Talbot Johnson, is thirty-five years of age, quite dark, and substantially built. He says that he has been treated very badly, and that Duke Bond was the name of the “tyrant” who held him. He pictured his master as “a lean-faced man—not stout—of thirty-eight or thirty-nine years of age, a member of the Episcopal Church.” “He had a wife and two children; his last wife was right pleasant—he was a farmer, and was rich, had sold slaves, and was severe when he flogged.” Talbot had been promised a terrible beating on the return of his master from the Springs, whither he had gone to recruit his health, “as he was poorly.” This was the sole cause of Talbot’s flight.
Sam Gross is about forty, a man of apparent vigor physically, and wide awake mentally. He confesses that he fled from George Island, near Port Republic, Md. He thought that times with him had been bad enough all his life, and he would try to get away where he could do better. In referring to his master and mistress, he says that “they are both Episcopalians, hard to please, and had as bad dispositions as could be,—would try to knock the slaves in the head sometimes.” This spirit Sam condemned in strong terms, and averred that it was on account of such treatment that he was moved to seek out the Underground Rail Road. Sam left his wife, Mary Ann, and four children, all under bonds. His children, he said, were treated horribly. They were owned by Joseph Griffiss spoken of above.
James Henry Jackson is seventeen years of age; he testifies that he fled from Frederica, Delaware, where he had been owned by Joseph Brown. Jim does not make any serious complaint against his master, except that he had him in the market for sale. To avert this fate, Jim was moved to flee. His mother, Ann Jackson, lived nine miles from Milford, and was owned by Jim Loflin, and lived on his place. Of the going of her son she had no knowledge.
These narratives have been copied from the book as they were hastily recorded at the time. During their sojourn at the station, the subjoined letter came to hand from Thomas Garrett, which may have caused anxiety and haste:
WILMINGTON, 9th mo. 6th, 1858.
ESTEEMED FRIENDS, J.M. McKIM AND WM. STILL:—I have a mixture of good and bad news for you. Good in having passed five of God’s poor safely to Jersey, and Chester county, last week; and this day sent on four more, that have caused me much anxiety. They were within twenty miles of here on sixth day last, and by agreement I had a man out all seventh day night watching for them, to pilot them safely, as 1,000 dollars reward was offered for four of the five; and I went several miles yesterday in the country to try to learn what had become of them, but could not hear of them. A man of tried integrity just called to say that they arrived at his house last night, about midnight, and I employed him to pilot them to a place of safety in Pennsylvania,