Sarah had been a married woman for three years; her child, a boy, was eight months old, and was named Garrett Bell. Elizabeth’s child was a girl, nineteen months old, and named Sarah Catharine Young. Elizabeth had never been married. They had lived with Massey five years up to the last March prior to their escape, having been bought out of the Baltimore slave-pen, with the understanding that they were to be free at the expiration of five years’ service under him. The five years had more than expired, but no hope or sign of freedom appeared. On the other hand, Massey was talking loudly of selling them again. Threats and fears were so horrifying to them, that they could not stand it; this was what prompted them to flee. “As often as six or seven times,” said Elizabeth, “I have been whipped by master, once with the carriage whip, and at other times with a raw hide trace. The last flogging I received from him, was about four weeks before last Christmas; he then tied me up to a locust tree standing before the door, and whipped me to his satisfaction.”
Sarah had fared no better than Elizabeth, according to her testimony. “Three times,” said she, “I have been tied up; the last time was in planting corn-time, this year. My clothing was all stripped off above my waist, and then he whipped me till the blood ran down to my heels.” Her back was lacerated all over. She had been ploughing with two horses, and unfortunately had lost a hook out of her plough; this, she declared was the head and front of her offending, nothing more. Thus, after all their suffering, utterly penniless, they reached the Committee, and were in every respect, in a situation to call for the deepest commiseration. They were helped and were thankful.
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JOHN WESLEY SMITH, ROBERT MURRAY, SUSAN STEWART, AND JOSEPHINE SMITH.
Daniel Hubert was fattening on John Wesley’s earnings contrary to his, John’s, idea of right. For a long time John failed to see the remedy, but as he grew older and wiser the scales fell from his eyes and he perceived that the Underground Rail Road ran near his master’s place, Cambridge, Md., and by a very little effort and a large degree of courage and perseverance he might manage to get out of Maryland and on to Canada, where slave-holders had no more rights than other people. These reflections came seriously into John’s mind at about the age of twenty-six; being about this time threatened with the auction-block he bade slavery good-night, jumped into the Underground Rail Road car and off he hurried for Pennsylvania. His mother, Betsy, one brother, and one sister were left in the hands of Hubert. John Wesley could pray for them and wish them well, but nothing more.