible epidemic. But no persuasions could induce him to leave me in my sore strait. He went to Lexington, en- larged the petition, was attacked by cholera, recovered apparently, relapsed, and died Saturday night, July 7th, 1849, and was buried by and among strangers. CHAPTER IX. Pardoned by Governor John J. Crittenden. ON the twenty-third of August, 1849, after an impris- onment of four years, ten months and twenty-four days, I received my pardon. All my savings were gone, and I was somewhat broken in health. On the 24th I left for Madison, Indiana, where I obtained lodgings with Wright Ray, the famous slavehunter of that section. It was the first comfortable night's rest for near five years. In this chapter I shall give some incidents of my jail life, before finally closing its account. While I was in prison, there sprang up, through my influence, and that of others, a lively interest in religion. We had Sunday-schools and prayer-meetings, and I often preached to the prisoners, and others who came in out Of curiosity. I had a friend in a young Baptist minis- ter in Western New York-Isaac Wade-who came to see me, and soon published letters stating what I had told him of our schooL Upon this, Rev. William Buck, a Baptist minister from Louisville, called upon me in the presence of Captain Craig, who was also a Baptist, 57 58 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. to know of its truth. He seemed astonished, and wished me to explain how I justified myself, being also a prisoner. I did so in a letter as follows: "First-Paul preached in prison, in which he had been confined for violation of law. Why not I Second -The prisoners wanted instruction and encouragement. Third-That neither the verdict of men, nor the limit- ation of walls, could in anywise change the need, power and application of the Gospel. Fourth-If a prisoner may enjoy, he may also teach the Gospel, and I am a child of the King." Early in my imprisonment, a very nice, well-formed boy of fifteen was sent to the prison for stealing a horse-blanket. Captain Craig, confiding in my integ- rity, and taking a liking to the lad, committed him to my keeping, as my pupil, ward, and room-mate. I took him, taught and guided him for six months. One day Governor William Owsley was in the staveshop. I spoke with him, and as he left, I followed him out, and said: " Governor, if you can find cause to send that boy home, you will confer a great blessing on him, his mother, the community, the state, and the world. Every such thing counts. He has had lesson enough; any longer imprisonment will spoil him." The boy was pardoned the next week. PARDONED BY GOVERNOR CRITTENDEN. 5q William Driver was the next one committed to my care, in the spring of 1849, and was my room-mate up to the day of my liberation. When I left, I promised to do my utmost for his release, and wrote a petition to Governor Crittenden, and sent it to the boy's mother, with a letter to this effect: "I was a prisoner with your son. After reading this letter, destroy it, and don't let any one know who wrote this petition, but get the judge, the common- wealth-attorney, the sheriff, and the jury to sign it, then as many more as you can, and go to Governor Crittenden with it, and he will pardon your boy." She followed my instructions, and in two weeks her son was pardoned, and free. So ends the story of my first imprisonment and pardon. CHAPTER X. Among Old Friends. I MADE my way to Cincinnati, and sought out my old comrades in the holy work for humanity against oppression. But I must state here that the extraordinary fact of my imprisonment for an act of charity, the death of my father as a sacrifice to the ambition of the state executive, and the spleen of an inglorious public, had awakened a desire everywhere to hear from my own lips an account of what I had suffered. In Cincinnati I was welcomed by Levi and Catharine Coffin, William Watson, Henry Boyd, Mr. Burnett, Samuel Lewis, S. P. Chase, and others, and I found an addition to the "Old Guard "-Laura S. Haviland. I had never met Mrs. Haviland before, though I had been familiar with her benevolent habits, her labors of love for the human race, her impartiality to all needy, with- out regard to color, descent, or sex. Levi and Catharine Coffin had already distinguished themselves as real, as well as denominational "Friends," for they were born and brought up in that most excellent class of people 60 AMONG OLD FRIENDS. called "Friend-Quakers." So was Laura Haviland; but she finally, in order to be more useful to the human race, united with the Wesleyan Methodists, laid all she was and all she had upon the altar for the elevation of mankind. She, with her husband, and her brother Harvey Smith, built houses, hired teachers, gave time, land and money to the poor and needy. Levi Coffin had become so noted as a friend of the slave, that whenever a fugitive could be traced into his vicinity, it was considered that his house was the re- treat necessary to be searched. At one time, while they lived in Indiana, two little girls were brought to them and were pursued. There was always a watch kept, a picket-guard, and no unfriendly eye could look through the line without an alarm. The pickets gave the sig- nal, and the girls were hidden between a feather bed and a mattress. While the pursuers were watching the house, the little fugitives were so amused at their queer hiding-place, that they giggled and laughed so loud, it would have been quite dangerous had their master come near. Mrs. Coffin had to scold them severely, threatening them with a stick. The master with his assistant finally came and asked permission to look through the house, which they did, finding nothing of the girls. "Aunt Katie" was their pilot, directing them everywhere through the house. 6 1 62 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. " Here, thee has not seen in this room. Thee wants to look sharp. Is there any other place thee wants to see. After they had given up the hunt in despair, the master said: "I'd like to know where all the niggers go to, when they get to old Coffin's. That old Quaker must have an underground railroad, for once a slave gets here, he is never seen again." Previous to 1849, Levi had been twice or three times burned out, his home set on fire by the slave- holder or his emissaries, and he had now settled perma- nently in Cincinnati. Salmon P. Chase had been elected United States Senator by the Ohio legislature of 1848-49. As I understood the history of political affairs, the old Whig and Democratic parties were evenly divided. Mr. Morse (I do not remember from what county he was sent) and Dr. Townshend of Loraine county, were elected as Free-Soilers, and knew they could hold both parties in their hands. But being Whigs originally, they were really more in sympathy with that party. Several vacancies in the Ohio judiciary were to be filled, and a United States senator elected. Townshend and Morse (being in harmony with the Whigs) said to the Democrats: AMONG OLD FRIENDS. "You give us Salmon P. Chase as senator in Con- gress, then we will give you the judges." It was done, and Salmon P. Chase became one of the leading spirits of the Nation. A revival was in progress in the Wesleyan church at Cincinnati, and I entered into the work, preached, visited, and put myself alongside the people, regardless of color, position or race, and thereby won confidence in many timid ones toward God and the religion of His Son Jesus Christ. After this I visited Oberlin and found many changes. Rev. Asa Mahan, owing to his opposition to the use of works of heathen authors as text books, and perhaps his Arminian views, and other facts, had left the college presidency. At one time, his opposition to the use of heathen authors was so intense that many of the young men piled their books on the Tappan Hall square, and burned them. I next visited Cleveland, giving there my experi- ences among the slave-holders; then went on to Detroit. At this place I met many heroes in the anti-slavery struggle; among them the young hero George D. Baptist, an Africo-American, a very zealous defender of the faith. In one of my meetings, after I had spoken to a crowded house, he arose, and said: "Mr. Chairman, we want money now, and we want it for Brother Fairbank." Then beckoning to a 6:3 64 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. family near him, he said: "Look here, Brother Fair- bank, do you know this crowd" It was Coleman and his family, the man I had led through the woods and across the Ohio river in 1841. There were Coleman, his wife, the three children we had taken by night to the "promised land," and three more, born on free soil. I went home with them, and found them all well provided for, well schooled in letters and religion. Coleman was industrious and frugal. I stayed with them several days, and was much impressed by his economy and prudence. He often worked all day and half the night, and in the years of his freedom had accumulated a handsome little property. He owned the house in which he lived, had two to rent, and his home was the home of the minister, and his hand full of supply. Sandusky was my next stopping-place after leaving Detroit. I had been invited to speak at Chicago, but I declined. At Sandusky I made the acquaintance of Hon. Mr. Parish, who, being a prominent lawyer and having the courage to fake up the cause of the slave, was watched, and every legal or illegal advantage taken of him, involving him in suits in court which quite bankrupted him. While I was there, six fugitives in the city were hotly pursued. Father Jennings and I, with other AMONG OLD FRIENDS. help, induced the captain of a small steamer to take them on board and land them in Canada. We also sent a competent business man to look after their settle- ment. They had with them about twelve hundred dollars in gold. How they got it I did not inquire. Thirty minutes after they left, the hunters came on with their hired posse, savage enough for any barbarity, and asked: "Have you seen any niggers about here" " Oh, there are plenty of people about here. What kind of people are these niggers you want to find There are white niggers, black niggers, and yellow niggers,-all kinds, about here." "Well, there are six niggers of mine about town somewhere, and I reckoned they would come here to take a boat." " Oh, there were a man, his wife and four children, two boys and two girls, all quite light-colored, here about thirty minutes ago. I think they must be the persons you want; and if you can hire a skiff or a fast boat, or if you can run on the water, you might over- take them. Do you see that boat yonder on the lake There they go, and I think they are out of your reach, and will soon be safe in Canada." Father Jennings smiled triumphantly, and the dis- 5 65 66 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. appointed, enraged hunter, cursed and threatened until I said: "Do you see that stone palace up there" pointing to a building in the distance. "That is the jail and you'd better be careful what you do and say." And he had the wisdom to take his leave. At Buffalo I became acquainted with Abner H. Francis, who was at some time near that date the Liberty party candidate for vice-president, James G. Birney being the candidate for president. I next visited my mother and family, whom my father had removed to Little Genesee, New York, and left in my brother's care before he took his departure to Kentucky. "For," said he, "I may never return." Which was the sad truth. He did not return. Two Anti-Slavery Parties. After a few days spent among the happy, hearty, liberty-loving Christians in grand old Allegany county, New York, I bent my way to Pike, Wyoming county, about fifty miles north, where I was born. From there I went on my way to Boston, stopping a week to attend the convention of two parties at Syracuse. There were in the North, two anti-slavery parties. The Liberty party was under the lead of Gerrit Smith; the Garri- son school, or the American Anti-Slavery society, was in the main under the lead of William Lloyd Garrison, TWO ANTI-SLAVERY PARTIES. editor of the "Liberator" at Boston, though it was difficult to determine whether he or Wendell Phillips did the most leading. They held the constitution of the United States to be pro-slavery, because it was so understood at its formation in 177 7; that the Supreme Court of the United States so interpreted it; and as the constitution itself provided that the interpretation of that court should fix its character, it was really a part of the instrument, and they refused to vote. The Liberty party, led by Gerrit Smith, held the constitution to be anti-slavery, because the word slave, or involuntary servant, or servitude, could not be found in it; that "where rights are infringed, where funda- mental principles are overthrown, where the general system of the laws is departed from, the legislative in- tention must be expressed with irresistible clearness, in order to induce a court of justice to suppose a design to effect such object." There being no such expression in the instrument, the words "All other persons," and " persons held to service, or labor," could not, under the rule of interpretation, be tortured into such a meaning; no interpretation could make it pro-slavery; that it was clearly and positively anti-slavery. Here were Mr. Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Stephen and Abby Kelly Foster, Charles Burleigh and Parker Pillsbury on one side, and Gerrit Smith, Samuel R. ) Ar '38 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. Ward-a black man-an ex-slave, and editor of " Im- partial citizen" -Fred Douglass, Revs. Pryne, Asa Wing, and James C. Jackson on the other. This was the most exciting and instructive conven- tion of my life; for while all acted in harmony against the pro-slavery idea, every argument and art of learn- ing was put in requisition by the strongest, most learned and thoroughly-read men and women in the land. And such earnestness! Often the audience would be held entranced and excited to the highest pitch, until one o'clock in the morning. Then after seven hours' partial rest, the same auditors would again fill the immense hall at eight next morning, to adjourn only one hour for dinner and one hour for supper. So through the first week of January, 1850. Mr. Garrison and Mr. Smith were both large- minded, cultured men. Mr. Garrison was about six feet in height, full and round in body, with a large, bold, honest face, and mouth and eyes finely expressive of earnest purpose and determination. His arguments were strong, to the point, and without any flowery rhetoric. Mr. Pillsbury was of medium height, of dark complexion, and spoke moderately and distinctly, cutting like an old kitchen knife, rough and deep. He was one of the most severe, bitter, sarcastic debaters I ever knew. Discussing some point, I said: TWO ANTI-SLA VERY PARTIES. "You don't believe in the Apostle Paul." Said he: " Who is the Apostle Paul I'm an Apostle." Next day, Samuel R. Ward, the black orator, editor and preacher, debating some point, said: "The Apostle Paul thinks Christ to be the Son of God. The Apostle Parker thinks differently." Wendell Phillips was tall and symmetrical, with a beautiful face, and a silver-toned voice in which he uttered the most. severe things, clothed in the most fascinating language, quoted the most learned authors, and applied his declarations, whether quoted or origi- nal, in a way that, while they charmed, they destroyed. However much people might differ with him, or even hate him for- his sentiments, his style and strength of argument held them for hours together, irresistibly spellbound. Gerrit Smith was unlike any of these I have men- tioned. He was of Mr. Garrison's height, slightly corpulent, and had a florid complexion. He wore the finest broadcloth trimmed with gold buttons. He dressed his neck in easy fashion, with a loose, low, wide collar, turned down over a narrow tie or ribbon. In his argument he dealt in law and gospel, ancient and modern lore, enforced with that ease of delivery, and in a smooth, sonorous voice which made him one of the Jo () HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. first orators of the day. To say that either Gerrit Smith or Wendell Phillips was best, would be to risk a good deal. They were not alike, and yet the world will wait awhile for two more such mighty men in speech. Samuel R. Ward was black, six and a half feet high, and always ready in speech; and Fred Douglass was a tornado in a forest. After the adjournment of this convention, which was held for the purpose of comparing views, and con- vincing one another, I went to Gerrit Smith's at Peterboro, New York, a few miles south of Utica, where I spent a few days with pleasure and profit. While there, some one asked him: "Mr. Smith, how do your finances come out this year " "Well," was the characteristic reply, "'I have paid the Astor debt, two hundred thousand dollars, given away two hundred thousand, and am now two hundred thousand richer than last year." The Fugitive-Slave Law. About this time, Henry Clay presented a bill before the United States Senate providing for the return of fugitive slaves, which sifted and tried the mettle of the Nation and wrought up to intense heat the zeal of the THE FUGITIVE-SLAVE LAW. , I people on both sides. Daniel Webster sided with the South and the Democracy of the North in its favor. On the 7th of March, 1850, in the United States Sen- ate, he made that memorable speech which killed him politically, and finally physically. Gerrit Smith had made preparations to address the New York Legislature at Albany, on the subject, and soon after the 7th of March he went before the two Houses in the Representative Chamber and delivered one of the most effective and powerful speeches ever heard in that city, against the measure advocated by Clay, and supported by Webster. I shall never forget how he looked when he said: "Gentlemen, will you heed this warning You will, when the iron pierces your heart." I went on to Boston, in March, and was the guest of the Haydens for the season, visiting, at times, differ- ent parts of the state, where I was invariably received with enthusiasm by all unbiased anti-slavery people, and by many Webster Whigs. The Legislature of Massachusetts soon took up Mr. Webster's case, censuring him by a handsome majority. In that discussion I first saw Henry Wilson. He was against Mr. Webster, and poured out denunciation against the "Doughfaces with their ears and eyes filled with cotlon." 72 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. Then Moses Stuart wrote a pamphlet in justification of Mr. Webster-" Conscience and Constitution," which was read and commented on throughout the country. This called out from John G. Whittier the famous poem- "Conscience and Constitution." Scarce had the solemn Sabbath bell Ceased quivering in the steeple,- Scarce had the parson to his desk Walked stately through his people, When down the summer-shaded street A wasted female figure, With dusty brow and naked feet, Came rushing, wild and eager! She saw the white spire through the trees, She heard the sweet hymn swelling;- 0, pitying Christ! a refuge give This poor one in Thy dwelling! Like a seared fawn before the hounds, Straight up the aisle she glided, When close behind her, whip in hand, A lank hired hunter strided. She raised a keen and bitter cry, To heaven and earth appealing:- Were manhood's generous pulses dry Had woman's heart no feeling "CONSCIENCE AND CONSTITUTION." A score of stout hands raised between The hunter and the flying:- Age clenched his staff, and maiden eye Flashed tearful, yet defying. Who dare profane this house and day" Cried out the angry pastor. Why, bless your soul! the wench's a slave; And I'm her lord and master. "I've law and Gospel on my side; And who shall dare refuse me" Down came the parson, bowing low- " My good sir, pray excuse me! Of course I own your right divine To work, and sell, and whip her. Quick! deacon, drop the Polyglot Before the wench, and trip her." Plump dropped the holy tome; and o'er Its sacred pages stumbling, Bound hand and foot, a slave once more, The hapless wretch lay trembling. I saw the parson tie the knot, The while his flock addressing, The scriptural claims of slavery With text on text impressing. Although," said he, " on Sabbath day All secular occupations Are deadly sins, we must fulfil Our moral obligations. 73 74 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. "And this commends itself as one, To every conscience tender; As Paul sent back Onesimus, My Christian friends, we send her." Shriek rose on shriek;-the Sabbath air Her wild cries tore asunder:- I listened with hushed breath to hear God answer with his thunder. All still-the very altar cloths Had smothered down her shrieking, As pale she turned from face to face, For human pity seeking. "Is this the end-is this," I cried, "The end of prayer and preaching Then down with pulpit; down with priest; And give us nature's teaching! "Foul shame and scorn be on you all Who turn the good to evil, And steal the Bible from the Lord, And give it to the Devil!" Just then I felt the deacon's hand In wrath my coat-tail seize on; I heard the priest cry "Infidel!"- The lawyer mutter "Treason!" And there upon the window-sill, O'er which the white blooms drifted, The pages of a good old book The winds of summer lifted. " CONSCIENCE AND CONSTITUTION." And there upon the cherry bough Above the casement swinging, With golden bosom to the sun The oriole was singing. As bird and flower made plain of old The lesson of the teacher, So now I heard God's written word Interpreted by nature. I woke; and lo, the fitting cause Of all my dreams' vagaries:- Two bulky pamphlets: Webster's text, And Stuart's Commentaries. This poem was hawked about everywhere by all the newsboys, hung in all the news windows, distributed and read at all the Anti-Slavery gatherings. In June Webster appeared in the front porch of the Revere House in Boston, and attempted in a speech to teach New England her constitutional duties, how to conquer her prejudices,-looking through the moral and politi- cal confusion of the present to a calm political future in which law and order should reign through the sur- render of the distinctly avowed purpose to "protect life, liberty and property." And here, on a drizzling June day, he repeated the lesson delivered on the 7th of March in the United States Senate Chamber,-"You must conquer your prejudices.' 