Although starting from widely separated localities without the slightest communication with each other in the South, each separate passenger earnestly bent on freedom, had endured suffering, hunger, and perils, by land and water, sustained by the hope of ultimate freedom.
PERRY SHEPHARD and ISAAC REED reported themselves as having fled from the Eastern Shore of Maryland; that they had there been held to service or Slavery by Sarah Ann Burgess, and Benjamin Franklin Houston, from whom they fled. No incidents of slave life or travel were recorded, save that Perry left his wife Milky Ann, and two children, Nancy and Rebecca (free). Also Isaac left his wife, Hester Ann Louisa, and the following named children: Philip Henry, Harriet Ann and Jane Elizabeth.
GEORGE SPERRYMAN’S lot was cast amongst the oppressed in the city of Richmond, Va. Of the common ills of slave life, George could speak from experience; but little of his story, however, was recorded at the time. He had reached the Committee through the regular channel—was adjudged worthy of aid and encouragement, and they gave it to him freely. Nickless Templeman was the loser in this instance; how he bore the misfortune the Committee was not apprised. Without question, the property was delighted with getting rid of the owner.
VALENTINE SPIRES came a fellow-passenger with George, having “took out” the previous Christmas, from a place called Dunwoody, near Petersburg. He was held to service in that place by Dr. Jesse Squires. Under his oppressive rules and demands, Valentine had been convinced that there could be no peace, consequently he turned his attention to one idea—freedom and the Underground Rail Road, and with this faith, worked his way through to the Committee, and was received, and aided of course.
DAVID GREEN, fled from Warrington, near Leesburg. Elliott Curlett so alarmed David by threatening to sell him, that the idea of liberty immediately took possession in David’s mind. David had suffered many hardships at the hands of his master, but when the auction-block was held up to him, that was the worst cut of all. He became a thinker right away. Although he had a wife and one child in Slavery, he decided to flee for his freedom at all hazards, and accordingly he carried out his firm resolution.
JAMES JOHNSON. This “article” was doing unrequited labor as the slave of Thomas Wallace, in Prince George county, Maryland. He was a stout and rugged-looking man, of thirty-five years of age. On escaping, he was fortunate enough to bring his wife, Harriet with him. She was ten years younger than himself, and had been owned by William T. Wood, by whom she said that she had “been well treated.” But of late, this Wood had taken to liquor, and she felt in danger of being sold. She knew that rum ruined the best of slave-holders, so she was admonished to get out of danger as soon as possible.