In 2004 a center in honor of the "underground railroad" opens in Cincinnati. The railroad was unusual. It sold no tickets and had no trains. Yet it carried thousands of passengers to the destination of their dreams.
2004年,一个纪念“地下铁路”的中心将在辛辛那提州成立。这条铁路不同寻常,它不出售车票,也无火车行驶。然而,它将成千上万的乘客送往他们梦想中的目的地。



The Freedom Givers
Fergus M. Bordewich
1 A gentle breeze swept the Canadian plains as I stepped outside the small two-story house. Alongside me was a slender woman in a black dress, my guide back to a time when the surrounding settlement in Dresden, Ontario, was home to a hero in American history. As we walked toward a plain gray church, Barbara Carter spoke proudly of her great-great-grandfather, Josiah Henson. "He was confident that the Creator intended all men to be created equal. And he never gave up struggling for that freedom."
给人以自由者
弗格斯?M?博得威奇
我步出这幢两层小屋,加拿大平原上轻风微拂。我身边是一位苗条的黑衣女子,把我带回到过去的向导。那时,安大略省得雷斯顿这一带住着美国历史上的一位英雄。我们前往一座普普通通的灰色教堂,芭芭拉?卡特自豪地谈论着其高祖乔赛亚?亨森。“他坚信上帝要所有人生来平等。他从来没有停止过争取这一自由权利的奋斗。”



 
2 Carter's devotion to her ancestor is about more than personal pride: it is about family honor. For Josiah Henson has lived on through the character in American fiction that he helped inspire: Uncle Tom, the long-suffering slave in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Ironically, that character has come to symbolize everything Henson was not. A racial sellout unwilling to stand up for himself? Carter gets angry at the thought. "Josiah Henson was a man of principle," she said firmly.
卡特对其先辈的忠诚不仅仅关乎一己之骄傲,而关乎家族荣誉。因为乔赛亚?亨森至今仍为人所知是由于他所激发的创作灵感使得一个美国小说人物问世:汤姆叔叔,哈丽特?比彻?斯陀的小说《汤姆叔叔的小屋》中那个逆来顺受的黑奴。具有讽刺意味的是,这一人物所象征的一切在亨森身上一点都找不到。一个不愿奋起力争、背叛种族的黑人?卡特对此颇为愤慨。“乔赛亚?亨森是个有原则的人,”她肯定地说。




3 I had traveled here to Henson's last home -- now a historic site that Carter formerly directed -- to learn more about a man who was, in many ways, an African-American Moses. After winning his own freedom from slavery, Henson secretly helped hundreds of other slaves to escape north to Canada -- and liberty. Many settled here in Dresden with him.
我远道前来亨森最后的居所――如今已成为卡特曾管理过的一处历史遗迹――是为了更多地了解此人,他在许多方面堪称黑人摩西。亨森自己摆脱了黑奴身份获得自由之后,便秘密帮助其他许多黑奴逃奔北方去加拿大――逃奔自由之地。许多人和他一起在得雷斯顿这一带定居了下来。




4 Yet this stop was only part of a much larger mission for me. Josiah Henson is but one name on a long list of courageous men and women who together forged the Underground Railroad, a secret web of escape routes and safe houses that they used to liberate slaves from the American South. Between 1820 and 1860, as many as 100,000 slaves traveled the Railroad to freedom.
但此地只是我所承担的繁重使命的一处停留地。乔赛亚?亨森只是一长串无所畏惧的男女名单中的一个名字,这些人共同创建了这条“地下铁路”,一条由逃亡线路和可靠的人家组成的用以解放美国南方黑奴的秘密网络。在1820年至1860年期间,多达十万名黑奴经由此路走向自由。




