[Pg. 112 - continued]
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 boarding-house 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
the woman was thoroughly reliable, the Committee told
her "that two modes of deliverance were open before her.
One was to take her trunk and all her clothing and
quietly retire." The other was to "sue out a writ
of habeas corpus, and bring the mistress before the
Court, where she would be required, under the laws of
Pennsylvania, to show cause why she restrained this
woman of her freedom." Cordelia concluded to adopt
the former expedient, provided the Committee would
protect her. Without hesitation the Committee
answered her, that to the extent of their ability, she
should have their aid with pleasure, without delay.
Consequently a member of the Committee was directed to
be on hand at a given hour that evening, as Cordelia
would certainly be ready to leave her mistress to take
care of herself. Thus, at the appointed
hour, Cordelia, very deliberately, accompanied
the Committee away from her " kind hearted old
In the quiet and security of the Vigilance Committee
Room, Cordelia related substantially the
following brief story touching her relationship as a
slave to Mrs. Joseph Cahell. In
this case, as with thousands and tens of thousands of
others, as the old adage fitly expresses it, "All is not
gold that glitters." Under this apparently pious
and noble-minded lady, it will be seen, that Cordelia
had known naught but misery and sorrow.
Mrs. Cahell, having engaged board for a
month at a fashionable private boarding-house on
Chestnut street, took an early opportunity to caution
Cordelia against going into the streets, and against
having anything to say or do with "free niggers in
particular"; withal, she appeared unusually kind, so
much so, that before retiring to bed in the evening, she
would call Cordelia to her chamber, and by her
side would take her Prayer-book and Bible, and go
through the forms of devotional service. She stood
very high both as a church communicant and a lady in
For a fortnight it seemed as though her prayers were to
be answered, for Cordelia apparently bore herself
as submissively as ever, and Madame received calls and
accepted invitations from some of the elite of the city,
with out suspecting any intention on the part of
Cordelia to escape. But Cordelia could
not forget how her children had all been sold by her
Cordelia was about fifty-seven years of age,
with about an equal proportion of colored and white
blood in her veins; very neat, respectful and
prepossessing in manner.
From her birth to the hour of her escape she had worn
the yoke under Mrs. C., as her most efficient and
reliable maid-servant. She had been at her
mistress' beck and call as seamstress, dressing-maid,
nurse in the sick room, etc., etc., under circumstances
that might appear to the casual observer uncommonly
favorable for a slave. Indeed, on his first
interview with her, the Committee man was so forcibly
impressed with the belief, that her condition in
Virginia had been favorable, that he hesitated to ask
her if she did not desire her liberty. A few
moments' conversation with her, however, con-
vinced him of her good sense and decision of purpose
with regard to this matter. For, in answer to the
first question he put to her, she answered, that "As
many creature comforts and religious privileges as she
had been the recipient of under her 'kind mistress,'
still she 'wanted to be free' and 'was bound to leave,'
that she had been 'treated very cruelly;' that her
children had 'all been sold away' from her; that she had
been threatened with sale herself ' on the first
insult,' " etc.
She was willing to take the entire responsibility of
taking care of herself. On the suggestion of a
friend, before leaving her mistress, she was disposed to
sue for her freedom, but, upon a reconsideration of the
matter, she chose rather to accept the hospitality of
the Underground Rail Road, and leave in a quiet way and
go to Canada, where she would be free indeed.
Accordingly she left her mistress and was soon a free
The following sad experience she related calmly, in the
presence of several friends, an evening or two after she
left her mistress:
Two sons and two daughters had been sold from her by
her mistress, within the last three years, since the
death of her master. Three of her children
had been sold to the Richmond market and the other in
Paulina was the first sold, two years ago last
May. Nat was the next; he was sold to
Abram Warrick, of Richmond. Paulina
was sold before it was named to her mother that it had
entered her mistress's mind to dispose of her.
Nancy, from infancy, had been in poor health.
