Frances assisted her husband to escape from his owner—Taits—and was never contented until she succeeded in following him to Canada. In escaping, she left her mother, Sarah Corbin, and her sister, Maria. On reaching the Vigilance Committee she learned all about her husband. She was conveyed from Richmond secreted on a steamer under the care of one of the colored hands on the boat. From here she was forwarded to Canada at the expense of the Committee. Arriving in Toronto, and not finding her hopes fully realized, with regard to meeting her husband, she wrote back the following letter:
TORONTO, CANADA, U.C., October 15th, 1855.
MY DEAR MR. STILL:—Sir—I take the opportunity of writing you a few lines to inform you of my health. I am very well at present, and hope that when these few lines reach you they may find you enjoying the same blessing. Give my love to Mrs. Still and all the children, and also to Mr. Swan, and tell him that he must give you the money that he has, and you will please send it to me, as I have received a letter from my husband saying that I must come on to him as soon as I get the money from him. I cannot go to him until I get the money that Mr. Swan has in hand. Please tell Mr. Caustle that the clothes he spoke of my mother did not know anything about them. I left them with Hinson Brown and he promised to give them to Mr. Smith. Tell him to ask Mr. Smith to get them from Mr. Brown for me, and when I get settled I will send him word and he can send them to me. The letters that were sent to me I received them all. I wish you would send me word if Mr. Smith is on the boat yet—if he is please write me word in your next letter. Please send me the money as soon as you possibly can, for I am very anxious to see my husband. I send to you for I think you will do what you can for me. No more at present, but remain Yours truly,
Send me word if Mr. Caustle
had given Mr. Smith the money that
he promised to give him.
For one who had to steal the art of reading and writing, her letter bears studying.
Arrival No. 2. Louisa Harding, alias Rebecca Hall. Louisa was a mulatto girl, seventeen years of age. She reported herself from Baltimore, where she had been owned by lawyer Magill. It might be said that she also possessed great personal attractions as an “article” of much value in the eye of a trader. All the near kin whom she named as having left behind, consisted of a mother and a brother.
Arrival No. 3. John Mackintosh. John’s history is short. He represented himself as having arrived from Darien, Georgia, where he had seen “hard times.” Age, forty-four. This is all that was recorded of John, except the expenses met by the Committee.
Arrival No. 4. Maria Jane Houston. The little State of Delaware lost in the person of Maria, one of her nicest-looking bond-maids. She had just arrived at the age of twenty-one, and felt that she had already been sufficiently wronged. She was a tall, dark, young woman, from the neighborhood of Cantwell’s Bridge. Although she had no horrible tales of suffering to relate, the Committee regarded her as well worthy of aid.