Fergus M。 Bordewich弗格斯·M·博得威奇
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。"
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。
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。
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。
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，克林頓總統批準撥款1600萬美元建造全國“地下鐵路”自由中心，以此紀念美國歷史上第一次偉大的民權斗爭。中心計劃于2004年在辛辛那提州建成。真是該建立這樣一個中心的時候了。因為地下鐵路的英雄們依然默默無聞，他們的業績依然少人頌揚。我要講述他們的故事。
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。