"Jane Johnson being sworn, makes oath and says--

  "My name is Jane--Jane Johnson; I was the slave of Mr. Wheeler  of Washington; he bought me and
my two children, about two years  ago, of Mr. Cornelius Crew, of Richmond, Va.; my youngest child
  is between six and seven years old, the other between ten and  eleven; I have one other child only,
and he is in Richmond; I have not seen him for about two years; never expect to see him  again; Mr.
Wheeler brought me and my two children to  Philadelphia, on the way to Nicaragua, to wait on his wife;
I  didn't want to go without my two children, and he consented to take them; we came to Philadelphia
by the cars; stopped at Mr. Sully's, Mr. Wheeler's father-in-law, a few moments; then went to the
steamboat for New York at 2 o'clock, but were too late; we went into Bloodgood's Hotel; Mr. Wheeler
went to dinner; Mr. Wheeler had told me in Washington to have nothing to say to  colored persons,
and if any of them spoke to me, to say I was a free woman traveling with a minister; we staid at
Bloodgood's till 5 o'clock; Mr. Wheeler kept his eye on me all the time except when he was at dinner;
he left his dinner to come and see  if I was safe, and then went back again; while he was at dinner,

          I saw a colored woman and told her I was a slave woman, that my master had told me not to
speak to colored people, and that if any of them spoke to me to say that I was free; but I am not free;
but I want to be free; she said: 'poor thing, I pity you;' after that I saw a colored man and said the same
thing to him, he said he would telegraph to New York, and two men would meet  me at 9 o'clock and
take me with them; after that we went on  board the boat, Mr. Wheeler sat beside me on the deck; I
saw a  colored gentleman come on board, he beckoned to me; I nodded my head, and could not go;
Mr. Wheeler was beside me and I was afraid; a white gentleman then came and said to Mr. Wheeler, 'I
want to speak to your servant, and tell her of her rights;' Mr. Wheeler rose and said, 'If you have
anything to say, say it to me--she knows her rights;' the white gentleman asked me if I wanted to be
free; I said 'I do, but I belong to this gentleman and I can't have it;' he replied, 'Yes, you can, come with
us, you are as free as your master, if you want your freedom come now; if you go back to Washington
you may never get it;' I rose to go, Mr. Wheeler spoke, and said, 'I will give you your freedom,' but he
had never promised it before, and I knew he would never give it to me; the white gentleman held out
his hand and I went toward him; I was ready for the word before it was given me; I took the children by
the hands, who both cried, for  they were frightened, but both stopped when they got on shore; a
colored man carried the little one, I led the other by the hand.  We walked down the street till we got to
a hack; nobody forced me away; nobody pulled me, and nobody led me; I went away of my own free
will; I always wished to be free and meant to be free when I came North; I hardly expected it in
Philadelphia, but I thought I should get free in New York; I have been comfortable and happy since I
left Mr. Wheeler, and so are the children; I  don't want to go back; I could have gone in Philadelphia if I
had wanted to; I could go now; but I had rather die than go back. I wish to make this statement before
a magistrate, because I understand that Mr. Williamson is in prison on my account, and I hope the
truth may be of benefit to him."
Testimony and affidavit of Jane Johnson
from "The Underground Ralroad (1872) by William Still