[Pg. 144] - continued
PERRY was about thirty-one years of age,
round-made, of dark complexion, and looked quite
gratified with his expedition, and the prospect of
becoming a British subject instead of a Maryland slave.
He was not free, however, from the sad thought of having
left his wife and three children in the "prison house,"
nor of the fact that his own dear mother was brutally
stabbed to the heart with a butcher knife by her young
master, while he (Perry) was a babe; nor of a
more recent tragedy by which a fellow-servant, only a
short while before he fled, was also murdered by a stab
in the groin from another young master. "Powerful
bad " treatment, and "no pay," was the only reward poor
Perry had ever received for his life services.
Perry could only remember his having received
from his master, in all, eleven cents. Left a
brother and sister in Slavery. Perry was
worth $1200 perhaps.
PERRY was compelled to leave his wife and three
children—namely, Hannah (wife), Perry
Henry, William Thomas and Alexander,
who were owned by John McGuire, of
Caroline county, Maryland. Perry was a
fellow-servant of James Massey, and was
held by the same owner who held James. It
is but just, to say, that it was not in the Pittman
family that his mother and his fellow-servant had
been so barbarously murdered. These occurrences
took place before they came into the hands of Pittman.
The provocation for which his fellow-servant was
killed, was said to be very trifling. In a moment
of rage, his young master, John Piper,
plunged the blade of a small knife into Perry's
groin, which .resulted in his death twenty-six hours
afterwards. For one day only the young master kept
him self concealed, then he came forward and said he
"did it in self-defense," and there the matter ended.
The half will never be told of the barbarism of Slavery.
PERRY's letter subjoined, explains where he
went, and how his mind was occupied with thoughts of his
wife, children and friends.
C. W. June 21, 1857
DEAR SIR. -
I take this opportunity to inform you that I am well at
present, and hope time now, But have not written to you
Before, But you must Excuse me. I want you to give
my Respects to all my inquiring friends and to my wife,
I should have let you know But I was afraid and all
three of my little children too, P. H. Trusty if
he was mine Wm. T. Trusty and to Alexander
I have been A managge But was assurd nuthin, H.
Trusty, a hard grand citt. I should lic know how
times is, Henry Turner if you get this keep it
and read it to yourself and not let any one else But
yourself, tell ann Henry, Samuel
Henry, Jacob Bryant, Wm
Claton, Mr James at Almira Receved at
Mr Jones house the Best I could I have
Been healthy since I arrived here. My Best Respect
to all and my thanks for past favours. No more at
present But Remain youre obedented Servent &c
Please send me an answer as son as you get this, age
RHODES is a young
man of twenty-five years of age, chestnut color, face
round, and hating Slavery heartily. He had come from
under the .control of John P. Dellum a
farmer, and a crabbed master, who "would swear very much
when crossed, and would drink moderately every day,"
except sometimes he would " take a spree," and would
then get pretty high. Withal he was a member of the
Presbyterian church at Perryville, Maryland; he was a
single man and followed farming. Within the last
two or three years, he had sold a man and woman; hence,
George thought it was time to take warning.
Accordingly he felt it to be his duty to try for Canada,
via Underground Rail Road. As his master had
always declared that if one run off, he would sell the
rest to Georgia, George very wisely concluded
that as an effort would have to be made, they had better
leave their master with as "few as possible to be
troubled with selling." Consequently, a
consultation was had between the brothers, which
resulted in the exit of a party of eight. The
market price for George would be about $1400.
A horrid example professed Christians set before the
world, while holding slaves and upholding Slavery.
brother of George, was twenty-three years of age,
medium size, dark color, intelligent and manly, and
would doubtless have brought, in the Richmond
market, $1700. Fortunately he brought his wife and
child with him. James was also held by the
same task-master who held George. Often had
he been visited with severe stripes, and had borne his
full share of suffering from his master.
one of the same party, was only about fifteen
years of age; he was tall enough, however, to pass for a
young man of twenty. George was of an
excellent, fast, dark color. Of course, mentally
he was undeveloped, nevertheless, possessed of enough
mother-wit to make good his escape. In the slave
market he might have been valued at $800.