5 In October 2000, President Clinton authorized $16 million for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to honor this first great civil-rights struggle in the U. S. The center is scheduled to open in 2004 in Cincinnati. And it's about time. For the heroes of the Underground Railroad remain too little remembered, their exploits still largely unsung. I was intent on telling their stories. 2000年10月,克林顿总统批准拨款1600万美元建造全国“地下铁路”自由中心,以此纪念美国历史上第一次伟大的民权斗争。中心计划于2004年在辛辛那提州建成。真是该建立这样一个中心的时候了。因为地下铁路的英雄们依然默默无闻,他们的业绩依然少人颂扬。我要讲述他们的故事。




6 John Parker tensed when he heard the soft knock. Peering out his door into the night, he recognized the face of a trusted neighbor. "There's a party of escaped slaves hiding in the woods in Kentucky, twenty miles from the river," the man whispered urgently. Parker didn't hesitate. "I'll go," he said, pushing a pair of pistols into his pockets.
听到轻轻的敲门声,约翰?帕克神情紧张起来。他开门窥望,夜色中认出是一位可靠的邻居。“有一群逃亡奴隶躲在肯塔基州的树林里,就在离河20英里的地方,”那人用急迫的口气低语道。帕克没一点儿迟疑。“我就去,”他说着,把两支手枪揣进口袋。




7 Born a slave two decades before, in the 1820s, Parker had been taken from his mother at age eight and forced to walk in chains from Virginia to Alabama, where he was sold on the slave market. Determined to live free someday, he managed to get trained in iron molding. Eventually he saved enough money working at this trade on the side to buy his freedom. Now, by day, Parker worked in an iron foundry in the Ohio port of Ripley. By night he was a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, helping people slip by the slave hunters. In Kentucky, where he was now headed, there was a $1000 reward for his capture, dead or alive.
20年前,即19世纪20年代,生来即为黑奴的帕克才8岁就被从母亲身边带走,被迫拖着镣铐从弗吉尼亚走到阿拉巴马,在那里的黑奴市场被买走。他打定主意有朝一日要过自由的生活,便设法学会了铸铁这门手艺。后来他终于靠这门手艺攒够钱赎回了自由。现在,帕克白天在俄亥俄州里普利港的一家铸铁厂干活。到了晚上,他就成了地下铁路的一位“乘务员”,帮助人们避开追捕逃亡黑奴的人。在他正前往的肯塔基州,当局悬赏1000美元抓他,活人死尸都要。




8 Crossing the Ohio River on that chilly night, Parker found ten fugitives frozen with fear. "Get your bundles and follow me, " he told them, leading the eight men and two women toward the river. They had almost reached shore when a watchman spotted them and raced off to spread the news.
在那个阴冷的夜晚,帕克渡过俄亥俄河,找到了十个丧魂落魄的逃亡者。“拿好包裹跟我走,”他一边吩咐他们,一边带着这八男二女朝河边走去。就要到岸时,一个巡夜人发现了他们,急忙跑开去报告。




9 Parker saw a small boat and, with a shout, pushed the escaping slaves into it. There was room for all but two. As the boat slid across the river, Parker watched helplessly as the pursuers closed in around the men he was forced to leave behind.
帕克看见一条小船,便大喝一声,把那些逃亡黑奴推上了船。大家都上了船,但有两个人容不下。小船徐徐驶向对岸,帕克眼睁睁地看着追捕者把他被迫留下的两个男人围住。




10 The others made it to the Ohio shore, where Parker hurriedly arranged for a wagon to take them to the next "station" on the Underground Railroad -- the first leg of their journey to safety in Canada. Over the course of his life, John Parker guided more than 400 slaves to safety.
其他的人都上了岸,帕克急忙安排了一辆车把他们带到地下铁路的下一“站”――他们走向安全的加拿大之旅的第一程。约翰?帕克在有生之年一共带领400多名黑奴走向安全之地。




11 While black conductors were often motivated by their own painful experiences, whites were commonly driven by religious convictions. Levi Coffin, a Quaker raised in North Carolina, explained, "The Bible, in bidding us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, said nothing about color."
黑人去当乘务员常常是由于本人痛苦的经历,而那些白人则往往是受了宗教信仰的感召。在北卡罗来纳州长大的贵格会教徒利瓦伊?科芬解释说:“《圣经》上只是要我们给饥者以食物,无衣者以衣衫,但没提到过肤色的事。”




