he declared, should never have his property (having no
other heir but his niece, except his widow), that the
slaves relied on his promise to free them. Thus in
view of the facts referred to, Aaron was led to
commit the unpardonable sin of running away with his wife
Daffney, who, by the way, looked like a woman fully
capable of taking care of herself and children, instead
of having then stolen away from her, as though they were
JOSEPH VINEY and family- Joseph was
'held to service or labor," by Charles Bryant,
of Alexandria, VA. Joseph had very nearly
finshed paying for himself. His wife and children
were held by Samuel Pattison, Esq., a member of
the Methodist Church, "a great big man," "with red eyes,
bald heard, drank pretty freely," and in the
language of Joseph, "wouldn't bear nothing."
Two of Joseph's brothers-in-law had been sold by
his master. Against Mrs. Pattison
his complaint was, that "she was mean, sneaking, and did
not want to give half enough to eat."
For the enlightenment of all Christendom, and coming
posterity especially, the following advertisement and
letter are recorded, with the hope that they will have
an important historical value. The writer was at
great pains to obtain these interesting documents,
directly after the arrival of the memorable
Twenty-Eight; and shortly afterwards furnished to the
New York Tribune, in a prudential manner, a brief
sketch of these very passengers, including the
advertisements, but not the letter. It was safely
laid away for history —
- Ran away from the subscriber on Saturday night, the
24th inst, Fourteen Head of Negroes, viz: Four men, two
women, one boy and seven children. Kit is
about 35 years of age, five feet six or seven inches
high, dark chestnut color, and has a scar on one of his
thumbs. Joe is about 30 years old, very
black, his teeth are very white, and is about five feet
eight inches high. Henry is about 22 years
old, five feet ten inches high, of dark chestnut color
and large front teeth. Joe is about 20
years old, about five feet six inches high, heavy built
and black. Tom is about 16 years old, about
five feet high, light chestnut color. Susan
is about 35 years old, dark chestnut color, and rather
stout built; speaks rather slow, and has with her four
children, varying from one to seven years of age.
Leah is about 28 years old, about five feet high,
dark chestnut color, with three children, two boys and
one girl, from one to eight years old.
I will give $1,000 if taken in the county, $1,500 if
taken out of the county and in the State, and $2,000 if
taken out of the State; in either case to be lodged in
Cambridge (Md.) Jail, so that I can get them again; or I
will give a fair proportion of the above reward if any
part be secured.
Near Cambridge, Md.
October, 26, 1857.
P. S. —Since
writing the above, I have discovered that my negro
woman, Sarah Jane, 25 years old, stout
built and chestnut color, has also run off.
SAMUEL PATTISON'S LETTER
CAMBRIDGE, Nov. 16th, 1857.
THOMPSON: - Sir, this morning I received your
letter wishing an accurate description of my Negroes
which ran away on the 24th of last month and the amt. of
reward offered &c &c. The description is as
follows. Kit is about 35 years old,
five feet, six or seven inches high, dark chestnut color
and has a scar on one of his thumbs, he has a very
quick step and walks very straight, and can read and
write. Joe, is about 30 years old,
very black and about five feet eight inches high, has a
very pleasing appearance, he has a free wife who left
with him she is a light molatoo, she has a child not
over one year old. Henry is about 22
years old, five feet, ten inches high, of dark chestnut
coller and large front teeth, he stoops a little in his
walk and has a downward look. Joe is
about 20 years old, about five feet six inches high,
heavy built, and has a grum look and voice due, and
black. Tom is about 16 years old
about five feet high light chestnut coller, smart active
boy, and swagers in his walk. Susan is
about 35 years old, dark chesnut coller and stout built,
speaks rather slow and has with her four children,
three boys and one girl - the girl has a thum
or finger on her left hand (part of it) cut off, the
children are from 9 months to 8 years old. (the
youngest a boy 9 months and the oldest whose name is
Lloyd is about 8 years old) The husband of
Susan (Joe Viney) started off with her, he is a
slave, belonging to a gentleman in Alexandria D. C. he
is about 40 years old and dark chestnut coller rather
slender built and about five feet seven or eight inches
high, he is also the Father of Henry, Joe
and Tom. A reward of $400. will be
given for his apprehension. Leah is
about 28 years old about five feet high dark chestnut
coller, with three children. 2 Boys and 1 girl,
they are from one to eight years old, the oldest boy is
called Adam, Leah is the wife of Kit,
the first named man in the list. Sarah Jane
is about 25 years old, stout built and chesnut coller,
quick and active in her walk. Making in all
15 head, men, women and children belonging to me, or 16
head including Joe Viney, the husband of
my woman Susan.