George was claimed as the lawful property of
Benjamin Syles - a Presbyterian, who owned besides,
two men, three girls, and a boy. He was "tolerable
good" sometimes, and sometimes "bad." Some of the
slaves supposed themselves to be on the eve of being
emancipated about the time George left; but of
this there was no certainty. George,
however, was not among this hopeful number,
consequently, he thought that he would start in time,
and would be ready to shout for Freedom quite as soon as
any other of his fellow-bondmen. George
left a father and three sisters. Sarah
Elizabeth Rhoads, wife of James Rhoads, was
seventeen years of age, a tall, dark,
young woman, who had had no chances for mental
improvement, except such as were usual on a farm,
stocked with slaves, where learning to read the Bible
was against the "rules." Sarah was a young
slave mother with a babe (of course a slave) only eight
months old. She was regarded as having been
exceedingly fortunate in having rescued herself and
child from the horrid fate of slaves.
STEPHENSON is a promising-looking young woman, of
twenty years of age, chestnut color, and well made.
Hard treatment had been her lot. Left her mother,
two sisters and four brothers in bondage. Worth
Although these travelers were of the "field hand"
class, who had never been permitted to see much off of
the farm, and had been deprived of hearing intelligent
people talk, yet the spirit of Freedom, so natural to
man, was quite uppermost with all of them. The
members of the Committee who saw them, were abundantly
satisfied that these candidates for Canada would prove
that they were able to "take care of themselves."
Their wants were attended to in the usual manner, and
they were sent on their way rejoicing, the Committee
feeling quite a deep interest in them. It looked
like business to see so many passing over the Road.
CARRIER OF "THE NATIONAL AMERICAN," OFF
subjoined "pass" was brought to the underground Rail
Road station in Philadelphia by Charles, and
while it was interesting as throwing light upon his
escape, it is important also as a specimen of the way
the "pass" system was carried on in the dark days of
Slavery in Virginia:
Richmond, July 20th, 1857.
Permit Charles to pass and repass from this
office to the residence of Rev. B. Manly's on
Clay St., near 11th, at any hour of the night for one
It is a
very short document, but it used to be very unsafe for a
slave in Richmond, or any other Southern city, to be
found out in the evening without a legal paper of this
description. The penalties for being found
unprepared to face the police were fines, imprisonment
and flogging. The satisfaction it seemed always to
afford these guardians of the city to find either males
or females trespassing in this particular, was
unmistakable. It gave them (the police) the
opportunity to prove to those they served
(slave-holders), that they were the right men in the
right place, guarding their interests. Then again
they got the fine for pocket money, and likewise the
BLOOD FLOWED FREELY.
ABRAM GALLOWAY AND RICHARD EDEN, TWO
PASSENGERS SECRETED IN A VESSEL LOADED WITH SPIRITS OF
TURPENTINE. SHROUDS PREPARED TO PREVENT BEING
SMOKED TO DEATH
HON. ABRAM GALLOWAY.
(Secreted in a vessel loaded with turpentine.)
thought I would try and do better." At this
juncture Abram. explained substantially in what
sense times were hard, &c. In the first place he
was not allowed to own himself; he, however, preferred
hiring his time to serving in the usual way. This
favor was granted Abram; but he was compelled to
pay $15 per month for his time, besides finding himself
in clothing, food, paying doctor bills, and a head tax
of $15 a year.
Even under this master, who was a man of very good
disposition, Abram was not contented. In the second
place, he " always thought Slavery was wrong," although
he had " never suffered any personal abuse."
Toiling month after month the year round to support his
master and not himself, was the one intolerable thought.
Abram and Richard were intimate friends,
and lived near each other. Being similarly
situated, they could venture to communicate the secret
feelings of their hearts to each other. Richard
was four years older than Abram, with not quite
so much AngloSaxon blood in his veins, but was equally
as intelligent, and was by trade, a "fashionable
barber," well-known to the ladies and gentlemen of
Wilmington. Richard owed service to Mrs.