Nevertheless, she had been obliged to take her place in
the field with the rest of the slaves, of more rugged
constitution, until she had passed her twentieth year,
and had become a mother. Under these
circumstances, the overseer and his wife complained to
the mistress that her health was really too bad for a
field hand and begged that she might be taken where her
duties would be less oppressive. Accordingly, she
was withdrawn from the field, and was set to spinning
and weaving. When too sick to work her mistress
invariably took the ground, that "nothing was the
matter," notwithstanding the fact, that her family
physician, Dr. Ellsom, had pronounced her
"quite weakly and sick."
In an angry mood one day, Mrs. Cahell
declared she would cure her; and again sent her to the
field, "with orders to the overseer, to whip her every
day, and make her work or kill her." Again the
overseer said it was "no use to try, for her health
would not stand it," and she was forthwith returned.
The mistress then concluded to sell her.
One Sabbath evening a nephew of hers, who resided in
New Orleans, happened to be on a visit to his aunt, when
it occurred to her, that she had "better get Nancy
off if possible." Accordingly, Nancy was
called in for examination. Being dressed in her
"Sunday best" and "before a poor candle-light," she
appeared to good advantage; and the nephew concluded to
start with her on the following Tuesday morning.
However, the next
morning, he happened to see her by the light of the sun,
and in her working garments, which satisfied him that he
had been grossly deceived; that she would barely live to
reach New Orleans; he positively refused to carry out
the previous evening's contract, thus leaving her in the
hands of her mistress, with the advice, that she should
"doctor her up."
The mistress, not disposed to be defeated, obviated the
difficulty by selecting a little boy, made a lot of the
two, and thus made it an inducement to a purchaser to
buy the sick woman; the boy and the woman brought $700.
In the sale of her children, Cordelia was as little
regarded as if she had been a cow.
" I felt wretched," she said, with emphasis," when I
heard that Nancy had been sold," which was not
until after she had been removed. "But," she
continued, "I was not at liberty to make my grief known
to a single white soul. I wept and couldn't help
it." But remembering that she was liable, "on the
first insult," to be sold herself, she sought no
sympathy from her mistress, whom she describes as " a
woman who shows as little kindness towards her servants
as any woman in the States of America. She neither
likes to feed nor clothe well."
With regard to flogging, however, in days past, she had
been up to the mark. "A many a slap and blow" had
Cordelia received since she arrived at womanhood,
directly from the madam's own hand.
One day smarting under cruel treatment, she appealed to her
mistress in the following strain: "I stood by your
mother in all her sickness and nursed her till she
died!" "I waited on your niece, night and day for
months, till she died." "I waited upon your
husband all my life—in his sickness especially, and
shrouded him in death, etc., yet I am treated cruelly."
It was of no avail.
Her mistress, at one time, was the owner of about five
hundred slaves, but within the last few years she had
greatly lessened the number by sales.
She stood very high as a lady, and was a member of the
To punish Cordelia, on several occasions, she
had been sent to one of the plantations to work as a
field hand. Fortunately, however, she found the
overseers more compassionate than her mistress, though
she received no particular favors from any of them.
Asking her to name the overseers, etc., she did so.
The first was " Marks, a thin-visaged,
poor-looking man, great for swearing." The second
was " Gilbert Brower, a very rash, portly
man." The third was " Buck Youug, a
stout man, and very sharp." The fourth was "
Lynn Powell, a tall man with red whiskers,
very contrary and spiteful." There was also a
fifth one, but his name was lost.
Thus Cordelia's experience, though chiefly
confined to the " great house," extended occasionally
over the corn and tobacco fields, among the overseers
and field hands generally. But under no circumstances
could she find it in her heart to be thankful for the
privileges of Slavery.
After leaving her mistress she learned, with no little
degree of pleasure, that a perplexed state of things
existed at the boarding-house; that her mistress was
seriously puzzled to imagine how she would get her shoes
and stockings on and off; how she would get her head
combed, get dressed, be attended to in sickness, etc.,
as she (Cordelia), had been compelled to discharge
these offices all her life.
Most of the boarders, being slave-holders, naturally
sympathized in her affliction; and some of them went so
far as to offer a reward to some of the colored servants
to gain a knowledge of her whereabouts. Some charged the
servants with having a hand in her leaving, but all
agreed that "she had left a very kind and indulgent
mistress," and had acted very foolishly in running out
of Slavery into Freedom.
