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an Indian reservation. The Indians, of course, had the notion that a black man was property among the white men and the next day they came to town driving the negro before them and wanted to sell him for flour. In the meantime one of the men who had been trying to ship the negro into Missouri came into town and charged that the fellow was a runaway slave and that he must be returned to his master. There were more abolitionists in town than pro-slavery men, and the darkey was kept in a blacksmith's shop and was eventually dressed up in blankets belonging to Judge Dundy, the late United States district judge of the district of Nebraska, and was finally smuggled out of town and sent on his way to Canada. There was not the slightest danger that the negro' would be returned to slavery, as there were too many abolitionists in town who would have engaged in conflict rather than allow it. But the difficulty was gotten over by the ingenious device of making the negro appear like an Indian, and he passed out of the shop close to a pro-slavery man, who never knew the difference.
Sewel Jamieson, of Falls City, long since gone to his rest, was an active member; also John Burbank and his brother Joseph, Judge Dundy, and' Wm. McFarland, to whom I am indebted for items of interest and who assisted companies to escape on three different occasions. Nemaha City was the central point, where were several stations; one just north of town on the farm of Houstin Russel. Although a Missourian, he was a radical abolitionist. He took care of more fugitives than any other agent at Nemaha. It was there I received my initiation into the order under promise to keep still. I had gone to the Russel home to visit a daughter; she was going to the cave to get vegetables for the meal and invited me to go with her. On entering the cave, I found myself in the midst of colored people of all sizes, men, women, and children. All I could see was red lips, white teeth, eyes, and black faces; frightened is no name for the sensation I experienced. Should I run, scream, or fall down? The more 'frightened I became the more they showed their white teeth. I begged the girl to help me away, for I could not rise on my feet.
These were the first colored people I had ever met, and to a northern child it was an experience. This was early in the operation of the Nebraska line, for in the next two years I overcame all my fears of colored people. Hezekiah B. Strong, of Nemaha City, was a member and he often helped the fugitives on their way. My father, David Lockwood, kept a station just west of town. There was also a vacant house in town where they were housed when there was a large number together. I remember waking one morning and smelled cooking at an unseasonable hour, and on investigation found my mother preparing an early breakfast for three fugitives. One of the number was a tall, stalwart darkey, Napoleon by name. He was more intelligent than the average slave. He said he intended to return for his family as soon as he could earn some money. My father warned him against it, and advised him to leave his family in the hands of Providence, at least while so much danger threatened. After the three had been warmed and fed they retired to the attic for the day. Napoleon tied two brooms for my mother that day out of some broomcorn that had been stored there. The next night my brother, Eugene V. Lockwood, took the colored gentlemen in an emigrant wagon to Nebraska City. Some months after this Napoleon did return to Missouri with his heart full of love for his family, and determined to take them to Canada with him. He went to the farm house of his wife's owner and under curtain of night stole close to the house with the hope that his wife might come to the door; then he crept close to the well curb where she might come to pump water and breathlessly waited. How his great heart must have beaten, and every moment an hour, while undergoing this suspense. Then there came the sharp'crack of a pistol-a flash-and a bullet had pierced Napoleon's heart, and he was dead. Many pa. thetic incidents were enacted during the two years that the U. G. R. R. was in operation in Nebraska, but none of them touched my heart as did this one.
John Brown's last appearance in Nebraska was early in Feb. ruary, 1859, and in fact, as far as I am able to find out, these were the last refugees he assisted to escape, for soon after he made his way from Springdale (where his men had been drilling and his guns and ammunition were stored) to Harper's Ferry. This trip has been described by George B. Gill (who was Brown's faithful friend and adviser, as reported in the American Reformer by Carlos Martyn.) He appeared in Nemaha about Feb. ruary 3, 1859, with thirteen fugitives in emigrant wagons. They camped at the station house in Nemaha, which was furnished with a stove and benches; a colored cook prepared their meal. It was no secret then that John Brown with fugitives was in town, where they remained two or three days. His company consisted of men, women, and children. George B. Gill accompanied him and several other white men. This must have been the camp that Mr. Gill alludes to as being on the Otoe reservation, since it was just across the line, and there were no stations on the reservation. The weather was cold, roads rough and hubby. I can now see that group as they surround the wagons preparatory to starting. A number of citizens had assembled, some out of curiosity, others to assist them out of sympathy. They left Nemaha peaceably and without molestation, with the best wishes of many people. These were the last fugitives that I ever saw, for soon the battle cry sounded and the attention of loyal citizens was turned in another direction.
