OSCAR D. BALL, AND MONTGOMERY GRAHAM.
REWARD. - Ran away from the owner
in Alexandria, Va., on the night of the 13th inst. two
young negro men, from twenty-twenty-five years of age.
MONTGOMERY is a very bright
mulatto, about five feet, six inches in height, of
polite manners, and smiles much when speaking or spoken
to. OSCAR is a tawny
complexion, about six feet high, sluggish in his
appearance and movements, and of awkward manners.
One hundred dollars each will be paid for the delivery
of the above slaves if taken in a slave state, or two
hundred dollars each if taken in a free state. One
or more slaves belonging to other owners, it is
supposed, went into their company.
Address: JOHN T. GORDON
Although the name of John T. Gordon appears
signed to the above advertisement, he was not the owner
of Montgomery or Oscar. According to their own
testimony they belonged to a maiden lady, by the name of
Miss Elizabeth Gordon, both probably thought that
the business of advertising for runaway negroes was
rather beneath her.
While both these passengers manifested great
satisfaction in leaving their mistress they did not give
her a bad name. On the contrary they gave her just
such a character as the lady might have been pleased
with in the main. They described her thus:
"Mistress was a spare woman, tolerably tall, and very
kind, except when sick, she would not pay much attention
then. She was a member of the Southern Methodist
Church, and was strict in her religion."
Having a good degree of faith in his mistress, Oscar
made bold one day to ask her how much she would take for
him. She agreed to take eight hundred dollars.
Oscar wishing to drive a pretty close bargain
offered her seven hundred dollars, hoping that she would
view the matter in a religious light, and would come
down one hundred dollars. After reflection instead
of making a reduction, she raised the amount to one
thousand dollars, which Oscar concluded was too
much for himself. If was not, however, as much as
he was worth according to his mistress' estimate, for
she declared that she had often been offered fifteen
hundred dollars for him. Miss Gordon raised
Oscar from a child and had treated him as a pet.
When he was a little "shaver" seven or eight years of
age, she made it a practice to have him sleep with her,
showing that she had no prejudice.
Being rather of a rare type of slave-holders she is
entitled to special credit. Montgomery the
companion of Oscar could scarcely be
distinguished from the white folks. In speaking of
his mistress, however, he did not express himself in
terms quite so complimentary as Oscar. With
regard to giving "passes," he considered her narrow, to
say the least. But he was in such perfectly good
humor with everybody, owing to the fact that he had
succeeded in getting his neck out of the yoke, that he
evidently had no desire to say hard things about her.
Judging from his story he had been for a long time
desiring his freedom and looking diligently for the
Underground Rail Road, but he had had many things to
contend with when looking the matter of escape in the
face. Arriving in Philadelphia, and finding
himself breathing free air, receiving aid and
encouragement in a manner that he had never known
before, he was one of the happiest of creatures.
Oscar left his wife and one child, one brother
and two sisters. Montgomery left one
sister, but no other near kin.
Instead of going to Canada, Oscar and his
comrade pitched their tents in Oswego, N. Y., where they
changed their names, and instead of returning themselves
to their kind mistress they were wicked enough to be
plotting as to how some of their friends might get off
on the Underground Rail Road, as may be seen from the
appended letters from Oscar, who was thought to
be sluggish, etc.
OSWEGO, Oct. 25th, 1857.
DEAR SIR: -
I take this opportunity of writing you these few lines
to inform you that I am well and hope these few lines
will find you the same ( and your family you must excuse
me for not writing to you before. I would have
written to you before this but I put away the card you
gave me and could not find it until a few days sins.
I did not go out of employ about five weeks I would like
to go to Australia. Do you know of any gentleman
that is going there or any other place, except south
that wants a servant to go there with him to wait on him
or do any other work, I have a brother that wants to
come north. I received a letter from him a few
days ago. Can you tell me of any plan that I can
fix to get him give my respects to Mrs. Still and
all you family. Please let me know if you hear of
any berth of that kind. Nothing more at present I
remain your obedient servant.
But my name is now John Delaney. Direct
your letter to John Delaney Oswego, N. Y. care of
OSWEGO, Nov. 21st, 1857.
