Also when testifying with regard to the “weaker vessel,” under whose treatment he had suffered much, the General said that his master’s wife had a meaner disposition than he had; she pretended to belong to church too, said General, but it was nothing but deceit.
This severe critic could not read, but he had very clear views on the ethics of his master and mistress, agreeing with Scripture concerning whited sepulchres, etc.
The question of Christian slave-holders, for a great while, seriously puzzled the wise and learned, but for the slave it was one of the easiest of solution. All the slaves came to the same conclusion, notwithstanding the teaching of slave-holders on the one idea, that “servants should obey their masters,” etc.
General had a brother in Baltimore, known by the name of Josephus, also two sisters Anna and Annie; his father was living at Cannon’s Ferry.
Anna Perry was the intended of General. She was about nineteen years of age, of a dark brown color, and came from the same neighborhood. According to law Anna was entitled to her freedom, but up to the time of her escape she had not been permitted to enjoy the favor. She found that if she would be free she would have to run for it.
John Smith. A better specimen of one who had been ill treated, and in every way uncared for, could not be easily found. In speech, manners, and whole appearance he was extremely rude. He was about twenty years of age, and in color was of a very dark hue.
That John had received only the poorest kind of “corn-field fare” was clearly evidenced both by body and mind. Master George H. Morgan was greatly blamed for John’s deficiencies; it was on his farms, under mean overseers that John had been crushed and kept under the harrow.
His mother, Mary Smith, he stated, his master had sold away to New Orleans, some two years before his escape. The sad effect that this cruel separation had upon him could only be appreciated by hearing him talk of it in his own untutored tongue. Being himself threatened with the auction-block, he was awakened to inquire how he could escape the danger, and very soon learned that by following the old methods which had been used by many before him, resolution and perseverance, he might gain the victory over master and overseers. As green as he seemed he had succeeded admirably in his undertaking.
* * * * *
GEORGE RUSSELL AND JAMES HENRY THOMPSON.
James, for convenience’ sake, was supplied with two other names (Milton Brown and John Johnson), not knowing exactly how many he would need in freedom or which would be the best adapted to keep his whereabouts the most completely veiled from his master.
George reported that he fled from Henry Harris, who lived near Baltimore on the Peach Orchard Road, and that he had lived with said Harris all his life. He spoke of him as being a “blustering man, who never liked the slaves to make anything for themselves.” George bore witness that the usage which he had received had been hard; evidently his intellect had been seriously injured by what he had suffered under his task-master. George was of a very dark hue, but not quite up to medium size.