Charles was owned by Atwood A. Blunt, a farmer, much of whose time was devoted to card playing, rum-drinking and fox-hunting, so Charles stated. Charles gave him the credit of being as mild a specimen of a slaveholder as that region of country could claim when in a sober mood, but when drunk every thing went wrong with him, nothing could satisfy him.
Charles testified, however, that the despotism of his mistress was much worse than that of his master, for she was all the time hard on the slaves. Latterly he had heard much talk about selling, and, believing that matters would soon have to come to that, he concluded to seek a place where colored men had rights, in Canada.
James Johnson. James fled from Deer Creek, Harford Co., Md., where he was owned by William Rautty. “Jim’s” hour had come. Within one day of the time fixed for his sale, he was handcuffed, and it was evidently supposed that he was secure. Trembling at his impending doom he resolved to escape if possible. He could not rid himself of the handcuffs. Could he have done so, he was persuaded that he might manage to make his way along safely. He resolved to make an effort with the handcuffs on.
With resolution his freedom was secured. What Master Rautty said when he found his property gone with the handcuffs, we know not.
The next day after Jim arrived, Charles Carter, George and John Logan came to hand.
Charles had been under the yoke in the city of Richmond, held to service by Daniel Delaplain, a flour inspector. Charles was hired out by the flour inspector for as much as he could command for him, for being a devoted lover of money, ordinary wages hardly ever satisfied him. In other respects Charles spoke of his master rather favorably in comparison with slaveholders generally.
A thirty years’ apprenticeship as a slave had not, however, won him over to the love of the system; he had long since been convinced that it was nonsense to suppose that such a thing as happiness could be found even under the best of masters. He claimed to have a wife and four little children living in Alexandria Va.; the name of the wife was Lucinda. In the estimation of slave-holders, the fact of Charles having a family might have offered no cause for unhappiness, but Charles felt differently in relation to the matter. Again, for reasons best known to the owner, he talked of selling Charles. On this point Charles also felt quite nervous, so he began to think that he had better make an attempt to get beyond the reach of buyers and sellers. He knew that many others similarly situated had got out of bondage simply by hard struggling, and he felt that he could do likewise. When he had thus determined the object was half accomplished. True, every step that he should take was liable to bring trouble upon himself, yet with the hope of freedom buoying him up he resolved to run the risk. Charles was about thirty years of age, likely-looking, well made, intelligent, and a mulatto.