The Underground Railroad.

DEVYR Cecilia (1870].)



Thoughts suggested upon hearing a Lecture delivered by Edwin H. Coates, at Mt. Lebanon, N.Y.

Printed broadside, text in two columns with decorative border measuring 240 by 150mm. Very good with some old folds & a little edgewear. Np, nd, [but likely Mt Lebanon, NY, The Lebanon Press, c.

A rare copy of this poem by the Shaker poet Sister Cecelia Devyr (1836-1912). As noted in the title, it was inspired by a lecture given by one of the important members of the Underground Railroad, and Philadelphia stationmaster, Edwin H. Coates (1813-1883).


Established by the Quakers in the later eighteenth century, Underground Railroad was a legendary network of African Americans and whites who co-operated to give aid, provide shelter, and assist the escape of enslaved people to Free States as well as Canada. Harriet Tubman was its most famous conductor.


The Railroad operated well into the Civil War and so this poem was written not long after it ceased to operate. A tribute to the men and women who fought to both abolish, and sabotage, slavery, Devyr writes: "But up and down through every State / This grand, mysterious railway wound; / Its baffled foes in rage and hate / Declared that it was Underground."


OCLC locates copies at Hamilton College and the Pennsylvania Historical Society.


LCP Afro-Americana, 3901.

Stock Code: 243498

close zoom-in zoom-out close zoom