The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,197 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.

ARRIVAL FROM CECIL COUNTY, 1858.

ROBERT JOHNS AND HIS WIFE “SUE ANN.”

Fortunately, in this instance, man and wife succeeded in making their way out of Slavery together.  Robert was a man of small stature, and the farthest shade from white.  In appearance and intellect he represented the ordinary Maryland slave, raised on a farm, surrounded with no refining influences or sympathy.  He stated that a man by the name of William Cassey had claimed the right to his labor, and that he had been kept in bondage on his farm.

For a year or more before setting out for freedom, Robert had watched his master pretty closely, and came to the conclusion, that he was “a monstrous blustery kind of a man; one of the old time fellows, very hard and rash—­not fit to own a dog.”  He owned twelve slaves; Robert resolved that he would make one less in a short while.  He laid the matter before his wife, “Sue,” who was said to be the property of Susan Flinthrew, wife of John Flinthrew, of Cecil county, Maryland.  “Sue” having suffered severely, first from one and then another, sometimes from floggings, and at other times from hunger, and again from not being half clothed in cold weather, was prepared to consider any scheme that looked in the direction of speedy deliverance.  The way that they were to travel, and the various points of danger to be passed on the road were fully considered; but Robert and Sue were united and agreed that they could not fare much worse than they had fared, should they be captured and carried back.  In this state of mind, as in the case of thousands of others, they set out for a free State, and in due time reached Pennsylvania and the Vigilance Committee, to whom they made known the facts here recorded, and received aid and comfort in return.

Sue was a young woman of twenty-three, of a brown color, and somewhat under medium size.

ARRIVAL FROM GEORGETOWN, D.C., 1858.

PERRY CLEXTON, JIM BANKS AND CHARLES NOLE.

This party found no very serious obstacles in their travels, as their plans were well arranged, and as they had at least natural ability sufficient for ordinary emergencies.

Perry reported that he left “a man by the name of John M. Williams, of Georgetown, D.C., who was in the wood business, and kept a wharf.”  As to treatment, he said that he had not been used very hard, but had been worked hard and allowed but few privileges.  The paltry sum of twenty-five cents a week, was all that was allowed him out of his hire.  With a wife and one child this might seem a small sum, but in reality it was a liberal outlay compared with what many slaves were allowed.  Perry being a ready-witted article, thought that it was hardly fair that Mr. Williams should live by the sweat of his brow instead of his own; he was a large, portly man, and able to work for himself in Perry’s

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The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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