Such appeals came very frequently from Canada, causing much sadness, as but little encouragement could be held out to such projects. In the first place, the danger attendant upon such expeditions was so fearful, and in the second place, our funds were so inadequate for this kind of work, that, in most cases, such appeals had to be refused. Of course, there were those whose continual coming, like the poor widow in the Gospel, could not be denied.
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THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.—Ran away from the subscriber, residing near Bladensburg, Prince George’s county, Maryland, on Saturday night, the 22d of March, 1856, my negro man, Tom Matthews, aged about 25 years, about 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, dark copper color, full suit of bushy hair, broad face, with high cheek bones, broad and square shoulders, stands and walks very erect, though quite a sluggard in action, except in a dance, at which he is hard to beat. He wore away a black coat and brown pantaloons. I will give the above reward if taken and brought home, or secured in jail, so that I get him.
E.A. JONES, near Bladensburg, Md.
As Mr. Jones may be unaware which way his man Tom traveled, this item may inform him that his name was entered on the Underground Rail Road book April 4th, 1856, at which date he appeared to be in good health and full of hope for a safe sojourn in Canada. He was destitute, of course, just as anybody else would have been, if robbers had stripped him of every dollar of his earnings; but he felt pretty sure, that he could take care of himself in her Majesty’s dominion.
The Committee, encouraged by his efforts, reached him a helping hand and sent him on to swell the goodly number in the promised land—Canada.
On the same day that Tom arrived, the Committee had the pleasure of taking JAMES JONES by the hand. He was owned by Dr. William Stewart, of King George’s Court House, Maryland. He was not, however, in the service of his master at the time of his escape but was hired out in Alexandria. For some reason, not noticed in the book, James became dissatisfied, changed his name to Henry Rider, got an Underground Rail Road pass and left the Dr. and his other associations in Maryland. He was one of the well-cared for “articles,” and was of very near kin to the white people, at least a half-brother (mulatto, of course). He was thirty-two years of age, medium size, hard-featured and raw-boned, but “no marks about him.”
James looked as if he had had pretty good health, still the Committee thought that he would have much better in Canada. After hearing a full description of that country and of the great number of fugitives there from Maryland and other parts of the South, “Jim” felt that that was just the place he wanted to find, and was soon off with a free ticket, a letter of introduction, etc.