A certain Doctor of Divinity, the pastor of an
Episcopal church in this city and a friend of the
mistress, hearing of her distress, by request or
voluntarily, undertook to find out Cordelia's place of
seclusion. Hailing on the street a certain colored man
with a familiar face, who he thought knew nearly all the
colored people about town, he related to him the
predicament of his lady friend from the South, remarked
how kindly she had always treated her servants,
signified that Cordelia would rue the change, and be
left to suffer among the "miserable blacks down town,"
that she would not be able to take care of herself;
quoted Scripture justifying Slavery, and finally
suggested that he (the colored man) would be doing a
duty and a kindness to the fugitive by using his
influence to " find her and prevail upon her to return."
It so happened that the colored man thus addressed, was
Thomas Dorsey, the well-known fashionable caterer of
Philadelphia, who had had the experience of quite a
number of years as a slave at the South,—had himself
once been pursued as a fugitive, and having, by his
industry in the condition of Freedom, acquired a
handsome estate, he felt entirely qualified to reply to
the reverend gentleman, which he did, though in not very
respectful phrases, tolling him that Cordelia had as
good a right to her liberty as he had, or her mistress
either; that God had never intended one man to be the
slave of another; that it was all false about the
slaves being better off than the free colored people;
that he would find as many "poor, miserably degraded,"
of his own color "down-town," as among the "degraded
blacks"; and concluded by telling him that he would
"rather give her a hundred dollars to help her off, than
to do aught to make known her whereabouts, if he knew
ever so much about her."
What further steps were taken by the discomfited
divine, the mistress, or her boarding-house
sympathizers, the Committee was not informed.
But with regard to Cordelia: she took her departure
for Canada, in the
midst of the Daniel Webster (fugitive)
trial, with the hope of being permitted to enjoy the
remainder of her life in Freedom and peace. Being
a member of the Baptist Church, and professing to be a
Christian, she was persuaded that, by industry and
assistance of the Lord, a way would be opened to the
seeker of Freedom even in a strange land and among
This story appeared in part in the N. Y. Evening Post,
having been furnished by the writer, without his name to
it. It is certainly none the less interesting now,
as it may be read in the light of Universal
ARRIVAL OF JACKSON, ISAAC AND
EDMONDSON TURNER FROM PETERSBURG.
TOUCHING SCENE OF
MEETING THEIR OLD BLIND FATHER AT THE U. G. R. R. DEPOT.
LETTERS AND WARNING TO SLAVEHOLDERS.
latter part of December, 1857, Isaac and
Edmondson, brothers, succeeded in making their
escape together from Petersburg, Va. They barely
escaped the auction block, as their mistress, Mrs.
Ann Colley, a widow, had just completed
arrangements for their sale on the coming first day of
January. In this kind of property, however, Mrs.
Colley had not largely invested. In the
days of her prosperity, while all was happy and
contented, she could only boast of "four head:" these
brothers, Jackson, Isaac and Edmondson
and one other. In May, 1857, Jackson had
fled and was received by the Vigilance Committee, who
placed him upon their books briefly in the following
"RUNAWAY - Fifty
Dollars Reward, - Ran away some time in May last, my
Servant-man, who calls himself Jackson
Turner. He is about 27 years of age,
and has one of his front teeth out. He is quite
black, with thick lips, a little bow-legged, and looks
down when spoken to. I will give a reward of Fifty
dollars if taken out of' the city, and twenty five
Dollars if taken within the city. I forewarn all
masters of vessels from harboring or employing the said
slave; all persons who disregard this Notice will be
punished as the law directs.
Petersburg, June 8th, 1857."
JACKSON is quite dark,
medium size, and well informed for one in his condition.
In Slavery, he had been "pressed hard." His hire,
"ten dollars per month" he was obliged to produce at the
end of each month, no matter how much he had been called
upon to expend for "doctor bills, &c." The woman
he called mistress went by the name of Ann
Colley, a widow, living near Petersburg. "She
was very quarrelsome," although a "member of the
Methodist Church." Jackson seeing that his
mistress was yearly growing "harder and harder,"
concluded to try and better his condition if possible."