A Reward of $2250, will be given for my negroes
if taken out of the State of Maryland and lodged in
Cambridge or Baltimore Jail, so that I can get them or a
fair proportion of any part of them. And including
Joe Vinney's reward of $2650.00.
At the same time eight other negroes belonging
to a neighbor of mine ran off, for which a reward of
$1400 00 has been offered for them.
If you should want any information, witnesses to prove
or indentify the negroes, write immediately on to me.
Or if you should need any information with regard to
proving the negroes, before I could reach Philadelphia,
you can call on Mr. Burroughs at Martin
& Smith's store, Market Street, No 308.
Phila and he can refer you to a gentleman who knows the
negroes. Yours &c SAML. PATTISON.
This letter was
in answer to one written in Philadelphia and signed, "
L. W. Thompson." It is not improbable that
Mr. Pattison's loss had produced such a high
state of mental excitement that he was hardly in a
condition for cool reflection, or he would have weighed
the matter a little more carefully before exposing
himself to the U. G. R. R. agents. But the letter
possesses two commendable features, nevertheless.
It was tolerably well written and prompt.
Here is a wonderful exhibition of affection for his
contented and happy negroes. Whether Mr.
Pattison suspended on suddenly learning that he was
minus fifteen head, the writer cannot say. But
that there was a great slave hunt in every direction
there is no room to doubt. Though much more might
be said about the parties concerned, it must suffice to
add that they came to the Vigilance Committee in a very
sad plight—in tattered garments, hungry, sick, and
penniless; but they were kindly clothed, fed, doctored,
and sent on their way rejoicing.
DANIEL STANLY, Nat Amby, John Scott, Hannah Peters,
Henrietta Dobson, Elizabeth Amby, Josiah Stanly,
Caroline Stanly, Daniel Stanly, jr.,
FUGITIVES ESCAPING FROM THE EASTERN SHORE OF MARYLAND.
John Stanly and Miller Stanly
(arrival from Cambridge.) Daniel is about
35, well-made and wide-awake. Fortunately, in
emancipating himself, he also, through great
perseverance, secured the freedom of his wife and six
children; one child he was compelled to leave behind.
Daniel belonged to Robert Calender, a
farmer, and, "except when in a passion," said to be
"pretty clever." However, considering as a father,
that it was his "duty to do all he could" for his
children, and that all work and no play makes Jack a
dull boy, Daniel felt bound to seek refuge in
Canada. His wife and children were owned by "Samuel
Count, an old, bald-headed, bad man," who "had of
late years been selling and buying slaves as a
business," though he stood high and was a "big bug
in Cambridge." The children were truly
Nat is no ordinary man. Like a certain
other Nat known to history, his honest and
independent bearing in every respect was that of a
natural hero. He was full black, and about six
feet high; of powerful physical proportions, and of more
than ordinary intellectual capacities. With the
strongest desire to make the Port of Canada safely, he
had resolved to be "carried back," if attacked by the
slave hunters, "only as a dead man." He was held
to service by John Muir, a wealthy farmer, and
the owner of 40 or 50 slaves. "Muir would
drink and was generally devilish." Two of Nat's
sisters and one of his brothers had been" sold away to
Georgia by him." Therefore, admonished by threats
and fears of having to pass through the same firey
furnace, Nat was led to consider the U. G. R. R.
scheme. It was through the marriage of Nat's
mistress to his present owner that he came into Muir's
hands. "Up to the time of her death," he had been
encouraged to "hope" that he would be "free;" indeed, he
was assured by her "dying testimony that the slaves were
not to be sold." But regardless of the promises
and will of his departed wife, Muir soon
extinguished all hopes of freedom from that quarter.
