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THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD.
overtaken the slaves were put ashore and piloted to one of the stations not far removed from the canal, and there were a number of these along the line in Maryland and West Virginia (then Virginia). These stations were simply the homes of families either stockholders in the Underground Railroad or those who had been paid liberally for utilizing their homes and premises for such purposes. One of these
stations is still in a fair state of preservation on the outskirts of Martinsville, West Va., while along the line of the canal and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad there are a number of frame and log houses which are pointed out as Underground Railroad stations.
Levi Coffin, one of the presidents, and who was a very wealthy man, lived at Fountain City, Ind., and his home was the central station between the South and Canada. For a number of years Coffin was on duty at Cincinnati, Ohio, as a sentinel, and did effective work in aiding fugitive slaves. He left the management of his home-central station-to his wife, who received and cared for more than 5,000 slaves. Coffin's home was the meeting place for abolitionists in that section of the country, and to-day it is the one point of, historic interest in the little Indiana village. The building is brick, two stories high, with large rooms and several good-sized secret closets, and a basement difficult to find one's way out of. Then, too, the attic is so arranged that it would not be an easy matter for one not thoroughly familiar with the construction of the house to either enter or get out of. The house was built in 1828, five years before the organization of the Underground Railroad, but Coffin evidently had an idea of the purpose to which it would be put when he had it constructed. It is said that it was in this
A "STATION" IN THE VIRGINIA VALLEY.
Another sentinel who fared badly was S. A Smith, he having boxed up a negro boy, named Henry Brown, at Richmond, Va., and sent him by express to the headquarters in Philadelphia. The Richmond authorities gave Smith seven years in the state penitentiary. About the same time a negro, named Jack Christian, fell in with the underground agents and left his home in the family of ex-President Tyler. Christian had been one of the White House servants during Tyler's administration. Another negro, named William Jones, was shipped in a box from Baltimore to Philadelphia, and he came near losing his life, the box being delayed in shipment and the fugitive slave was three days without water or food. Careful nursing brought him around and then he went into the field to aid others.
Samuel Burriss, a colored general conductor, made a narrow escape at Louisville, Ky., while trying to help out some Blue Grass darkies in getting freedom. He
Perhaps no man is better posted on the work of the Underground Railroad and its work in Maryland and Virginia than is Captain James Webster, who has been the chief of police of Alexandria, Va., for almost a half century. He says:
"I have a very distinct recollection of the work of the Underground Railroad, and especially as it relates to the old Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. From 1830 to 1860 our coal trade was heavy over the canal, it being brought here from Cumberland and then loaded on vessels for shipment to Northern ports. The Underground Railroad officials soon realized that this canal offered exceptional advantages for smuggling negroes North. These slaves were brought in from all points along the canal on the boats and then smuggled on the big vessels going North. So frequent did slaves disappear that, in 1844, the legislature passed an act providing that all vessels should be searched by officers appointed for the purpose before they left this port. A majority of the masters were abolitionists and we had considerable trouble with theinca
too, that some of these abolitionists were abolitionists for revenue only. They smuggled away negroes and then sold them again. Virginia dealt severely with abolitionists. Some of them were nothing more than a lot of border rascals and didn't care a tinker's darn for the poor negro. These out-for-the-revenue abolitionists worked as a close corporation, and when a negro crossed the Potomac he did so with full directions as to where to stop; was told just where and how to find the stations along the line through Maryland and western Virginia and into Pennsylvania, where they would be safe. At the same time these border abolitionists had things arranged so that the negroes would be captured by their co-workers. The genuine abolitionists, the earnest, faithful workers, had a hard road to weed in steering clear of these imposters. However, they managed to land high and dry many a slave by the old canal route. We were so near the dead-line of freedom here that most of our slave holders were kept so constantly worried about their slaves that they were really glad when the emancipation proclamation was issued. It got to that point where it was more trouble and more expense to keep a negro safe than he or she was worth.
"The old Underground Railroad did a rushing business for many long years, and it was not an infrequent thing in the days before the war to hear people call the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal the Underground Railroad.**
ISTORIC "Wizard Clip,“ only a few miles from Kerneyville, on the main line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, in Jefferson County, W. Va., has had another attack of ghosts and spooks and the queer and mysterious carryingons are calculated to make shaky the strongest nerves of the natives.
This section of the beautiful Shenandoah has had its full quota of ghosts since the days of Generals Charles Lee, Horatio Gates, William Darke and Adam Stephen, all of whom lived in this immediate locality. Repeatedly it has been declared that the ghosts of these departed warriors have appeared in almost every imaginable form,
but that in late years they have behaved very becomingly. The last appearance of these "things" being a fox hunt by the eccentric Gen. Charles Lee.
But the ghosts have appeared this time as mysterious stone throwers and have kept in a state of fear and alarm the family of Mr. Hiram Swindley, one of the most reputable planters of this county. The gentleman lives in a two-story house between Wizard Clip and Summit Point, which is almost in the heart of the valley and fully ten miles from high hills or mountains. There are no near-by neighbors and Mr. Swindley and his family are on the best of terms with everyone in this section.
