The case of the colored man Davis, who made such a bold stroke to regain his liberty, by periling his life on board the steamer Keystone State, has excited very general attention. He has given a detailed account of his abduction and sale as a slave in the State of Maryland and Georgia, and some of his adventures up to the time of reaching Delaware. His own story is substantially as follows:
He left Philadelphia on the 15th of September, 1851, and went to Harrisburg, intending to go to Hollidaysburg; took a canal boat for Havre de Grace, where he arrived next day. There he hired on board the schooner Thomas and Edward (oyster boat), of Baltimore. Went from Havre de Grace to St. Michael’s, for oysters, thence to Baltimore, and thence to Havre de Grace again.
He then hired to a Mr. Sullivan, who kept a grocery store, to do jobs. While there, a constable, named Smith, took him before a magistrate named Graham, who fined him fifteen or twenty dollars for violating the law in relation to free negroes coming into the State. This fine he was not able to pay, and Smith took him to Bell Air prison. Sheriff Gaw wrote to Mr. Maitland in Philadelphia, to whom he referred, and received an answer that Mr. Maitland was dead and none of the family knew him. He remained in that prison nearly two months. He then had a trial in court before a Judge Grier (most unfortunate name), who sentenced him to be sold to pay his fine and expenses, amounting to fifty dollars.
After a few days and without being offered at public sale, he was taken out of jail at two o’clock in the morning and carried to Campbell’s slave pen, in Baltimore, where he remained several months. While there, he was employed to cook for some fifty or sixty slaves, being told that he was working out his fine and jail fees. After being there about six months, he was taken out of prison, handcuffed by one Winters, who took him and two or three others to Washington and thence to Charleston, S.C. Here Winters left them, and they were taken by steamboat to Savannah. While on board the boat, he learned that himself and the other two had been sold to Mr. William Dean, of Macon, where he stayed two days, and was taken from that place to the East Valley Railroad.
Subsequently he was sent to work on the Possum Tail Railroad. Here he was worked so hard, that in one month he lost his health. The other two men taken on with him, failed before he did. He was then sent to Macon, and thence to the cotton plantation again.
During the time he worked on the railroad he had allowed him for food, one peck of corn meal, four pounds of bacon, and one quart of molasses per week. He cooked it himself at night, for the next day’s use. He worked at packing cotton for four or five months, and in the middle of November, 1852, was sent back to the railroad, where he was again set to wheeling.