Mary Loren, a widow. "She was very kind and tender
to all her slaves." "If I was sick," said
Richard, "she would treat me the same as a mother
would." She was the owner of twenty, men, women
and children, who were all hired out, except the
children too young for hire. Besides having his
food, clothing and doctor's expenses to meet, he had to
pay the "very kind and tender-hearted widow" $12.50 per
month, and head tax to the State, amounting to
twenty-five cents per month. I t so happened, that
Richard at this time, was involved in a matrimonial
difficulty. Contrary to the laws of North
Carolina, he had lately married a free girl, which was
an indictable offence, and for which the penalty was
then in soak for him—said penalty to consist of
thirty-nine lashes, and imprisonment at the discretion
of the judge.
So Abram and Richard put their heads
together, and resolved to try the Underground Rail Road.
They concluded that liberty was worth dying for, and
that it was their duty to strike for Freedom even if it
should cost them their lives. The next thing
needed, was information about the Underground Rail Road.
Before a great while the captain of a schooner turned
up, from Wilmington, Delaware. Learning that his
voyage extended to Philadelphia, they sought to find out
whether this captain was true to Free dom. To
ascertain this fact required no little address. It
had to be done in such a way, that even the captain
would not really understand what they were up to, should
he be found untrue. In this instance, however, he
was the right man in the right place, and very well
understood his business.
Abram and Richard made arrangements with
him to bring them away; they learned when the vessel
would start, and that she was loaded with tar, rosin,
and spirits of turpentine, amongst which the captain was
to secrete tbem. But here came the difficulty. In
order that slaves might not be
secreted in vessels, the slave-holders of North Carolina
had procured the enactment of a law requiring all
vessels coming North to be smoked.
To escape this dilemma, the inventive genius of
Abram and Richard soon devised a safe-guard
against the smoke. This safe-guard consisted in
silk oil cloth shrouds, made large, with drawing
strings, which, when pulled over their heads, might be
drawn very tightly around their waists, whilst the
process of smoking might be in operation. A
bladder of water and towels were provided, the latter to
be wet and held to their nostrils, should there be need.
In this manner they had determined to struggle against
death for liberty. The hour approached for being
at the wharf. At the appointed time they were on
hand ready to go on the boat; the captain secreted them,
according to agreement. They were ready to run the
risk of being smoked to death; but as good luck would
have it, the law was not carried into effect in this
instance, so that the "smell of smoke was not upon
them." The effect of the turpentine, however, of
the nature of which they were totally ignorant, was
worse, if possible, than the smoke would have been.
The blood was literally drawn from them at every pore in
frightful quantities. But as heroes of the bravest
type they resolved to continue steadfast as long as a
pulse continued to beat, and thus they finally
The invigorating northern air and the kind treatment of
the Vigilance Committee acted like a charm upon them,
and they improved very rapidly from their exhaustive and
heavy loss of blood. Desiring to retain some
memorial of them, a member of the Committee begged one
of their silk shrouds, and likewise procured an artist
to take the photograph of one of them; which keepsakes
have been valued very highly. In the regular order
of arrangements the wants of Abram and Richard
were duly met by the Committee, financially and
otherwise, and they were forwarded to Canada.
After their safe arrival in Canada, Richard
addressed a member of the Committee thus:
KINGSTON, July 20, 1857
MR. WILLIAM STILL - Dear Friend:
- I take the opertunity of wrighting a few lines to let
you no that we air all in good health hoping thos few
lines may find you and your family engoying the same
blessing. We arived in King all saft Canada West
Abram Galway gos to work this morning at $1 75
per day and John pediford is at work for
mr goerge mink and i will opne a shop for my self
in a few days. My wif will send a dugretipe to
your cair whitch you will pleas to send on to me
Richard Edons to the cair of George Mink
Kingston C. W.
Yours with Respect, RICHARD
his comrade, allied himself faithfully to John Bulluntil
Uncle Sam became involved in the constest with
the rebels. In this hour of need Abram
hastened back to North Carolina to help fight the
battles of Freedom. How well he acted his part, we
are not informed. We only know that, after the war
was over, in the reconstruction of North Carolina,
Abram was promoted to a seat in its Senate.
He died in office only a few months since. The
portrait is almost a "fac-simile."
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