DEAR SIR: - Your letter of the 19th came duly to hand I
am glad to hear that the Underground Rail Road is doing
so well I know those three well that you said come from
alex I broke the ice and it seems as if they are going
to keep the track open. but I had to stand and beg
of those two that started with me to come and even give
one of them money and then he did not want to come.
I had a letter from my brother a few days ago, and he
says if he lives and nothing happens to him he will make
a start for the north and there is many others there
that would start now but they are afraid of getting
frost bitten, there was two left alex about five or six
weeks ago. ther names are as follows Lawrence
Thornton and Townsend Derrit. have been
to philadelphia from what I can learn they will leave
alex in mourning next spring in the last letter I got
from my brother he named a good many that wanted to come
when he did and the are all sound men and can be
trusted. he reads and writes his own letters.
William Triplet and Thomas Harper passed
through hear last summer from my old home which way did
those three that you spoke of go times are very dull
here at present and I can get nothing to do. but
thank God have a good boarding house and will be
sheltered from the weather this winter give my respects
to your family Montgomery sends his also
Nothing more at present.
N. W. DEPEE
JACOB C. WHITE
EDWIN H. COATES
MEMBERS OF ACTING COMMITTEE.
ARRIVAL FROM UNIONVILLE, 1857.
AND JOHN WOOD
a stout, light-complexioned, healthy-looking young
woman of twenty-three years of age. She fled from
Thornton Poole, of Unionville, Md. She gave
her master the character of being a "very man man; with
a wife meaner still." "I consider them mean in
every respect," said Caroline. No great
while before she escaped, one of her brothers and a
siter had been sent to the Southern market.
Recently she had been apprized that herself and a
younger brother would have to go the name dreadful road.
She therefore consulted with the brother and a
particular young friend, to whom she was "engaged,"
which resulted in the departure of all three of them.
Though the ordinary steps relative to marriage, as far
as slaves were allowed, had been complied with,
nevertheless on the road to Canada, they availed
themselves of the more perfect way of having the
ceremony performed, and went on their way rejoicing.
Since the sale of Caroline's brother and
sister, just referred to her mother and three children
had made good theier exit to Canada, having been
evidently prompted by said sale. "Long before that
time, however, three other brothers fled on teh
Underground Rail Road. They were encouraged to
hope to meet each other in Canada,
John was about twenty-eight years of age, of
agreeable manners, intelligent and gave evidence of a
srong appreciation of liberty. Times with John
had "not been very rough," until within the last year of
his bondage. By the removal of his old master by
death, a change for the worse followed. The
executors of the estate - one of whom owed him an old
grudge - made him acquainted with the fact, that amongst
certain others, he would have to be sold. Judge
Birch (one of the executors), "itching" to see him
"broke in," "took particular pains" to speak to a
notorious tyrant by the name of Boldin, to buy
him. Accordingly on the day of sale, Boldin
was on hand and the successful bidder for John.
Being familiar with the customs of this terrible
Boldin, - of the starving fare and cruel flogging
usual on his farm, John mustered courage to
declare at the sale, that he "would not serve
him." In the hearing of his new master, he
said, "before I will serve him I will CUT my throat!"
The master smiled, and simply asked for a rope; "had me
tied and delivered into the hands of a constable," to be
sent over to the farm. Before reaching his
destination, John managed to untie his hands and
feet and flee to the woods. For three days he
remained secreted. Once or twice he secretly
managed to get an interview with his mother and one of
his sisters, by whom he was persuaded to return to his
master. Taking their advice, he commenced service
under circumstances, compared with which, the diet,
labor and comforts of an
ordinary penitentiary would have been luxurious.