Having a free wife in the North, who was in the habit of
communicating with him, he was kept fully awake to the
love of Freedom. The Underground Rail Road expense
the Committee gladly bore. No further record of
Jackson was made. Jackson found his
poor old father here, where he had resided for a number
of years in a state of almost total blindness, and of
course in much parental anxiety about his boys in
chains. On the arrival of Jackson, his
heart overflowed with joy and gratitude not easily
described, as the old man had hardly been able to muster
faith enough to believe that he should ever look with
his dim eyes upon one of his sons in Freedom.
After a day or two's tarrying, Jackson took his
departure for safer and more healthful localities,—her
"British Majesty's possessions." The old man
remained only to feel more keenly than ever, the pang of
having sons still toiling in hopeless servitude.
In less than seven months after Jackson had
shaken off the yoke, to the unspeakable joy of the
father, Isaac and Edmondson succeeded in
following their brother's example, and were made happy
partakers of the benefits and blessings of the Vigilance
Committee of Philadelphia. On first meeting his
two boys, at the Underground Rail Road Depot, the old
man took each one in his arms, and as looking through a
glass darkly, straining every nerve of his almost lost
sight, exclaiming, whilst hugging them closer and closer
to his bosom for some minutes, in tears of joy and
wonder, "My son Isaac, is this you? my son
Isaac, is this you, &c.?" The scene was
calculated to awaken the deepest emotion and to bring
tears to eyes not accustomed to weep. Little had
the old man dreamed in his days of sadness, that he
should share such a feast of joy over the deliverance of
his sons. But it is in vain to attempt to picture
the affecting scene at this reunion, for that would be
impossible. Of their slave life, the records
contain but a short notice, simply as follows:
"Isaac is twenty-eight years of age,
hearty-looking, well made, dark color and intelligent.
He was owned by Mrs. Ann Colley, a
widow, residing near Petersburg, Va. Isaac
and Edmondson were to have been sold, on New
Year's day; a few days hence. How sad her
disappointment mast have been on finding them gone, may
be more easily imagined than de scribed."
Edmondson is about twenty-five, a brother of
Isaac, and a smart, good looking young man, was
owned by Mrs. Colley also. "This is just
the class of fugitives to make good subjects for John
Bull," thought the Committee, feeling pretty well
assured that they would make good reports after having
enjoyed free air in Canada for a short time. Of
course, the Committee enjoined upon them very earnestly
" not to forget their brethren left behind groaning in
fetters; but to prove by their industry, uprightness,
economy, sobriety and thrift, by the remembrance of
their former days of oppression and their obligations to
their God, that they were worthy of the country to which
they were going, and so to help break the bands of the
undo the heavy burdens of the oppressed." Similar
advice was impressed upon the minds of all travelers
passing over this branch of the Underground Rail Road.
From hundreds thus admonished, letters came affording
the most gratifying evidence that the counsel of the
Committee was not in vain. The appended letter
from the youngest brother, written with his own hand,
will indicate his feelings and views in Canada:
WEST Mar. 1, 1858
STILL, Dear Sir : —I have
taken the oppertunity to enform you yur letter came to
hand 27th I ware glad to hear from you and yer famly i
hope this letter May fine you and the famly Well i am
Well my self My Brother join me in Love to you and all
the frend. I ware sorry to hear of the death of
Mrs freaman. We all must die sune or
Late this a date we all must pay we must Perpar for the
time she ware a nise lady dear sir the all is well and
san thar love to you Emerline have Ben sick But
is better at this time. I saw the hills the war
well and san thar Love to you. I war sory to hear
that My brother war sol i am glad that i did come away
when i did god works all the things for the Best he is
young he may get a long in the wole May god Bless hem ef
you have any News from Petersburg Va Plas Rite me a word
when you anser this Letter and ef any person came form
home Letter Me know. Please sen me one of your
Paper that had the under grands R wrod give My Love to
Mr Careter and his family I am Seving with
a barber at this time he have promust to give me the
trad ef i can lane it he is much of a gentman.
