Underground Railroad Poems

 

Much of the information we have about the Underground Railroad in Sodus Point comes from oral tales handed down from generation to generation. Here are a collection of four poems about the Featherly House in Sodus Point. We now know this house as the Silver Waters B&B which was owned by David Rogers during the time of the Underground Railroad and in 1976 it was owned by the Featherly family. These poems were published as part of the Sodus Bicentennial Tour in 1976 as a Project of the Class of 1979 of the Sodus Central School under the direction of David E. Cooper English Department. It was published by Urban/Rural School Development Program. Please note the references to tunnels, bounty hunters, secret rooms and ships in the bay to Canada.

 

Escape to Freedom

 

The Featherly House is what I’m called nowadays,
But in my time, I was a haven for slaves.
To different places they would run
From southern states to northern ones,
Making a long and risky trip
Hoping to escape the painful whip.

 

The sound of guards coming near
Searching for runaways hiding here.

 

Of horses’ footsteps all were afraid,
But safe were they, with my aid.
Through my tunnel and on their way,
Aboard a ship, across the Bay.

 

 

Freedom House

 

Proud to have served the North

Helping slaves be free.

Passing through my walls

At the home of Featherly.

 

Hiding them in cellars

During most of the day,

But when the skies turned dark,

Through my secret part to the Bay.

 

They couldn’t have escaped without me,

Because, when I hid a slave,

The South didn’t know where to look,

They were in my secret cave.

 

 

The Voice of the Slave

 

 

In here, quick, so they don’t see

The escape we’re trying to make.

We’ll get shipped off to Canada

By the large Ontario Lake.

 

We’ve got to be quiet and careful

We’ve found our chance to be free.

Our lives right now are worthless,

And that isn’t how they should be.

 

After crawling through this tunnel

That was made for us who slaved.

We’ll count our blessings every day:

Praise God! Praise God! We’re saved.

 

 

ROUTE TO FREEDOM

    
come through my doors and you will see

a place where Negroes once did flee

 

feel the excitement inside me

pursuers search for slaves, wanting to be free

 

comes a loud pound at my door

quickly, hide beneath my floor

 

today, I am proud to say

I was a car on the Underground Railway