The chief food allowed the slaves on the plantation
consisted of the pot liquor in which the pork was
boiled, with Indian-meal bread. The merest glance
at what he experienced during his brief stay on the
plantation must suffice. In the field where
John, with a number of others was working, stood a
hill, up which they were repeatedly obliged to ascend,
with loads on their backs, and the overseer at their
heels, with lash in hand, occasionally slashing at first
one and then another; to keep up, the utmost physical
endurance was taxed. John, though a stout
young man, and having never known any other condition
than that of servitude, nevertheless found himself quite
unequal to the present occasion. "I was
surprised," said he, "to see the expertness with which
all flew up the hill." "One woman, quite
LUSTY, unfit to be out of the house, on RUNNING
UP THE HILL, fell; in a moment she was up again with her
brush on her back, and on hour afterwards the overseer
was whipping her" "MY turn came." "What is the
reason you can't get up the hill faster?"
exclaimed the overseer, at the same time he struck me
with a cowhide. "I told him I would not stand it."
"Old Uncle George Washington never failed to get
a whipping every day."
So after serving at this only a few days, John
made his last solemn vow to be free or die; and off he
started for Canada. Though he had to contend with
countless difficulties he at last made the desired
haven. He hailed from one of the lower counties of
JOHN was not contented to enjoy the boon alone,
but like a true lover of freedom he remembered those in
bonds as bound with them, and so was scheming to make a
hazardous "adventure" South, on the express errand of
delivering his "family," as the subjoined letter will
GLANFORD, August 15th, 1858.
DEAR SIR: - I
received your letter and was glad to hear that your wife
and family was all well and I hope it will continue so.
I am glad to inform you that this leaves me well.
Also, Mr. Wm. Still, I want for you to send me
your opinion repsecting my circustances. I have
|and drunk. He shot at me.
He never went away but what he would come home
drunk, and if any body made him angry out from
home, he would come home and take his spite out
of his people."
He owned three grown men, two women and six children.
Thus hating Slavery heartily, George was
enthusiastically in favor of Canada.
ELIZA JANE JOHNSON, HARRIET
STEWART, AND HER DAUGHTER MARY ELIZA, WILLIAM
COLE, AND HANSON HALL.
ELIZA JANE was a tall, dark, young woman,
about twenty-three years of age, and had been
held to service by a widow woman, named Sally
Spiser, who was "anything but a good woman."
The place of her habitation was in Delaware,
between Concord and Georgetown.
Eliza Jane's excuse for leaving was this:
She charged her mistress with trying to work her
to death, and with unkind treatment generally.
When times became so hard that she could not
stand her old mistress "Sally" any longer, she
HARRIET did not come in company with
Eliza Jane, but by accident they met at the
station in Philadelphia. Harriet
and daughter came from Washington, D. C.
Harriet had treasured up a heavy account against
a white man known by the name of William A.
Linton, whom she described as a large,
red-faced man, who had in former years largely
invested in slave property, but latterly he had
been in the habit of selling off, until only
seven remained, and among them she and her child
were numbered; therefore, she regarded him as
one who had robbed her of her rights, and daily
threatened her with sale.
Harriet was a very likely-looking woman,
twenty-nine years of age, medium size, and of a
brown color, and far from being a stupid person.
Her daughter also was a smart, and interesting
little girl of eight years of age, and seemed
much pleased to be getting out of the reach of
slave-holders. The mother and daughter,
however, had not won their freedom thus far,
without great suffering, from the long and
fatiguing distance which they were obliged to
walk. Sometimes the hardness of the road
made them feel as though they would be compelled
to give up the journey, whether or not; but they
added to their faith, patience, and thus finally
Heavy rewards were offered through advertisements in
the Baltimore Sun, but they availed naught.
The Vigilance Committee received them safely,
fully cared for them, and safely sent them
through to the land of refuge. Harriet's
daring undertaking obliged her to leave her
|John Stewart, behind; also one
sister, a slave in Georgetown. One brother
had been sold South. Her mother she had
laid away in a slave's grave; but her father she
hoped to find in Canada, he having escaped
thither when she was a small girl; at least it
was supposed that he had gone there.
FROM HOWARD CO., MD., 1857.
BILL COLE AND HANSON.
$500 REWARD. - Ran
away on Saturday night, September 5th,
Bill Cole aged about 37 years, of
copper complexion, stout built, ordinary
height, walks very erect, earnest but
squint look when spoken to.
