The Running of Slaves

    Source citation
    "The Running of Slaves," The Picayune, 13 June 1849, p. 5.
    Newspaper: Publication
    New Orleans (LA) Picayune
    Newspaper: Headline
    The Running of Slaves
    Newspaper: Page(s)
    Date Certainty
    Michael Blake
    Transcription date
    Transcriber's Comments
    Not sure where the paper The Traveller is form.
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print.  Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    THE RUNNING OF SLAVES - On the 30th ult. at the anniversary of the Anti-Slavery Society of Boston, Henry Box Brown, the fugitive slave, whose extraordinary escape from servitude in Richmond, and almost miraculous arrival at Philadelphia, created such a sensation, was introduced to the audience. He was transported three hundred miles through a slaveholding country, and by public thoroughfares, in a box, by measurement, exactly three feet one inch. long, two feet wide, and two feet six inches deep. The following abstract of his story is taken from the Traveller of the 2nd inst.:

    While at Richmond, though the box was legibly and distinctly marked "this side up with care," it was placed on end, with his head downwards. He felt strange pains, and was preparing himself to die, preferring liberty or death to slavery, and he gave no sign. He was, however, relieved from this painful position, and encountered no other danger than the rough landing of the box, until it arrived in Washington. When the porters who had charged of it reached the depot there, they threw or dropped it with violence to the ground, and it rolled down a small hill, turning over two or three times. This he thought was bad enough, but the words he heard filled him with anguish, and brought with them the blackness of despair. They were, that the box was so heavy that it could not be forwarded on that night, but must lay over twenty-four hours. In the language of the fugitive, "My heart swelled in my throat; I could scarcely breathe; great sweats came over me; I gave up all hope." But a man came in and said, "that box must go on; it's the express mail." Oh, what relief I felt. It was taken into the depot, and I was placed head downwards again for the space of half an hour. My wyes were swollen almost out of my head, and I was fast becoming insensible, when the position was changed.

    He arrived in Philadelphia after many hair-breadth escapes, and the box was taken to the house to which it was directed. The panting inmate heard voices whispering; afterwards more men came in. They were doubtful or fearful about opening the box. He lay still, not knowing who the people were. Finally, one of them knocked on the box and asked, "Is all right here?" "All right," echoed from the box.

    In corroboration of it, Rev. S. J. May said he was in Philadelphia in the midst of the excitement caused by this wonderful adventure. He said that, for obvious reasons, he could not give the name of the gentleman to whom the box was consigned.

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