Mr Still sir i have writing a letter to Mr
Brown of Petersburg Va Pleas reed it and ef you
think it right Plas sen it by the Mail or by hand you
wall see how i have writen it the will know how sent it
by the way this writing ef the ancer it you can sen it
to Me i have tol them direc to yor care for Ed. t.
Smith Philadelphia i hope it may be right i promorst
to rite to hear Please rite to me sune and let me know
ef you do sen it on write wit you did with that ma a
bught the cappet Bage do not fergit to rite tal John
he mite rite to Me. I am doing as well is i can at
this time but i get no wagges But my Bord but is satfid
at that thes hard time and glad that i am Hear and in
good helth. Northing More at this time
yor truly EDMUND TURNER.
The same writer
sent to the Corresponding Secretary the following
"Warning to Slave-holders." At the time these
documents were received, Slave holders were never more
defiant. The right to trample oh the weak in
oppression was indisputable." Cinnamon and odors,
and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and
fine flour and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses,
and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men,"
slave-holders believed doubtless were theirs by Divine
Right. Little dreaming that in less than three
short years—" Therefore shall her plagues come in
one day, death, and mourning, and famine." In view
of the marvelous changes which have been wrought by the
hand of the, Almighty, this warning to slave-holders
from one who felt the sting of Slavery, as evincing a
particular phase of simple faith and Christian charity
is entitled to a place in these records.
A WARNING TO SLAVE-HOLDERS.
Well may the
Southern slaveholder say, that holding their Fellow men
in Bondage is no (sin, because it is their delight as
the Egyptians, so do they; but nevertheless God in his
own good time will bring them out by a mighty hand, as
it is recorded in the sacred oracles of truth, that
Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God,
speaking in the positive (shall). And my prayer is
to you, oh, slaveholder, in the name of that God who in
the beginning said, Let there be light, and there was
light. Let my People go that they may serve me;
thereby good may come unto thee and to thy children's
children. Slave-holder have you seriously thought
upon the condition yourselves, family and slaves; have
you read where Christ has enjoined upon all his
creatures to real his word, thereby that they may have
no excuse when coming before his judgment seat?
But you say he shall not read his word, consequently his
sin will be upon your head. I think every man has
as much as he can do to answer for his own sins.
And now my dear slave-holder, who with you are bound and
fast hastening to judgment? As one that loves your
soul repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your
sins may be blotted out when the time of refreshing
shall come from the presence of the Lord. In the
language of the poet:
|Stop, poor sinner, stop and think,
Before you further go;
Think upon the brink of death
Of everlasting woe.
Say, have you an arm like God,
That you his will oppose?
Fear you not that iron rod
With which he breaks his foes?
Is the prayer of one that loves your
Mr. Wm. Still, Dear Sir:—A favorable opportunity
affords the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of
letters and papers; certainly in this region they were
highly appreciated, and I hope the time may come that
your kindness will be reciprocated we are al well at
present, but times continue dull. I also deeply
regret the excitement recently on the account of those
slaves, you will favor me by keeping me posted upon the
subject. Those words written to slaveholder is the
thought of one who had sufferd, and now 1 thought it a
duty incumbent upon me to cry aloud and spare not, &c,
by sending these few lines where the slaveholder may
hear. You will still further oblige your humble servant
also, to correct any inaccuracy. My respects to
you and your family and all inquiring friends.
Your friend and well
impending judgments seen by an eye of faith as set forth
in this "Warning," soon fell with crushing weight upon
the oppressor, and Slavery died. But then old
blind father of Jackson, Isaac and Edmonndson,
still lives and may be seen daily on the streets of
Philadelphia; and though "halt, and lame, and blind, and
poor," doubtless resulting form his early
oppression, he can thank God and rejoice that he has
lived to see Slavery abolished.
[photo between pgs. 120 & 121]
BROWN, ALIAS THOMAS JONES.
