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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.
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This candidate 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 remarkably 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.