For Cyrus Williams and Family
Directions: Lexington to Detroit
You are one of the fortunate ones Cyrus, living in one of the Upper South territories. You and your kids are able to travel to the North easier than those of your brethren in that horrid Black Belt. Make sure before you start your journey you pack a bag of supplies that will last at least a day. This will provide for you until you meet your first stationmaster in Fort Thomas. He will answer when you introduce yourself as "a friend of a friend". However you first must escape your plantation. You must leave with the shadow of night. Look for the Little Dipper. The tip of it will point you North. If you go on a night that does not fare well for vision look for moss, as it always grows on the north side. Rest during the day if you are afforded the chance. If you must travel at light, be cautious of the slave catchers or even your own overseer if he ventured that far out from the house. Deceit is your friend. Disguise yourself, stow away on any mode of transportation, fake a funeral procession, pretty much anything that you can do to trick these paddyrollers. To shake off the dogs travel through streams or over water. They cannot follow the scent. After you pass these obstacles you must follow the Underground Railroad signs. You must be ever-observant of what each abolitionist is willing to do whether they be a stationmaster (hide you in their house), conductor (show you were to go), or a stockholder (Gives you supplies and money). After Fort Thomas seek one of these abolitionists, William Corning, to carry you and your family to Detroit. From there you will board a ferry, ran by Corning's brother-in-law across Lake Heron to the free shores of Canada. Be cautious not to be caught or you will sure be flogged and even suffer the same fate as Denmark Vessey or Nat Turner even though you did not lead a revolution. I pray for speedy passage and an escape from this peculiar institution of slavery and away from the harsh discrimination. May you never be called a "darkie" again.