But not believing that God had put one man here
to " be the servant of another—to work," and get none of
the benefit of his labor, Nat armed himself with
a good pistol and a big knife, and taking his wife with
him, bade adieu forever to bondage. Observing that
Lizzie (Nat's wife) looked pretty decided
and resolute, a member of the committee remarked, "Would
your wife fight for freedom?" "I have heard her
say she would wade through blood and tears for her
freedom," said Nat, in the most serious mood.
The following advertisement from The Cambridge
Democrat of Nov. 4, speaks for itself -
REWARD.—Ran away from the subscriber, on Saturday night
last, 17th inst., my negro woman Lizzie, about 28
years old. She is medium sized, dark complexion,
good-looking, with rather a down look. When spoken
to, replies quickly. She was well dressed, wearing
a red and green blanket shawl, and carried with her a
variety of clothing. She ran off in company with
her husband, Nat Amby (belonging to
John Muir, Esq.), who is about 6 feet
in height, with slight impediment in his speech, dark
chestnut color, and a large scar on the side of his
I will give the above reward if taken in this County,
or one-half of what she sells for if taken out of the
County or State. In either case to be lodged in
Cambridge, Oct. 21, 1857.
ALEXANDER H. BAYLY
P. S.—For the
apprehension of the above-named negro man Nat,
and delivery in Cambridge Jail, I will give $500 reward.
Nat's master has been introduced in the above order,
it seems but appropriate that Nat should be heard
too; consequently the following letter is inserted for
what it is worth:
AUBURN, June 10th, 1858.
MR. WILLIAM STILL: - Sir, will you be so Kind as
to write a letter to affey White in straw
berry alley in Baltimore city on the point Say to her at
nat Ambey that I wish to Know from her the
Last Letar that Joseph Ambie and Henry
Ambie two Brothers and Ann Warfield
a couisin of them two boys I state above I would like to
hear from my mother sichy Ambie you will
Please write to my mother and tell her that I am well
and doing well and state to her that I perform my
Relissius dutys and I would like to hear from her and
want to know if she is performing her Relissius dutys
yet and send me word from all her children I left behind
say to affey White that I wish her to
write me a Letter in Hast my wife is well and doing well
and my nephew is doing well Please tell aflfey
White when she writes to me to Let me know where
Joseph and Henry Ambie is
Mr. Still Please Look on your Book and you will
find my name on your Book They was eleven of us children
and all when we came through and I feal interrested
about my Brothers I have never heard from them since I
Left home you will Please Be Kind annough to attend to
this Letter When you send the answer to this Letter you
will Please send it to P. R. Freeman Auburn City
Cayuga County New York
is 25, complexion brown, intellect naturally good, with
no favorable notions of the peculiar institution.
He was armed with a formidable dirk-knife, and declared
he would use it if attacked, rather than be dragged back
HANNAH is a hearty looking young woman of 23 or
24, with a countenance that indicated that liberty was
what she wanted and was contending for, and that she
could not willingly submit to the yoke. Though she
came with the Cambridge party, she did not come from
Cambridge, but from Marshall Hope,
Caroline County, where she had been owned by Charles
Peters, a man who had distinguished himself by
getting " drunk, scratching and fighting, etc.," not
unfrequently in his own family even. She had no
parents that she knew of Left because they
used her " so bad, beat and knocked " her about.
"JACK SCOTT." Jack is about thirty-six
years of age, substantially built, dark color, and of
quiet and repossessing manners. He was owned by
David B. Turner, Esq., a dry goods merchant of New
York. By birth, Turner was a Virginian, and
a regular slave-holder. His slaves were kept hired
out by the year. As Jack had had but slight
acquaintance with his New York owner, he says but very
little about him. He was moved to leave simply
because he had got tired of working for the "white
people for nothing." Fled from Richmond, Va.
Jack went to Canada direct. The following
letter furnishes a clew to his whereabouts, plans, etc.
MONTREAL, September 1st 1859.
DEAR SIR: - It is with extreme pleasure that I
set down to inclose you a few lines to let you know that
I am well & I hope when these few lines come to hand
they may find you & your family in good health and
prosperity I left your house Nov. 3d, 1857, for Canada I
Received a letter here from James Carter
in Petersburg, saying that my wife would leave there
about the 28th or the first September and that he would
send her on by way of Philadelphia to you to send on to
Montreal if she come on you be please to send her on and
as there is so many boats coming here all times a day I
may not know what time she will. So you be please
to give her this direction, she can get a cab and go to
the Donegana Hotel and Edmund Turner is
there he will take you where I lives and if he is not
there cabman take you to Mr Taylors on
Durham St. nearly opposite to the Methodist Church.
