Maritcha Lyons, The Underground Railroad

Father’s connection with the under ground railroad brought many strange faces to our house, for it was semi-public and persons could go in and out without attracting special attention. Under mother’s vigilant eye, refugees were kept long enough to be fed and to have disguises changed and be met by those prepared to speed them on in the journey toward the North Star. Father used to say humorously this part of his business was “keeping a cake and apple stand” he estimated he had been of help to a thousand persons, thanks to mother’s devotion and discretion. Children were taught then to neither see, hear nor talk about the affairs in which grown ups were concerned.

At anti-slavery meetings and conferences mother was almost invariable present; not to agitate but to learn her duty in the premises. So alert and faithful were my parents to their “traveling brethren”, that no emergency found them unprepared to do what was to them literally a duty lying next. They were only samples of the great majority of our people in the free states who worked, suffered and prayed, that no one who had the courage to start on the untoward venture should fail to reach the goal.