to buy himself, and for eighteen months prior to the
flight, he had been what was called a free man.
It should also be further stated in justice to Stephen’s
master, that he was so disgusted with the manner in
which Stephen’s wife was treated, that he went
so far as to counsel Stephen to escape with his wife
and children. Here at least is one instance where
a Maryland slave-holder lends his influence to the
Underground Rail Road cause. The counsel was accepted,
and the family started on their perilous flight.
And although they necessarily had manifest trials
and difficulties to discourage and beset them, they
battled bravely with all these odds and reached the
Vigilance Committee safely. Harriet was a bright
mulatto, with marked features of character, and well
made, with good address and quite intelligent.
She was about twenty-six years of age. The children
also were remarkably fine-looking little creatures,
but too young to know the horrors of Slavery.
The Committee at once relieved them of their heavy
load of anxiety by cheering words and administering
to their necessities with regard to food, money, etc
After the family had somewhat recovered from the fatigue
and travel-worn condition in which they arrived, and
were prepared to resume their journey, the Committee
gave them the strictest caution with regard to avoiding
slave-hunters, and also in reference to such points
on the road where they would be most in danger of going
astray from a lack of knowledge of the way. Then,
with indescribable feelings of sympathy, free tickets
were tendered them, and they having been conducted
to the depot, were sent on their way rejoicing.
* * * *
After many years of hard toiling for the support of
others, the yoke pressed so heavily upon Elijah’s
shoulders, that he could not endure Slave life any
longer. In the hope of getting rid of his bondage,
by dexterous management and a resolute mind, which
most determined and thoughtful men exercise when undertaking
to accomplish great objects, he set about contriving
to gain his freedom. In proof of Elijah’s
truthfulness, the advertisement of Mr. R.J. Christians
is here offered, as taken from a Richmond paper, about
the time that Elijah passed through Philadelphia on
the Underground Rail Road, in 1857.
RAN AWAY—$500 REWARD.—Left
the Tobacco Factory of the subscriber on the 14th
inst., on the pretence of being sick, a mulatto
man, named ELIJAH, the property of Maj. Edward
Johnson, of Chesterfield county. He is about
5 feet 8 or 10 inches high, spare made, bushy
hair, and very genteel appearance; he is supposed
to be making his way North. The above reward will
be paid if delivered at my factory.
Ro. J. CHRISTIANS.