There is no cause to believe that anyone has a grievance against the Swindleys and have a desire to make life miserable for them.
Notwithstanding these pleasant relations the heretofore happy home of Mr. Swindley is anything but pleasant and comfortable now, for during several weeks the residence has been mysteriously stoned, smashing window panes and doing other damage. A stone struck Mrs. Swindley a few weeks ago and made a painful wound, but other members of the family have so far escaped. The heretofore contented and happy family now live in fear of having their house entirely destroyed, for every effort has been made to detect the source of annoyance and danger, but without avail. The neighbors and friends of Mr. Swindley have joined in the watch both day and night, but the stones continue to come at intervals in perfect showers. The mystery is added to by the fact that the house is in the open and there is no place where the stone throwers could conceal themselves. There being no mountains or hills within miles, it is certain that the stones cannot come from them. Another peculiar fact is that many of the stones which have been thrown on and in the house are not of the same flinty character as those in this section.
Many of the best people of the valley have visited the home of Mr. Swindley to witness the shower of stones and to aid him if possible in detecting from whence they come. If the annoyance continues it is safe to assert that a splendid country home will be offered for sale. Old people here say that they have never known of anything so bad as this, but they tell that "mother and father went through worse than this," when it was not safe for anyone to go to Smithfield, now known by this name as well as Clip and Middleway, letters coming to the office addressed to all three names. It is claimed that many years ago a man named Adam Livingston, a native of Pennsylvania, settled at Smithfield, buying a tract of 125 acres, and proceeded to make himself a comfortable home. One day a stranger appeared at the Livingston home and was taken in as a boarder until he could regain his health. The boarder, so the natives say, became very ill and asked that a priest be sent for, Mr. Livingston, who was strong in the Protestant faith, told the sick man that no Catholic priest could enter his house; that if it required the services
and presence of a priest to save him from a warmer climate, he was afraid he might as well make up his mind to land flat-footed in that torrid zone. The dying man begged piteously but to no purpose, for the Pennsylvanian was steadfast, and the last breath of the faithful Catholic was a plea that a priest be sent for. A man, named Jacob Foster, sat up with the corpse, but found it impossible to keep a light in the room, the candles-then called tallow dips-flickering, flaring and dying out just so soon as they were lighted. The refusal of the candles to furnish light was the first signs of anything unusual, but this was accounted for by a supposition that salt had got in the tallow before the tallow dips were 'run' (molded). Next day the stranger was buried in the country churchyard, and that night there were all kinds of queer doings in the Livingston home. Crockery and glassware fell from the cupboard and smashed on the floor; the old wooden churn danced the Virginia Reel over the floor; the bed clothes were torn and cut to frazzles; bridles, saddles and harness were cut and ripped; plow lines twisted and tied in a hundred knots; and many other just such things. The following night great stones rolled down the massive stone chimney and cavorted around the room. These manifestations continued, and Mr. Livingston had a vision," in which he was told that he must see a man in robes and that this robed man would stop the strange proceedings. Without delay Mr. Livingston pulled out for Winchester and sought Rev. Alex Balmaine, an Episcopal minister. Rev. Balmaine convinced the thoroughly frightened man that he was not the robed individual he had seen in his vision and that he was not in the business of removing spells," ghosts, and things of like nature. Then Mr. Livingston hurried to Shepherdstown and saw Father Cahill, the Catholic priest who was in that missionary field. Father Cahill, so the story goes, went to the home of Mr. Livingston and stopped the ghostly programme for awhile. When everything was moving along in a quiet manner Mr. Livingston believed he was on safe ground and began a tirade against the Catholics, abusing the dead and the living. Then his troubles returned tenfold in even worse form than before he had seen the priest, and he was finally compelled to vacate the house. The farm is now known as Priestfield."
CAVES OF REFUGE.
SOME UNIQUE REMINDERS OF WAR TIMES IN MISSISSIPPI.
FTER a campaign of six months duration and nearly two months vigorous siege, the confederate batteries of Vicksburg, Miss., which had attempted to rob a nation of the most majestic river on the globe, fell, and the Mississippi was thrown open for the unrestricted commerce of the United States from Cairo to the Gulf, on the fourth day of July, 1863.
The total loss of General Grant's army during the campaign has been placed at about 9,000, while the confederates lost 37,000 prisoners, including fifteen general officers; more than 10,000 men were killed;
A CAVE OF REFUGE.
and arms and munitions of war for an army of 60,000 men, together with public property consisting of railroads, locomotives, cars, steamboats, cotton, etc., fell into the hands of the victors.