CROSSING THE RIVER ON HORSEBACK IN
desperate straits many new inventions were sought after
by deep-thinking and resolute slaves, determined to be
free at any cost. But it must here be admitted,
that, in looking carefully over the more perilous
methods resorted to, Robert Brown, alias
Thomas Jones, stands second to none, with regard to
deeds of bold daring. This hero escaped from
Martinsburg, Va., in 1856. He was a man of medium
size, mulatto, about thirty-eight years of age, could
read and write, and was naturally sharpwitted. He
had formerly been owned by Col. John F. Franic
whom Robert charged with various offences of a
serious domestic character.
Furthermore, he also alleged, that his "mistress was
cruel to all the slaves," declaring that "they (the
slaves), could not live with her," that "she has to hire
In order to effect his escape, Robert was
obliged to swim the Potomac river on horseback, on
Christmas night, while the cold, wind, storm, and
darkness were indescribably dismal. This daring
bondman, rather than submit to his oppressor any longer,
perilled his life as above stated. Where he
crossed the river was about a half a mile wide.
Where could be found in history of more noble and daring
struggle for Freedom?
The wife sold his bosom and his four children, only
five days before he fled, were sold to a trader in
Richmond, Va., for no other offence than simply "because
she had resisted" the lustful designs of her master,
being "true to her own companion." After this poor
slave mother and her children were cast into prison for
sale, the husband and some of his friends tried hard to
find a purchaser in the neighborhood; but the malicious
and brutal master refused to sell her - wishing to
gratify his malice to the utmost, and to punish his
victims all that lay in his power, he sent them to the
place above named.
In this trying hour, the severed and bleeding heart of
the husband resolved to escape at all hazards, taking
with him a daguerreotype likeness of his wife which he
happened to have on hand, and a lock of hair from her
head, and from each of the children, as mementoes of his
unbounded (through sundered) affection for them.
After crossing the river, his wet clothing freezing to
him, he rode all night, a distance of about forty miles.
In the morning he left his faithful horse tied to a
fence, quite broken down. He then commenced his
dreary journey on foot cold and hungry - in a
strange place, where it was quite unsafe to make known
his condition and wants. Thus for a day or two,
without food or shelter, he traveled until his feet were
literally worn out, and in this condition he arrived at
Harrisburg, where he found friends. Passing over
many of the interesting incidents on the road, suffice
it to say,
he arrived safely in this city, on New Year's night,
1857, about two hours before day break (the telegraph
having announced his coming from Harrisburg), having
been a week on the way. The night he arrived was
very cold; besides, the Underground train, that morning,
was about three hours behind time; in waiting for it,
entirely out in the cold, a member of the Vigilance
Committee thought he was frosted. But when he came
to listen to the story of the Fugitive's sufferings, his
Scarcely had Robert entered the house of one of
the Committee, where he was kindly received, when he
took from his pocket his wife's likeness, speaking very
touchingly while gazing upon it and showing it.
Subsequently, in speaking of his family, he showed the
locks of hair referred to, which he had carefully rolled
up in a paper separately. Unrolling them, he said,
this is my wife's;" " this is from my oldest
daughter, eleven years old;" "and this is from my next
oldest;" "and this from the next," "and this from my
infant, only eight weeks old." These mementoes he
cherished with the utmost care as the last remains of
his affectionate family. At the sight of these
locks of hair so tenderly preserved, the member of the
Committee could fully appreciate the resolution of the
fugitive in plunging into the Potomac on the back of a
dumb beast, in order to flee from a place and people who
had made such barbarous havoc in his household.
His wife, as represented by the likeness, was of fair
complexion, prepossessing, and good looking- perhaps not
over thirty-three years of age.
