“William is twenty-two, black, tall, intelligent, and active,” are the words of the record.
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ANN MARIA JACKSON AND HER SEVEN CHILDREN—MARY ANN, WILLIAM HENRY, FRANCES SABRINA, WILHELMINA, JOHN EDWIN, EBENEZER THOMAS, AND WILLIAM ALBERT.
The coming of the above named was duly announced by Thomas Garrett:
WILMINGTON, 11th mo., 21st, 1858.
DEAR FRIENDS—McKIM AND STILL:—I write to inform you that on the 16th of this month, we passed on four able bodied men to Pennsylvania, and they were followed last night by a woman and her six children, from three or four years of age, up to sixteen years, I believe the whole belonged to the same estate, and they were to have been sold at public sale, I was informed yesterday, but preferred seeking their own master; we had some trouble in getting those last safe along, as they could not travel far on foot, and could not safely cross any of the bridges on the canal, either on foot or in carriage. A man left here two days since, with carriage, to meet them this side of the canal, but owing to spies they did not reach him till 10 o’clock last night; this morning he returned, having seen them about one or two o’clock this morning in a second carriage, on the border of Chester county, where I think they are all safe, if they can be kept from Philadelphia. If you see them they can tell their own tales, as I have seen one of them. May He, who feeds the ravens, care for them. Yours,
The fire of freedom obviously burned with no ordinary fervor in the breast of this slave mother, or she never would have ventured with the burden of seven children, to escape from the hell of Slavery.
Ann Maria was about forty years of age, good-looking, pleasant countenance, and of a chestnut color, height medium, and intellect above the average. Her bearing was humble, as might have been expected, from the fact that she emerged from the lowest depths of Delaware Slavery. During the Fall prior to her escape, she lost her husband under most trying circumstances: he died in the poor-house, a raving maniac. Two of his children had been taken from their mother by her owner, as was usual with slave-holders, which preyed so severely on the poor father’s mind that it drove him into a state of hopeless insanity. He was a “free man” in the eye of Delaware laws, yet he was not allowed to exercise the least authority over his children.