A Fugitive Slave Case-Excitement on the Underground Railroad

Source citation
"Article 1-No Title," Memphis Daily Appeal, 12 April, 1853, p. 2.
Original source
Lockport Courier
Newspaper: Publication
Memphis (TN) Appeal
Newspaper: Headline
Article 1-No Title
Newspaper: Page(s)
Date Certainty
Zak Rosenberg
Transcription date
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.

A FUGITIVE SLAVE CASE-EXCITEMENT ON THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD- On Saturday last a young negro lad, seventeen years of age, came to a well known abolitionist in this village, and informed him that he was a runaway slave, and desired his assistance to enable him to escape the clutches of his inhuman master, who was in search of him. The friend of the slave convened a council of congenial spirits-and a secret council was directly agreed upon. The first thing in order was the story of the persecuted fugitive, which was to the following effect: He was born in New Jersey, but at the age of four he accompanied his parents to New York on a visit, and was there kidnapped and taken to Georgia, where he had remained till a short time since, when he came north with his master. His master, he said, brought him to this place some time last week, but lodged him jail for safe keeping, till that morning, when he had taken him out, as he was going to return home. The lad, thinking this would be the last chance to escape from his cruel master, improved the opportunity, and his lucky star had directed him to the midst of his friends.

After deliberation, it was concluded that the negro should be secreted until Monday morning, and, in the mean time, the machinery of the Underground Railroad was to be rubbed up. That night the fugitive was concealed in a closet, and sentinels were appointed to prevent surprise. The next day was a busy one among the abolitionists. All in whom implicit confidence could be placed were allowed to visit the presecuted man in his secluded chamber.

We must change the scene. A matter-of-fact gentleman, who carried on a shingle factory in the Lower Village, has had a smart negro lad to work for him for some time back, and, on Saturday last, when the aforementioned gentleman was absent from his shop, a person called and left a few dollars in money with the negro, to be given to him on his return. The young scamp, instead of waiting for his employer to return, immediately absconded with the money, and was pretty sharply pursued by his late employer from place to place, but finally got out of the way.

Among the individuals who it was thought might be admitted to the presence of the fugitive was the gentleman named above. About 4 o'clock, Sunday, he wended his way to the rendezvous; but what was his surprise, and that of all abolitiondom, when in the runaway slave he recognized the lad who had worked for him and who had absconded with the money. The feeling of the Good Samaritans may be 'better imagined than described.' Each individual man engaged in this scheme went home with wiser thoughts than when that morning's sun dawned upon him.

Thus neded the first fugitive slave rescue case that has come to the ears of the public under the new law, in this village.

[Lockport Courier, 17th ult.

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