Anthony and Isabella were an engaged couple, and desired to cast their lot where husband and wife could not be separated on the auction-block.
The following are of the Cambridge party, above alluded to. All left together, but for prudential reasons separated before reaching Philadelphia. The company that left Cambridge on the 24th of October may be thus recognized: Aaron Cornish and wife, with their six children; Solomon, George Anthony, Joseph, Edward James, Perry Lake, and a nameless babe, all very likely; Kit Anthony and wife Leah, and three children, Adam, Mary, and Murray; Joseph Hill and wife Alice, and their son Henry; also Joseph’s sister. Add to the above, Marshall Button and George Light, both single young men, and we have twenty-eight in one arrival, as hearty-looking, brave and interesting specimens of Slavery as could well be produced from Maryland. Before setting out they counted well the cost. Being aware that fifteen had left their neighborhood only a few days ahead of them, and that every slave-holder and slave-catcher throughout the community, were on the alert, and raging furiously against the inroads of the Underground Rail Road, they provided themselves with the following weapons of defense: three revolvers, three double-barreled pistols, three single-barreled pistols, three sword-canes, four butcher knives, one bowie-knife, and one paw.[A] Thus, fully resolved upon freedom or death, with scarcely provisions enough for a single day, while the rain and storm was piteously descending, fathers and mothers with children in their arms (Aaron Cornish had two)—the entire party started. Of course, their provisions gave out before they were fairly on the way, but not so with the storm. It continued to pour upon them for nearly three days. With nothing to appease the gnawings of hunger but parched corn and a few dry crackers, wet and cold, with several of the children sick, some of their feet bare and worn, and one of the mothers with an infant in her arms, incapable of partaking of the diet,—it is impossible to imagine the ordeal they were passing. It was enough to cause the bravest hearts to falter. But not for a moment did they allow themselves to look back. It was exceedingly agreeable to hear even the little children testify that in the most trying hour on the road, not for a moment did they want to go back. The following advertisement, taken from The Cambridge Democrat of November 4, shows how the Rev. Levi Traverse felt about Aaron—
[Footnote A: A paw is a weapon with iron prongs, four inches long, to be grasped with the hand and used in close encounter.]
$300 Reward.—Ran away from the subscriber, from the neighborhood of Town Point, on Saturday night, the 24th inst., my negro man, AARON CORNISH, about 35 years old. He is about five feet ten inches high, black, good-looking, rather pleasant countenance, and carries himself with a confident manner. He went off with his wife, DAFFNEY, a negro woman belonging to Reuben E. Phillips. I will give the above reward if taken out of the county, and $200 if taken in the county; in either case to be lodged in Cambridge Jail.