Journal C of Station No. 2, William Still, 1853, 13

Dec. 13, 185[3]

       Arrived__ Wm Davis[1], medium size, dark Molato_ good looking_ age 31 years.  Was owned by Joseph Reynolds, of Newtown_ Portsmouth, Va.; where he left a wife, Catherine, a daughter Louisa, 2 Y & 1 m.; and a Son Wm 7 mos old.  The 6th of Dec. he left home.His owner had threatened to sell him from which cause he was prompted to make his escape.  He had been hired out by the year at $12 per month.

       Before leaving he did not apprise his wife of his intentions So to do.

       Also Arrived_  Willis Redick [2] of Portsmouth, Va.  He was owned by S J. Wilson, Merchant, who hired him out for $100_ a year.  He is of quite dark complexion_ thickly set_ 32 years of age, & intelligent.  His owner was a severe man_ and had threaten to make his lot still more severe by changing his situation.  This prompted him to escape.  He had been married only 5 mos.  His wife Lydia, was not informed previous to her husbands leaving, of his design in So doing.

       Isaacc Forman [3] also came in company with the two named above.  He is 23 years of age_ a Dark Molato_ prepossing in appearance_ and was owned by the widow Saunders, who had hired him out at the rate of $120- per year.  He had served for the last 4 yrs as Steward on board of the Steamer Augusta.  His home was Norfolk, but had a wife living in Richmond.  His name is Fannery_ She was confined the morning that her husband left.  He had been denied the priviledge of living with his wife, in Richmond instead of Norfolk_ hence his escape without seeing her in after her confinement.  He told his wife nothing of his plan of leaving as he was concious that it would render her unhappy & cause her to throw obstructions in his way.  His excuse for thus acting towards his wife was found in the fact that he was only allowed, once or twice in the year to visit her.

The expences in the three cases above described are as follows:

To ¼ days board of the 3 men                                                                 $ 1.50
Cash to each of the         $3                                                                       9.00
C. Shorter [4]_ carriage                                                                               .50
                                                                                                             $11.00


Notes

[1] Further details on William Davis are contained in Still, Underground Rail Road, 66.

[2] Further details on Willis Redick are contained in Still, Underground Rail Road, 66.

[3] After departing Philadelphia, Forman travelled to Canada West where he settled in Toronto.  By early 1854, he was well employed there at Russell’s Hotel.  Yet, he remained “very gloomy and his heart is almost breaking about his wife.”  Two letters he sent to William Still in 1854 seeking any information on her are reprinted in Still, Underground Rail Road, 64-65.

[4] Charles Shorter was a coachman in Philadelphia and lived at 181 Lombard Street.

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