Nothing more at present but Remain your well wisher
- This individual took his departure from Milford, Del.,
where he was owned by Wm. Hill, a farmer, who
took special delight in having "fighting done on the
place." This passenger was one of our least
intelligent travelers. He was about 22.
MAJOR ROSS -
Major fled from John Jay, a farmer
residing in the neighborhood of Havre de Grace, Md.
But for the mean treatment received from Mr.
Jay, Major might have been foolish enough to
have remained all his days in chains. " It's an ill wind
that blows nobody any good."
- Henry was to be free at 28, but preferred having
it at 21, especially as he was not certain that 28 would
ever come. He is of chestnut color, well made,
&c., and came from Seaford, Md.
- Perry is about twenty-seven years of age,
decidedly colored, medium size, and only of ordinary
intellect. He acknowledged John R. Burton,
a farmer on Indian River, as his master, and escaped
because he wanted "some day for himself."
HUBERT, Israel Whitney and John Thompson.
Alfred is of powerful muscular appearance and
naturally of a good intellect. He is full dark
chestnut color, and would doubtless fetch a high price.
He was owned by Mrs. Matilda Niles,
from whom he had hired his time, paying $110 yearly.
He had no fault to find with his mistress, except he
observed she had a young family growing up, into whose
hands he feared he might unluckily fall some day, and
saw no way of avoiding it but by flight. Being
only twenty-eight, he may yet make his mark.
was owned by Elijah Money. All that he
could say in favor of his master was, that he treated in
"respectfully," though he "drank hard." Israel
was about thirty-six and another excellent specimen of
an able bodied and wide-awake man. He hired his
time at the rate of $120 a year, and had to find his
wife and child in the bargain. He came from
INTERESTING LETTER FROM ISRAEL.
WILLIAM STILL - My Dear Friend: - I saw
Carter and his friend a few days ago, and they told
me, that you was well. On the seventh of October
my wife came to Hamilton. Mr. .A. Hurberd,
who came from Virginia with me, is going to get married
the 20th of
November, next. I wish you would write to me how
many of ray friends you have seen since October, 1857.
Montgomery Green keeps a barber shop in
Cayuga, in the State of New York. I have not heard
of Oscar Ball but once since I came here,
and then he was well and doing well. George
Carroll is in Hamilton. The times are very
dull at present, and have been ever since I came here.
Please write soon. Nothing more at present, only I
still remain in Hamilton, C. W.
nineteen years of age, mulatto, spare made, but not
lacking in courage, mother wit or perseverance. He
was born in Fauquier county, Va., and, after
experiencing Slavery for a number of years there - being
sold two or three times to the "highest bidder" - he was
finally purchased by a cotton planter named Hezekiah
Thompson, residing at Huntsville, Alabama.
Immediately after the sale Hezekiah bundled his
new "purchase" off to Alabama, where he succeeded in
keeping him only about two years, for at the end of that
time John determined to strike a blow for
liberty. The incentive to this step was the
inhuman treatment he was subjected to. Cruel
indeed did he find it there. His master was a
young man, "fond of drinking and carousing, and always
ready for a fight or a knock down." A short time
before John left his master whipped him so
severely with the "bull whip" that he could not use his
arm for three or four days. Seeing but one way of
escape (and that more perilous than the way William
and Ellen Craft, or Henry Box Brown
traveled), he resolved to try it. It was to get on
the top of the car, instead of inside of it, and thus
ride of nights, till nearly day light, when, at a
stopping-place on the road, he would slip off the car,
and conceal himself in the woods until under cover of
the next night he could manage to get on the top of
another car. By this most hazardous mode of travel
he reached Virginia.
It may be best not to attempt to describe how he
suffered at the hands of his owners in Alabama; or how
severely he was pinched with hunger in traveling; or
how, when be reached his old neighborhood in Virginia,
he could not venture to inquire for his mother, brothers
or sisters, to receive from them an affectionate word,
an encouraging smile, a crust of bread, or a drink of
Success attended his efforts for more than two weeks;
but alas, after having got back north of Richmond, on
his way home to Alexandria, he was captured and put in
prison; his master being informed of the fact, came on
and took possession of him again. At first he
refused to sell him; said he "had money enough and owned
about thirty slaves;" therefore wished to "take him back
to make an example of him." However, through the
persuasion of an uncle of his, he consented to sell.