75 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. It was soon after this that Mr. Seward offered that amendment to the Fugitive-Slave Law, supported by Hale, Chase, Wade, and Tom Benton, and in the House by Mann, Giddings, Thad. Stevens and others; and Pratt of Maryland made his memorable reply mentioned in a former chapter. Horace Mann in the House said: "Given, the height at which the whip shall fall from the driver's hand, or the shackle from the slave." These became the watchwords on every loyal tongue, the alarm rung on the ear of every public gathering. Wendell Phillips, in the convention at Worcester, while discussing the position of Moses Stuart, President at Andover, and a leader of the church, said: " What is the Church It is a weather-cock. What is the pulpit It is what the pews make it." John Milton Earle, State Senator from the Wor- cester district, and a Quaker, said: " When it comes to that point - when we are required, not to merely stand and see humanity out- raged, but to assist in the outrage, we must resist." Stephen Foster asked: "But, Milton, thee won't fight, will thee" "Yes, fight! fight! We must fight, for resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. " 76 CHAPTER XI. The Fugitive-Slave Law Passed. THAT infamous act known as the Fugitive-Slave Law had passed the United States Senate; and coming before the House was forced to its third read- ing, and without any deliberation, after taking its last form, by an evident pre-arrangement with the Speaker, Howell Cobb, was hurried through upon the "previous question," moved by Hon. M. Thompson, a Democrat from Erie, Pennsylvania, September 12th. It was signed on the 18th by President Fillmore, and became a law of the land. I quote from Kinley's "American Con- flict": "When the bill was reached in the Lower House, Judge Thompson, a Democrat from Erie, Pennsylvania, obtained the floor-doubtless by pre-arrangement with the Speaker, Howell Cobb, and spoke in favor of the measure as just and necessary, closing by a demand for the ' previous question"'; and the bill finally passed with every member from the slave states, and twenty- eight Democrats and three Whigs from the free states in its favor. The three Whigs from the free states were Samuel A. Elliott of Massachusetts, John L. Taylor of 77 7 8 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. Ohio, and Edward McGaughey of Indiana. In the Senate the vote stood twenty-seven for, and twelve against it, with twenty-one absentees. The most infa- mous feature of this law was the law; and next to it, was the provision that whether he or she be free born, set free by deed,-white or black-never more exalted and honorable, if any one swears to him or her as held to service or labor, and having escaped, there was no redress, even by habeas corpus, in him or herself. The Fugitive-Slave Law of 1850 stood upon the books of the Nation as the law of the land until 1864. A bill for its repeal had passed the Senate, but failed in the House, as I understand it, before the Congress of 1863-64--during 1863; James M. Ashley of Toledo, Ohio, voting in the affirmative, with the minority. Then seeing the necessity of a reconsideration-know- ing that, by a rule in the House, he who moves a recon- sideration must have voted with the majority, obtained leave, and changed his vote to the negative--with the majority. Then, in the spring of 1864, moved to reconsider, and secured a majority in favor of repeal; and thus, by one of the most adroit strokes-a coup de maitre of statesmanship, wiped out the foulest blot upon the Nation's escutcheon. I had fought this through the summer of 1850, and continued to resist it after its enactment as far as possible with any show of safety. MARRIAGE OF WILLIAM AND ELLEN CRAFT. 79 William and Ellen Craft had taken refuge in Boston with Mr. and Mrs. Hayden. Mr. Craft was of pure blood; Mrs. Craft was just a dark-skinned white woman, though of African extraction. Legal advice induced the conclusion that protection on British soil was more secure than in America. A meeting of tried friends had been called - Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wilson, William Lloyd Garrison and Theodore Parker were there. Lewis Hayden, unconscious of who were present, having in his mind only the rescue of his friends, rose and began to speak with his whole soul, and was just pouring out one of his most fervid strains of native eloquence, when, turning toward another portion of his audience, he saw those notable, noble men, embodying the lore and wisdom of the Bay State, and sank into his seat abashed and silent. Then Wendell Phillips, fol- lowed in turn by all the other great lights of the time, made the occasion one of the most extraordinary in my memory. A large sum of money was raised, and it was then decided that at the house of Lewis Hayden, next morning, Rev. Theodore Parker would solemnize the marriage of William and Ellen Craft. It was done; and Mr. Parker then taking from his pocket a Bible, and handing it to Mr. Craft, said: "Will- 80 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. iam, take that, and make it the man of your counsel." Then, drawing a poniard of fearful length and propor- tions, and holding it by the shining blade, extending to him the hilt. said: "Take this, and defend your wife." The nuptials completed, William and Ellen took train for Halifax, whence they sailed for England, and there remained until the death of slavery in America. Mr. Craft enjoyed the confidence of the British Govern- ment and her patronage during a number of years, filling important missions to states of Africa; returning to the United States and his old home in Georgia after the settlement of peace, and the question which kept so many pale during their lives. Since his return he has built dwelling-houses on his own land for the free people of his race, and school-houses for the education of their children. William L. Chaplin, a lawyer, and the editor of a paper, had, while at Washington, become interested in two slaves, the body-servants of Toombs and Stephens of Georgia, and in obedience to his sympathies gave them the hand of charity in violation of law, was apprehended and thrown into jail in Washington, and his bail fixed at six thousand dollars. Remembering them that are in bonds as bound with them, and how much I wanted help under the same circumstances, I FILLMORE AND HIS CABINET. volunteered my services and helped to raise his bail, which was forfeited, and he released. I returned to Bolivar, Allegany county, New York, in the spring of 1851; at that place Rev. Gilbert De LaMatyr was pastor of the M. E. Church. I preached several times in his pulpit, and with his support was successful in securing the Mx E. Church for my warfare against the Fugitive-Slave Law. We had secured the church from the proper authorities for a week,-I mean six nights and days. On the fourth night I was dealing with this infamous law, without bringing Mr. Fillmore or his Cabinet forward as responsible, simply because I knew very well that that would stir up opposition, when an official of the church, now living at Bolivar, rose and asked: "What do you say of Fillmore and his cabinet" "I have not come here to talk about Fillmore and his Cabinet, or any other responsible party, but about the diabolical character and dangerous disposition of the law in question." "But we want to hear about it." "Well, I am not inclined to talk about it" "But you must." "But I won't." "This is our house, and we have some right here to say what you shall talk about." 6; Is I HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. " This is not your house. It is my house until Saturday night at ten o'clock, and I'll not be fright- ened to talk." Finally, upon the suggestion of Mr. De LaMatyr, I said: "Well, if you are anxious to hear my sentiments on President Fillmore and his Cabinet, they are a brotherhood of thieves." And the doctor hunched me. "Give it to them! I'll stand by you." "This Church endorses Fillmore and his cabinet." "Well, this Church is a den of thieves." Then the doctor again-" Give it to them!" "I am an officer of this Church, and I endorse Fill- more and his Cabinet.' "VWell, then, you are one of the thieves. How do you like that " And the doctor again-" Stand up to them!" Then the mob-" eggs!-eggs!-ggs! " swelled the chorus, when about a dozen gentlewomen and three or four gentlemen sprang from their seats and surrounded the altar; and two or three gentlewomen and girls who could not get out from their pews soon enough, being obstructed by roughs on the other side, sprang right over the tops of the seats in front of them, and even over the heads of their occupants, like so many cha- mois, shouting "Come down here! Come down here!" And the leading spirit among the heroines shouted, 8X) "LIBERTY PARTY" CONVENTION. "Now throw your eggs if you dare!" But I finished up my week's work with but little more molestation. Such was the public sentiment then; and such the warfare we had to sustain against the foes of impartial justice. But, in 1856, public sentiment had changed, and I received from these parties assurance of their approval of my course. In June following, we held a convention at Friend- ship for the expression of our contempt for the Fugi- tive-Slave Law, and for the election of delegates to the "Liberty Party" Convention at Buffalo which occurred in September, 1851. At this convention were C. C. Foot of Michigan, J. W. Logan of Syracuse, New York, William L. Chaplin, and other notables. At the Buffalo convelution were many distinguished men and women from different states. As important a delegation as represented a constituency was that from Illinois, which furnished some able debaters and com- mittee men. Mr. Z. Eastman and Rev. Mr. Rumley were the leading geniuses of the body. Gerrit Smith was nominated for president, and Charles Durkee of Iowa, for vice-president. This was in 1851,-a year in advance. But, before election day in November, 1852, 1 was booked for fifteen years more in Kentucky, rind political changes in regard to 83 84 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. parties had taken place to justify the abandonment of the "Liberty Party" ticket. Sojourner Truth. I must not forget Sojourner. I met her first at Worcester, Massachusetts, about August or September, 1850, at a Woman's Rights convention at which Lucre. tia Mott presided. Stephen S. Foster had expressed some sentiments that were rather unorthodox. Sojourner was seated on the steps to the desk. A young grad- uate from the Andover Theological school arose and said: " Madam chairman, I should not be astonished if God should open the earth and swallow us all up." Sojourner rose,-tall, gaunt, with her white kerchief tied about her head-" Chile, don't be skeered. I queshen if de Lord ever hearn tell on ye." CHAPTER XII. Second Imprisonment. A FTER my liberation in 1849, the great desire of our family was the rescue of our father's body, which lay among strangers, far from any one who cared for him, or revered and loved his memory. At the time of my release the removal of the body was not admissible for hygienic reasons; but now it could be safely done, and I went South for that purpose. On arriving in Cincinnati, I found the weather too warm for such an undertaking, and was forced to wait awhile. Indiana was at white heat over a proposed amend- ment to her constitution, prohibiting persons of African descent from settling in the state. I entered the field with several others against it, took the river tier of counties, was watched by Kentucky, and often met her citizens in debate. The weather continued warm. The Fugitive-Slave law was in force, but I was appealed to to rescue Tamar, a young mulatto woman doomed to be sold on the block. I consented, and crossed the river by night, at Louisville, in a leaky, sinking old skiff. While Tamar, with a cup taken for the purpose, kept the 85 86 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. water below shoe-mouth, I, with a piece of board four feet long and four inches wide, propelled the boat to the Indiana shore. At four o'clock next morning, November 3, 1851, we were speeding on our way toward Salem, Indiana. About thirty miles out my buggy was disabled on the rough roads, which led to my detention. After taking her to a place of safety, by rail and on foot, I returned to Jeffersonville, Indiana. Sunday, the 9th of November, I was planning that the next day I would go to Lexington, take up my father's body, and hasten home with it. But, as was said of Caesar, "while meditating these things" ("mors prevenit:" idem in me), I was attacked and kidnaped into Kentucky by A. L. Shotwell, Marshals Ronald and Hamlet of that state, despite my protest, and given up by the sheriff, contrary to law, and lodged in jail, charged with the highest crime known to the public sentiment of Kentucky. Every intrigue and baseness was put in requisition to convict me. My name was not yet known. My safety greatly-almost entirely-depended upon that; for there was no fact that could be produced which could be used as legal evidence against me. But, my name known as an Aboli- tionist, and once convicted of violation of the slave code, was sufficient to convict me with no other evidence of fact That was soon known. My friends at Cincinnati SECOND IMPRISONMENT. took the alarm; and Laura S. Haviland, then of Adrian, Michigan, came to my relief against the wishes and protestations of nearly all the others. Dr. Brisbane, Levi Coffin and S. P. Chase protested strongly that she would forfeit her life-that it was enough that I should fall. But she was braver than them all; came -saw-conquered; supplied me with bedding, money and courage; made some friends and returned in safety. She, with Levi Coffin of Cincinnati and others in Adrian and Detroit, and Mandana Tileston of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, stood by me unto the last hour, supplying, encouraging, pointing to a brighter future, until the signal-gun at Sumter broke the spell. Miss Tileston had left her New England home and engaged as a teacher at Oxford, Ohio, where she remained to watch across the border until day dawned upon me. I had been kidnaped from Indiana. The high sheriff of Clark county had given me into the hands of irresponsible citizens of Kentucky, in violation of the fundamental law of the land Had I been held in Indiana, it was well known that no cause could b found for rendering me up to Kentucky. For, 1. If it had been shown that I had aided Tamar in Indiana, only the United States court for the District of Indiana could adjudicate my case and punish me under the Is -4 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. Fugitive-Slave law of 1850. That would fine me one thousand dollars and imprison me three or six months (I have forgotten which). 2. But they knew that they could not do even that; for no one knew who the girl was. Even in the court at Louisville no one could swear who she was. If, therefore, I had been tried by a court of Indiana, I should have been discharged, and neither convicted under the Fugitive-Slave law, nor sent back. The Inmates. In order to prepare the reader to follow me, I think best to show the ground over which we are to pass and the obstacles and helps on the way. There were in jail Mr. Adams, from New Orleans, charged with tam- pering with the United States mail; Mr. Forsyth, who seemed at the time a fast friend to Adams. I was inclined to be cautious of both. Forsyth was a rascal, but smart,-of fine appearance, dress and address,- and easily ingratiated himself into favor with the public; and I soon came to the conclusion to avoid exposing any secrets, however much I might need advice, unless I could see beyond any doubt that it would enhance his highest interest to advance mine. For I felt sure he would play into any hands that would help him. There was, also, a young man by the name of William 88 "AXES TO GRIND." Baker, to all intents and purposes white, though of African extraction, and a fugitive slave who had been in Ohio and Indiana. He knew freedom, and how to use it; but having been a hand on a boat, and, as Moses did in his day, seeing a man of the privileged clasL smiting one of his own blood, he-did not quite slay him, but hurt him. Another was John Marshall,-a nice-looking, smart-appearing mulatto; but he was the quintessence of knavery. Now, I was at a loss what to do. I wanted help. I wrote a letter to Frederic Douglass, which, in a nut- shell, said: " I'm in jail at Louisville, Kentucky, charged with again aiding my fellowmen, contrary to law; and though no testimony appeared against me in the police court, and though kidnaped into Kentucky contrary to law, which will cast a fire-brand into this owl's nest of despotism that must by and by make the ears of this Nation tingle, I am in danger." Forsyth, Adams, Baker, Marshall and I had "axes to grind." Mine was dullest of all. Adams wanted some one outside to do something for him. Forsyth could do it if he would; and there was every reason to believe he would; for he not only felt no kindness for Kentucky, but real enmity; and he and Adams had been friends. Forsyth's wife was there,-smart, pretty, and of fascinating address; and that worked in his favor. 89 WJ() HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. I had no objection to putting obstacles in Shotwell's way in his effort to capture Tamar. If I could get him to send Forsyth on a wild-goose chase after her, with no probability of finding her, I would succeed in crip- pling my enemy, at any rate. I gradually became familiar with Forsyth. I in- vited him to my cell, and soon broke to him the idea that I might enhance his interest, and mine, in one enterprise ;-that he might induce Shotwell, the claim- ant of the escaped girl, to enter bail for him, and send him in pursuit. He knew enough for the rest of it. So I said to him, "Go to Indianapolis." I knew from his make that he would uot try to capture Tamar; that he would not if he could; and he could not if he would. I also knew that he would do me no harm. So Shotwell entered bail for one thousand dollars, put into his hands two hundred dollars for expenses and salary, and started him off. Forsyth went to Indian- apolis, told some of the people his mission, pretending to be so drunk that his judgment -was at fault, was arrested, put in jail by some of Shotwell's friends there who had been instructed to watch him, sued out a writ of habeas corpus, and was discharged. That was the last of Forsyth. His axe was ground, -he had got out of Kentucky, and what Shotwell did "HALLELUJAH! I'M VICTORIOUS!" about the one thousand dollar bail I never knew. But Forsyth had the two hundred dollars. In a short time Colonel Buckner, the jailor, came to me and said: " Bank, your friend Forsyth has played a rascally game on Mr. Shotwell. He went to Indianapolis, told what he was after, gave them a chance to slip her away, and played the devil generally; and Mr. Shotwell has lost the girl, the two hundred dollars, and will have to settle for his bail." I was lying on my back in my cell, and springing up, clapped my hands and shouted, " HALLELUJAH! I'M VICTORIOUS! " That was just what they wanted to find; that was their thermometer by which they found my moral temperature; and they were satisfied that my choice was on the side of the fugitive, and that I had aided. Tamar in her escape. Next day there came out in one of the Louisville papers the following: " Rev. Calvin Fairbank was told, the other day, that Tamar, the runaway slave, had gone beyond recovery; that Forsyth had purposely let her slip out of the way, and there was no hope of getting her back, when he sprang upon his feet shout- ing 'Hllelujah! I feel like shouting victory!"' Hon. James Speed called on me and spent the greater part of a day, and upon discussing the situation IM1 SD2 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. -my views of the slavery question-the Constitution of the United States-the legality of slavery in any sense,-he held precisely with me. Said he: " I have seen the United States Constitution to be anti-slavery ever since I became a student of common law; that it is in contravention of the law of the civil- ized world, to create or sustain slavery under such an instrument. And more, as you say, Mr. Fairbank: there is not a state in the Union in which slavery is established by positive law, and that Mr. Pratt well knew." This kindly visit, and such expression from a man standing as high in community as did Mr. Speed, greatly encouraged me, not only in my constitutional doctrine, but in my sense of a HIGHER LAW than any Constitution. CHAPTER XIII. Laura S. Haviland. T HIS very estimable woman who had for many years given her time and means for the promotion of the highest interests and the protection of the defense- less of all classes, and especially the African people in America, still labored for my rescue. It was my wish that some man of ability-that Mr. Chase should defend me; and to feel secure, I should have bail, in order myself to make preparations for trial. My plan was to get bail, see the witnesses from Indiana and buy them off, then go into trial and beat Kentucky. Mrs. Haviland in the sixth chapter of her WOMAN'S LIFE WORK, gives an account of her efforts for me. "Bail or Break Jail." I saw no way out of my dilemma but to break jail or get bail. To go out by bail would cost five thousand dollars. To break jail would cost just fitting keys, getting them into the jail, together with saws, etc., for cutting the bars out of the window after getting out of my cell Baker and Marshall were to be let out of 93 t14 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PRrPARED jail. I became responsible for Baker's lawyer's fee. Two plans lay before them. First, to prepare keys and saw, and get them into the jaiL To this end, I, with Mike Cronan, a friendly prisoner, who also had an axe to grind, made a hardwood key that would fit, took an impression of the face of the lock, key-hole and all, on a piece of wet sole-leather. Second, Baker and Marshall were to go to work at once to collect money for my bail, so that if the plan for jail-breaking should fail, bail could be given. They both went to work, Marshall collecting pledges for money, and Baker making preparations for letting me out, and at the same time collecting money. I knew Marshall was very smart, but dared not trust him with the money; and I had charged Baker to hold the papers himself and collect and hold all the money. The keys were all fitted and sent in by the brother of another prisoner in jail who had more of an axe to grind than any of us. He had killed Drihaus and was to be hanged, but had got a rehearing and a change of venue to Shelby county. His wife and brother visited him often; and in one visit, the turnkey