CHARLES HENRY COOPER and WILLIAM ISRAEL SMITH. These passengers were representatives of the peculiar Institution of Middletown, Delaware. Charles was owned by Catharine Mendine, and William by John P. Cather. According to their confession, Charles and William it seemed had been thinking a good deal over the idea of “working for nothing,” of being daily driven to support others, while they were rendered miserable thereby. So they made up their minds to try the Underground Rail Road, “hit or miss.” This resolution was made and carried into effect (on the part of Charles at least), at the cost of leaving a mother, three brothers, and three sisters in Slavery, without hope of ever seeing them again. The ages of Charles and William were respectively twenty-two and twenty-one. Both stout and well-made young men, with intellects well qualified to make the wilderness of Canada bud and blossom as the rose, and thitherward they were dispatched.
ANNA DORSET became tired of Slavery in Maryland, where she reported that she had been held to service by a slave-holder, known by the name of Eli Molesworth. The record is silent as to how she was treated. As a slave, she had been brought up a seamstress, and was quite intelligent. Age twenty-two, mulatto.
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THREE BROTHERS, TWO OF THEM WITH WIVES AND CHILDREN.
About the latter part of March, 1856, Owen Taylor and his wife, Mary Ann, and their little son, Edward, together with a brother and his wife and two children, and a third brother, Benjamin, arrived from near Clear Springs, nine miles from Hagerstown, Maryland. They all left their home, or rather escaped from the prison-house, on Easter Sunday, and came via Harrisburg, where they were assisted and directed to the Vigilance Committee in Philadelphia. A more interesting party had not reached the Committee for a long time.
The three brothers were intelligent, and heroic, and, in the resolve to obtain freedom, not only for themselves, but for their wives and children desperately in earnest. They had counted well the cost of this struggle for liberty, and had fully made up their minds that if interfered with by slave-catchers, somebody would have to bite the dust. That they had pledged themselves never to surrender alive, was obvious. Their travel-worn appearance, their attachment for each other, the joy that the tokens of friendship afforded them, the description they gave of incidents on the road, made an impression not soon to be effaced.
In the presence of a group like this Sumner’s great and eloquent speech on the Barbarism of Slavery, seemed almost cold and dead,—the mute appeals of these little ones in their mother’s arms—the unlettered language of these young mothers, striving to save their offspring from the doom of Slavery—the resolute and manly bearing of these brothers expressed in words full of love of liberty, and of the determination to resist Slavery to the death, in defence of their wives and children—this was Sumner’s speech enacted before our eyes.