About Alfred V Coffin
Life and travels of Addison Coffin, written by himself – Addison Coffin, Ida Coffin Doan
My brother Alfred V. is living yet in Kansas, broken in constitution and almost helpless. His life has been one of unceasing storm, struggle and conflict. He entered the Underground Railroad service early in life and was one of the chief managers in North Carolina, from 1836 to 1852, when he had to flee for his life, being betrayed by one whom he least suspected, in aiding fugitive slaves to escape. He reached my home in Indiana where he and his family resided till New Year 1863, when he was called into the medical ser- vice of the government, for he was a physician. He was given charge of the refugee tribes of loyal Indians in Southern Kansas, where he finally settled. During his connection with the Indians he had some terribly narrov/ escapes and desperate struggles for life. On one occasion he was assailed by bushwhack- ers twuce in one day, and saved his life each time after a desperate hand-to-hand encounter. The first as- sault was by two men who suddenly attacked him, the next time by three; he had no firearms, but his only weapon was a picket stake, like a policeman** club, which he wielded with such frantic energy that he saved his life. For three years he was m the midst of murder, assassination and bloodshed. By riding through what seemed certain death he saved the lives of 250 Union soldiers and a valuable con- voy of supplies. For all of which he was never rec- ognized or rewarded by the government, and he scorned the idea of asking for that which should have been given as doubly due, and he will go to his grave with bitterness of heart, toward a thankless govern- ment, which pensions deadbeats and frauds.