being absent, passed keys, saws, etc., to the doomed prisoner, who passed them to me with a letter saying: "I will come next Saturday night; throw over into the jail-yard beef with strychnine for the dogs, and MARSHALL PLAYS THE KNA VE. stand on the wall in the tower; and when you get out into the yard, I'll let down a rope for you." So he did. The dogs all died but one,-a big bull- dog; and he, in spite of strychnine, stood the storm. Baker stood on the wall, until he saw that the plan was discovered, and that was in this way: Colonel Buckner, the jailor, had gone out at about eight P. m., shut our door (I was then in the large room with Howard, Jones, H. Olover, and Mike Cronan), and shoved the bolt outside the loop. So it was open. About eleven P. M., just as we were contemplating our escape-so lucky- so easy, the turnkey brought in a drunken man, and discovered the door open, old Bull vomiting up his dose, the other dogs lying dead in the yard. So ended that plan. Marshall Plays the Knave and Skips to Liberia. Marshall surreptitiously got hold of my letters of instruction, outwitted the honest Baker, went to my mother in Bolivar, New York, got all my portraits and steel-plate engraving, which cost me fifty dollars, then went into Massachusetts, Rhode Island and other New England States and collected an immense amount of money. He married the daughter of Dr. Bunningham, traveled with her, representing her as an escaped slave and his own sister, until she peremptorily refused to 95 96 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. be used in such a way-to gather money by fraud; then to avoid trouble arising from his fraud, he fled to Liberia, leaving his wife behind. She had already left him. He subsequently wrote Mr. Hayden and others asking leave to return. But his request was denied. Lewis Hayden had written to Cincinnati, found out the truth, and threatened Marshall with prosecution. So now nothing remained for me but to try post- ponement in order, if possible, to secure bail; - but I was obliged to write to my friends: "Postponement of my trial impossible." Lovell H. Rousseau, my attorney, wrote "There is no doubt of postponement." And they believed him, and I was slaughtered. CHAPTER XIV. Trial and Conviction. I WAS in irons; had been put in irons after the dogs were found dead. That night turnkey Casenbine came in in a rage, tore about, lifted up one end of our bed, then the other, and went out. All this time the key and saws were right under the middle of the bed; and as soon as he had shut the door behind him, they went down the sewer, and were never heard from, that I know of. But I was kept in irons until my trial in February-the 18th, I think. Mr. Rousseau made an affidavit setting forth reasons why I should be allowed a postponement. First, that at present my friends dare not come to my defense on account of the excitement. Second, that the excitement was so high a jury could hardly consider the case unbiased. Third, there were important witnesses who could not now be obtained. But the commonwealth attorney, Nathaniel Wolfe, re- sisted it; our motion was overruled, and I forced into trial with no defense,-no argument except my own. The jury was sifted as closely as could be. I per- emptorily rejected twenty-four-at any rate, all the law 97 98 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. allowed, and seventy-two for cause. In selecting a jury, two teachers, one of music and the other of letters, were called upon the stand, and, giving satisfac- tion of their ability to try the case, were accepted by the state. Then to my questions "Are you teachers What do you teach " their answers were satisfactory, and I accepted them. One man, a slave-trader, I re- jected upon that ground. One man whom I had seen before had lived at Frankfort. I mistook him for a former friend, and accepted him. I found afterward that he voted to send me up for twenty years; but the two teachers voted to send me for two years. Finally they agreed to add together all the time ex- pressed in all the votes, divide the product by twelve, and make that their verdict. They did so, and found their verdict fifteen years. The Testimony. Mr. Shotwell, the owner, testified to owning a mulatto girl of about twenty-two years:-that he had hired her to Judge Purtle; that she was about five feet in height; that she had a dove-colored shawL Judge Purtle said: " The girl in question was in my employ; answers Mr. Shotwell's description; was missed about nine r. M., Sunday, November 2d. I had bought her a piece of striped linsey black and red. THE TESTIMONY. I have not seen her or the cloth since seven P. M., Sun- day, November 2d." Gibson: "I saw Mr. Fairbank driving a horse and buggy, with a bright mulatto girl of about twenty years old in the buggy, on the morning of November 3d. He was driving quite fast. His buggy was dis- abled, and he left it for me to repair, while he put the girl aboard the cars. The girl wore a dove-colored shawl and had a white handkerchief marked Mary Bullock" Senix: "I saw Mr. Fairbank put the girl described, on the cars. She had a bundle wrapped in paper. I tore a hole in the paper with my finger and saw striped linsey in it." Now here was some fun as I cross-questioned him. Though the linsey in question went off in a box, and the witness was not within eight feet of anything the girl had, he said, in answer to my question, "What is linsey " "Why, striped cloth." "What kind of cloth-any kind, I suppose." "Yes." Turning to Judge Purtle I asked, "Judge, what is linsey" "Cotton and wool mixed." go HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. "Then, your Honor, you see that this man is not only a knave, but a fool." Again I asked the witness, " What is linsey" "Why, cotton and wooL" "Who told you that" "Why a he - Judge Purtle." This raised a laugh. "Well, what kind of linsey was it" " Striped linsey." (Judge Purtle put into his mouth "Checked linsey.") I objected to the whole of that testimony; but it went down, just the same. Then I called Shotwell and Purtle and asked, "How many girls in this city answer the description you give of the girl Tamar and wear the described clothing, etc" "Five hundred," was the answer. Policeman Rust: "I was in the negro church, where Bird Parker preaches, at eight o'clock Sunday, November 2d, and saw Mr. Fairbank there: saw him shake hands with Wash Spradley. The cigar shop (calling it by name) was burned that night." Then sending for the clerk of the fire department, I proved that the fire occurred on the 19th of October, two weeks before that. 100 THE TESTIMONY. We rested the case as to the testimony. After Mr. Wolfe's argument I said: " May it please the Court, Gentlemen of the jury:- You are sitting upon the destiny, and trying the validity of inalienable right. And first, your Honor, I plead jurisdiction of this Court. This Court --the State of Kentucky, has no jurisdiction in the case. It belongs to the United States Court for the District of Indiana. Second, I ask the Court to charge the jury that, as no testimony has been offered to show that the girl in question was the Tamar in question, no cause of action attaches. Then, gentlemen, I have proven that there are five hundred girls in the city of that descrip- tion. So that I have five hundred chances to one, for an acquittal." A letter which I had written and handed the jailor was brought into court, which ran thus: " I am charged with aiding a slave girl to escape. I know nothing of her. But, the public being preju- diced, I am in danger." Judge Bullock would not admit it as evidence, until its authorship could be proven. I acknowledged its authorship. But that was not satisfactory. Some one had to swear to my manuscript, which Mr. Casen- bine did without ever having seen me write, and the letter was admitted as evidence. And I was glad of it, 1()1 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. because it was clearly in my favor,-a flat denial of any knowledge of the person in question. Then I showed the discrepancy between Rust's testimony and that of the clerk of the fire department, two weeks. But the case was prejudged and I was convicted. I was left in jail until Saturday, March 7th, when, with sixteen others, I think, I was taken out for sen- tence. The question being asked: "Have any of you any reason to give why the sentence of the law should not be passed upon you" I rose, and said, among other things: "I object to the sentence of the law because the case does not come within the jurisdiction of this Court. This case is one coming clearly under the FUGITIVE- SLAVE LAW OF EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AN-D FIFTY; and should be tried in the District Court of the United States for the District of Indiana." But my plea amounted to just so much wind; and I was ordered to stand up, and was sentenced to be con- fined in the JAIL AND PENITENTIARY HOUSE OF THE STATE for the term of fifteen years at hard labor! When writing of a letter I had heedlessly kept on my person-not in my manuscript-not over my own name, but "FRATER," I said, "mark this." Judge Buckner in January, 1845, allowed that letter to go before the jury as evidence against Miss Webster, be- 102 LEAVE THE JAIL IN IRONS. cause she was in my company, and no other evidence could be found. At Louisville, in the February term, 1852, as I have already said, Judge Bullock refused a letter with my own name, taken by the jailor from my own hand: and still, after I had said to the Court " It is my voluntary letter," he would not allow it to go to the jury, as evidence, until some one who had seen me write could swear to my manuscript. That is the dif- ference in courts. Law is an elastic string. My bail was five thousand dollars, and my friends in Cincinnati were anxious; but no one dared venture into the city, or the state either, to offer bail or defend me before the court. So my cause fell by default- without even an ordinary effort of an advocate, though General Lovell H. Rousseau stood nominally as my attorney. On the 9th of March, 1852, I left the jail in irons for Frankfort. On the 8th I was told that it was the purpose to iron me to a negro. But finding that that would enhance my pride the plan was abandoned and I was ironed by myself, wearing my poorest clothes, having boxed my best and sent them home. 103 CHAPTER XV. My Reception-Craig's Reign. CAPTAIN CRAIG was still in charge, and having been educated under pro-slavery influences, and being a slave-holder himself, he was constitutionally unfit to do me justice. He was purposely absent, and I was locked into my cell until his return, on the 11th, when I was summoned to the chapel before the governor and a large audience of invited guests- cursed, misrepresented, traduced,-to all of which I replied without modification. This order was then given: "Mr. Davis, take Fairbank to the hackling house and kill him. Don't let him speak to any one, or any one to him. If his own family,-if his mother comes to see him, he is not to speak to her, or notice her." To this I respectfully replied: "Captain Craig, with due regard for your authority and due regard for my manhood, I beg to say if my mother comes to me I shall speak to her and submit to consequences."' This, instead of exciting wrath, excited admiration for my pluck That was sanctified pluck, and this same 104 MY RECEPTION-CRAIG'S REIGN..1 kind of pluck protected me through a great many dangerous places during those seventeen years of mar- tyrdom, to April 15th, 1864, when I was pardoned by Lieutenant-Governor R. T. Jacob. Prison Government and Prison Life. During my acquaintance with the Kentucky state prison, from February 18th, 1845, to August 23d, 1849, and from March 9th, 1852, to April 15th, 1864, and the interim from August 23d, 1849, to March 9th, 1852, it passed under the rule or administration of four wardens: Captain Newton Craig assumed the warden- ship March 1st, 1844, and again in 1848, holding until 1854 as a partner with the state, furnishing one-third the expenses, and sharing one-third the net results. Zebulon Ward, from March 2d, 1854 to 1858; at first as one-third partner, but at the Legislature of 1854-5 obtained it as lessee, at six thousand dollars per annum. Jeremiah W. South, with Bowen as partner, from 1858 to 1863, as lessee at twelve thousand dollars. Harry I. Todd, from March, 1863, at conditions unknown, simply for reasons I will try to illustrate. South fell into misfortune in taking the prison at such a price, just on the eve of war. Hemp was the staple. The war cut off the market. South was loser. The prison was impoverished-came to rags and hun- 105 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. ger. No one would take the job in 1862, the expira- tion of South's time; and South was allowed to hold it a year free of cost. He held it in this way until men could think-one year; until the obtuse, untaxed, in- cultivated mind of Kentucky chivalry could grasp the question economically, and dig out of the conglomera- tion. I do not mean to intimate, even, that there were no men of mind in Kentucky who could see a way out of the dilemma. There were some, but very few. But the majority, who could vote down every measure for improvement, who had always relied upon the life and energy of the slave for their thrift and independence, voted down every measure of economy for resuscitation. Finally, finding no other way, -convinced that under Mr. South the condition of the prison grew no better, the wardenship was given to Colonel Harry I. Todd, with the agreement that he should put the insti- tution into a good condition, which he did, for Ken- tucky, up to March 1, 1864. The occupations at which the prisoners were em- ployed were carpentry, blacksmithing, coopering, tail- oring, shoemaking, stonecutting, and hackling, spinning, and weaving hemp. Hemp was really the staple, and employed at least four-fifths of the men; and any branch of it was very destructive to life, not so much from the amount of " BLACK HOLE OF CALCUTTA." physical energy to be put in requisition, as the dust necessarily arising from the abrasion indispensable to the work Of these branches the " hackling house " was worst of all. Here was the place where the hemp -sometimes eight feet long-was dressed on steel- toothed hackles, after being broken from the stalk, filling the room so full of dust-poison dust-that on a still dry day it was impossible to distinguish a man from a block of wood, even in a window or door. I have seen six men out of twenty-four in one week, taken to the hospital from that "Black Hole of Cal- cutta," and die in another week. Spinning stood next in its destructive effect upon the prisoner. This was done by fastening a belt about the body, with an eight-inch string attached, to which was fastened a stick with a notch, called a drag, which was hitched to a rope running on pulleys at each end- for hemp spun into warp fifty-two yards long, for filling, longer or shorter, to suit convenience. These ropes turned the wheels, so that the faster the spinner went backward, the faster the wheel turned-with the dust rising right under his nose, and inhaled at every breath; and the thread, if warp or chain, as it is called -about twice the size of wrapping twine-cutting right through to the bones of the hand; and it must be done! If filling-about half the size of sheep- 107 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. twine-sometimes full of hemp sticks-often a fourth, or less, or more-half a stick half an inch through, running into the spinner's hand-RIP! clear to the bone; for he must pull out his tow with one hand, right under his mouth, and hold and regulate the twist with the other; and any sticks must break, or break the hand. The weaving shop was physically more irksome, though not so dusty as spinning, and this less so than hackling. The wari-fifty-two yards long-was ready beamed; and the weaver had to draw in, or tie in, his piece, and weave from one hundred and four to two hundred and eight yards per day-by hand,-treading -throwing his shuttle by a string attached to plungers, or blocks, each side, and working a seventy-five pound lathe with the left hand Thus the hemp was made into sacking, or bagging for cotton, for the New Orleans market. As early as 1844 a slave's task at weaving was seventy-five yards a day. The task in the prison rested on the kind of man, the price of hemp and bagging,-Contracts really, the market. 1068 CHAPTER XVI. My Own Experience-Craig's Conduct. D URING my first imprisonment, I was treated with more consideration than Northern people were expecting from Kentucky. Captain Craig was a mem- ber of the Baptist Church, had some acquaintance with Northern people, was a friend of the Rev. Howard Malcom, a Northern man, then president of Georgetown College, and was proud to be called magnanimous by Northern people. Upon my second imprisonment, I found him inex- orable. I was sent to the hackling house, kept there four weeks, and there felt from the hand of the reluc- tant overseer, W. W. Davis, the first ten ciuts from a rawhide. At one time I fell upon the ground floor for relief, my face down. Some one said: "Mr. Davis is coming." I lay still. He came in, looked, turned, and went out. At another time I felt desperate. I ran out, leaned my back against the house, my face to the wind, gasped a few times for breath, then ran to the hospital whispering: 109 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. "Chloroform! chloroform!" A few inhalations from a saturated handkerchief- some vertigo- the spasms ceased; I breathed easy, and returned again to my torture. After Craig's wrath had somewhat abated, I was sent to the filling walk, the place where the filling was spun from the tow dressed out of the hemp. An ordinary task at that work required a walk-half walk and half trot-of thirteen miles a day backward. I have often seen the new spinner with his ankles so swollen that he was just able to hobble to his cell at night: sore, tired, hungry; lungs filled with hemp dust; head aching, and feverish; hands gashed by the thread, and flesh gashed with the rawhide for some trifling mishap, or slight to avoid what it purchased with usury. I worked at this about one year in all; sometimes in the shoe-shop, when the press was intense for that work; and once I was sent to the cooper-shop, where my business was making flour barrels, pork barrels, cedar pails, wash tubs, etc. While there Captain Craig attempted to vent his vengeance on Miss Webster, then in Madison, Indiana,-got,the two charges raised upon the court docket at Lexington, Kentucky, which had been erased in February, 1845; procured a demand from Governor Powell upon which she was lodged in I 11) SHOT IN THE BACK. jail to await investigation. She sued out a writ of habeas corpus. Craig went down to resist the writ. Miss Webster was discharged. Craig was defeated, after large expenditures, in getting her once more into his power; and when on his way to the steamboat, going home,-just as he was at the wharf, he was shot in the back by the mob, the ball entering at the left of the spinal column, and lodging against a bone in his right breast, very nearly taking his life. When the news came to me, I was watched to see what could be made out of me, by a dirty, tale-telling, murderous miscreant, Gardner, in alliance with one John Fought, the foreman, who by fear or flattery suborned others in the shop to testify against me; I bowed my head upon my breast, faint with fear of what might come of it to me, sighed, and raising my head, said: "I'm sorry; sorry for his family. He ought to have staid away." A few days passed. When Craig had sufficiently recovered, I was locked in the dark cell for a few days, then brought into the yard and tried upon the testi- mony of the witnesses referred to, who, all but one man in the shop, testified that I said: " I'm glad of it! I wish they had killed him!" One man testified to the simple truth, and was soon removed to the hemp. ill HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. During this summary trial any attempt on my part (never more humble) to a defense, to examine and cross-question witnesses, was promptly and tyrannically checked. At one time I attempted to point out a con- tradiction in the testimony; but before I could make a statement so as to engage Craig's attention, I was knocked down, his heavy hickory cane being shivered into tooth-picks. I was sentenced to receive thirty-nine cuts from the raw-hide on my bare back, which-though dealt with as much lenity and consideration as could be maintained, by Mr. Ephraim Whiteside, the second keeper, and my friend, who knew well the inside of the whole question and its animus; who despised Craig for his vanity, pride, tyranny, dishonesty and silliness-cut into my flesh nearly every stroke. I felt them clear through to the lungs as if they were beaten with a cudgel. While executing this sentence, Mr. Whiteside dealt the first two blows lightly, when Craig promptly stopped him: "Stop! Mr. Whiteside, those shan't count. They are too light. Begin again. Strike harder!" But before he had done he hit two of the thirty-nine cuts across the waistband of my pants, and Craig could not summon courage to order another addition. All this injustice grew out of the spleen he entertained 12 THE SCHOOL OF SCANDAL. 113 toward me for my sentiments and my partiality toward Miss Webster. Our time of labor was from daylight until dark. Our bed-rboms, cells of stone and brick, four and a half feet by seven from back wall to door, and seven feet high. Our beds, the straws of Bedlam, or something better at times; and our bed-fellows, swarms of fleas and bedbugs. Our food was, in the main, bacon, and cornbread mixed with hot water. At times we had beef soup, beef, potatoes, green corn, etc., when they did not cost too much. Our coffee was made from burnt rye, in the same forty-pail kettle, with the same old grounds cooked over and over for weeks, until sour. Craig was very pious, vain, prejudiced, revengeful. He seemed to think that the world owed him a peculiar veneration above anybody else,-that wisdom must die with him. Every Sunday we looked for him in the SCHOOL OF SCANDAL. He invariably appeared in the desk of the chapel on Sunday, when at home and well, whether he had the chaplain's services or not, - sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon; and often held us from two to four hours with dissertations on law, gospel, theology, philosophy, race, and the "IIInsti- tution." It made but little difference about his text; 8 4 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. it was the same SCHOOL of SCANDAL for its variety and unlimited scope. One time as he was dealing out peculiar lessons to the prisoners, and aiming at one of the distinguished prisoners who dared to say what he wished, the prisoner said: " CAPTAIN, YOU ARE TOO TEDIOUS." "Well, Thompson, I don't know but I am:" and closed at the end of three hours. At one time Mr. Waller, prison clerk, attended a lecture by special request; and having planned to take a train at a given hour, rose and said: ",Captain, I must go. It is my train time." Craig had then talked three hours; and held on two more after Mr. Waller left, making a lecture of five hours. Invariably he poured his invective and tirades upon me over Northern Abolitionists' backs in his Sunday lectures until I became entirely disgusted; and to such an extent that I had but little to choose between them and the result of contempt. On one Sunday of his last winter, he had been dealing out his wisdom for two hours, when, becoming tired of it, I took shelter behind a pillar in the room, and with my back toward him and against the pillar, was quite absorbed in the senti- ments of a Christian philosopher, when " Fairbank!!' broke my thread of thought. 