“But are not the old slaves well cared for by their masters?” a member of the Committee here remarked. “Take care of them! no!” Abram replied with much earnestness, and then went on to explain how such property was left to perish. Said Abram, “There was an old man named Ike, who belonged to the same estate that I did, he was treated like a dog; after they could get no more work out of him, they said, ’let him die, he is of no service; there is no use of getting a doctor for him.’ Accordingly there could be no other fate for the old man but to suffer and die with creepers in his legs.”
It was sickening to hear him narrate instances of similar suffering in the case of old slaves. Abram left two sisters and one brother in bondage.
* * * * *
GEORGE JOHNSON, THOMAS AND ADAM SMITH.
$300 REWARD.—Ran away from Kalorama, near Washington City, D.C., on Saturday night, the 22d of August, 1857, negro man, George Johnson, aged about 25 years. Height about six feet; of dark copper color; bushy hair; erect in stature and polite in his address.
I will give the above reward
if taken in a free State; $100 if
taken within the District of Columbia, or $200 if taken in
Maryland. In either case he must be secured so that I get him.
MISS ELEANOR J. CONWAY, Baltimore, Md.,
or OLIVER DUFOUR, Washington City, D.C.
“Polite in his address” as George was, he left his mistress, Eleanor J. Conway, without bidding her good-bye, or asking for a pass. But he did not leave his young mistress in this way without good reasons for so doing.
In his interview with the Committee about five days after his departure from his old home, he stated his grievances as follows: “I was born the slave of a Mr. Conway, of Washington, D.C.” Under this personage George admitted that he had experienced slavery in rather a mild form until death took the old man off, which event occurred when George was quite young. He afterwards served the widow Conway until her death, and lastly he fell into the hands of Miss Eleanor J. Conway, who resided in Baltimore, and derived her support from the labor of slaves whom she kept hired out as was George. Of the dead, George did not utter very hard things, but he spoke of his young mistress as having a “very mean principle.” Said George, “She has sold one of my brothers and one of my cousins since last April, and she was very much opposed to freedom.”
Judging from the company that she kept she might before a great while change her relations in life. George thought, however agreeable to her, it might not be to him. So he made up his mind that his chances for freedom would not be likely to grow any better by remaining. In the neighborhood from which he fled he left his father, mother and two sisters, each having different owners. Two brothers had been sold South. Whether they ever heard what had become of the runaway George is not known.