Also, Hanson, copper complexion, well made,
sickly look, medium height, stoops when
walking, quick when spoken to; aged
about 30 years.
Three hundred dollars will be paid for the apprehension
and deliver of Bill if caught out
of State, and two hundred if in the
State. Two hundred dollars for
Hanson if out of State, and one
hundred dollars if in the State.
W. BAKER DORSET,
Savage P. O., Howard county, Md.
Such notoriety as
was given them by the above advertisement, did
not in the least damage Bill and
Hanson in the estimation of the Committee.
It was rather pleasing to know that they were of
so much account as to call forth such a public
expression from the Messrs. Sorsey.
Besides it saved the Committee the necessity of
writing out a description of them, the only
fault found with the advertisement being in
reference to their ages. Bill, for
instance, was put down ten years younger than he
claimed to be. Which was correct, Bill
or his master? The Committee were
inclined to believe Bill in preference to
his master, for the simple reason that he seemed
to account satisfactorily for his master's
making him so young; he (the master) could sell
him for much more than thirty-seven than at
forty-seven. Unscrupulous horse-jockies
and traders in their fellow-men were about on a
par as to that kind of sharp practice.
instead of being only thirty, declared that he
was thirty-seven the fifteenth of February.
These errors are noticed and corrected because
it is barely possible that Bill and
Hanson may still be lost to their relatives,
who may be inquiring and hunting in every
direction for them, and as many others may turn
to these records with hope, it is, therefore,
doubly important that these descriptions shall
be as far as possible, correct, especially as
HANSON, instead of being only thirty, declared
that he was thirty-seven the fifteenth of
February. These errors are noticed and
corrected because it is barely possible that
Bill and Hanson may still be lost to their
relatives, who may be inquiring and hunting in
every direction for them, and as many others may
turn to these records with hope, it is,
therefore, doubly important that these
descriptions shall be as far as possible,
correct especially as regards ages.
HANSON laughed heartily over the idea that he
looked "sickly." While on the
Underground Rail Road, he looked very far from
sickly; on the contrary, a more healthy, fat and
stout-looking piece of property no one
|need wish to behold, than was this same
Hanson. He confessed, however, that
for some time previous to his departure, he had
feigned sickness, - told his master that he was
"sick all over." "Ten times a day
Hanson said they would ask him how he was,
but was not willing to make his task much
lighter." The following description was
given of his master, and his reason for leaving
"My master was a red-faced farmer, severe temper, would
curse, and swear, and drink, and sell his slaves
whenever he felt like it. My mistress was
a pretty cross, curious kind of woman too,
though she was a member of the Protestant
Church. They were rich, and had big farms
and a good many slaves. They didn't allow
me any provisions hardly; I had a wife, but they
did not allow me to go see her, only once in a
providentially escaped from a well-known
cripple, whom he undertook to describe as a
"very sneaking-looking man, medium size, smooth
face; a wealthy farmer, who owned eighteen or
twenty head of slaves, and was Judge of the
Orphans' Court." "He sells slaves
occasionally." "My mistress was a very
large, rough, Irish-looking woman, with a very
bad disposition; it appeared like as if she
hated to see a 'nigger,' and she was always
wanting her husband to have some one whipped,
and she was a member of the Methodist Church.
My master was a trustee in the Episcopal
In consequence of the tribulation Bill had
experienced under his Christian master and
mistress, he had been led to disbelieve in the
Protestant faith altogether, and declared that
he felt persuaded that it was all a "pretense,"
and added that he "never went to Church; no
place was provided in the church for 'niggers'
except a little pen for the coachmen and
BILL had been honored with the post of "head man
on the place," but of this office he was not
ARRIVAL FROM PRINCE
GEORGE'S COUNTY, MD.
$100 REWARD. - Ran away from the
subscriber on Saturday night, Negro Man
JIM BELLE. Jim is
about 26 years of age; has a down
look; speaks slow when spoken to; he has
large, thick lips, and a mustache.
He was formerly owned by Edward
Stansbury, late of Baltimore county,
and purchased by Edward Worthington,
near Reisterstown, in Baltimore county,
at the late Stansburys sale, who
sold him to B. M. and W. L.