114 PUNISHMENT ESCAPED. Sir " "What are you doing" "Reading, sir." "What are you reading for" "Because, sir, I don't want to lose all my time here." "But, ain't I talking to you" "Yes, sir, but I don't want to hear you talk." "What is the matter, Fairbank " "Sir, you abuse me, and my people." "I do Well, come out here, and sit on this front seat," and I obeyed. " Now, Fairbank, let us do better." I expected that, as a result of my independence, I would be locked in my cell, and receive a severe raw- hiding; for that was the instrument then in use for inflicting penalties; but for some reason I escaped it. Craig ran for the keepership before the Legislature of 1853-4, and was beaten by Zebulon Ward of Cov- ington. His time drew near its close. He had no hope of votes. Four weeks more, and Zeb. Ward would take his place. No potatoes, no bread. Day after day, nothing but old, fat, yellow bacon. Two weeks had passed; and bread but three times. Mr. Adams, the keeper, demanded the task. I complained. It was of no use. Now, my redress lay in a complaint 115 1 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. to the Governor. The prison committee represented His Excellency. Richard Wintersmith, Secretary of the Treasury, was a member of that committee. He was in. I complained. Next morning the men in the weave shop, working near me, and on the side next the yard, shouted: "Look! look! look! Banks, look!" There stood Governor Powell, shaking his finger right under Craig's nose. Next morning the boys from the shops kept a lookout. Our weave shop was in the second story, at right angles with the kitchen. As soon as the entrance doors were opened-just before bell time,-another shout- "Huzza for Banks! " for the kitchen was full of steam from HOT COFFEE AND HOT CORNBREAD. Craig made his appearance with the following: "Boys, there's plenty of corn now." And we had plenty for the remaining two weeks, when ZEBULON WARD TooK THE KEYS. This was March 2d, 1854. Ward was a tyrant. He was called the "Blood Sucker" of the county. He cared nothing for human life. Money was his religion. Craig had made his farewell to the men assembled in the chapel. The Governor and the officers of state were there; and in their presence, he handed over the 165 "IF I KILL YOU ALL." great gate key to Ward, who made the following short, sharp exponent of the man and his administration: "Men, I'm a man offew words, and prompt action. Do your duties, or I'll make ye! Go to your wtork." That fell like hot shot. That was what it was. Next Sunday we were called to the chapel again. As soon as order was restored, Ward stepped into the desk, stripped off his overcoat- "Men, I understand that some of you are dissatis- fied with my time of working, I shall let no man hold a watch over me. I'll not allow you to break me up. I came here to make money; and I'm going to do it if I kill you all. If any of you claim the ten-hour time of working, just get right up, and go to your cells!" We all sat still and smiled. But it was like Shakespeare's smile-"When I smile, I murder." 1 I7 CHAPTER XVIIL The Prisoners Overworked. W ARD'S rigorous, murderous rule was announced and anticipated in those two exhibitions. What I say of it will be to show only its barbarity, as com- pared with Craig's. The common task at weaving under Craig was from one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and fifty yards of coarse hemp sacking with two to two and a half threads or shots to the inch. Of this I could weave-and did often weave-two hundred and twenty- five yards of that quality in a day, and counted the overplus as over-work on Saturday night. Every fifty yards over-work counted us twenty-five cents. Under Craig one hundred and fifty yards required, at most, thirteen thousand five hundred shots. Ward required as his task two hundred and eight yards a day, with five shots to the inch. That made the task twice the number of shots to the yard and fifty-eight yards more than under Craig. So that we wove under Craig thirteen thousand five hundred shots, and under Ward thirty-seven thousand four hundred and 118 THE PRISONERS O VER W WORKED. forty. You see, Craig made fifty yards apiece, AV ard fifty-two. It was Ward's plan at first to lease the prison; which he did the following winter, at six thousand dollars per annum, and made in the four years one hundred thousand dollars. The lease system upon which I have just said Mr. Ward obtained the prison from the state through the Legislature of 1854-5 was virtually a sale, with very little difference between the condition of the prisoner and that of an actual slave. I mean that, as the slave is entirely at the mercy of his master, there is no reason why he should not expect to be treated with abuse, only that such treatment would militate against the highest interest of the master. This was the condition under the lease system, with slight mitigation. Tile committee whose duty was to look into and correct con- litions in the prison if necessary, had the same power as under the partnership system. But, under either system, the keeper, either in person or by his assist- ants, tried summarily, and punished at discretion. But the state of class in the South legimately enters a chapter in the social code that bars any person from the business of any and all other persons of the privil- eged class. Any interference in any abuses by the upper class is known to be cause of perpetual enmity, if not of war. So that the case which shall warrant inter- 119 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. ference must be one of extraordinary barbarity; and the master and the keeper could do about as they pleased. I know the question arises, How can a keeper treat a prisoner inhumanly in violation of a law of pro- hibition My answer is-First, the books can't stand up, stretch out their arms and punish, without prohibi- tionists of pluck behind the prohibitory statutes to enforce them. Second, in most cases the prisoner dare not complain, for fear of oppression as the result; and other prisoners dare not interfere and report. And the deputy keeper must be of sterner stuff than most of them are made, to pluck up courage enough to expose his employer and master and lose his place. At one time the legislative committee sent Mr. Ward for me, ostensibly for information as to the conduct of the prison: and on leaving me to go before the com- mittee alone, he said: "NOW, MIND WHAT YOU SAY." That I understood to mean, If you expose me I'll torture you in return. I was asked, "What is the conduct of this prison -How does Mr. Ward treat the prisoners" My reply was, "Genilemen, I am a prisoner." That was enough, and I was dismissed. The com- mittee understood me to mean "I dare not tell the truth against Mr. Ward." 1290 THE SMACK OF THE STRAP. When I say that Ward buried two hundred and forty men, out of three hundred and ninety, I do not mean that these were all the men he had under his charge. They kept coming in and going out. But three hundred and ninety was about the average there at one time under him, and three hundred under Craig. The previous history of this place is mere pleasant exercise compared with what followed, for four years, and to a great extent up to 1863. Let me give a sam- ple of one day. From daybreak until dark, men worked as for life, knowing that, when next day dawned, who- ever was behind, felt the utmost of the strap. Monday was settlement all around, unless it came Saturday night. If so, the men were then locked into their cells all day Sunday. After Monday, the smack of that strap, and frequently two were in full play at the same time, and the howling of the victims could be heard every minute of the day. Men cut off their hands, cut their throats, drank poison, and in various other ways rushed eagerly upon the gates of death. Did I No, not I! I was tasked by the day, timed by the hour, for two hundred and eight yards, thirty-seven thousand, four hundred and forty shots of the shuttle by hand, from May to October, 1854, and not a day did I escape that strap, except on Sundays and on the Fourth of July; and never less than twice, and in most cases four times 121 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. a day, receiving from fifty-five to one hundred and eight cuts of the strap on the bare posterior-not for disobedience but for failure to execute a task as really beyond my reach as the sun in the heavens. I could never weave more than a hundred and sixty-five yards of that sacking, and that was two thousand and seven hundred shots; more than twice as many as Craig's task called for. Every moment of my time in that shop under Jack Page, I was liable to be called: "Come down here!" It was the first thing in the morning, then before noon, then after noon, and the last thing in the evening. Sometimes Jack and "Salty" Sam (Sam Thompson), both well whiskied, would strip for the work, and one dealt on until tired; then, puffing, would hand the strap over to the other, until a hundred and eight stripes seemed to appease their wrath, the walls ten feet away being spattered with particles of flesh and blood. The year 1856 was the most terrible of my whole life. Ward never retained any of my letters or my money. That was not what he wanted. He wanted wealth. At one time Laura S. Haviland sent me a letter, in which she wrote, "enclosed find five dollars," and I called at the office for the money. The clerk, turning to his book, said: "You haven't anything on record." 122 SIXTY-FIVE LASHES. "I received a letter from Laura S. Haviland, in which she writes, 'enclosed find five dollars."' "I don't care; you haven't anything here." Turning to Mr. Ward, I said: "The clerk says I haven't anything on record, and here is a letter from Laura S. Haviland, with the statement, 'five dollars enclosed."' "Clerk," said Mr. Ward, "put that on record and give Fairbank what he calls for. Laura S. Haviland is a Quaker, and won't lie; but I hate her as I do the devil." Often my letters came when he felt too busy to read them,--too anxious to get to his marbles. If from Gerrit Smith, he would hand them to me: " There, if you can read that, you are welcome to; I can't." You ask, "HIow did you sit on your bench and weave" Well, I was sore, of course. It was like sitting on boils, or sore eyes. I used to bring out my blanket and roll it up small, or roll up my coat and sit on it as on a saddle; for weave I must. Often we had to resort to strategy. At one time Jack Page had dealt me sixty-five lashes. I felt that I could not endure longer, and, looking up into the brute's face, said, "Look here, old fel." "What do you want" "Ain't ye guine to do something" 12)3 124 HOW "THE WAY" WAS FREPARED. "Do what I been doin' my best this half hour." "May be you have; but I can't see it. I felt some- thing like musquitoes or gnats about me." "Well, if ye don't enjoy that, I guess I'd better quit;" and putting up his strap, he waddled out. At another time he stood at the desk, looking over the foreman's slate. "Cleveland, Fairbank, and Hall, and Bailey, and all the fellers over thar, are behind; and I'm guine to whale every d-d one of um." I took time by the fore-lock; and leaving my loom I went to the tool box, just behind the desk, and taking a hammer, a nail, and a wrench as a ruse, I straight- ened up, and said: " Mr. Page! " "Well, what now" " Ain't it about time to give us a little of 'Hardy's best' " (the strap). "Don't you fret. I'll give you hell plenty soon." I went to my work. He called and whipped all about me, and left me out This was in the summer of 1857. ONE MORE SCENE OF BARBARITY. O -aMore Scene of Mingled Barbarity and Triumph. This, I think, was in November, 1856, after the summer's ordeal had mainly passed. I was behind as usual Page came with the indictment and trial- "Get down here!" I pleaded. It was of no use. I said: "I can't make that task" "I know it, d-.-n ye! I don't want ye to, d-n ye. I want to kill ye!" I came down. He laid on. My wrath resisted the pain, greatly. I said to him, " Page, you can't kill me in this way." I kept count of the stripes. This, mind you, was always on the bare posterior muscles. Right there, in my reach, lay the handaxe and other dangerous weap- ons thirsting to avenge my wrong :-my hand instinc- tively, involuntarily made the incipient effort-again! -again!-almost clutched the instrument of death that would have wrought my own ruin. But there was a voice of wisdom counseling me a quiet, still small voice "HloLD! HoLD! I will not leave thed! Remember, there are faithful men and women who are relying on thy fidelity. Thy conduct must not deceive them. Much of the future of this question depends on thy 1'25 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. integrity. Remember, those friends in Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont long to greet thee again. And that faithful one, whose heart is plighted to thee, waits just over the border, to receive either thy dead body as her trophy, or thee, just living, to nurse thee back to life again. COURAGE !--FAITH! !-VICTORY! ! !" Then, lost to torture, bonds, and imprisonment,- lost to all but friends, home, National Republican vic- tory and final domestic comfort, I lived in the blessed near future, marshalled the hosts of freedom to the music of all rights for all; saw the legions of despotism melt away like frost before the representatives of the American idea, and lived again in my own free North. I had counted sixty-five before passing into that exalted state. I awoke; and the inquisitor was busy at his favorite task; and I counted sixteen more stripes. I had counted eighty-one stripes in all. How many had I lost How long had the brute and his instrument been playing upon me The men about me agreed in counting one hundred and three. So, you see, I had lost twenty-two strokes of the strap, without reali- zation. On Mr. Ward's first Sunday in the prison he de- clared his character,-the soul of the man, which will be, beyond the gates, as to all characteristics, precisely 126 PLA YING MARBLES. what it is, and must be while he lives and after he ceases to live. His object was money, mixed with a little fun provided it did not cost him too much. The Sabbath in the prison was simply a play day, just apparently conformed to what law existed on the books. All kinds of play, social recreation, literary exercises, athletic indulgence, and religious worship was free to all without regard to race, color, or descent. All rights for all, was about his motto; and mainly, I think, from the tendency of mirthfulness. Marbles was the stan- dard amusement of the place. I have known him win all the tobacco from the players; then, when any one pleaded, "I have no stake." -Here, I'll give you a stake." Then win it back, and putting the men in line, let them march past him and give it all away to men whom he knew used the weed. He did not chew, smoke, or drink intoxicants. Often the men would be formed in lines, and two men stripped for the race and running- the men shouting as the minister entered the yard for service. He would often stand enjoying the sport, then to the chapel to go through the farce of religious exercise. Zeb Ward was a free-thinker in some respects,-I mean, he often declared that any man could "worship 12' 128 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. according to the dictates of his conscience, -sing, pray, preach, play marbles, euchre, or quoits. If you want to run, run. If you want to wrestle, wrestle. But, when this bell rings for chapel,-it makes no difference who preaches; whether Jim Morgan or Mr. Norton -the man who dares laugh wants to go to his cell." He played with his men as with his dogs. Whipped them as a boy his top to make it spin,-as the engineer crowds on steam to make time on his road. He enter- tained no social sympathy which acted as a restraint upon his brutality incited by acquisitiveness; but played or whipped as best enhanced the gratification of his mirthfulness or acquisitiveness. CHAPTER XVIII. A Speech before the People of Kentucky. W ARD'S term closed March 1st, 1858, and he was succeeded by Jeremiah W. South of Breathitt county, with Bowen as his partner They were both born and bred Democrats of the Southern stripe; and upon the inauguration of the Rebellion, were in full sympathy with it. To illustrate this reign, would be only to illustrate Ward's over again, with some modi- fication owing to more humanity in the man, less executiveness, and a spirit of humanity combined with Kentucky pluck in a maiden daughter of about thirty years, who invariably did her best to defend me. Jack Page held his position as hemp boss through this reign of five years. I was often locked up on Sunday, besides my forty to two hundred and fifty stripes. Eliza, the daughter, often made inquiry; and finding me locked in my cell for failure of a task which she knew to be exorbitant, demanded the cell-key, came to my cell, often with her face adorned with the jewels of her sorrow for me, unlocked my door, saying: 9 129 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. "If Page, or any one else, asks you who let you out, tell them I did." Thus that noble Kentucky woman, even a rebel as she was, saved me many a day of misery-many a living death; for ten strokes of that strap inflicted the pains of death. I had been often urged to speak-it mattered but little on what subject; but rather on the National question growing out of the anti-slavery agitation. I refused, saying, "You want my cheese." But the Kansas crisis pointed, as I thought, to war between the North and the South. So I selected my subject, taking for my text: " Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people." " Watchman, what of the night Watchman, what of the night" I then informed Assistant-keeper Sam Thompson of my readi- ness to speak. The time was fixed for February 14th. This was 1858. Notices were sent to the press at Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville and Bardstown, and brought out Governor Charles S. Morehead, and the State officers, both Houses of the Legislature, and citizens-ladies and gentlemen from distant cities and towns of Ken- tucky. We had a full house of the elite of Kentucky and the yard below was packed as at a presidential 180 "THE WAR IS INEVITABLE." inauguration. Mr. Whiteside stepped out-beckoned me, and turning to the audience, said:- "Your Excellency--Ladies and Gentlemen:-This is our distinguished prisoner, Mr. Fairbank. You will hear him." Governor Morehead suggested that I take my place in the double door which overlooked the audience in the yard, which I did. I then delivered a prophecy of the war, and Republican triumph, occupying perhaps an hour, closing with the following: " GOVERNOR, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: ' The war is inevitable, and let it come! I repeat it, let it come!' and Kentucky will be the theatre; and you'll ' fight horse- bridle deep in blood,' and slavery will melt away like a hoar-frost; and out of it will spring a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people." The audience were electrified-swayed like a mighty forest in a wind. Governor Morehead congratulated me, but, said he, "Fairbank, you are crazy. The Yankees won't fight." "Well, Governor, you'll see." "But, do you think your party will ever come into power " " Well, we will try it. Said Senator K:-"Fairbank, you are crazy." "So the Governor says." 1:31 132 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. "' Why, we shall whip you so quick it will make your head swim." "Well, you shall see what you shall see.' Senator John M. Prall: "Well, Fairbank, you hit the nail on the head; only you got through the war too soon. It will last about four years; and the South will be whipped; and equal suffrage will be the result." This was three years before the war; it made an impression and won to the Union and the Republican party one of Kentucky's noblest sons, John IM. Prall of Bourbon county. CHAPTER XIX. The War. D URING this reign John Brown woke the Govern- ment at Harper's Ferry; and sixteen men, with that John-the-Baptist of Republicanism in America, shook the whole United States. That made my neck ache; for Kentucky saw clumps of imaginary men under arms in many a nook-in many a moon-shade. Then the signal gun at Charleston promised a ful- fillment of my prophecy three years before; and the war came, and slavery melted away like a hoar-frost. Three times, during the three years from February, 1861, to April, 1864, rebel soldiers sought for me, rope in hand, to hang me. Once I stood in the kitchen door with axe in hand, and as they approached, beckoned- " Come on, boys! Come on! You're not afraid of me" Bragg captured Frankfort October 7th, I think, without burning a grain of powder, and held it for seven weeks, to about the 25th of November, 1862, during which time all communication with my friends ceased. During that time a company of Louisianians, 133 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. headed by a sergeant, came into the prison and visited me inr the weave shop, not knowing, probably, of my identity, and formed for both themselves and me an agreeable acquaintance. The sergeant was a very pleasant fellow to talk with; and becoming interested in me, asked, " What are you in here for" That was a sticker; for, at first, I knew not how to answer. But the thought struck me, and I said, " For having one more woman in my possession than the law allowed me." " Well, you go with us, and you can have as many women as you like. We don't punish a man for having more than one wife." They were urgent that I should go out and join the army, and they would protect me. Some days after they came with a rope, and inquired for Fairbank. "What! you are not going to hang him, are you" "Yes, we are, sure." "Well, he works in this shop somewhere. Ask that little engineer up there. He will tell you." And they went in that direction. As soon as they were out of sight I sprang through an open window, ran to the carpenter shop, and Mr. Whiteside hustled me into an upper room where he stowed me away, and so sArved my life that time. 134 A PROPHECY FULFILLED. At another time I was told that a squad of " Rebs " was coming in to hang me. I took time by the fore- lock and hid myself for the day, and so eluded them. All through that struggle from February, 1861, to the very last I had access to the papers, and was posted as to the strength and location of the army. During the battle of Bull Run I was allowed to leave my work in the shoe-shop and sit in the chapel, where, in company with my friend Eliza South, I received the printed dispatches of the work of slaughter. Legisla- ture was in session during most of the time. Governor iMagoffin was a rebel; and, finding his efforts to draw the state out of the Union fruitless, he resigned. The next Sunday after the first Bull Run, the mem- bers of the legislature with many other gentlemen and ladies came in as usual to see and hear me. I was called from the library into the middle of the yard, where timber was arranged for building. John M. Prall then called out, "Here, Mr. Fairbank,--here is your pulpit. Your prophecy of three years ago is so far fulfilled." I took my place in the center, when one called out, "W Well, Fairbank, how is it now " "Good! You can't say I'm a prisoner without a party." " But, how's the war" 135 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. "Fine. We beat you at Bull Run." "How's that " Some one said, " I see his idea. It is this: If we had been beaten we would sue for terms; they would be accepted, and slavery would stand. But now the Yankees have just begun to get mad, and we will catch h-li." I was wearing an old black slouch hat, and in dress, as in manner, felt and exhibited a legitimate insou- sciance; and jerking off my hat,-rising in my shoes and hurling the old slouch high in the air, I shouted, "'0 generation of vipers! Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come' Yes; our boys who were more accustomed to Sunday-school than to murder have just got the bark knocked off their shins, and you'll catch Hail Columbia! and a Union victory would have been a defeat. Slavery is used up. So I count Bull Run a glorious victory. You see, 'Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.' Our defeat will kill slavery. HUZZA FOR BULL RUN! " Thirty-five Thousand, One Hundred and Five Stripes in Eight Years. During Ward's reign from 1854 to 1858, and four years of South's reign, from 1858 to 1862, I suffered 136 THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND STRIPES. the infliction of one thousand and three floggings with the strap elsewhere described, averaging thirty-five stripes at each, making a total of thirty-five thousand, one hundred and five stripes. Sometimes one; some- times five, ten, twenty, fifty, sixty, one hundred and eight. These were mostly suffered under Ward: and of his reign, mostly in summer. Now, you ask, how did did you keep count Well, I could count most of the time,--and the men in the shop always counted; and when I failed to keep count, I asked the men. Then, I marked-posted, week by week-year by year the number of lashes I endured. Three times during South's reign I was so pressed for my task, that, though I was not flogged as much as under Ward, I was re- duced to one hundred seventeen and a half pounds weight. My height is five feet, nine and a half inches. My usual weight was one hundred and eighty pounds. To be reduced to one hundred seventeen and a half pounds left me quite frail. Small-pox had found its way into the prison through the army in February, 1863. I found myself obliged to report invalid and risk that contagion in the hospital. I did so, and was received: and next day, by my own choice, separated with the small-pox patients from the others, preferring to risk its results to being sent back to the weave shop, by and by, after a little recruiter, 13- 8 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. and there slain. Very soon my small-pox hospital had accumulated seventy-five cases. Now, before this the Union Army had driven out the rebels. My brother Daniel from Portage, Ohio, came in the One Hundredth Ohio Regiment. It had been determined to let me out But, the general's heart failed, then the colonel's, then the captain's. Finally my brother came in with power to take me out. The governor after Magoffin, had promised, and hung fire. At last, I was promised next day. So I told my brother, "I will go to-morrow noon, if Governor Robinson is not as good as his word by that time." Next morning before day, the bugle sounded for a forced march after Scott and Morgan. My brother left with the army, and I remained over a year longer -until April 15th, 1864. I remained in the hospital fifty-one days, as that was quarantine time,-had a mild type of varioloid; and came out, I think April 24th, sound and strong, with a weight of one hundred and eighty-one pounds. Out of my seventy-five cases I lost but five, and two of these would have been safe, had they not been complicated with erysipelas and typhoid fever; and one of the other cases was fatal from fright. Fright is worse than small-pox in the case. 1:138 CHAPTER XX. Harry I. Todd's Reign. A MAN of "few words and prompt action" assumed control of the prison March 1, 1863, before I left the hospital. He was a square, just, honorable man- loyal to the core. In the fall-in August-Thomas E. Bramlette was elected Governor and Richard T. Jacob Lieutenant-Governor. THAT WAS MY DAYLIGHT. Jacob was brother-in-law to Fremont-a good friend to me, and believed my conviction illegal. When assistant keeper Lawler announced his nomination I shouted- "HALLELUJAH!!! THAT'S MY DAYLIGHT !" I well knew that they would be elected, and that the first time Bramlette should be called away (and that would probably be soon), Jacob would pardon me as lieutenant and acting governor of the state. Day began rapidly to dawn for me. MISS MANDANA TILESTON, to whom I was engaged by marriage contract in 1851, had left her New England home and repaired to Ohio, where she could watch over my condition, and if possible render me service, and established a tempo- rary residence as a teacher at Oxford, so that she could 139 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. watch events through friends in Cincinnati, and Frank- fort, Kentucky and administer to my comfort. Through her, in concert with Levi Coffin of Cincinnati, and Laura S. Haviland, then of Adrian, Michigan, I was constantly supplied with money and articles of com- fort during that whole period from 1852 to April 15th, 1864. As often as her vacations would allow her absence, she visited me in prison, strengthening my heart, supplying my wants, petitioning the executive, and by her open, frank, brave and simple fidelity made many friends among even the most inflexible pro-slavery citizens. This, and my own consistent inflexibility to principle, had gained for me the respect and admiration of the magnanimous of both sides of the question. Public feeling had softened. Kentucky began to view me as a martyr. The war had wrought a vast change in the fact. Public sentiment was entirely in my favor. In November, 1863, I was sent to the shoe-shop again; and in a few days asked to go out at day-break and build some fires, and keep watch that the hands who came out soon after and went onto Todd's farm to build a wall, took nothing surreptitiously. Then, for the first time, I was relieved of task. Todd could use the men as best conserved his advantage for a whole year, provided he treated them humanely, and put the 140 "WHAT YOU DOIN' HEREt" prison generally in good condition; for it had been entirely impoverished under South. I had charge of the wood and fires for the chapel, shoe-shop and tailor-shop. Some time in February, 1864, by order of keeper Whiteside, I was piling some wood in a recess between the harness-shop and shoe- shop, both being in the same room, when Legree the Second, Jack Page's brother (Jack had died of whisky erysipelas), came in (he had no authority in any but the hemp-shops), and, after looking about, shouted, "What you doin' here" "Piling this wood, sir." "Well, you stop it. D'ye hear" "I hear, sir, but I'm ordered to pile it." "Who ordered it" "Mr. Whiteside." "D-n ye! stop it!" I kept on. Soon I saw a stick move out, and heard the familiar curses and opprobrious language. I took no alarm at this. It was a common occur- rence. The next instant I supposed I had hit the stove; and that was a thought of the duration of a flash of lightning. Then I knew nothing for ten minutes. DEAD! But recovering consciousness, What am I- no idea. Where-after recognizing myself,-where am 141 2 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. I Then a voice, " He's not dead." Lying on my back, I put out my hand and sat up. But I was blind. "Boys, what's the matter I can't see." A voice: "You are hurt." Legree: "He a'n't, neither! Let him alone!" But the men led me to the water tub, just the same; and upon the application of water my sight was restored. I had been cut over the left eye, on the hair- line, a gash two inches long, half on the scalp and half on the forehead, perpendicularly, fracturing the skull. Mr. Whiteside had been sent for, who hustled the brute out of the yard on double-quick. But after a week he was allowed his old berth upon promise-in fact he was ordered not to even speak to me unless I invited it. About the last of March he was passing my loom look- ing so penitent--so forsaken, that I relented, and ad- dressed him: " Mr. Page, how do you do" "Pretty well, Fairbank. Say, I'm d-n sorry I hit you that time." But my equilibrium was not restored; for I seemed to be whirling in a circle; and that sensation was in- tensified-aggravated upon every motion of the head; and especially a motion up or down. Many times I have been saved from falling by an arm behind me. In July, 1864, upon the cupola of the Chicago court house the arm of Rev. Richard De Baptist saved me a 142 IN THE HANDS OF THE GOVERNMENT. fall of nearly one hundred feet. The same difficulty has afflicted me until within less than a year. There were three parties of the people: 1. A large minority who were out-and-out rebels. 2. A small minority of radical loyalists. 3. A small majority of conservatives-who held to the side of safety:-loyal because loyalty was safest. Kentucky was in the hands of the Government. Public sentiment had been culminating in my favor, as the people lost their grasp on the " Institution." James L. Sneed was clerk of the prison-had always been my friend-was organized with large humanity-was a conservative. Tobin, an Irishman-an out-spoken, moderate rebel -was friendly with Sneed; had always been my friend. Dr. Rodman, prison physician, had always main- tained an unswerving constancy to me-was organized with large humanity also; was conservative; had a son in the Confederate army; committed himself to neither side. Robert Lawler was a sub-keeper-rebel-strong friend to me. Ephraim Whiteside was for many years second keeper; radically loyal, and my friend. Harry I.. Todd was firmly-stubbornly-uncom- 143 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. promisingly for the Union. He was the warden-kept his own advice. Richard T. Jacob, Lieutenant-governor, had been committed to my favor for years: had said to me before the war: " If I was Governor I would turn you out to- day." He was son of John I. Jacob, of Louisville, and son-in-law to Thomas H. Benton of Missouri. So that he was related to, and inherited good blood. Above and beyond all this, my affianced, Mandana Tileston, at Oxford, Ohio, had been all these years wait- ing, watching, pleading, suffering,-expecting, at last, either to carry away my dead body, or carry me living, the remainder of our earth-way. All these had been pleading. General James Harlan had pledged his services. But as many other of the unqualified Union men suddenly and mysteri- ously went down, so he went down. I was anxious for Bramlette's absence for a while, that Jacob might hold the helm for a few hours; for Bramlette refused to interfere. I knew Jacob would. The time had at last arrived when the people and the Government could see distinctly that it was the AFRIco-AMERIcAN'S War: -that as he went, we went; as we went, he went:- both must go together. President Lincoln had sent General Fry to Ken- tuicky with orders to enroll all the African people:- 144 A BOMB-SHELL. slave, free,-male, female,-old and young; and the men competent for military service separately. Gov- ernor Bramlette forbade it. Fry reported to the Presi- dent. Then was opened a discussion over the wires for several days. I watched this as my "forlorn hope." Finally the President telegraphed: "Thomas E. Bramlette, Governor of the Common- wealth of Kentucky, greeting: Come before me forthwith, to answer to charges." That fell like a bomb-shell in the camp of enemies in disguise. Bramlette was not long gathering up his traps and heading for Washington. JACOB WAS GOVERNOR, and hastened to Sneed. "Sneed, I'm Governor. This is Fairbank's day. I'm going to turn him out;" and they two sent Lawler to me. "Fairbank, you are going out. Did you know it Jacob is Governor, and will be up to see you at noon. Put your best foot forward. I'm going to help you." After bell for dinner, we had huddled as usual, talking up the war-" 'Rah for Sherman! " "'Rah for Lee! " and so clear through the roll. I had my eye out for Jacob. By and by- "How re you, Fairbank Well, I'm going to turn you out. Sneed, get up a little petition to knock the blows off me. I'm going to turn him out anyhow.". 10 145 146 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. I asked, " Governor, what shall I do for you when I get out " "Talk about us like lh-1. We've abused you. You had no business here." CHAPTER XXI. Pardon-Reception in the North. SO ended, at last, seventeen years and four months imprisonment for the American Slave. That night at the Capitol Hotel, with a mixed audience of all colors, races, ranks and political parties -with a ring of half-clad Africo-American children six feet deep staring me in the face; with Speed and Prall, and Crutcher, and other plucky Union men, we gave vent to our pent-up faith in airing the subject until one o'clock next morning. At one time I heard a rustling of silk and a squeaking of shoes as an elegant- appearing lady stepped into a chair. " Which is the niggar thief" "Here I am, ma'am." "Oh, excuse me, sir. I did not mean to insult you, sir." "No matter, ma'am; no matter. That's my name." Now I want to tell a good story which properly belonged anterior to this. Remember, I told you that, on Sunday, February 14, 1858, Governor Charles S. Morehead said to me, " Fairbank, you are crazy. Do 147 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. you think your party will ever come into power" At the outbreak of the Rebellion, he made a treasonable speech; and was sent to Fort Warren, in Massachusetts Bay, where he remained a year. Upon his return I requested an interview with him. He came in. "Well, Fairbank, I understood you wished to see me." "Yes, I wanted to ask you if you had made up your mind that my party had come into power." He smiled, and looked beat. "Ah, Fairbank, I'm just out of jail." Next morning, armed with a pair of Colt's best from John 3I. Prall, I entered the cars for Cincinnati, Ohio, via Lexington, and took a seat quite near Ben Gratz, a Jew farmer, and another Kentuckian of his neighbor- hood, when the following conversation occurred; "Mr. Gratz, I hear that Fairbank is to be pardoned." " Well,-yes, I heard some talk this morning that he was, already. All I'd ask would be one pop at him. I'd shoot him as soon as I would a wolf." I was sitting with a Kentucky lady, who had volunteered to accompany me to Cincinnati for my protection. The four seats in our front were empty. Drawing my pistol, just screened from sight by the back of the front seat, I asked, " Ben Gratz, would you know Fairbank on sight " 148 "NOW, BEN, I'D GIVE IT UP! 1 Hesitating,, he said, "Well-yes, I think I should." "Well," said I, "here I am;" showing my revolver and resting it on the back of the seat in our front. "But you'll have to be mighty sharp; for I think I have the first pop." Then such a clapping of hands and huzzahing; and -"Now, Ben, I'd give it up!" And he did give it up handsomely; rising from his seat, stepping toward me, with his hand extended- "Now, Mr. Fairbank, I acknowledge the corn. Let us make friends and call this a joke." I crossed the Ohio that evening before dark, so overcome with joy that, falling upon my face, I kissed the dirt of my adopted State, and, rising to my feet, and throwing my hands high in air, I shouted: " OUT OF THE MOUTH OF DEATH!" "OUT OF THE JAWS OF HELL! ! " Twelve years, five months, and six days, involun- tarily on Kentucky soil; seventeen years and four months a prisoner since 1844. Forty-seven slaves liberated from hell! Thirty-five thousand, one hun- dred and five stripes during eight years from May 1, 1854, to May 1, 1862. Up to the liberation of Mr. Hayden and family, I had liberated forty-four slaves. During the short time I spent in Southern Indiana in 1851, I liberated, before undertaking the case of 149 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. Tamar, for whose liberation I was sent to prison for fifteen years, Julia with her babe, whom I met in Windsor, Canada, opposite Detroit, in 1864, in excel- lent circumstances. Fourteen years I had been shut out from the enjoyment of civilization; fourteen years banished from home, friends, country, citizenship; fourteen years deprived of domestic comfort, which in its distant imagery cheered me in my deepest gloom through that long night of despotism. "But thanks be to God who giveth us the victory" by faith! His hand was under me; His everlasting arm upheld me. "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." Oh, the Comforter brought to my remembrance whatsoever he had said unto me; and my faithful Mandana waited, and watched, and prayed, and visited and cheered to the very last. Reception at Cincinnati, Ohio. I went directly to the residence of Henry Boyd, an ex-fugitive slave who escaped in his boyhood, and worked his way to competence, as a mechanic-a man- ufacturer of bedsteads. No one in the room recognized me; but Mrs. Adams, the youngest of the family, soon came in, and immediately solved the problem. Said she, "Well, I don't know who it is, unless it is Calvin Fairbank" 150 RECEPTION AT CINCINNATI, OHIO. I then went to Levi Coffin's, whom I found alone, in his sitting room. " Good evening, Levi." "Good evening. But thee seems to have the ad- vantage of me." "Don't thee know me, Levi " "Well, this can't be Calvin Fairbank, can it" Then after a happy greeting, and fraternal ex- changes, he went to the chamber door, and called out, "Katie, come down here. Here is some one thee would like to see." Aunt Katie came down,-shook hands, steadily and doubtfully eyeing me. "Who art thou" "I am an old friend." "I don't know thee." "Don't thee know me" "No, I dont. Tell me who thou art." And away she went upstairs again. But Levi called her back, and asked, "Does not this look like Calvin Fairbank" Then looking at me a moment,-"No. Thee arn't Calvin Fairbank at all." And she wheeled away. Said I, "See here. Do you know I had lost my big toe from my left foot" "Well, well! Sure enough this is Calvin Fairbank." 