Thomas, the companion of George, was of a truly remarkable structure; physically and mentally he belonged to the highest order of the bond class. His place of chains was in the city of Washington, and the name of the man for whom he had been compelled to do unrequited labor was William Rowe, a bricklayer, and a “pretty clever fellow,—always used me well,” said Thomas. “Why did you leave then?” asked a member of the Committee. He replied, “I made a proposition to my master to buy myself for eight hundred dollars, but he refused, and wanted a thousand. Then I made up my mind that I would make less do.” Thomas had been hired out at the National Hotel for thirty dollars a month.
Adam was well described in the following advertisement taken from the Baltimore Sun:
$300 REWARD.—Ran away from the subscriber, near Beltsville, Prince George’s county, Md., on Saturday night, the 22d of August, 1857, Negro Man, Adam Smith, aged about 30. Height 5 feet 4 or 5 inches; black bushy hair, and well dressed. He has a mother living at Mr. Hamilton’s, on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
I will give the above reward if taken in a free State; $50 if taken in the District of Columbia or counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s, or $100 if taken elsewhere and secured so that I get him.
With his fellow-passengers, George and Thomas, he greatly enjoyed the hospitalities of the Underground Rail Road in the city of Brotherly Love, and had a very high idea of Canada, as he anticipated becoming a British subject at an early day. The story which Adam related concerning his master and his reasons for escaping ran thus:
“My master was a very easy man, but would work you hard and never allow you any chance night or day; he was a farmer, about fifty, stout, full face, a real country ruffian; member of no church, a great drinker and gambler; will sell a slave as quick as any other slave-holder. He had a great deal of cash, but did not rank high in society. His wife was very severe; hated a colored man to have any comfort in the world. They had eight adult and nine young slaves.”
Adam left because he “didn’t like the treatment.” Twice he had been placed on the auction-block. He was a married man and left a wife and one child.
* * * * *
FOUR ABLE-BODIED “ARTICLES” IN ONE ARRIVAL, 1857.
EDWARD, AND JOSEPH HAINES, THOMAS HARRIS, AND JAMES SHELDON.
“This certainly is a likely-looking party,” are the first words which greet the eye, on turning to the record, under which their brief narratives were entered at the Philadelphia station, September 7th, 1857.
Edward was about forty-four years of age, of unmixed blood, and in point of natural ability he would rank among the most intelligent of the oppressed class. Without owing thanks to any body he could read and write pretty well, having learned by his own exertions.