Campbell, of Baltimore city, of whom
I purchased Jim on the 13th of
June last. His wife lives with her
mother, Ann Robertson, in Corn
Alley, between Lee and Hill streets,
Baltimore city, where he has other
relations, and where he is making his
way. I will give the above reward,
no matter where taken, so he is brought
home or secured in jail so I get him
near Upper Marlboro', Prince George's
| Mr. Zachariah
Berry, who manifested so much interest in
Jim, may be until this hour in ignorance of
the cause of his running off without asking
leave, etc. Jim stated, that he was
once sold and flogged unmercifully simply for
calling his master "Mr.," instead of master, and
he alleged that this was the secret of his eyes
being opened and his mind nerved to take
advantage of the Underground Rail Road.
While it may not now do Zachariah Berry much
good to learn this secret, it may, nevertheless,
be of some interest to those who were of near
kin to Jim to glean even so small of ray
ARRIVAL FROM RAPPAHANNOCK
PASCAL fled from Virginia, and accused
Bannon and Brady of doing violence to
his liberty. He had, however, been in
their clutches only a short while before
escaping, but that short while seemed almost an
age, as he was treated so meanly by them
compared with the treatment which he had
experienced under his former master.
According to Pascal's story, which was evidently
true, his previous master was his own father
(John Quantence), who had always
acknowledged Pascal as his child, whom he
did not scruple to tell people he should set
free; that he did not intend that he should
serve anybody else. But, while out riding
one day, he was thrown from his horse and
instantly killed. Naturally enough, no
will being found, his effects were all
administered upon and Pascal was sold
with the farm. Bannon and Brady
were the purchasers, at least of Pascal.
In their power, immediately the time of trouble
began with Pascal, and so continued until
he could no longer endure it.
"Hoggishness," according to Pascal's
phraseology, was the most predominant trait
in the character of his new masters. In
his mournful situation and grief he looked
toward Canada and started with courage and hope,
and thus succeeded. Such deliverances
always afforded very great joy to the Committee.
ARRIVAL FROM KENT COUNTY, 1857.
SAMUEL BENTON, JOHN ALEXANDER, JAMES
HENRY, AND SAMUEL TURNER.
passengers journeyed together from the land of whips and
SAM BENTON was about twenty-six years of age,
medium size, pretty dark color, and possessed a fair
share of intelligence. He understood very well how
sadly Slavery had wronged him by keeping him in
ignorance and poverty.
He stated as the cause of his flight that William
Campbell had oppressed him and kept him closely at
hard labor without paying him, and at the same time "did
not give him half enough to eat, and no clothing."
ALEXANDER was about forty-four years of age, a man
of ordinary size, quite black, and a good specimen of a
regular corn-field hand.
"Why did you leave, John?" said a member
of the Committee. He coolly replied that "Handy
(his master was named George Handy) got hold of
me twice, and I promised my Lord that he should never
get hold of me another time."
Of course it was the severity of these two visitations
that made John a thinker and an actor at the same
time. The evil practices of the master produced
the fruits of liberty in John's breast.
the third passenger, was about thirty-two years of age,
and quite a spirited-looking "article." A few
months before he fled he had been sold, at which time
his age was given as "only twenty." He had
suffered considerably from various abuses; the hope of
Canada however tended to make him joyful.
The system of oppression from which these travelers
fled had afforded them no privileges in the way of
learning to read. All that they had ever known of
civilization was what they perchance picked up in the
ordinary routine of the field.
Notice of the fourth passenger unfortunately is
ARRIVAL FROM BALTIMORE COUNTY,
fled in company with her brother the winter previous to
her arrival at the Philadelphia station. Although
she reached free land the severe struggle cost her the
loss of all her toes. Four days and nights out in
the bitter cold weather without the chance of a fire
left them a prey to
the frost, which made sad havoc with their feet
especially - particularly Elizabeth's. She
was obliged to stop on the way, and for seven months she
was unable to walk.
ELIZABETH was about twenty years of age,
chestnut color, and of considerable natural intellect.
