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HEARTS FULL OF JOY FOR FREEDOM—VERY ANXIOUS FOR WIVES IN SLAVERY.
These passengers all arrived together, concealed, per steamship City of Richmond, December, 1853. Isaac Forman, the youngest of the party—twenty-three years of age and a dark mulatto—would be considered by a Southerner capable of judging as “very likely.” He fled from a widow by the name of Mrs. Sanders, who had been in the habit of hiring him out for “one hundred and twenty dollars a year.” She belonged in Norfolk, Va.; so did Isaac. For four years Isaac had served in the capacity of steward on the steamship Augusta. He stated that he had a wife living in Richmond, and that she was confined the morning he took the U.G.R.R. Of course he could not see her. The privilege of living in Richmond with his wife “had been denied him.” Thus, fearing to render her unhappy, he was obliged to conceal from her his intention to escape. “Once or twice in the year was all the privilege allowed” him to visit her. This only added “insult to injury,” in Isaac’s opinion; wherefore he concluded that he would make one less to have to suffer thus, and common sense said he was wise in the matter. No particular charges are found recorded on the U.G.R.R. books against the mistress. He went to Canada.
In the subjoined letters (about his wife) is clearly revealed the sincere gratitude he felt towards those who aided him: at the same time it may be seen how the thought of his wife being in bondage grieved his heart. It would have required men with stone hearts to have turned deaf ears to such appeals. Extract from letter soon after reaching Canada—hopeful and happy—
TORONTO, Feb. 20th, 1854.
MR. WILLIAM STILL:—Sir—Your kind letter arrived safe at hand on the 18th, and I was very happy to receive it. I now feel that I should return you some thanks for your kindness. Dear sir I do pray from the bottom of my heart, that the high heavens may bless you for your kindness; give my love to Mr. Bagnel and Mr. Minkins, ask them if they have heard anything from my brother, tell Mr. Bagnel to give my love to my sister-in-law and mother and all the family.