Daniel fled from Buckstown, Dorchester Co., also. His owner’s name was Richard Meredith, a farmer. Daniel is one of the eight alluded to above. In features he is well made, dark chestnut color, and intelligent, possessing an ardent thirst for liberty. The cause of his escape was: “Worked hard in all sorts of weather—in rain and snow,” so he thought he would “go where colored men are free.” His master was considered the hardest man around. His mistress was “eighty-three years of age,” “drank hard,” was “very stormy,” and a “member of the Methodist Church” (Airy’s meeting-house). He left brothers and sisters, and uncles and aunts behind. In the combat at the prison he played his part manfully.
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Thomas is also one of the brave eight who broke out of Dover Jail. He was about twenty-three years of age, well made, wide awake, and of a superb black complexion. He too had been owned by Richard Meredith. Against the betrayer, who was a black man, he had vengeance in store if the opportunity should ever offer. Thomas left only one brother living; his “father and mother were dead.”
The excitement over the escape spread very rapidly next morning, and desperate efforts were made to recapture the fugitives, but a few friends there were who had sympathy and immediately rendered them the needed assistance.
The appended note from the faithful Garrett to Samuel Rhoads, may throw light upon the occurrence to some extent.
WILMINGTON, 3d mo. 13th, 1857.
DEAR COUSIN, SAMUEL RHOADS:—I have a letter this day from an agent of the Underground Rail Road, near Dover, in this state, saying I must be on the look out for six brothers and two sisters, they were decoyed and betrayed, he says by a colored man named Thomas Otwell, who pretended to be their friend, and sent a white scamp ahead to wait for them at Dover till they arrived; they were arrested and put in Jail there, with Tom’s assistance, and some officers. On third day morning about four o’clock, they broke jail; six of them are secreted in the neighborhood, and the writer has not known what became of the other two. The six were to start last night for this place. I hear that their owners have persons stationed at several places on the road watching. I fear they will be taken. If they could lay quiet for ten days or two weeks, they might then get up safe. I shall have two men sent this evening some four or five miles below to keep them away from this town, and send them (if found to Chester County). Thee may show this to Still and McKim, and oblige thy cousin,
Further light about this exciting contest, may be gathered from a colored conductor on the Road, in Delaware, who wrote as follows to a member of the Vigilance Committee at Philadelphia.