Friend Still:—The two women, Laura and Lizzy, arrived this morning. I shall forward them to Syracuse this afternoon.
The two men came safely yesterday, but went to Gibbs'. He has friends on board the boat who are on the lookout for fugitives, and send them, when found, to his house. Those whom you wish to be particularly under my charge, must have careful directions to this office.
There is now no other safe place, but the office, or Gibbs', that I could advise you to send such persons. Those to me, therefore, must come in office hours. In a few days, however, Napoleon will have a room down town, and at odd times they can be sent there. I am not willing to put any more with the family where I have hitherto sometimes sent them.
When it is possible I wish you would advise me two days before a shipment of your intention, as Napoleon is not always on hand to look out for them at short notice. In special cases you might advise me by Telegraph, thus: “One M. (or one F.) this morning. W. S.” By which I shall understand that one Male, or one Female, as the case may be, has left Phila. by the 6 o'clock train — one or more, also, as the case may be.
S. H. Gay.
Aug. 17th, 1855.
* Ex-editor of the Anti-slavery Standard and New York Tribune.
SOURCE: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 40-1