I had no fear for her safety, as I believed that her master would not think of looking for her so near to the place where she had been arrested. Molly remained with us nearly a month; but, seeing fugitives coming and going continually, she finally concluded to go further North. I wrote to my friend, Thomas Garrett, desiring him to get a good home for Molly. This he succeeded in doing, and a friend from Chester county, Pennsylvania, came to my house and took Molly with him. She remained in his family more than six months.
In the mean time the Fugitive Slave Law was passed by Congress, and several fugitives were arrested in Philadelphia and sent back to their masters. Molly, hearing of these doings, became uneasy, and finally determined to go to Canada. She arrived safely in the Queen’s Dominions, and felt at last that she had escaped from the hell of American Slavery.
Molly described her master as an indulgent one when sober, but when he was on a “spree” he seemed to take great delight in tormenting her. He would have her beaten unmercifully without cause, and then have her stripes washed in salt water, then he would have her dragged through the horse pond until she was nearly dead. This last operation seemed to afford him much pleasure. When he became sober he would express regret at having treated her so cruelly. I frequently saw this master of Molly’s, and was always treated respectfully by him. He would have his “sprees” after Molly left him.
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AN ACCOUNT OF THE ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY OF SAMUEL HAWKINS AND FAMILY, OF QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY, MARYLAND, ON THE UNDERGROUND RAIL ROAD, IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE.
BY JOHN HUNN.
On the morning of the 27th of 12th month (December), 1845, as I was washing my hands at the yard pump of my residence, near Middletown, New Castle county, Delaware, I looked down the lane, and saw a covered wagon slowly approaching my house. The sun had just risen, and was shining brightly (after a stormy night) on the snow which covered the ground to the depth of six inches. My house was situated three quarters of a mile from the road leading from Middletown to Odessa, (then called Cantwell’s Bridge.) On a closer inspection I noticed several men walking beside the wagon. This seemed rather an early hour for visitors, and I could not account for the circumstance. When they reached the yard fence I met them, and a colored man handed me a letter addressed to Daniel Corbit, John Alston or John Hunn; I asked the man if he had presented the letter to either of the others to whom it was addressed; he said, no, that he had not been able to see either of them. The letter was from my cousin, Ezekiel Jenkins, of Camden, Delaware, and stated that the travelers were fugitive slaves, under the direction of Samuel D. Burris (who handed me the note). The party consisted of a man and his wife, with their six children, and four fine-looking colored men, without counting the pilot, S.D. Burris, who was a free man, from Kent county, Delaware.