3April 13, 1843Hello, my name is Patty. I’ve been a slave for as long as l can remember. I do many jobs such as cooking, washing clothing and weaving. I live in Kentucky, but along time ago I was separated from the rest of my family and I have no idea where they are now. Although, there is another slave working here, who I have fallen in love with, his name is Henry. Henry and I would really like to start a family of our own, but we know that will never happen if we stay here. We had friends who wanted the same thing, so they decided to run away and go live in British North America, since in 1833 slavery was completely abolished there. All I have ever wanted was to be free, if only Henry and I had the chance …This is a picture of me.
4May 19, 1843Our chance has finally come! This lady, named Harriet Tubman, contacted us about something called the Underground Railroad. I have heard of it before but I never thought that it actually existed. She told us that she would provide us with trails and safe houses and that more people would help us along the way. She did warn us that this would be a very hard and dangerous journey, but this is our only chance to go live in British North America! The plan does worry me though, what if we get caught? What if only one of us makes it? I have heard stories about people running away and never making it to British North America, but they never came back home either. But then I thought, is it better to live a long life in misery, or die knowing that I tried to make a difference? We leave in a week.This map shows where I currently live.
5June 30, 1843I have been travelling for about a month already, mostly by foot. The journey has been extremely difficult, but I know that I am almost there. I have been separated from Henry, but we promised that we would see each other when we get to British North America. That is what has kept me going. I almost always have to travel during the night, and I am constantly low on food. But there have been many nice people, known as Quakers and Methodists, who have helped me along the way. They let me stay in their homes, fed me whatever they could and would help me continue my journey. So far, I have travelled from Kentucky, through Ohio and into Michigan. Once, I had to be stuffed into a box so that I could travel by wagon, that was the worst part. But my biggest fear right now is being caught, I never want to go back.This shows the path from Kentucky to Michigan
6July 9, 1843I have arrived in British North America! I am finally free! This whole journey had been completely miserable, but it is worth it. For the last part of my journey I travelled by boat. It was very uncomfortable since I had to travel in a crate again, but knowing that after the trip I would finally be finished with my journey made everything much better. I have been here for a couple days already, but there’s still no sign of Henry. I am starting to get worried. Everyone here is telling me to just give it some time, but I just can’t wait any longer, I need to see Henry, I need to know if he is alive. I guess for now I can start looking for a place for us to live, since apparently there is a lot of good, cheap land here.This shows the path of the boat from America to BNA
7July 16, 1843Henry arrived a couple days ago, looks like I didn’t have anything to worry about after all. We found a place to live in a small community named Saltspring Island. People aren’t very accepting of us here, but it’s okay. We found ourselves a small community full of other slaves who have run away and we’re happy with what we have. But other people here seem to have even more problems than us. There are these people here, in a group called the Family Compact. Many people do not like them since they control everything from the government to public life. The people wanted a democracy, but they would never receive one with the Family Compact. There are also big issues here with the government, it seems very inaccurate since barley any one in government is elected, almost everyone is appointed. So the government did not represent the majority of BNA. This I find very strange, but nonetheless, I am thankful that I live here.September 11, 1844I know I haven’t written in a while, but me and Henry have just been really busy with our lives here. Especially since we now have a daughter! Her name is Abigail, she is the best thing that has ever happened to us. Before, we could only dream about our child not being born into slavery, but our dreams came true. We are so grateful to all of the people who helped us get here, there is no way we can repay them for all that they have given us. But we decided that we would help other people in whatever waywe could, so whenever there are new slaves who just ran away, we let them stay in our homes until they find somewhere permanent to live. We love welcoming all of these new people into BNA. We make many new friends for ourselves and sometimes even Abigail.This is a picture of baby Abigail