Life and Adventures of James Williams, a Fugitive Slave, with a Full Description of the Underground Railroad, was published in San Francisco by the Women's Union Print, in 1873. (108 pages)
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...THE Author, thinking an account of his life and experience would be of service to persons into whose hands it might fall, has, by the advice of some of his friends, come to the conclusion to narrate, as correctly as possible, things that he encountered and that came under his notice during a period of some forty-five years. He hopes, after a perusal of his first attempt, the reader will pardon him for any errors which may have been committed; and if I can only think that any good may have grown out of my adventures, I shall then consider that I have commenced to answer the end I and all human beings were created for — having lived that the world may be bettered by me.
...When I arrived at my mother's house, I met my stepfather in the yard cutting wood, and I asked him if Mrs. Jourden was at home? He said, "Yes;" and asked me in. I went in and sat down by the door. My mother asked me my name. I answered, "James Williams." She said. "Come to the fire and warm yourself!" I said, " No; that I was not cold." After sitting there awhile, I asked her if she had any children. She said, "Yes;" and named one boy that belonged to William Hollingsworth, in Elkton. I asked if she had any more. She named my sister that belonged to Thomas Moore, of Elkton, Vic, that had run away and was betrayed by a colored man, for the sum of one hundred dollars. I had a brother that went with my mother when she run away from Maryland. She did not say anything about him, but spoke of John Thomas. I asked her if she would know him if she saw him. She said, "Yes." I said, "Are you sure that you would know him?" She answered, "Yes; don't you think I would know my own child?" And becoming somewhat excited, she told me that I had a great deal of impudence, and her loud tone brought her husband in, and he suspicioned me of being a spy for the kidnappers. He came with a stick and stood by the door, when an old lady, by the name of Hannah Brown, exclaimed: "Aunt Abby, don't you know your own child? Bless God, that is him." Then my mother came and greeted me, and my father also. My mother cried, "My God, my son, what are you doing here?" I said, "that I had given leg-bail for security."
...The time arrived and Pete bade farewell to slavery, resolved to follow the North Star, with his pistol in hand, ready for action, After traveling about two hundred miles from home, he unexpectedly had an opportunity of using his pistol. To his astonishment, he suddenly came face to face with a former master, whom he had not seen for a long time. Peter desired no friendly intercourse with him whatever, but he perceived that his old master recognized him, and was bent on stopping him. Pete held onto his pistol, but moved as fast as his wearied limbs would allow him, in an opposite direction. As he was running, Pete cautiously cast his eye over his shoulder, to see what had become of his old master, when, to his amazement, he found that a regular chase was being made after him. After this signal leg-victory, Pete had more confidence in his understanding than he had in his old pistol, although he held on to it until he reached Philadelphia, where he left it in possession of the secretary of the Committee of the Underground Railroad. Pete was christened Samuel Sparrow.