12 In the 1820s Coffin moved west to Newport (now Fountain City), Indiana, where he opened a store. Word spread that fleeing slaves could always find refuge at the Coffin home. At times he sheltered as many as 17 fugitives at once, and he kept a team and wagon ready to convey them on the next leg of their journey. Eventually three principal routes converged at the Coffin house, which came to be the Grand Central Terminal of the Underground Railroad.
在19世纪20年代,科芬向西迁移前往印第安纳州的新港(即今天的喷泉市),在那里开了一家小店。人们传说,逃亡黑奴在科芬家总是能得到庇护。有时他一次庇护的逃亡者就多达17人,他还备有一组人员和车辆把他们送往下一段行程。到后来有三条主要路线在科芬家汇合,科芬家成了地下铁路的中央车站。




13 For his efforts, Coffin received frequent death threats and warnings that his store and home would be burned. Nearly every conductor faced similar risks -- or worse. In the North, a magistrate might have imposed a fine or a brief jail sentence for aiding those escaping. In the Southern states, whites were sentenced to months or even years in jail. One courageous Methodist minister, Calvin Fairbank, was imprisoned for more than 17 years in Kentucky, where he kept a log of his beatings: 35,105 stripes with the whip.
科芬经常由于他做的工作受到被杀的威胁,收到焚毁他店铺和住宅的警告。几乎每一个乘务员都面临类似的危险――或者更为严重。在北方,治安官会对帮助逃亡的人课以罚金,或判以短期监禁。在南方各州,白人则被判处几个月甚至几年的监禁。一位勇敢的循道宗牧师卡尔文?费尔班克在肯塔基州被关押了17年多,他记录了自己遭受毒打的情况:总共被鞭笞了35,105下。




14 As for the slaves, escape meant a journey of hundreds of miles through unknown country, where they were usually easy to recognize. With no road signs and few maps, they had to put their trust in directions passed by word of mouth and in secret signs -- nails driven into trees, for example -- that conductors used to mark the route north.
至于那些黑奴,逃亡意味着数百英里的长途跋涉,意味着穿越自己极易被人辨认的陌生地域。没有路标,也几乎没有线路图,他们赶路全凭着口口相告的路线以及秘密记号――比如树上钉着的钉子――是乘务员用来标示北上路线的记号。




15 Many slaves traveled under cover of night, their faces sometimes caked with white powder. Quakers often dressed their "passengers," both male and female, in gray dresses, deep bonnets and full veils. On one occasion, Levi Coffin was transporting so many runaway slaves that he disguised them as a funeral procession.
许多黑奴在夜色掩护下赶路,有时脸上涂着厚厚的白粉。贵格会教徒经常让他们的“乘客”不分男女穿上灰衣服,戴上深沿帽,披着把头部完全遮盖住的面纱。有一次,利瓦伊?科芬运送的逃亡黑奴实在太多,他就把他们装扮成出殡队伍。




16 Canada was the primary destination for many fugitives. Slavery had been abolished there in 1833, and Canadian authorities encouraged the runaways to settle their vast virgin land. Among them was Josiah Henson.
加拿大是许多逃亡者的首选终点站。那儿1833年就废除了奴隶制,加拿大当局鼓励逃亡奴隶在其广阔的未经开垦的土地上定居。其中就有乔赛亚?亨森。




17 As a boy in Maryland, Henson watched as his entire family was sold to different buyers, and he saw his mother harshly beaten when she tried to keep him with her. Making the best of his lot, Henson worked diligently and rose far in his owner's regard.
还是孩子的亨森在马里兰州目睹着全家人被卖给不同的主人,看到母亲为了想把自己留在她身边而遭受毒打。亨森非常认命,干活勤勉,深受主人器重。




18 Money problems eventually compelled his master to send Henson
 

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