William Johnson was owned by a man named John Bosley, a farmer, living near Gun Powder Neck, Maryland. One morning he, unexpectedly to William, gave him a terrible cowhiding, which, contrary to the master’s designs, made him a firm believer in the doctrine of immediate abolition, and he thought, that from that hour he must do something against the system—if nothing more than to go to Canada. This determination was so strong, that in a few weeks afterwards he found himself on the Underground Rail Road. He left one brother and one sister; his mother was dead, and of his father’s whereabouts he knew nothing. William was nineteen years of age, brown color, smart and good-looking.
Edward Wood was a “chattel” from Drummerstown, Accomac county, Virginia, where he had been owned by a farmer, calling himself James White; a man who “drank hard and was very crabbed,” and before Edward left owned eleven head of slaves. Edward left a wife and three children, but the strong desire to be free, which had been a ruling passion of his being from early boyhood, rendered it impossible for him to stay, although the ties were very hard to break. Slavery was crushing him hourly, and he felt that he could not submit any longer.
Cornelius Fuller, and his wife, Harriet, escaped together from Kent county, Maryland. They belonged to separate masters; Cornelius, it was said, belonged to the Diden Estate; his wife to Judge Chambers, whose Honor lived in Chestertown. “He is no man for freedom, bless you,” said Harriet. “He owned more slaves than any other man in that part of the country; he sells sometimes, and he hired out a great many; would hire them to any kind of a master, if he half killed you.” Cornelius and Harriet were obliged to leave their daughter Kitty, who was thirteen years of age.
John Pinket and Ansal Cannon took the Underground Rail Road cars at New Market, Dorchester county, Maryland.
John was a tall young man, of twenty-seven years of age, of an active turn of mind and of a fine black color. He was the property of Mary Brown, a widow, firmly grounded in the love of Slavery; believing that a slave had no business to get tired or desire his freedom. She sold one of John’s sisters to Georgia, and before John fled, had still in her possession nine head of slaves. She was a member of the Methodist church at East New Market. From certain movements which looked very suspicious in John’s eyes, he had been allotted to the Southern Market, he therefore resolved to look out for a habitation in Canada. He had a first-rate corn-field education, but no book learning. Up to the time of his escape, John had shunned entangling himself with a wife.
Ansal was twenty-five years of age, well-colored, and seemed like a good-natured and well-behaved article. He escaped from Kitty Cannon, another widow, who owned nine chattels. “Sometimes she treated her slaves pretty well,” was the testimony of Ansal. He ran away because he did not get pay for his services. In thus being deprived of his hire, he concluded that he had no business to stay if he could get away.