Accordingly, John was put on the auction-block
and bought for $1,300 by Green McMurray, a
regular trader in Richmond. McMurray again
offered him for sale, but in consequence of hard times
and the high price demanded, John did not go off,
at least not in the way the trader desired to dispose of
him, but did, nevertheless, succeed in going off on the
Underground Rail Road. Thus once more
he reached his old home, Alexandria. His mother was in
one place, and his six brothers and sisters evidently
scattered, where he knew not. Since he was five
years of age, not one of them had he seen.
If such sufferings and trials were not entitled to
claim for the sufferer the honor of a hero, where in all
Christendom could one be found who could prove a better
title to that appellation ?
It is needless to say that the Committee extended to
him brotherly kind ness, sympathized with him deeply,
and sent him on his way rejoicing.
Of his subsequent career the following extract from a
letter written at London shows that he found no rest for
the soles of his feet under the Stars and Stripes in New
I hope that you will remember John Thompson,
who passed through your hands, I think, in October,
1857, at the same time that Mr. Cooper,
from Charleston, South Carolina, came on. I was
engaged at New York, in the barber business, with a
friend, and was doing very well, when I was betrayed and
obliged to sail for England very suddenly, my master
being in the city to arrest me. (London, December 21st,m
COLBURN, - Jeremiah is a bright mulatto, of
prepossessing appearance, reads and writes, and is quite
intelligent. He fled from Charleston, where he had
been owned by Mrs. E. Williamson, an old lady
about seventy-five, a member of the Episcopal Church,
and opposed to Freedom. As far as he was
concerned, however, he said, she had treated him well;
but, knowing that the old lady would not be long here,
he judged it was best to look out in time.
Consequently, he availed himself of an Under ground Rail
Road ticket, and bade adieu to that hot-bed of
Carolina. Indeed, he was fair enough to pass for
white, and actually came the entire journey from
Charleston to this city under the garb of a white
gentleman. With regard to gentlemanly bearing,
however, he was all right in this particular.
Nevertheless, as he had been a slave all his days, he
found that it required no small amount of nerve to
succeed in running the gauntlet with slave-holders and
slave-catchers for so long a journey.
The following pointed epistle, from Jeremiah
Colburn alias William Cooper,
beautifully illustrates the effects of Freedom on many a
passenger who received hospitalities at the Philadelphia
SYRACUSE, June 9th, 1858.
STILL:—Dear Sir .—One of
your Underground R. R. Passenger Drop you these few
Lines to let you see that he have not forgoten you one
who have Done so much for him well sir I am still in
Syracuse, well in regard to what I am Doing for a Living
I no you would like to hear, I am in the Painting
Business, and have as much at that as I can do, and
enough to Last me all the Summer, I had a knolledge of
Painting Before I Left the South, the Hotell where I was
working Last winter the Proprietor fail & shot up in the
Spring and I Loose evry thing that I was working for all
Last winter. I have Ritten a Letter to my Friend, P.
Cliristianson some time a goo & have never Received
an Answer, I hope this wont Be the case with this one, I
have an idea sir, next winter iff I can this summer make
Enough to Pay Expenses, to goo to that school at
McGrowville A spend my winter their. I am going sir to
try to Prepair myself for a Lectuer, I am going sir By
the Help of god to try and Do something for the Caus to
help my Poor Breathern that are suffering under the
yoke. Do give my Respect to Mrs Stills &
Perticular to Miss Julia Kelly, I supose
she is still with you yet, I am in great hast you must
excuse my short letter. I hope these few Lines may fine
you as they Leave me quite well. It will afford me much
Pleasure to hear from you.
John Thompson is still here and Doing well.
It will be seen that this young Charlestonian had rather
exalted notions in his head. He was contemplating going
to McGrawville College, for the purpose of preparing
himself for the lecturing field. Was it not rather
strange that he did not want to return to his "
kind-hearted old mistress?"
