Charles was held by James Rodgers, Sr., under whom he said that he had served nine years with faint prospects of some time becoming free, but when, was doubtful.
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ARRIVAL FROM VIRGINIA, 1859.
JAMES TAYLOR, ALBERT GROSS, AND JOHN GRINAGE.
To see mere lads, not twenty-one years of age, smart enough to outwit the very shrewdest and wisest slave-holders of Virginia was very gratifying. The young men composing this arrival were of this keen-sighted order.
James was only a little turned of twenty, of a yellow complexion, and intelligent. A trader, by the name of George Ailer, professed to own James. He said that he had been used tolerable well, not so bad as many had been used. James was learning the carpenter trade; but he was anxious to obtain his freedom, and finding his two companions true on the main question, in conjunction with them he contrived a plan of escape, and ‘took out.’ His father and mother, Harrison and Jane Taylor, were left at Fredericksburg to mourn the absence of their son.
Albert was in his twentieth year, the picture of good health, not homely by any means, although not of a fashionable color. He was under the patriarchal protection of a man by the name of William Price, who carried on farming in Cecil county, Maryland. Albert testified that he was a bad man.
John Grinage was only twenty, a sprightly, active young man, of a brown color. He came from Middle Neck, Cecil county, where he had served under William Flintham, a farmer.
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SUNDRY ARRIVALS FROM MARYLAND (1859)
AND OTHER PLACES.
JAMES ANDY WILKINS, and wife LUCINDA, with their little boy, CHARLES, CHARLES HENRY GROSS, A WOMAN with her TWO CHILDREN—one in her arms—JOHN BROWN, JOHN ROACH, and wife LAMBY, and HENRY SMALLWOOD.
The above-named passengers did not all come from the same place, or exactly at the same time; but for the sake of convenience they are thus embraced under a general head.
James Andy Wilkins “gave the slip” to a farmer, by the name of George Biddle, who lived one mile from Cecil, Cecil county, Maryland. While he hated Slavery, he took a favorable view of his master in some respects at least, as he said that he was a “moderate man in talk;” but “sly in action.” His master provided him with two pairs of pantaloons in the summer, and one in the winter, also a winter jacket, no vest, no cap, or hat. James thought the sum total for the entire year’s clothing would not amount to more than ten dollars. Sunday clothing he was compelled to procure for himself by working of nights; he made axe handles, mats, etc., of evenings, and caught musk rats on Sunday, and availed himself of their hides to procure means for his most pressing wants. Besides these liberal privileges his master was in the habit of allowing him two whole days every harvest, and at Christmas from twenty-five cents to as high as three dollars and fifty cents, were lavished upon him.