“I left because I didn’t want to stay with him any longer. My master was about to be sold out this Fall, and I made up my mind that I did not want to be sold like a horse, the way they generally sold darkies then; so when I started I resolved to die sooner than I would be taken back; this was my intention all the while.
“I left my wife, and one child; the wife’s name was Lear, and the child was called Alexander. I want to get them on soon too. I made some arrangements for their coming if I got off safe to Canada.”
George was next called upon to give his statement concerning where he was from, etc. I “scaped” from Sussex too, from a man by the name of George M. Davis, a large man, dark-complected, and about fifty years of age; he belonged to the old side Methodist Church, was a man with a family, and followed farming, or had farming done by me and others. Besides he was a justice of the peace. I always believed that the Master above had no wish for me to be held in bondage all my days; but I thought if I made up my mind to stay in Slavery, and not to make a desperate trial for my freedom, I would never have any better times. I had heard that my old mistress had willed me to her children, and children’s children. I thought at this rate there was no use of holding on any longer for the good time to come, so here I said, I am going, if I die a trying. I got me a dagger, and made up my mind if they attempted to take me on the road, I would have one man. As for my part, I have not had it so slavish as many, but I have never had any privileges to learn to read, or to go about anywhere. Now and then they let me go to church. My master belonged to church, and so did I.
For a young man, being only twenty-two years of age, who had been kept from the light of freedom, as much as he had, his story was thought to be exceedingly well told throughout.
James, a brother of George, said: “I came from Horse’s Cross-Roads, not far from where my brother George came from. William Gray, rail road ticket agent at Bridgewater, professed to own me. He was a tolerable sized man, with very large whiskers, and dark hair; he was rather a steady kind of a man, he had a wife, but no child. The reason I left, I thought I had served Slavery long enough, as I had been treated none the best. I did not believe in working my life out just to support some body else. My master had as many hands and feet as I have, and is as able to work for his bread as I am; and I made up my mind that I wouldn’t stay to be a slave under him any longer, but that I would go to Canada, and be my own master.”
James left his poor wife, and three children, slaves perhaps for life. The wife’s name was Esther Ann, the children were called Mary, Henry, and Harriet. All belonged to Jesse Laten.