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Filing Cabinet - Underground Railroad

William Carpenter

Escaped from the Father of the Fugitive Slave Law—Senator Mason

            It was highly pleasing to have a visit from a “chattel” belonging to the leading advocate of the infamous Fugitive Slave Bill.  He was hurriedly interviewed for the sake of reliable information.

            That William possessed a fair knowledge of slave life under the Senator there was no room to doubt, although incidents of extreme cruelty might not have been so common on Mason’s place as on some others.  While the verbal interchange of views was quite full, the hour for the starting of the Underground Rail Road train arrived too soon to admit of a full report for the record book.  From the original record, however, the following statement is taken as made by William, and believed to be strictly true.  We give it as it stands on the old Underground Rail Road book: 

            “I belonged to Senator Mason.  The Senator was down on colored people.  He owned about eighty head—was very rich and a big man, rich enough to lose all of them.  He kept terrible overseers; they would beat with you a stick the same as a dog.  The overseers were poor white trash; he would give them about sixty dollars a year.”

The Fugitive Slave Law and its Father are both numbered wit the “Lost Cause” and the “year of Jubilee has come.”

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