Mr. Gill says: “It is not generally known, but it is a fact, that there were from 1856 to 1858-more slaves in Nebraska than in Kansas. Most of the Kansas slaves were conveyed to the North Star section soon after. The first attempt to cross the Missouri river by the new route was made by the Massachusetts party, under the charge of Martyn Stowell, of which I was a member. We were the advance guard in July, 1856, of Jim Lane's hastily. gathered command. The Nebraska City ferry was a flat boat worked by a southern settler named Nuckolls, who had brought slaves there and who declared we should not cross. Three of us, who were mounted, rode down, called, and got the ferry over on the Iowa or eastern side of the river with Nuckolls himself in charge, and we held him there until our little company of sixty
five young men, with three wagons, were ferried over. These incidents are only mentioned to show the nature of the obstacles. Mr. Nuckolls yielded to our persuasive force, aided by that of his neighbors, many of whom were free state in sympathy, and perhaps even more by the profit he found by the large ferriage tolls we promptly paid.”
I cannot close this chapter without making especial mention of James H. Lane, who was active in those days. He must have been out on one of his recruiting trips when I first met him in June, 1856, camped on the bank opposite Nebraska City three days with two or three hundred other people, who were waiting for the high waters caused by the June freshets to recede, sufficiently for safe crossing in a rickety flat boat and by the aid of careless, half-drunken seamen. Mr. Lane was one of the high water-bound party held there nearly one week. He frequently visited our camp, for he found my father's family in sympathy with his work. I scrutinized him in childish curiosity, for to see Jim Lane was to see a noted personage, who had been read and talked about in our New York home, his name being always associated with the Kansas troubles. He was socially a pleasant, congenial gentleman. He was tall, slender in build, with a smooth face, and blind in one eye. I could not pronounce him handsome; he was of a restless, nervous temperament. We crossed the river on the same boat, only part of our family going at the same time.' My father met Mr. Lane many times after this. He believed that Lane would be the colored people's Moses, for up to this time little had been heard of John Brown in the west, as he was actively engaged in the rescue work in the east. Lane was organizing against the border ruffians in Kansas, while John Brown's work from beginning to end was the emancipation of the slaves. Aaron Dewight Stevens was known as the fighting free state leader at Topeka, and to him was also intrusted the defense of the open road to Nebraska. John Brown carried on a dual duty after his appearance in the west, that of collecting arms, drilling his men at Tabor and
Springdale, at the same time engineering his C. G. R. R. lines in various places in the country east and west.
There is no way of arriving at a correct estimate of the number of slaves that were assisted over the Nebraska line, but it is safe to say that there were several hundred. The work taught those who were held as slaves in Nebraska territory that they were on free soil, of which they soon took advantage.
One of John Brown's principles was loyalty to government, while he believed there was no wrong in helping the slaves to what naturally belonged to them-freedom. He believed in preserving the Union, and was opposed to taking of life and destruction of property at all times, save only in self defense. These principles stood for those of every true abolitionist. They believed that a government fostering and protecting a wrong of so great magnitude would go down in filth, or it would extricate itself through great loss; and they were right. Nebraska has a clear record. She is free from the blot of legalized slavery. This was done by the heroic acts of the few who bore aloft in the time of danger freedom's banner. Although bills were introduced into the legislature by Marquett and Taylor in 1860 to abolish slavery in the territory of Nebraska, these were political methods intro duced to test party strength. Legalized slavery did not exist; however, the bills passed over the governor's veto and went into effect May 1, 1860.
I will add here that these were stormy times in Nebraska. Those who have come here of more recent date and enjoyed the fruits of those days can scarcely understand all that the U. G. R. R. implies. The country sparsely settled, no comfort, very little to eat, and that plain food, and money scarce. Cold winters followed by droughts, ague and fever, which accompany new countries, were of frequent occurrence. Means of transportation were limited to Indian ponies or ox teams; all strangers, and they many times homesick and discouraged; war threatening, and harder times, if possible; blood-thirsty ruffians on our borders; with all of these surroundings and many more discour: agements, the thought of carrying on a systematic assistance for