ALIAS WILLIAM ARMSTEAD.
had been serving under the yoke of Warring Talvert,
of Richmond, Va. Anthony was of a rich
black complexion, medium size, about twenty-five years
of age. He was intelligent, and a member of the
Baptist Church. His master was a member of the
Presbyterian Church and held family prayers with the
servants. But Anthony believed seriously,
that his master prayers with the servants. But
Anthony believed seriously, that his master was no
more than a "whitened sepulchre," one who was fond of
saying, "Lord, Lord," but did not do what the Lord bade
him, consequently Anthony felt, that before the
Great Judge his "master's many prayers" would not
benefit him, as long as he continued to hold his
fellowmen in bondage. He left a father, Samuel
Loney, and mother, Rebecca also, one sister
and four brothers. His old father had bought
himself and was free; likewise his mother, being very
old, had been allowed to go free. Anthony
escaped in May, 1857.
Cornelius took passage per the Underground
Rail Road, in March, 1857, from the neighborhood of
Salvington, Stafford county, Va. He
stated that he had been claimed by Henry L. Brooke,
whom he declared to be a " hard drinker and a hard
swearer." Cornelius had been very much
bleached by the Patriarchal Institution, and he was
shrewd enough to take advantage of this circumstance.
In regions of country where men were less critical and
less experienced than Southerners, as to how the
bleaching process was brought about, Cornelius
Scott would have had no difficulty whatever in
passing for a white man of the most improved Anglo Saxon
type. Although a young man only twenty-three years
of age, and quite stout, his fair complexion was
decidedly against him. He concluded, that for this
very reason, he would not have been valued at more than
five hundred dollars in the market. He left his
mother (Ann Stubbs, and half brother,
Isaiah), and traveled as a white man.
SAMUEL WILLIAMS, ALIAS JOHN
for Canada had the good fortune to escape the clutches
of his mistress, Mrs. Elvina Duncans,
widow of the late Rev. James Duncans,
who lived near Cumberland, Md. He had very serious
complaints to allege against his mistress, "who was a
member of the Presbyterian Church." To use his own
language, "the servants in the house were treated worse
than dogs." John was thirty-two years of
age, dark chestnut color, well made, prepossessing in
appearance, and he "fled to keep from being sold."
With the Underground Rail Road he was "highly
delighted." Nor was he less pleased with the
thought, that he had caused his mistress, who was "one
of the worst women who ever lived," to lose twelve
hundred dollars by him. He escaped in March, 1857.
He did not admit that he loved slavery any the better
for the reason that his master was a preacher, or that
his mistress was the wife of a preacher. Although
a common farm hand, Samuel had common sense, and
for a long time previous had been watching closely the
conduct of his mistress, and at the same time had been
laying his plans for escaping on the Underground Rail
Road the first chance.
$100 REWARD -
My negro man Richard has been missing since
Sunday night, March 22d. I will give $100 to any
one who will secure him or deliver him to me.
Richard is thirty years old, but looks older; very
short legs, dark, but rather bright color, broad cheek
bones, a respectful and serious manner, generally looks
away when spoken to, small moustache and beard (but he
may have them off). He is a re markably
intelligent man, and can turn his hand to anything.
He took with him a bag made of Brussels carpet, with my
name written in large, rough letters on the bottom, and
a good stock of coarse and fine clothes, among them a
navy cap and a low-crowned hat. He has been seen
about New Kent C. H , and on the Pamunky river, and is
no doubt trying to get off in some vessel bound North.
April 18th, 1857
J. W. RANDOLPH, Richmond, Va.
Even at this
late date, it may perhaps afford Mr. R. a degree
faction to know what became of Richard; but if
this should not be the case, Richard's children,
or mother, or father, if they are living, may possibly
see these pages, and thereby be made glad by learning of
Richard's wisdom as u traveler, in the terrible
days of slave-hunting. Consequently here is what
was recorded of him, April 3d, 1857, at the Underground
Rail Road Station, just before a free ticket was
tendered him for Canada. "Richard is
thirty-three years of age, small of stature, dark color,
smart and resolute. He was owned by Captain
Tucker, of the United States Navy, from whom he
fled." He was "tired of serving, and wanted to
marry," was the cause of his escape. He had no
complaint of bad treatment to make against his owner;
indeed he said, that he had been "used well all his
life." Nevertheless, Richard felt that this
Underground Rail Road was the "greatest road he ever
When the war broke out, Richard girded on his
knapsack and went to help Uncle Sam humble
Richmond and break the yoke.
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