* * * * *
William Scott. William was about twenty-four years of age, well made, though not very heavy—stammered considerably when speaking—wide awake and sensible nevertheless. For two years the fear of being sold had not been out of his mind. To meet a security agreement, which had been contracted by his mistress—about which a law-suit had been pending for two years—was what he feared he should be sold for. About the first of May he found himself in the hands of the sheriff. On being taken to Stafford Court-House Jail, however, the sheriff permitted him to walk a “little ways.” It occurred to William that then was his only chance to strike for freedom and Canada, at all hazards. He soon decided the matter, and the sheriff saw no more of him.
Susan Fox was the name of the person he was compelled to call mistress. She was described as a “large, portly woman, very gross, with a tolerably severe temper, at times.” William’s mother and one of his brothers had been sold by this woman—an outrage to be forever remembered. His grandmother, one sister, with two children, and a cousin with five children, all attached by the sheriff, for sale, were left in the hands of his mistress. He was married the previous Christmas, but in the trying hour could do nothing for his wife, but leave her to the mercy of slave-holders. The name of the sheriff that he outgeneralled was Walter Cox. William was valued at $1,000.
Perhaps, after all, but few appreciated the sorrow that must have filled the hearts of most of those who escaped. Though they succeeded in gaining their own liberty—they were not insensible to the oppression of their friends and relatives left in bondage. On reaching Canada and tasting the sweets of freedom, the thought of dear friends in bondage must have been acutely painful.
William had many perils to encounter. On one occasion he was hotly chased, but proved too fleet-footed for his pursuers. At another time, when straitened, he attempted to swim a river, but failed. His faith remained strong, nevertheless, and he succeeded in reaching the Committee.
* * * * *
ARRIVAL FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., etc., 1857.
GEORGE CARROLL, RANDOLPH BRANSON, JOHN CLAGART, AND WILLIAM ROYAN.
These four journeyed from “Egypt” together—but did not leave the same “kind protector.”
George was a full black, ordinary size, twenty-four years of age, and a convert to the doctrine that he had a right to himself. For years the idea of escape had been daily cherished. Five times he had proposed to buy himself, but failed to get the consent of his “master,” who was a merchant, C.C. Hirara, a man about sixty years of age, and a member of the Methodist Church. His property in slaves consisted of two men, two women, two girls and a boy.