"My friend, the enemy simply had us by the seat of the 'britches,"" said an old confederate at Vicksburg. "They gave us a hard fight, but at the same time we kept them down to their knitting for six long months, and if we had'nt run so devilish shy on grub we might have been fighting yet. But, as I say, they wiped us out, and about all that we had left was these cellars and caves around here, where the timid fellows, old men, women and children took refuge during the siege. The boys left
these with us as mementoes of the scrap, but, by jingo, after all these years, Uncle Sam-and I'm on good terms with him now has come along and swiped up the last remaining cave and it is included in the National Park. Right glad I am, too, for I feel that it will never be entirely destroyed so long as it has 'Government protection.'
"Naturally, we old fellows who 'fit, bled and died for the Lost Cause' have a tender place in our hearts for these things, but one by one we have seen them done away with by the onward march of progress and improvement of our thriving city. As the city builded and extended, these caves and hiding places disappeared, as did the fortifications and entrenchments, and now our neighbor and friend- the once hated Yankee can have pointed out to him this one large cave as the home of families who took refuge in its dark caverns during the days they were throwing shot and shell into us. It was here that a young daughter insisted that her piano should be brought, and it was, serving as a bed at night and a table at meal time. On this same old piano a child was born and another winged its flight to another world. But, my! my what tales of history, romance, self-sacrifice, pleasure, pair.-everythingthese walls of the old cave could tell if they could only talk. In this underground home there have been few changes made since the sad days of '63. It's owner, Mr. Lewis, has seen that it was cared for and has steadfastly refused to let it go into other hands until it was determined to include it in the National Park. The old cannon balls and shells which were placed at its entrance many years ago have remained undisturbed, even relic hunters not daring to cart them away. The passage way to the main cave is about 3 feet wide and 12 feet long, but after getting into the main room, about 12 x 16 feet, you can easily see how easy it was to live in this underground home. A gentleman now living in Vicksburg has a number of articles of furniture and cooking utensils which were used in the cave in those days, and among them is a pair of candle molds which were used for making the 'tallow dips' for lighting the place. Of course it was
THE SHIFTING OF LANDMARKS AT WASHINGTON, D. C.
necessary to do most of the cooking outside of the cave, as there was no outlet for the smoke except the entrance or passage way. But, neighbor, cooking didn't worry our good wives and daughters and slaves much in those days. The question was getting something to cook. Why I have lived a week on a quart of goobers and a little corn bread and molasses. We made our coffee out of parched wheat, oats and sweet potatoes, and used 'long sweetning'-molasses. Let me tell you the truth, neighbor, I believe that lots of our women folks
and children would have starved had it not been for the faithful slaves who would go out foraging' for them. A negro would steal anytime before he would see his 'white folks' suffer for something to eat. Yes, sir, stronger love and devotion was never shown than that of the negro for his white folks, and, by gad, sir, it makes my blood boil even now when I hear of an oldtime negro being fined or sent to prison for stealing, because they learned the habit during the war stealing for our women folks, sir."
THE SHIFTING OF LANDMARKS AT WASHINGTON, D. C.
"While memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee?
AD the good William sojourned. around Washington about the present time, especially while the work
on the new Union Station is in progress, he would have had a practical experience in the art of "wiping out records" had he chosen to investigate from the "records" the last resting places of some of the men who aided in making this the most beautiful city in the world.
L'Enfant's grave was not difficult to find, but this from the fact that the body of this truly great genius was placed in the garden of a substantial family near Hyattsville, on the Baltimore & Ohio, where it has remained all these years undisturbed by the march of city expansion; but had the land been utilized as a sub-division the chances are that the remains would have been carted off to some other point for reinterment and no "record" kept, as was the case in the removal of the remains of David Burnes, his wife and son. Perhaps not ten people in the district to-day can tell where these graves are or from what place and when the remains were removed. If "records" were to be depended upon to furnish the information it would never be known.
"Obstinate Old Davy," as General Washington was pleased to call the eccentric old Scotchman because he did not wish to give up his immense land holdings as a site for the Federal city, died possessed of
little or no wealth, having "gone through" with the large sums paid him for his lands. He lived and died in the little cottage on the Potomac, immediately adjoining the splendid mansion built by his son-in-law, Gen. John P. Van Ness, who married the beautiful daughter Marcia. Writers claim that David Burnes tarried long at the wine cup and kept in a mellowed condition under frequent libations of good Scotch whiskey; that he spent the major portion of his time at Suter's Tavern in Georgetown and in the public houses of Alexandria-then Bellhaven. Although he was crusty and at times disagreeable, the "Burnes Mansion," as his home was called, was visited by many of the leading men of the day-Washington, Jefferson, Lee, Hamilton, the Carrolls, the Duddingtons, Aaron Burr and others. has been stated, too, that David Burnes entertained Tom Moore in 1804, during his visit to this country, and when he took occasion to say and write so many unpleasant things about us. If the old Scotchman did entertain the poet at that time he must have come back in ghost or spirit form, for the old man had gone to his last sleep on the 8th of May, 1800, four years prior to Moore's visit. Patient and persistent investigation authorizes the assertion that David Burnes was first interred in the Pierce Graveyard, now Lafayette square, or in another burying ground located near the corner of H and Eleventh streets, and