This was not strange. Indeed not only slaves cowed before the eye of slave-holders. Did not even Northern men, superior in education and wealth, fear to say their souls were their own in the same presence?
Jim, therefore, concluded to throw himself upon the protection of the Committee and take an Underground Rail Road ticket, and thereby spare himself and his master and mistress the disagreeableness of meeting under such strange circumstances. The Committee arranged matters for him to the satisfaction of all concerned, and gave him a passport for her British majesty’s possession, Canada.
The unvarnished facts, as they were then recorded substantially from the lips of Jim, and as they are here reproduced, comprise only a very meagre part of his sadly interesting story. At the time Jim left his master and mistress so unceremoniously in Philadelphia, some excitement existed at the attempt of his master to recover him through the Police of Philadelphia, under the charge that he (Jim) had been stealing, as may be seen from the following letter which appeared in the “National Anti-Slavery Standard:”
Philadelphia, Monday, July 27, 1857.
Yesterday afternoon a rumor was afloat that a negro man named Jim, who had accompanied his master (Mr. Charles Parlange), from New Orleans to this city, had left his master for the purpose of tasting the sweets of freedom. It was alleged by Mr. Parlange that the said “Jim” had taken with him two tin boxes, one of which contained money. Mr. Parlange went, on his way to New York, via the Camden and Amboy Railroad, and upon his arrival at the Walnut street wharf, with two ladies, “Jim” was missing. Mr. Parlange immediately made application to a Mr. Wallace, who is a Police officer stationed at the Walnut street depot. Mr. Wallace got into a carriage with Mr. Parlange and the two ladies, and, as Mr. Wallace stated, drove back to the Girard House, where “Jim” had not been heard of since he had left for the Walnut street wharf.
A story was then set afloat to the effect, that a negro of certain, but very particular description (such as a Louisiana nigger-driver only can give), had stolen two boxes as stated above. A notice signed “Clarke,” was received at the Police Telegraph Office by the operator (David Wunderly) containing a full description of Jim, also offering a reward of $100 for his capture. This notice was telegraphed to all the wards in every section. This morning Mr. Wunderly found fault with the reporters using the information, and, in presence of some four or five persons, said the notice signed “Clarke,” was a private paper, and no reporter had a right to look at it; at the same time asserting, that if he knew where the nigger was he would give him up, as $100 did not come along every day. The policeman, Wallace, expressed the utmost fear