man.” Josiah Bailey was the leader of this
party, and he appeared well-qualified for this position.
He was about twenty-nine years of age, and in no particular
physically, did he seem to be deficient. He was
likewise civil and polite in his manners, and a man
of good common sense. He was held and oppressed
by William H. Hughlett, a farmer and dealer in ship
timber, who had besides invested in slaves to the
number of forty head. In his habits he was generally
taken for a “moderate” and “fair”
man, “though he was in the habit of flogging
the slaves—females as well as males,”
after they had arrived at the age of maturity.
This was not considered strange or cruel in Maryland.
Josiah was the “foreman” on the place,
and was entrusted with the management of hauling the
ship-timber, and through harvesting and busy seasons
was required to lead in the fields. He was regarded
as one of the most valuable hands in that part of
the country, being valued at $2,000. Three weeks
before he escaped, Joe was “stripped naked,”
and “flogged” very cruelly by his master,
simply because he had a dispute with one of the fellow-servants,
who had stolen, as Joe alleged, seven dollars of his
hard earnings. This flogging, produced in Joe’s
mind, an unswerving determination to leave Slavery
or die: to try his luck on the Underground Rail
Road at all hazards. The very name of Slavery,
made the fire fairly burn in his bones. Although
a married man, having a wife and three children (owned
by Hughlett), he was not prepared to let his affection
for them keep him in chains—so Anna Maria,
his wife, and his children Ellen, Anna Maria, and
Isabella, were shortly widowed and orphaned by the
William Bailey was owned by John C. Henry, a large
slave-holder, and a very “hard” one, if
what William alleged of him was true. His story
certainly had every appearance of truthfulness.
A recent brutal flogging had “stiffened his
back-bone,” and furnished him with his excuse
for not being willing to continue in Maryland, working
his strength away to enrich his master, or the man
who claimed to be such. The memorable flogging,
however, which caused him to seek flight on the Underground
Rail Road, was not administered by his master or on
his master’s plantation. He was hired out,
and it was in this situation that he was so barbarously
treated. Yet he considered his master more in
fault than the man to whom he was hired, but redress
there was none, save to escape.
The hour for forwarding the party by the Committee,
came too soon to allow time for the writing of any
account of Peter Pennington and Eliza Nokey.
Suffice it to say, that in struggling through their
journey, their spirits never flagged; they had determined
not to stop short of Canada. They truly had a
very high appreciation of freedom, but a very poor
opinion of Maryland.
* * * *
SLAVE TRADER HALL IS FOILED.