COLLINS AND HIS
WIFE MARY ELLEN.—Tho
mas is about twenty-six, quite dark, rather of a
raw-boned make, indicating that times with him had been
other than smooth. A certein Josiah Wilson
owned Thomas. He was a cross, rugged man,
allowing not half enough to eat, and worked his slaves
late and early. Especially within the last two or
three months previous to the escape, he had been
intensely savage, in con sequence of having lost, not
long before, two of his servants. Ever since that
misfortune, he had frequently talked of "putting the
rest in his pocket." This distressing threat made
the rest love him none the more; but, to make assurances
doubly sure, after giving them their supper every
evening, which consisted of delicious "skimmed milk,
corn cake and a herring each," he would very carefully
send them up in the loft over the kitchen, and there v
lock them up," to remain until called the next morning
at three or four o'clock to go to work again. Destitute
of money, clothing, and a knowledge of the way, situated
as they were they concluded to make an effort for
NATHAN was also a fellow-servant with Thomas,
and of course owned by Wilson. Nathan's
wife, however, was owned by Wilson's son,
Abrah. Nathan was about twenty-five years of
age, not very dark. He had a remarkably large head
on his shoulders and was the picture of determination,
and apparently was exactly the kind of a subject that
might be desirable in the British possessions, in
the forest or on the farm.
His wife, Mary Ellen, is a brown-skinned,
country-looking young woman, about twenty years of age.
In escaping, they had to break jail, in the dead of
night, while all were asleep in the big house ; and thus
they succeeded. What Mr. Wilson did,
said or thought about these "shiftless" creatures we are
not prepared to say; we may, notwithstanding, reasonably
infer that the Underground has come in for a liberal
share of his indignation and wrath. The above
travelers came from near New Market, Md. The few
rags they were clad in were not really worth the price
that a woman would ask for washing them, yet they
brought with them about all they had. Thus they
had to be newly rigged at the expense of the Vigilance
The Cambridge Democrat, of Nov. 4, 1857, from
which the advertisements were cut, said—
"At a meeting of the people of this county, held in
Cambridge, on the 2d of November, to take into
consideration the better protection of the interests of
the slave-owners.; among other things that were done, it
was resolved to enforce the various acts of Assembly * *
* * relating to servants and slaves.
"The act of 1715, chap. 44, sec. 2, provides
'that from and after the publication thereof no servant
or servants whatsoever, within this province, whether by
indenture or by the custom of the counties, or hired for
wages shall travel by land or water ten miles from the
house of his, her or their master, mistress or dame,
without a note under their hands, or under the hands of
his, her or their overseer, if any be, under the penalty
of being taken for a runaway, and to suffer such
penalties as hereafter provided against runaways.'
The Act of 1806, chap. 81, sec. 5, provides, 'That
any person taking up such runaway, shall have and
receive $6,' to be paid by the master or owner. It
was also determined to have put in force the act of
1825, chap. 161, and the act of 1839, chap. 320,
relative to idle, vagabond, free negroes, providing for
their sale or banishment from the State. All
persons interested, are hereby notified that the
aforesaid laws, in particular, will be enforced, and all
officers failing to enforce them will be presented to
the Grand Jury, and those who desire to avoid the
penalties of the aforesaid statutes are requested to
conform to these provisions."
As to the modus operandi by which so many men, women
and children were delivered and safely forwarded to
Canada, despite slave-hunters and the fugitive slave
law, the subjoined letters, from different agents and
depots, will throw important light on the question.
Men and women aided in this cause who were influenced
by no oath of secresy, who received not a farthing for
their labors, who believed that God
had put it into the hearts of all mankind to love
liberty, and had commanded men to " feel for those in
bonds as bound with them," "to break every yoke
and let the oppressed go free." But here are the
letters, bearing at least on some of the travelers:
WILMINGTON, 10th Mo. 31st, 1857.
WILLIAM STILL: - I write to inform thee that we
have either 17 or 27, I am not certain which, of that
large Gang of God's poor, and I hope they are safe.
'The man who has them in charge informed me there were
27 safe and one boy lost during last night, about 14
years of age, without shoes; we have felt some anxiety
about him, for fear he may be taken up and betray the
rest. I have since been informed there are but 17
so that I cannot at present tell which is correct.