Although she suffered so severely as the result of her
resolution to throw off the yoke, she had no regrets at
leaving the prison-house; she seemed to appreciate
freedom all the more in consequence of what it cost her
to obtain the prize.
In speaking of the life she had lived, she stated that
her mistress was "good enough," but her "master was a
very bad man." His name was Samuel Ward; he
lived in Baltimore county, near Wrightstown.
Elizabeth left her mother, four brothers and one
sister under the yoke.
MARY COOPER AND MOSES ARMSTEAD,
arrived from Delaware, Moses from Norfolk,
Virginia, and happened to meet at the station in
MARY was twenty years of age, of a chestnut
color, usual size, and well disposed. She fled
from Nathank Herne, an alderman.
Mary did not find fault with the alderman, but she
could not possibly get along with his wife; this was the
sole cause of her escape.
MOSES was twenty-four years of age, of a
chestnut color, a bright-looking young man. He
fled from NOrfolk, Virginia, having ben owned by the
estate of John Halters. Nothing but the
prevailing love of liberty in the breast of Moses
moved him to seek his freedom He did not make one
complaint of bad treatment.
ARRIVAL FROM NEAR WASHINGTON, D. C.
JOHN JOHNSON AND LAWRENCE THORNTON.
escaped from near Washington. He stated that he
was owned by an engraver, known by the name of
William Stone, and added that himself and seven
others were kept working on the farm of said Stone for
nothing. John did not, however, complain of
having a hard master in this hard-named personage, (Stone);
for, as a slave, he confessed that he had seen good
times. Yet he was not satisfied; he felt that he
had a right to his freedom, and that he could not
possibly be contented while deprived of it, for this
reason, therefore, he dissolved his relationship with
his kind master.
John was about twenty-seven years of age, tall
and slender, of dark complexion, but bright
intellectually. With Lawrence times had
been pretty rough. Dr. Isaac Winslow of
Alexandria was accused of defrauding Lawrence of his
hire. "He was anything else but a gentleman," said
Lawrence. "He was not a fair man no way,
and his wife was worse than he was, and she had a
daughter worse than herself."
"Last Sunday a week my master collared me, for my
insolence he said, and told me that he would sell me
right off. I then untied myself, broke out of
prison, and made for the Underground Rail Road
Lawrence gave a most interesting account of his
life of bondage, and of the doctor and his family.
He was overjoyed at the manner in which he had defeated
the doctor, and so was the Committee.
HON. L. McLANE'S PROPERTY, SOON AFTER
HIS DEATH, TRAVELS via THE UNDERGROUND RAIL ROAD.
WILLIAM KNIGHT, Esq., LOSES A SUPERIOR "ARTICLE."
JIM SCOTT, TOM PENNINGTON, SAM
SCOTT, BILL SCOTT, ABE BACON, AND JACK WELLS.
degree of pleasure was felt in welcoming this party of
young men, not because they were any better than others,
or because they had suffered more, but simply because
they were found to possess certain knowledge and
experience of slave life, as it existed under the
government of the Chivalry; such information could not
always be obtained from those whose lot had been cast
among ordinary slave-holders. Consequently the
Committee interviewed them closely, and
in point of intellect found them to be above the average
run of slaves. As they were then entered in the
record, so in like manner are the notes made of them
transferred to these pages.
Jim was about nineteen years of age, well grown,
black, and of prepossessing appearance. The organ
of hope seemed very strong in him. Jim had
been numbered with the live stock of the late Hon. L.
McLain, who had been called to give an account of
his stewardship about two months before Jim and his
companions "took out" before Jim and his
companions "took out."
As to general usage, he made no particular charge
against his distinguished master; he had, however, not
seen living under his immediate patriarchal government,
but had been hired out to a farmer by the name of
James Dodson, with whom he experienced life
"sometimes hard and some-
times smooth," to use his own words. The reason of
his leaguing with his fellow-servants to abandon the old
prison house, was traceable to the rumor, and that he an
some others were to appear on the stage, or rather the
auction-block, in Baltimore, the coming Spring.
TOM, another member of the McLANE