151 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. This was Saturday night, April 16th. Next morn- ing early, before daylight, I was roused by the matin bells calling the votaries of his Holiness to morning worship. And, 0, they passed and the time passed, until I almost concluded that a new order of things had been inaugurated in Ohio. But morning came at last, and Levi hastened to spread the news among the vet- erans, and make preparations for the service of the day and evening. We met, in the morning, in the large Baptist Church on Longworth street, I think, about three hundred people, to whom, after a short sermon by the pastor, Wallace Shelton, Levi spoke in his plain, quiet way a few minutes, then introduced me. I of course was not very vigorous after so chronic a siege in the jaws of the monster, and particularly after three nights of almost sleeplessness-for I had slept but little since Wednesday night-and spoke but a short time. In the afternoon, after Rev. Wallace Shelton and Levi, I spoke about a half hour to some six hundred people. But in the evening I had the whole of the time, after introduction by Mr. Coffin to more that three thou- sand. Every seat was crowded-more than could sit in comfort; and all standing room, even the altar, and steps to the pulpit itself, and the windows; and people standing outside trying to look in-to catch some word. I was dressed in my freedom suit - a pair of short 152 "SING, CHILLEN, SING! " pants, short vest, and coarse rowdy hat, with an old scarf about my neck. I labored under a great difficulty in presenting a tasteful appearance on account of a white stripe in front between my vest and pants, and to avoid making too great a display of it, I kept partly behind the pulpit. Kitty Dorum sat away back near the door. She was a large, tall old black woman who had escaped from slavery in her thirteenth year with thirty-six cents, with which she bought some shirting, got some one to cut it out and start her in at sewing, made up the garments, sold them, bought more cloth, made it up and sold the garments until, in 1864, she had ac- cumulated a good property. She was rich. She rose in her dignity like Sojourner Truth, and swinging out a white handkerchief, called out- "Chile, come out from behin' de pulpit, dar! Stan' up straight, chile!" Then, drawing her kerchief around her waist,- "Look dar! He looks like he had a new moon tied aroun' 'im. Sit down, chile, we hear'n enough. Sit down. Sing, chillen, sing! Sing de bes' ye got;" and throwing up her hand,-"Lift it! lift it! Now we wants money for brother Fairbank." And they did sing, indeed. Then, as the custom of that people is, 153 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. they took up the line of march, passing down the right hand aisle, to the front, and past a table in the altar, leaving their contributions there. Several times I saw persons who had passed and made their contributions, pass and leave a second, and third contribution. Soon Kitty Dorum came crowding her way down, "Get out de way, chillen! Kitty wants to come." And, passing the table she waved a ten-dollar bill with evident satisfaction, and flung it on the table,-" Dar! Dat's de way to do it." We took up over one hundred dollars. A committee was then appointed to select and purchase me a suit; and Levi Coffin, Wallace Shelton, and Kitty Dorum constituted that committee. Soon after this, the Battle of the Wilderness was fought. We were at Boynton's church. Dispatches came in every few minutes; and as often Rev. Mr. Boynton, according as the message was good or bad, called out " Brethren, pray! " or " Sing 'Praise God! "' Then, when the message came, - "Our boys have recovered their ground, and are advancing on the enemy,"-" Sing 'Praise God from whom all blessings flow' ! Now let us go to the Gazette office and stay there all night. Take everybody along." All night until the light of morn began to streak the eastern sky, every inch of room about the office- the middle of the street, and away up to Orchard street 154 "AFITER YEARS OF FAITHFUL WAITING." was thronged with anxious people waiting for the dis- patches as they came to the Gazette office, and from there sent on through watchmen standing in the win- dows, and repeating the messages as they were read; and they echoed, and murmured wildly as they swept through the city from mouth to mouth. The city was in patriotic bloom, and swelling with martial ardor. Seventy-five thousand boys were called from Ohio, and responded heartily to the call. I hastened to surprise my friends at Oxford with an unexpected arrival. Miss Tileston was boarding at Mr. Shuey's. She had written me; and Mr. Whiteside had remailed her letter with a statement, " Fairbank is pardoned." She held the letter as a secret. I had called at the Cincinnati Gazette office; and Editor Smith had promised secresy, but revealed it. The Shuey family had the Gazette as a secret. Mr. Shuey was in Cincinnati-had come in possession of the fact: -had overtaken me on the road, and was anticipating a surprise; when all were surprised that, instead of sur- prising every one, no one surprised any one- for all were in the secret. After all these years of faithful waiting on the part of a true Yankee girl we were married on the ninth of June following, and entered upon the long-anticipated realization of domestic comfort, which for twelve years I 69 1 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. and three months lighted up our way toward the better land, when she was swept from the face of earth September 29th, 1876, to join " Friends fondly cherished, who'd pass'd on before," and leaving with me a precious boy of eight years: and a name that shall remain an example to the world, for she "being dead, yet speaketh." After my marriage, and return to Cincinnati I attended a communion service in the Baptist church which had extended me so cordial a welcome on Sun- day, April 17th previous, and preached the Com- munion Sermon. An Africo-American sat in the pulpit with me, and made the opening prayer, revealing in his voice, tone, sentiment uttered-referring to past events, that I must have known him before. After the service was over I asked him: "Who are you Is your name Burns Are you the man whom Ward sold down the river wearing a collar and horns" "Yes, I'm the man." "Well, fact is stranger than fiction." He said he had skipped away out of his cabin by night, fastened his horns and twisted them off, fled to a man he knew who unpinioned his arms by breaking the lock, then fled on, lying in the brush by day and watching until he found an old trusty slave who cut 156 "BARBARISM OF SLAVERY." the rivet that fastened his collar, and so escaped into Ohio. He was known by parties in Cincinnati as a pious, faithful, able preacher in the Baptist Church. When speaking of Baptists here, I mean the Africo- American Baptists. We next visited Chicago; and I had the pleasure of the hospitality of many of her best citizens, aipong whom was John H. Dimmock, a lawyer of reputation, who furnished for the Tribune a letter which reads as follows:- REV. CALVIN FAIRBANK.-We yesterday had the pleasure of an introduction to this gentleman, now in this city, and spent an hour or more attentive and most interested listeners to an account of his long imprisonment and barbarous treatment in the Kentucky penitentiary at Frankfort. Many of our readers will remember reading about the kid- naping of Rev. Mr. Fairbank from Jeffersonville, Indiana, in 1851, and his being taken to Frankfort, Kentucky, and after undergoing a sort of mock trial, of his being convicted of the charge of aiding and assisting a slave to escape from bondage to freedom, and sentenced to fifteen years' im- prisonment in the state prison of Kentucky. We had heard much and read much in regard to the " barbarism of slavery," but never, until we heard the statement of the reverend gentleman from his own lips, did we fully compre- hend the awful, devilish monstrosities of the slave power. We will give a brief statement of the case, as related to us, believing that our readers will be greatly interested and bene- fited by the publication of the facts in this extraordinary case. 157 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. In November, 1851, Rev. Mr. Fairbank was in Louisville on business, and while there was made acquainted with the case of a young slave girl, nearly white, who was endeavor- ing to escape to the free states. She was the property of a citizen of Louisville, and was named "Tamar." The story she related to Mr. Fairbank-though such as thousands in her condition could truly relate so worked on his feelings and so aroused his sympathies and indignation that he determined to render her escape certain. On the night of November 2d they crossed the Ohio from Louis- ville to Jeffersonville, Indiana. The girl secreted herself in a field while he went in pursuit of a horse and buggy. Before daylight he got her, cold and benumbed, into the buggy, and that day (November 3d) drove thirty-four miles into Indiana, placed her among friends, and himself re- turned with the horse and buggy to Jeffersonville, where he remained about a week. On his way to church, on the fol- lowing Sunday, he was assaulted and seized by the Marshal of Louisville, Kentucky, and a watchman of Louisville, assisted by the claimant of the escaped slave, and thus kidnaped he was taken by force from Indiana into Kentucky. He was thrown into prison in Louisville, where he lay about five months awaiting trial, bail being required in the sum of five thousand dollars, which he of course was unable to procure in that state. On the 25th of February, 1852, Mr. Fairbank was arraigned for trial, although no direct evidence was offered, and nothing but the slightest circumstantial evidence given, such as his being seen in Louisville on the same night the girl escaped; still, being determined to punish him under slave laws, they convicted him under their statute relating to enticing slaves, and he was sentenced to fifteen years' 158 "THE HORRIBLE WHIPPINGS." imprisonment. During the time of his imprisonment he was subjected to the most brutal, wicked, and inhuman treatment conceivable. When he first entered the prison, the profits arising from the labor of the prisoners was divided between the state and the warden, or prison con- tractor. Each prisoner was required to perform an allotted amount of work, which was equal to what a strong, well man could do at the utmost exertion of his strength and endurance. Mr. Fairbank's strength and health soon failed him, and he was utterly incapable of performing his tasks. Then commenced the horrible brutality to which he was subjected. He was put at the hardest, dirtiest work, and orders were given by Newton Craig, the then warden, to "kill him." The insulting language constantly addressed to him-the hated tones of voice and insolent and abusive manner, to say nothing of the horrible oaths directed to him, were enough to prostrate a man of his refined and sensitive mind. But all this was as nothing compared to the horrible whippings inflicted upon his naked person! Forced to lean forward over a stool, chair, or bench, he was made to strip, and then with a sole-leather strap, eighteen inches in length, two inches wide, and about three-eighths of an inch thick, soaked in water and fastened to a handle about two feet long, he was flogged, sometimes daily, some- times four times a day, for not performing a heavier task than it was possible for him to do in his state of health. He was given from two to one hundred and seven lashes at a time. Sometimes he would escape a flogging for a month, and once six months passed off without his being whipped. During the time he was imprisoned he was brutally flogged more than one thousand times because he had not fulfilled, through weakness and exhaustion, the task imposed upon 159 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. him. On one occasion, during the last winter, a keeper named Whiteside, and the only human man connected with the prison management, had directed Mr. Fairbank to cord up a lot of wood. While doing this, an under-keeper named Jeffries came along and asked Mr. F. roughly what he was doing that for. Mr. F. replied that he was doing it by order of Mr. Whiteside. Jeffries ordered him not to cord up any more wood, and Mr. Fairbank replying that he must do as directed by the officer highest in authority, Jeffries, in a rage, seized a stick of wood and struck Mr. F. over the temple a blow that cut to the skull, knocking him blind and senseless, and which placed him in the prison hospital for several weeks, and from which, owing to the shock to the brain, as in the case of the assault upon Senator Sumner by bully Brooks, he has not yet fully recovered. How many times the heart of the poor prisoner sunk within him, how many times he prayed earnestly that death might end his sufferings; how be was kept alive, and was permitted to hope on, and live, is known only to his God. Yet it is a great wonder how the mind could have been pre- served from utter wreck and ruin-how it was that insanity did not deprive him long since of all consciousness of the cruel wrongs he was obliged to suffer and endure. But have we not the explanation in the knowledge that he surely possessed, that there was waiting for him a loving and devoted heart, made all the more loving, devoted and constant by his civil bondage and the horrors to which he was subjected Was it not that he knew, or had faith to believe that her efforts in his behalf would never cease And that he owed it to her, if not to himself, to endeavor to bear with Christian patience and manly 160 "THE STAFF OF LIFE TO HIM." fortitude the grievous afflictions which he was compelled to experience At the time of the imprisonment of Rev. Mr. Fairbank, he was engaged to be married to Miss Mandana Tileston, of Williamsburg, Mass., a young lady of rare personal attractions and mental endowments. And the qualities, both of heart and mind, which this estimable lady possessed, will be best illustrated by stating that, during all the time of his imprisonment (from November, 1851, to April, 1864), Mr. F. was the one particular object of all her thoughts and all her devoted affections. Her loving, and cheerful, and hopeful letters were as the staff of life to him! Though stripped of all his money, clothing and property when he was imprisoned, and after his other means failed, she sent him money with which to supply his wants-furnished him a bed, bedding, towels, linen, and funds with which to provide himself with suitable food, coffee, tea, etc., and to supply him with such comforts as it was possible to do, and that he might not be obliged to eat the miserable prison fare which was supplied by the warden. She visited him in person in 1853, 1855, 1859, 1860, 1863, making constant efforts to procure his pardon. At length, after twelve years, one month and six days dreadful imprisonment in the state prison at Frankfort, besides the four months he was in jail in Louisville, Mr. Fairbank received a pardon from Lieutenant-Governor Jacob, of Kentucky, and was restored to his liberty. During the six last years Miss Tileston has been residing in Oxford, Ohio, as a teacher, where she might be near Mr. F. and where she could be enabled to furnish him with con- tinued means. As soon as he was set at liberty, he repaired 11 161 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. at once to her place of residence, where they were married a few weeks since. On leaving the prison ho was furnished with five dollars from the prison fund and an old suit of clothes, such as a hod-carrier might wear. None of his personal property was surrendered to him. the present keeper refusing to give it to him, saying to him, "All this property is mine!" Seventy-five dollars sent to him was withheld and kept by the warden, Newton Craig. And-after almost thirteen years of imprisonment at hard labor, stripped of all his means, he boarding himself during his incarceration, he is again free! What a martyr to the benevolent impulses of the human heart, has he not been! What an illustration of the "bar- barism of slavery," is his history! What an example of true womanhood. What an instance of that constancy, devoted affection, and self-sacrificing spirit which is the true ornament of the gentler sex, the rare exhibition of which in these degenerate days, makes this illustrious instance stand out in transcendent beauty and holiness! Reception at Detroit, Michigan. Leaving Chicago after a month's very gratifying entertainment, we took a steamer for Detroit, where we enjoyed a reception by invitation of the most prominent citizens of the place, among whom were E. B. Ward, Rev. George Duffield, Rev. W. Hogarth, and Rev. James N1. Buckley, now editor of the Christian Advocate at New York, as follows: 162 RECEPTION AT DETROIT, MICH. A PUBLIC DISCOURSE BY REV. CALVIN FAIRBANK.-The following correspondence has already been alluded to by us and will explain itself. We hope that Mr. Fairbank will secure a numerous attendance, and can assure all who may be present of an interesting narrative. Mr. Fairbank has been stripped of health and means. He desires to publish an account of his imprisonment, in such a form as will be of pecuniary benefit to him. It is proper to state that at the lecture provided for in the correspondence, an opportunity will be afforded those who may feel inclined, to contribute for the object named. AN INVITATION. DETROIT, July 30, 1864. REv. CALVIN FAIrBANK-Dear Sir: The undersigned, learning that you will remain in Detroit for some days, and appreciating your devotion to human freedom, and sympathizing with the sufferings you have endured on that account, would be pleased to hear from your own lips on some public occasion the recital of the incidents of your twelve years' imprisonment in the state prison of Kentucky for the sole alleged crime of giving practical application to the sublime precepts of the Golden Rule. H. P. BALDWIN, E. B. WARD, ALLAN SHELDON, Wm. A. HOWARD, L. G. BEBRY, GEO. DUFFIELD, JOHN J. LEONARD, JOHN P. SCOTT, Wm. A. BUTLER, JOHN H. GRIFFITH, DAVID PRESTON, S. ELDREDGE, A. SHELEY, H. D. KITCHELL, LYMAN BALDWIN, R. W. KING, DANIEL CHAMBERLIN, J. OWEN, CAMPBELL, LINN Co., S. CONANT, STEPHEN BALMER, H. HALLOCK, W. HOGABTH, JAMES M. BUCKLEY, KELLOGG, GiaA RNG SABIN. 163 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. MR. FAIRBANK'S REPLY. DETROIT, August 2. 1864. GzNTLzImN-I have just received your letter of the 30th ult., requesting me to give on some public occasion an account of the unjust imprisonment from which I have lately been released, and during which I suffered at the hands of a "horde of petty tyrants " all the horrors legitimately arising from the institution so long a blight to American civilization. I am glad to accept your invita- tion, and will on Sunday, the 7th inst., at 7 o'clock P.M., at the Cqngregational Church on Fort street, give a detailed account of my arrest, imprisonment, and pardon on the 15th of April by Lieu- tenant-Governor Jacob, then acting Governor. Meanwhile I shall look forward to that occasion, confidently hoping that I shall Le able to afford you satisfaction and meet your most sanguine expectations. I crave, gentlemen, the privilege of subscribing, Yours, for the slave, CALVIN FAIRBANK. To MIsuss. H. P. BADwrN, E. B. WABD, Wm. A. HOWARD, W. HOGABTE, JAMXs1 M. BucKLEY, GEOBRG DUFFIILD, JOiN OwEN, A. ELDoIDGE, H. D. KITCHELL, and others. At Ypsilanti the report is as follows: Several introductory exercises having been gone through, the Rev. Calvin Fairbank, the orator of the evening, was introduced, and was received with cheer after cheer. He gave a long history of his capture, sufferings, and release from the Kentucky penitentiary. He also eulogized the Christian fortitude and truly womanly bearing of his be- trothed, who, on his release, was immediately joined to him in holy wedlock. Ann Arbor, Michigan, reports: REV. CALvIN FAORBANK, who was kidnaped from Indiana, November 9th, 1852, and lodged in Louisville jail, put in 164 WELCOME AT OBERLIN. irons, and finally sent to the prison at Frankfort under sen- tence of fifteen years, for giving aid and assistance to a slave girl who had escaped from her master, A. L. Shotwell of Louisville, and pardoned on the 15th of April last by Lieu- tenant and Acting Governor Jacob, in absence of Governor Bramlette, after suffering more than twelve years, will speak at College Hall, to morrow evening (Sunday, 18th inst.), at seven o'clock, giving a history of his arrest, trial, imprison- ment, suffering and pardon. As we see from the public papers, Mr. Fairbank's case is one involving romance and tragedy: Romance, in the faithful adherence of a faithful young woman, Miss Tileston, of Williamsburg, Mass., who left her home in the far east and repaired to the west, to watch the interests of the one she loved, and their marriage on the 9th of June; and tragedy, in the barbarous and mur- derous treatment through which he has passed, and comes to us living. He states that he has received more than one thousand floggings, equal to more than thirty-five thousand lashes; and other abuses in proportion. Come and hear him. Our next welcome was at Oberlin, where we enjoyed the freedom of the most renowned community and institution of learning in the country, having sent into the field as officers, soldiers, nurses and teachers more men and women than any-I came near saying than all the other schools in the United States put together. I don't know how far I should have erred if I had. I spoke in the Second church, which was packed with students, Prof. Cowles presiding. In his introductory remarks he said: "I am about 165 166 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. to introduce to you one who, for his loyalty to the 'Higher Law,' and for his contempt of the law of despotism,-scorning alike her authority in her hours of prosperity, and her proffers of distinction in her hour of peril: and daring to smite in the face a state guilty of superlative infidelity to the Nation and the moral law,-received at the hands of enlightened infidels seventeen years and four months of imprisonment at hard labor, and more than thirty-five thousand stripes. And still he is not frightened out of his loyalty, but stands out to-day as a glorious exponent of the Liberty Guards of the Nation. Ladies and gentlemen, I mean Rev. Calvin Fairbank." CHAPTER XXII. Election.