William Williams and his wife were the next who arrived. They came from Haven Manor, Md. They had been owned by John Peak, by whom, according to their report, they had been badly treated, and the Committee had no reason to doubt their testimony.
The next arrival numbered four passengers, and came under the guidance of “Moses” (Harriet Tubman), from Maryland. They were adults, looking as though they could take care of themselves very easily, although they had the marks of Slavery on them. It was no easy matter for men and women who had been ground down all their lives, to appear as though they had been enjoying freedom. Indeed, the only wonder was that so many appeared to as good advantage as they did, after having been crushed down so long.
The paucity of the narratives in the month of April, is quite noticeable. Why fuller reports were not written out, cannot now be accounted for; probably the feeling existed that it was useless to write out narratives, except in cases of very special interest.
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MOTHER AND CHILD FROM NORFOLK, VA., ETC.
ABE FINEER, SAM DAVIS, HENRY SAUNDERS, WM. HENRY THOMPSON and THOMAS PARKER arrived safely from the above named place. Upon inquiry, the following information was gleaned from them.
Abe spoke with feelings of some bitterness of a farmer known by the name of George Spencer, who had deprived him of the hard earnings of his hands. Furthermore, he had worked him hard, stinted him for food and clothing and had been in the habit of flogging him whenever he felt like it. In addition to the above charges, Abe did not hesitate to say that his master meddled too much with the bottle, in consequence of which, he was often in a “top-heavy” state. Abe said, however, that he was rich and stood pretty high in the neighborhood—stinting, flogging and drinking were no great disadvantages to a man in Georgetown, Maryland.
Abe was twenty-three years of age, pure black, ordinary size, and spirited, a thorough convert to the doctrine that all men are born free, and although he had been held in bondage up to the hour of his escape, he gave much reason for believing that he would not be an easy subject to manage under the yoke, if ever captured and carried back.
Sam was about thirty years of age, genuine black, common size, and a hater of slavery; he was prepared to show, by the scars he bore about his person, why he talked as he did. Forever will he remember James Hurst, his so-called master, who was a very blustering man oft-times, and in the habit of abusing his slaves. Sam was led to seek the Underground Rail Road, in order to get rid of his master and, at the same time, to do better for himself than he could possibly do in Slavery. He had to leave his wife, Phillis, and one child.
William Henry was about twenty-four years of age, and of a chestnut color. He too talked of slave-holders, and his master in particular, just as any man would talk who had been shamefully robbed and wronged all his life.