I have several looking out for the lad; they will be
kept from Phila. for the present. My principal
object in writing thee at this time is to inform thee of
what one of our constables told me this morning; he told
me that a colored man in Phila. who professed to be a
great friend of the colored people was a traitor; that
he had been written to by an Abolitionist in Baltimore,
to keep a look out for those slaves that left Cambridge
this night week, told him they would be likely to pass
through Wilmington on 6th day or 7th day night, and the
colored man in Phila. had written to the master of part
of them telling him the above, and the master arrived
here yesterday in consequence of the information, and
told one of our constables the above ; the man told the
name of the Baltimore writer, which he had forgotten,
but declined telling the name of the colored man in
Phila. I hope you will be able to find out who he is,
and should I be able to learn the name of the Baltimore
friend, I will put him on his Guard, respecting his
Phila. correspondents. As ever thy friend, and the
friend of Humanity, without regard to color or clime.
How much truth
there was in the " constable's " story to the effect, "
that a colored man in Philadelphia, who professed to be
a great friend of the colored people, was a traitor,
etc.," the Committee never learned. As a general
tiling, colored people were true to the fugitive slave;
but now and then some unprincipled individuals, under
various pretenses, would cause us great anxiety.
LETTER FROM JOHN AUGUSTA.
DEAR SIR: -
There is Six men and women and Five children making
Eleven Persons. If you are willing to Receve them
write to me imediately and I will bring them to your To
morrow Evening I would not Have wrote this but the Times
are so much worse Financialy that I thought It best to
hear From you Before I Brought such a Crowd Down Please
Answer this and
Oblige JOHN AUGUSTA.
document has somewhat of a military appearance about it.
It is short and to the point. Friend Augusta
was well known in Norristown as a first-rate
hair-dresser and a prompt and trustworthy Underground
Rail Road agent. Of course a speedy answer was
returned to his note, and he was instructed to bring the
eleven passengers on to the Committee in Brotherly Love.
other two, the owner of one of the slaves who had
been aided away by Lee, seized the wife of one of
the fugitives and took her to the woods, where the
fiends stripped every particle of clothing from her
person, tied her to a tree, and armed with knives,
cowhides and a shovel, swore vengeance against her,
declaring they would kill her if she did not testify
against Lee. vAt first she refused to reveal the
secret; indeed she knew but little to reveal; but her
savage tormentors beat her almost to death.v Under this
barbarous infliction she was constrained to implicate
Captain Lee, which was about all the evidence
the prosecution had against him. And in reality
her evidence, for two reasons, should not have weighed a
straw, as it was contrary to the laws of the State of
Virginia, to admit the testimony of colored persons
against white; then again for the reason that this
testimony was obtained wholly by brute force.
But in this instance, this woman on whom the murderous
attack had been made, was brought into court on Lee's
trial and was bid to simply make her statement with
regard to Lee's connection with the escape of her
husband. This she did of course. And in the
eyes of this chivalric court, this procedure "was all
right." But thank God the events since
those dark and dreadful days, afford abundant proof that
the All-seeing Eye was not asleep to the daily
sufferings of the poor bondman.
A SLAVE GIRL'S NARRATIVE.
CORDELIA LONEY, SLAVE OF MRS.
JOSEPH CAHELL (WIDOW OF THE LATE HON. JOSEPH CAHELL, OF
VA.), OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA. - CORDELIA'S ESCAPE FROM
HER MISTRESS IN PHILADELPHIA.
Rarely did the
peculiar institution present the relations of mistress
and maid-servant in a light so apparently favorable as
in the case of Mrs. Joseph Cahell (widow of the
late Hon. Jos Cahell, of Va.), and her slave,
Cordelia. The Vigilance Committee's first
knowledge of either of these memorable personages was
brought about in the following manner.
About the 30th of March, in the year 1859, a member of
the Vigilance Committee was notified by a colored
servant, living at a fashionable boardinghouse on
Chestnut street that a lady with a slave woman from
Fredericksburg, Va., was boarding at said house, and,
that said slave woman desired to receive counsel and aid
from the Committee, as she was anxious to secure her
freedom, before her mistress returned to the South.
On further consultation about the matter, a suitable
hour was named for the meeting of the Committee and the
Slave at the above named boarding-house. Finding