-My Vote at Oberlin. I HAD left Oberlin with the express understanding that I should return, and support the party with my vote. I had not voted there during fifteen years, my vote in 1849 being the last I had cast in that town, though I had, all the while, held my citizenship there; and in Cincinnati in 1851'voted the State ticket for Sam Lewis for Governor. I was in Cleveland; and left just in time to arrive in Oberlin at twenty-five minutes before sundown, and took a double-quick for the polling place. As I left the depot I heard the shout,-" There he comes! Cvome onl! Come on!" And there stood Peck, Ellis, Plumb, Cowles, Hill, Morgan and Charles G. Finney, beckoning me on, and shouting, " Comne on! Come on!" Almost every place has the ubiquitous Democrat; and he was here to question my vote. Said Mr. Finney, " Come, challenge his vote if you are going to. But, if you do, he will swear it in." But he did not challenge, and I cast my first vote in the town for fifteen years; and the first Republican vote of my life. 167 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. I have always thought well of a religion which comprehended citizenship;-of a ministry that found sin in bad voting and recognized the obligation of the citizen at the polls as a moral obligation. At Toronto, Canada-Field-day-Sir Charles Napier-His Audience. At Toronto, Canada, we enjoyed one of the most pleasant experiences since the day of our nuptials, mainly, and notably, that I was before a British people, who were not as loyal to us as they ought to have been, -that I had an opportunity to remind them in their own homes, and in presence of high authority, of their kinship, and their obligation to our independent mem- ber of the English family, without in the least becom- ing offensive. But on the contrary, eliciting the applause of the great marshal and soldier of the Crimea with his staff, and officers of rank, in one of the most respectable churches in the city. This was October, 1864. On the Saturday before I had witnessed the most magnificent pageant of my life. It was field-day: and Sir Charles Napier sat, apparently, an uninterested, unconcerned, happy, sandy-whiskered Scotchman, his aids riding swift and fleet,-stooping-touching cap,- and away to the gorgeously arrayed and exquisitely 168 FIELD DAY-SIR CHARLES NAPIER. marshaled lines-at a sound of the horn sometimes in a moment condensing into a phalanx, then spinning from some corner, or perhaps two, or more: and sooner than I can write it stretching away in glittering lines, receding in the distance: then in apparent battle in our front: and at another sound, the fleet chargers fly over the green, and we are startled with the sound of battle in our rear, and sent flying to the barracks. So, recognizing the hero of the Crimea with his georgeous suite, and a large number of a lower rank, and common soldiery before me,-speaking of the animus of the Confederacy, the necessity of resistance on the part of the United States, and even aggressive war until submission, I said: "I witnessed your field-day yesterday: and the worst wish I entertained was that Grant had Sir Charles with ten thousand of his well-disciplined troops on the Potomac with him." And Sir Charles rose high in his seat,-his cane fell heavily on the floor followed by such a crash, and clapping of hands, and waving of flags of both England and America blended, as rarely comes to the lot of an American speaker on British soil. I had hit the right string. I had gained a victory. Surely, I had wit- nessed, at any rate, a spirit of friendship in a renowned 169 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. British soldier and his hundred spearmen for the daughter of their mother. Thence we took our way to grand old Allegany, New York, visited my mother, and family: and soon bent our course for Williamsburg, Massachusetts, where we arrived on Thanksgiving day of 1864. On January 2d, 1865, we left Massachusetts for Philadelphia, where we had been called to enjoy an ovation from the people in a most emphatic and loyal demonstration in speech and song, and here we enjoyed once more "Home again, home again, From a foreign shore." About the 10th of January I attended one of the most extraordinary meetings that come to mortals dur- ing a lifetime. Considering the object of the meeting, its constituency, its presiding genius, and the character of the speakers, it was one the like of which is rarely enjoyed in a century. Called by the first citizens of Philadelphia for the purpose of entering a protest against the practice of the Street Railway Companies toward Africo- American passengers,-refusing them room in the same car with white people,-presided over by Bishop Potter of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and addressed by such men as Robert Purvis, Brewster, and Phillips Brooks, it was one of the most notable 170 "I AM A GENTLEMAN!" gatherings of the decade. Phillips Brooks was eloquence personified. As he poured forth his thoughts he swayed like an elm in the storm. After Mr. Brooks, came a little man with an intellectual, though hideous face. "MR. CHARMAN: I'm a gentleman: because no man can hold this ticket (a platform ticket) who is not a gentleman. I have not always been a gentleman. In former times I and my father were known as the slave- hunter's attorneys; and whenever the poor fugitive fled toward the North Star for his life, we were always relied upon to recapture him; or provide the legal advice and instruments for his rendition. Then I was not a gentleman. But, Mr. Chairman, I have repented, and am forgiven. Now I am a gentleman. I have been for a long time disgusted with the practice of the street railway companies toward thirty thousand people in this city. A gentleman or lady with a dark complexion, or a moiety of African blood,---never whiter, if it is just believed that an infinitesimal drop of African blood runs in his, or her veins, cannot, by their rules, ride on their cars with white people, decent, or never so indecent if only a claim to Caucassian blood can be maintained, but must go to the 'Jim Crow' car. Mr. Chairman, what is the objection to this people They say that they are black-that they are homely. Am I not 171 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. homely too Look at my face. I have had people turn away from me in disgust. Don't I feel it Don't they feel it Don't I know what it is Are not these people, many of them, specimens of exquisite symmetry Every art has been used to make my face look like a human face; and still I am hideous to look at. I can't help it. They can't help it. But, it is said they smell bad. Who makes this complaint Who are they Why, sir, they are people who patronize onions and whisky more than cologne. Whew!-I can smell one a mile, now! Mr. Chairman, let us pass this bill of instructions, and let these companies know that they are not to trample on the dearest rights of community -of humanity-to infringe and trench upon the civil, social, and moral structure of American civilization." Mr. Purvis had spoken with great power, and the resolves passed by acclamation. 172 CHAPTER XXIII. At Baltimore, Washington, and Norfolk, Va. A RRANGEMENTS had been completed for a re- ception at the most aristocratic church of the Africo-Americans of Washington; and, receiving a letter from Rev. Henry Highland Garnett, its pastor, we at once repaired to Baltimore where we spent the Sabbath with pleasant results, and on Monday follow- ing were in the "City of vast distances," a guest of Dr. Garnett, one of the most learned and distin- guished pure-blooded Africo-Americans in the United States. At an audience given me in that church, on the night of my arrival, I met many of the Northern anti- slavery workers who were reaping a little harvest as a result of former labors in the cause of freedom. I had made the acquaintance of Rev. John Pierpont, then pastor of a church in the city, and on a pleasant Sun- day we were on our way to his church when I heard a call,-saw a man in full run, beckoning-" Doctor, Mr. Garnett has sent for you TO PREACH BEFORE THE PRESIDENT, AND MORE THAN A SCORE OF CONGRESSMEN. 173 174 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. He has been sick, and is not able to preach. He wants you to come right up." I sent him to my room for my papers (you see, I did not want to preach before such an audience without my compass), and preached with satisfaction to myself before the most angust audience I had ever addressed. There were the President of the United States, his wife and family, and most of the members of his cabinet- Mr. Seward, S. P. Chase, Mr. Stanton, Mr. Speed; and Senators Sumner, Wilson, Hale, Wade, Cass, Gratz Brown; and of the Lower House, Ashley, Dawes and a score unknown to me,-yes, and there were Senators Powell and Garrett Davis of Kentucky, and Lane and Pomeroy of Kansas; and the most of them in gold- bowed spectacles. It was an august, impressive au- dience. At the close Dr. Garnett announced that I would speak in the Thirty-first Street Baptist church that evening: and a Friend from Fair Haven, Connecticut, said to me, "Why did not thee tell us thou wert Calvin Fairbank before thee began to preach I should have enjoyed it so much better." At Norfolk, Va.-John M. Brown. When at Oberlin I was familiar with a very intel- lectual, pious, zealous young Africo-American-John AT NORFOLK, VA.-JOHN M. BROWWN. M. Brown, with whom I was accustomed to go out on Sunday, and hold meetings. It was he who called my attention to the case of Gilson Berry's wife, which finally led to the escape of Mr. Hayden, and my first arrest. I found that he was at Norfolk, and wrote to him. I had changed my boarding place. One day I was told that a gentleman had called to see me, and on coming into his presence and not recognizing him, asked, "Who is this" "My name is Brown. Don't you know me" "No, I don't." "You and I used to be fast friends." Still I did not know him. "Where did you know me" "At Oberlin." Then I had to think for a while before I could get him into my mind; for he looked so young and hand- some that I could not conclude that pleasant little John M. Brown was before me. I expected to see him old and broken. At last I recognized him as my friend of the days of "Lang Syne." We soon went to Norfolk, and were met at the landing wharf by Bro. Brown, many of his people, a score of teachers in employ of the American Missionary Society with Secretary Whipple at their head, and escorted to the Mission House where we enjoyed a most refreshing stay until the Thursday 175 6 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. before the fall of Richmond, March 30, when we took a steamer for Washington, after some most magnificent demonstrations of loyalty to us, to the United States, and to God by that people who for two hundred years had been crushed under the heel of despotism. There were several large Africo-American churches there which were unable to hold more than a small minority of the people who crowded every place where we appeared. The white rebels avoided us. President Lincoln's Inauguration. March 4th, 1865, was a most horrid morning. Rain fell in broken sheets, driven by the wind; but people came just the same, moving toward the Capitol until twelve M. The mud in.Pennsylvania Avenue was hub deep-a canal of batter; and I stood with my good wife from nine ArM. until twelve M. in front of the great plat- form, standing on bricks as the rain dashed upon a thousand umbrellas. Without regard to rain, we took our positions near the front platform where the great event was to occur, Mrs. Fairbank standing each foot on two bricks where, protected by three umbrellas, we remained three hours, until twelve x., when the immortal pageant burst from the columns of the Capitol. The rain had ceased, the clouds hastened to their chambers; and nature assumed 176 THE LEVEE-SOJOURNER TRUTH. an air of joy and serenity rarely witnessed on that day. Then the short, pointed, brave declaration of the mind of the Chief Executive of the Nation-" DROP FOR DROP: LASH FOR LASH." The Levee. At the levee that night thirty thousand people passed in and out of the White House. At one time a throng was pressing the door of the room where the President received his guests, and Frederic Douglass among others pressed to the door, when "Hold on!"- and others kept passing in. "Hold on! You can't go in now. It is not con- venient." "How is that I see others passing in." Some one interfered,-" This is Frederic Doug- lass." When Douglass,-"Never mind. I do not want to go in as Frederic Douglass; but as a citizen of the United States." Here comes the great man of the age, President Lincoln, with his long arm extended over heads and through the crowd.-" WHY, HOW DO YOU DO, FREDERIC COME RIGHT IN! " Some time after we were standing in the great East room when 12 177 HOW "THE WAY" WVAS PREPARED. Sojourner Truth, walking in, and approaching the marshal, said: "I want to see President Lincum." " Well, the President is busy, I think, and you can't see him now." "Yes, I must see him. If he knew I Was here he'd come down an' see me." Finally the marshal went to the President's room with a statement of the case, when the President said, " I guarantee that she is Sojourner Truth. Bring her up here." And here she came; and we just approached near enough to catch the glimpses, and hear the words of greeting. "SOJOURNER TRUTH! HOW GLAD I AM TO SEE YOU." The President bought her book Then handing him her photograph, she said: " It's got a black face but a white back; an' Pd like one o' yourn wid a green back." That was too good. The President laughed heartily; then putting his fingers into his vest-pocket, and hand- ing her a ten-dollar bill said, "There is my face with a green back." We left Norfolk on Thursday, March 30th, before the fall of Richmond. To make this clear,-we went to New York after our first visit to Philadelphia and 178 A"rM A REBEL, SIR." Washington the first time, then returned to Washington and Norfolk, stopping at Wilmington, Delaware, as I have said. We had a Government pass and transporta- tion. At Fortress Monroe we took on board three rebel ladies, one of whom was Mrs. General Helm, in care of General Singleton, of Quincy, Illinois. Our state-room was the small cabin. Soon they were playing at cards. Standing in the door the purser said to me, "Do you see those three ladies playing at cards at that table That pinky-looking one there is Mrs. Helm, Mrs. Lincoln's sister. The other two are going to Quincy, Illinois, with General Singleton." I soon caught on and said, "I'm a rebel, sir." "Yes, I know what kind of a rebel you are." "Well, I am." Then, taking my place on the sofa I soon had the ladies beside me, and in confidence pour- ing their secrets into my ears. Richmond to be evacu- ated! Its overthrow was just a foregone conclusion,-a question of time. Mrs. Helm was fleeing to the White House, and the others to Quincy, Illinois. But by and by they "dropped onto me," as the boys say, and flew to their rooms like wild birds. On my way up the Chesapeake bay, I got off at Point Lookout, imparted to the commander what I had gathered from my rebel friends, of the probable immi- 179 HOW "THE WAY" WAS PREPARED. nent fall of Richmond, and went on my way toward my adopted New England home. Fall of Richmond, April 2d. Arrived in New York on Saturday night, April 1st. The city had been in a blaze of flags, banners, and streamers for two months or more. Now the crisis is at hand. Morning came, April 2d. We hastened to Sulli- van Street church. People held their breath. Sullivan Street church is A. M. E., and of course the people were anxious. I said, "I'll go back and see what I can learn. Wait ye here." I hastened, and learned that Richmond had just fallen. I speedily returned, and found the minister just reading his first hymn. I paid no attention to minister, hymn, or anything else, but " RICHMOND HAS GONE Up!" Running up into the pulpit,-" Richmond has gone up!" The hymn book dropped! The minister stood entranced! A wail-a shout-a shriek of "HAL-LELUJAR!!" swept through the house, into the street and through the city like the shout of victorious armies. We arrived in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, on the 14th of April, and early next morning learned of the ASSASSINATION OF THE PRESIDENT the night before, at Ford's theatre. At the moment of our grandest achievement the country was stricken with. 180 "HOW ARE THE MIGHTY FALLEN!" deepest grief. Appropriate services were everywhere held in honor of the country's illustrious dead-for expression of the people's unbounded grief. Boston, New York, Philadelphia and other cities which but a few weeks before were red with expressions of victory and joy, were now black with insignia of the deepest grief. Men and women received and breathed the inspiration of the hour; and the spirit of prophecy caught the rebel mind, and rebel ladies and gentlemen, before they were aware, were swelling the airs,-the an- thems of the Republic,-chanting the dirge to our fallen illustrious hero;-and they too were among the prophets. I hastened to New Haven, Connecticut, and there in speech, in song,-with appropriate services we poured out our sorrow-" How are the MIGHTY FALLEN!" In Boston during the May meetings I listened to the ever- memorable ORATION OF HON. CHARLES SUMNER, in celebration of the life and death of America's noblest son, before fifteen thousand people in Music Hall. And here I will close this record, this history of my life, for there is no need to dwell upon my con- tinued work for the good of the Africo-American people, and my private sorrows and joys cannot interest the world. I am old and lonely, and looking back upon the past, I-- 181 This page in the original text is blank. APPENDIX. June, 1877, found me again laboring for the good of the Africo-American people. The Providence (R. I.) Journal said:- THE ELEVATION OF THE COLORED RACE.-Mr. William Troy, of Richmond, Va., and Mr. John Gains, of Boston, formerly of Petersburg, Va., addressed an audience of colored persons in the vestry of the Congdon Street church, last evening, upon the elevation of the colored people in the South. They took the ground that if the colored people are to reach a higher plane of life than at present exists among them in the Southern states, they must attain to it by their own exertions, aided by those of their colored brethren in the North. They regarded the colored men and women in the North morally bound by the ties of blood, to take hold of this work, and believed further that they were called of God to go South, and to teach, preach and set good examples in all departments of life, by which the freedmen may profit, for their future good. The meeting was held in the interests of the Moore Street Industrial Society of Richmond, Va., of which M1r. Troy is vice-president, and it is proposed to form an auxil- iary society of colored people in this city at an early day. Rev. Calvin Fairbank, of Richmond, Va., Superintendent and General Agent of the Moore Street Society, who was 183 APPENDIX. for more than seventeen years a prisoner in Kentucky, and received a great number of lashes for aiding fugitive slaves to escape, was present, and occupied a seat upon the plat- form. Previous to the close of the meeting resolutions were adopted, in substance as follows: First-That in view of the needy condition of the people of Richmond, Va., and the comparative ability of the people of the Northern States, a very moderate united effort upon the part of the people of the latter States would greatly relieve the people in the needy districts of the South, and bring joy to the hearts of their friends. Second-That we feel the utmost confidence in the Moore Street Industrial Missionary Society of Richmond, Va., as represented by its worthy and able Superintendent and General Agent, Rev. Calvin Fairbank, and Rev. Wim. Troy, its vice-president; and we hereby pledge our hearty co-operation therewith in attaining the end it pro- poses, viz.; the elevation and cultivation of the people of color in that vicinity in the arts and sciences and the industrial avocations. Another meeting will be held at the Pend Street Free Baptist church next Monday evening, for the purpose of taking steps toward the organization of an auxiliary society. And in my loneliness, and looking back upon the sunny days of the past, I wrote, through the Newport (Rhode Island) Daily News: To the Editor of the Daily News: I am pleased that in taking account of the events of the week the journalists for the people have not forgotten the history of our past, which has moulded and constituted the present, nor the eventful experience of some of us yet rejoicing in its happy results to the country and the people. At this date, looking back to the time when my boy heart bounded with hot blood for poor suffering humanity, the uprising public sentiment against an institution which 184 APPENDIX. had brought mildew upon the social, political and moral condition of a great section of our country,-the goal just within my reach, the voluntary sacrifice I made upon the altar of duty, the novel events that have attended my life up to the present, I do not wonder that it has often been said of it that "truth i stranger than fiction." I hold in my hand a clipping from the Liberator of November, 1851, containing a letter of my own published in Frederic Douglass' paper. I hold in my hand a clip- ping from the Chicago Tribune of 1864, rehearsing the sacrifice, the tragedy, the outrage, the long, long-continued suffering in prison, the constancy of woman and the " roman- tic history,"-that through those long, hopeless years when my life was covered like the dead beneath the wave, she having left her own New England home to watch over me, waited and watched from the Ohio side the ebb and flow of the tide of public sentiment, ministered to my comfort, pleaded my cause, and when released as a result of the national struggle in 1864 received me to "nurse me back to life again." I hold in my band a clipping from the Rochester Democrat of January, 1866-" Seventeen years struck out of a man's life, during which his classmates have entered the world and built up fame and fortune, is of itself a very serious matter; but, when you make them seventeen years of toil as hard as ever slave performed, and torture as keen and continuous as was ever inflicted upon a prisoner "Since man first pent his fellow men Like brutes within an iron den," it becomes a martyrdom more heroic than his who falls at the cannon's mouth:" and, "He kept an account every day on the wall of his cell, and thus knows that he received in 185 APPENDIX. all about thirty-five thousand stripes." And, 0, I recall distinctly the manner, the animus, the causeless cause for thirty-five thousand one hundred and five stripes during eight years, with the strap of half-tanned leather from one- fourth to three-eighths of an inch in thickness, eighteen inches in length and one and a half inch in width, and attached to a convenient handle,-on my bare body-with all the might and malice of a human brute, simply for the ostensible reason that I did not execute the task assigned me, when it was emphatically out of my power. Says the Democrat, " And when he described his daily round of life there-the cruelties of the taskmaster, the hopelessness of escape or release, and the strong temptation to suicide, his words rose into eloquence which is possible only when a speaker describes what he himself has experienced." He says, "horrible and heart sickening!" Then, here is "Pharaoh out-done," from the American Baptist, of 1864, and here is "Died in his cell," by a reporter, Anderson Elijah "Whipped blind and senseless." And it was true. Now I hold a letter, "0 darling, I shall get well;-shall be as well as anybody; and shall bring up our boy." And now the loving letter of my precious boy of nine years, signed "Your loving Callie." And now,-Hampshire Gazette, Williamsburg,-Death of Mrs. Fairbank,-Mandana, wife of Calvin Fairbank- after a year's sickness,-quick consumption,-died in her chair, suddenly. Mrs. Fairbank was one of the finest of women-patient, self-sacrificing, tireless in effort, unceas- ing in care. September 29, 1876." These are all facts to me. But to the world before the stage they must seem more like fiction. Especially to persons below the age of 186 APPENDIX. twenty-five, this, with the institution with which it was con- nected must appear like a tale that is told. Now, again, I am called into the field for that same people for whom I have been willing in the past to risk so much of time, and position, and name, and liberty, and health, and even life itself. In noticing our effort, I see that it is recognized as in the main a Baptist effort. It is not denominational at all. There are among its officers and board of directors people of all Protestant bodies; and some of no denomination; all aiming at education in every depart- ment of human life and character. The purpose is, 1st, To furnish a school for the many poor who are without school, there being not enough in the city; 2d, To form a nucleus of education in the industrial avocations, also, as soon as may be; and 3d, To secure a model institution in addition to those already doing their work in training those who are to lead society. Yours truly, CALVIN FAIRBANK. P. S. Our institution is the Moore Street Missionary Society of Richmond, Virginia, and situated within the city. The Soldier's Award. BY REV. CALVIN FAIRBAX The sentinel stood at his post, Nor heeded the storm and cold; But paced his beat Through snow and sleet, Cautiously treading with weary feet 'Till the reveille was told. 187 APPENDIX. The storm swept fiercely on:- The wife and darlings three Were thinking-Where Does the soldier share Shelter and rest, or the bleak wild air And where shall his burial be The sound of the battle's horn Rang shrill on the slumbering host, And that home was bright All that anxious night, Watching the march and the terrible fight Of the soldier they loved most. Where, now, are the men of "Lang Syne" And the women so faithful and brave When the storm beats high In the soldier's sky, As he tenderly breathes a homeward sigh On the mouth of a soldier's grave. See! plying the busy thread By a thousand hearth-stones bright: And the air was still, Save the pratt'ling nill,- Or the town-clock o'er the distant hill Strikes the signal of the night. 