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
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