'Twas one by the signal stroke; And the weary, faithful, brave, Were plying the thread, For the living or dead, To pillow the patriot soldier's head, In his tent, or in his grave. 188 APPENDIX. Hark! Hark! What means such haste The battle is high! -they fight! Quick!-sound the alarm! Rouse ye, and arm! From cottage and plain; from store and farm, To the front! to the front to-night! Now holds high carnival The fiend of the battle's ire, Whose fingers in blood From the sat'rd flood, Which sinks away in the satured mud, Swell the dirge o'er the patriot pyre. On that victorious field Gainst treason's remorseless strife, Lie husband and sire, Piled. stretched in the mire, While the joy at home wait and gaze in the fire, His cherubs and faithful wife. The smoke of the battle is gone:- There's a hearth-stone, a chair and a name; But the hearth-stone and chair- There's a vacancy there; And the sleeve which hangs armless there no arm to wear, No wealth, but his valor and fame. He has rescued the flag of the free,- Has restored to his country her fame; But her glory and power Shall they fade like a flower And her watch-word and signal be changed in an hour And liberty left but a name 189 APPENDIX. His award-what of that Shall it be That his crutch and sleeve are no more To be seen at the gate Of the temple of State; But the foeman who smote him in combat shall wait Where the patriot waited of yore God forbid that the miscreant arm That periled our flag, on that day- Nor a traitor's hand Of the rebel band Shall guard the doors of this sacred land, Or bear her glory away. But the hero-the citizen leal Keep vigils from sun to the sea; And our watch-word shall stand As a sign o'er the land; And our t-gis of power be borne by the hand Of loyalty, faithful and free. A Much-Whipped Clergyman. New York Letter to Indianapolis News. A man of venerable aspect walked past John L. Sullivan in Broadway. The contrast in physique and apparent men- tality was vast. "I say, John," remarked a companion of the prize- fighter, "there goes the most whipped man on earth." "Has that old fellow been a professional" Sullivan asked, a little disdainfully. 190 APPENDIX. "Yes, a professional clergyman," was the reply. "He is Calvin Fairbank, and he has received over thirty thousand lashes on his bare back." There was no exaggeration in that statement. Fairbank was involved in the escape of nearly half a hundred negro slaves from Kentucky. He was convicted of forty-seven of these acts-or crimes, the law said-and sentenced to im- prisonment and whipped separately for each. Between 1844 and 1862, when Lincoln released him, he was regularly whipped every month. He now lives at Angelica, N. Y., but sometimes comes to town to visit his fellow ministers at the Methodist Book Concern. His official whippings were only severe at the outset, and during the last ten years of his imprisonment amounted to hardly anything in physical torture, although degrading to his pride. May 14, 1890.-After all these years of toil I hold in my hand a card:- MR. AND MRS. GEORGE W. WALKER REQUEST THE PLEASURE OF YOUR COMPANY AT THE MARRIAGE OF THEIR DAUGHTER SARAH TO CALVIN C. FAIRBANK, WEDNEsDY AFTERNOON, MAY TWENTY-FIUST, AT THREE O CLOCK, AT THEIR RESIDENCE SAYBROOK, CONNECTICUT. 1890. My life, so far, has been a success. When I entered the field for the oppressed, I counted on re- 191 192 APPENDIX. proach, poverty, and final triumph; and expected to "suffer the loss of all things, that I might win Christ. I have fought a good fight. I have [nearly] finished my course. I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness." STATEMENT BY LAURA S. HAVILAND. It has been the expressed wish of the author of this little book, Calvin Fairbank, and his friends that I should add a few incidents in regard to his mar- tyrdom; for such it was, as truly as Elijah P. Lovejoy, Charles T. Torry, and many others who suffered and died on slavery's bloody altar, for obeying the "Higher Law" which they conscientiously believed to be God's law of Eternal Right. Fifty, forty, or thirty years ago, it cost everything to the few who dared occupy this broad standpoint, and carry out in all their life work, these grand, heaven-born principles. It cost "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," to those who dared advocate the "Fatherhood of God, and the Brotherhood of man." In retrospect, this vast field rises before me a won- derful panorama, from ocean to ocean, from the lakes to the gulf, with its ever-changing dissolving views. Here and there a cyclone appeared in our moral horizon; darker, and darker still the portentous clouds overshadowed our beloved country. Amid these clouds, 13 193 APPENDIX. a mysterious letter fell into Levi Coffin's hands. He took it to Dr. Brisbane, Edward Harwood, Lawyer Jollif, and others, but no one could define it; but as it came from Louisville jail, all decided that some one was in trouble. But who was the question. It was signed six, and eight dots, with, "These dots spell my name." As I had been on College Hill a few weeks, caring for a sick lady, and returned to Levi's (in whose family I made my home four years, about half the time nursing the sick, the other half aiding escaping slaves) "There, Laura, is a problem for thee to solve we've all had our hand at it." And that apostle of freedom brought me the open letter. I said, " Calvin Fairbank, that fills the dots. Poor man, he's there in trouble!" "I did not know," said Levi, "that he was any where in this part of tho country." "He called here in thy absence, on his way to take his father's remains back home; and some poor slave has appealed to him for help; and he never turns one away." A few weeks later, a colored man who had been in Louisville jail under suspicion of being a slave, but had proven his freedom, and been released, came to Levi's home. By him Calvin sent word that he was 194 APPENDIX. suffering from cold, and unless he could have quilt, blanket, and woolen underwear he must perish. Weather very cold. The river frozen over in some places. This colored man told us Calvin had only a pile of filthy straw in his cell. This was truly distress- ing. Under circumstances of great excitement over him, they had found out who lie was, and four weeks previously Williams from Massachusetts was hung near Baltimore by a mob, without judge or jury, because he followed a kidnaper of two little girls, of free parents in Pennsylvania, who were enticed by a peddler, who had sold them in Baltimore, Maryland. Great excitement over that occurrence. And but two weeks before, a Mr. Conklin was overtaken in Vincennes, Indiana, with the wife and four children of an escaped slave, and all were taken to a boat going down the river; but as they were near being overtaken for kidnaping Conklin from Indiana they bound him in ropes and threw him in the river, where he was found a few days later. Here, too, was a source of great excitement in both sections of our country, North and South. Now, with all these dark clouds over us, who would be safe in relieving our suffering brother Rev. Calvin Fairbank This was a question hard to solve from human standpoint. After a few days of prayer, I reached the conclusion to go with the unerring Guide 195 APPENDIX. who said to those on the right, " Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me." "Levi and Catharine, I am going to Louisville jail, and relieve our brother Calvin Fairbank. I am con- fident I shall safely return." "I don't know, Laura, but thou art the very one to go," said Levi in his careful, moderate way. " And I have a trunk and a warm quilt to put in it," rejoined Catharine. Levi called on Captain Barker, who gave half-fare ticket on Ben Franklin No. 2 to leave next day at two P. m. Friends filled the trunk, paid my fare, and sent fourteen dollars to Calvin for a little pocket change. Melancthon Henry (the son of Patrick Henry by a slave girl, who was freed by him, with the child, and left by will, a nice little property), when he placed three dollars in my hand, said, "I know you are going into the lions' den, and I pray they may not close their teeth upon you. Be as wise as the serpent without the poison, and that is harmless as the dove." At last Levi called on Dr. Brisbane, who expressed great surprise that any one knowing all the circum- stances should have given me a word of encouragement. "For it will never do for her to go at this juncture. Remember Williams, and Conklin!! And very likely 196 APPENDIX. she will share the same fate. If she goes, I doubt whether we shall ever see her again. Tell her she must not go. I fear it will be at the peril of her life." Levi did the errand. "I see no geographical lines drawn in my Bible, and I am free to go." Captain Barker gave me a note of introduction to Colonel Buckner, the jailor, that I presented the follow- ing morning, before sunrise, and was politely received, and introduced to his wife and daughter; also the Colonel's wife's sister, and her daughter (from Boston on a visit), making quite a social circle. I at once made my errand known, and delivered the trunk to the Colonel, who looked it over-not that he expected to find anything improper for a prisoner to receive, but this was his duty as a keeper (rather apologetically). I also made known my prospect of returning at four P. M. on the same boat. "But why return so soon" "Because my errand will have been accomplished; my ticket takes me back free." "I'll see the sheriff and find out if I can take you in to Fairbank. As there was great excitement over his arrest, I dare not take you in without his approval." He soon returned with the report that the sheriff was out in the country for two or three days. 1K APPENDIX. "You certainly ought not to leave without seeing Fairbank, and I reckon there will be no difficulty as soon as I can see him, and you can stay with us just as well as not; it shall not cost you a cent; it is just as free az air." I told him my friends would be there when the boat was due to meet me. "But you can write them a note and I'll take it to the boat myself." I consented for Calvin's sake. During three days' waiting for the sheriff, great pains was taken to secure a private interview, by notes between Calvin and myself. A prisoner was released, and pretended to be in confidence with Fairbank, and brought me the name of the place where was Tamar's trunk with valuable articles that he wished me to for- ward to her; and wanted to know if I knew of such and such names. I told him I knew nothing of those names, neither could I have anything to do about the trunk. I told him I did not know but the girl had been arrested with Fairbank, until I came here. (I learned afterward that Shotwell, the man who lost the girl, had paid him three hundred dollars to do all he could to find Tamar.) After failing to get any clue from me, he went on to Indiana to meet another failure. During this waiting to see the sheriff, great effort 198 APPENDIX. was made to convince me of the wickedness of aboli- tion principles. One appalling feature was, my aboli- tion principles would lead to amalgamation! "As for that, amalgamation belongs on your side of the house. You have more than five hundred cases of amalgama- tion to our one in the North. You know there are those who claim as property their own flesh and blood. And this is found here in your own city Louisville. In this statement I am fearless of successful contradiction." Giving his shoulders a shrug, the Colonel replied, "I know it is a most woful fact." One argument among the many le referred me to, was of a slave man who was enticed away from Mr. Adams of South Carolina, who spent the evening with us in the parlor, to whom I was introduced. He seemed quite a jolly sort of a man, and it was no wonder, after finding his Jack and the "pile of money " (as he called it) in the jailor's hands. The next day, Colonel Buckner, pointing to a black man in his yard, said,- "Now, I want to show you just what your abolition principles lead to. That negro Jack belongs to Mr. Adams, and a man went to him alone, and asked him if he would not like to be free, and be his own master. Jack said yes. 'Then you come to me by that big tree near the road, about eleven o'clock to-night, and -e can travel all night and lay by in the day, and I'll log APPENDIX. take you through to Canada. There you'll be a free man.' And the plan was followed. After they had traveled two or three nights, he proposed to Jack, to allow him to assume to be his master, and let him sell him in the next town; then he could run away again, and he would watch for him behind some big tree or log; then he would give him half the money he got for him, and that would give him quite a start in his new home in Canada. This plan was adopted, and this gave Jack quite a pile of money. But this was not the end of sales. By the time they got here he had sold Jack seven times. After he had been here in jail about three days, Jack told me all about it. And I took charge of his pile of money, and wrote his master, and he just got here yesterday, and he's going to go around town with Jack to see if he can get sight of the rogue that enticed him away." After listening to his story all through, said I, "That is not the work of an Abolitionist." "Oh, yes, he told Jack he was an Abolishioner." "That may be, but that man was a rogue of the darkest hue, and ought to have been here in jail instead of Jack You can see for yourself, if he had been true to Jack, he would have left the river before reaching this place, and have been on their way to Canada; but no-he was taking him down the river to a more 200 APPENDIX. southern market, where he would have sold Jack for the last time, taken possession of Jack's 'pile of money,' and fled to parts unknown. I care not what he called himself, he was a hypocrite, and a villain, and is worthy of severe punishment." On this Sabbath morning Ben Franklin No. 2 was in port, and I was ready to leave, and the Colonel had heard nothing from the sheriff yet. " I do not like to see you go without seeing Fair- bank, and I've a great mind to risk it any how. Come on." And we soon stood before the forty slaves who were there, not because they had committed anything wrong, but were placed there by a trader, for safe keeping, until he had gathered up his gang for the lower market. Calling for Fairbank, as I met him amid all this crushing bitterness, with these forty sad faces before us, I could not withhold tears. He was brave and said, "Let us keep good courage. I think I shall be released when the trial comes off. I want you to see my lawyer, Mr. Thruston." "But his figures, seven hundred dollars, are too high for us in Cincinnati to reach; and I am not pre- pared to indemnify a lawyer, and have no liberty what- ever to do it." 201 APPENDIX. " But he may throw off a few hundred dollars, if you see him. Don't go without seeing Mr. Thruston." To add to these pleading words while pressing my hand in both of his, Colonel Buckner with tearful eyes said, "Mrs. Haviland, I reckon it's your duty to stop over, and see Fairbank's lawyer; you can remain with us, or go to Dr. Fields as Fairbank suggests; and wait for the boat to make another trip." As I felt he would be sacrificed, as others had been, and probably this would be the last favor he would ever receive, I gave way, and told him I would remain, and see his lawyer. As the time had already been extended beyond the limit given, and we were about to leave, Calvin looked at four men standing near us, and asked if I knew them. I nodded a recognition, but no word could be spoken. They were self-freed slaves for years, but had been captured. They were in tears. As we were passing out, the Colonel asked if I could go to their apartments alone. " Certainly." The officers beckoned to see me a moment, and I passed on and met their slave man. "Did you (in undertone) see Fairbank " I nodded assent. 202 APPENDIX "Glorious!" (hardly above a whisper). As 1 was passing through the hall, their slave Mary, in a whisper I could hear, "Did you see him" As I nodded an assent-" Good! good!" A few minutes elapsed, and the jailor came in tremb- ling, and pale as a sick man, and said, "M Mrs. Haviland, I fear I shall not be able to pro- tect you longer. These officers are for arresting you at once. They asked if I did not see the effect upon those forty slaves, the moment that lady entered the jail. I told them I did not, as my attention was directed to you and Fairbank. They said it was like an electric shock, upon those slaves; and then those four men just stood there and cried. 'They know her, and it's very plain to be seen, that she is a dangerous person and ought to be in this jail, as well as Fairbank."' "Colonel Buckner, I am just as safe here as if in my room in Cincinnati. The God of Daniel is here, and if your officers should arrest me at this hour, you would not keep me in your jail three days. You know my business here. Should they arrest me this moment, I should not be the least excited. I have nothing to fear whatever." And he became more calm, and remarked, " It is a glorious thing to feel like this. There has been a great deal of excitement; they had you reported in the papers 203 APPENDIX. as Delia Webster [a lady who had been arrested for the same offense in that state]. I got a gentleman who knew her, to call and see you the other evening. He told me as he passed out, that he would call on those editors and disabuse them at once, and tell them there was nothing to fear from Mrs. Haviland. And he did quiet them. But I reckon you had better go imme- diately to Jeffersonville, and not cross over on this side on any account. It will not be safe for you to set foot on Kentucky soil." He had suggested going with me to the ferry, but said, " It would be safer for you to go alone, as these officers now know you are with me." " Very well; " and I left the troubled jailor. As I passed through a company of men in front of a large hotel, I heard one say, "Great excitement in town to-day." "Yes, sir; you'll see a squad of men at every street corner. The whole city seems to be astir this morning." I smiled, and said to myself, you have no idea it is this little rusty woman, you are making this flurry over. After crossing the river, I inquired for Dr. Fields, and was shown the house. As I reached the gate, I inquired of a company standing on the porch, if this was Dr. Fields' residence. 204 APPENDIX. " Yes, I'm a Jason. Come on, Mrs. Haviland. We've been looking for you daily, for the week past." "I How is this " "We'll show you a file of papers, with notes of threats each day since you have been in Louisville." I told him all these had been carefully kept from me, until I was about leaving, when the jailor got frightened and told me not to set foot again on Kentucky soil, and he would see Mr. Thruston and send him over to see me. " The jailor lied, for he knew he had been sick two weeks. Also lied about the sheriff, for he was there all the time, and I know it." I sent a note to Lawyer Thruston, and he returned the message, to come and see him, and he would stand between me and all harm. The doctor gave me an umbrella to shield me from the jail, as well as the storm, as I had to pass the jail to go to Lawyer Thruston's, who told me to collect for him whatever was convenient, and he would do the best he could for Calvin Fairbank, and I returned to our " Jason" without harm. The doctor (who, like Dr. Brisbane, and James G. Birney, had set his slaves free, and moved out of Ken- tucky on account of slavery) and family were so kind it seemed like an oasis in a desert. 205 2APPENDIX. When the boat made her trip the second time I was ready, and was met by Levi Coffin at the wharf. "Well, Laura, we've had a time over thee. Dr. Brisbane and James G. Birney have been sick over thee. The doctor has been so distressed he could hardly eat or sleep." They appointed a reception at a private house, and we rejoiced together, with the mixture of sorrow over Calvin's sad prospects. They received no note from me, only threats in those papers. After the mock trial and his sentence was pro- nounced, he wrote a letter to Mandana Tileston (his affianced), that he would release her from their engage- ment. But she replied, "If you out-live your term, if I marry any man, it will be Calvin Fairbank." And the noble woman watched and waited all those years, to nurse him back to life, after receiving over one hundred terrible whip- pings, that counted, all told, thirty-five thousand one hundred and five lashes on his bare flesh. I have heard him say, it seemed to him that every ten strokes were equal to a death. He has often said, had he not inherited an iron constitution he must have sunk under those years of cruel treatment. But to show how little of bitterness he retained, as he was passing along the street in Cincinnati, he saw Zeb Ward and his wife 206 APPENDIX. thrown from their carriage into a ditch. He ran to their relief, and told Ward he would assist his wife to a surgeon's office across the street, as she was badly hurt. After placing her in the hands of the surgeon, Fairbank returned to see what he cquld do for Ward. As Ward looked at him, in surprise, he said "Fairbank, is that you" "Yes." "Why! I should have thought you would have killed me, instead of helping me." And took from his purse a roll of bills,-" There is one hundred dollars- take that." "Oh, no, I don't ask anything for helping any one in trouble." "I tell you to take it." "I made one hundred. dollars last evening by talk- ing about you, and I have another meeting this evening, and I shall talk about you again." "I don't care for that. I tell you to take this." "And I did take it, with thanks." I hope and trust this little sketch of Rev. Calvin Fairbank's thrilling life will find an abundant sale to aid him now in his broken-down, destitute, infirm old age of seventy-four years. LAURA S. HAVILAND. 20-6