Journal C of Station No. 2, William Still, 1856, 3

Good                      Jan. 16th 1856
(5)   Five at one arrival_ Barnaby Grisby[1], new name John Boyer, and Mary Elizabeth[2] his wife; Frank Wanser[3], new name Robt. Scott, Emily Foster[4] new name Anna Wood_ all Came in Company from Landon Co. Va. on horse back for & in carriage for about 150 miles.
       They left home on Christmas Eve, Monday, and arrived at Columbia the following Wednesday abut 1 o’cl.  They were hindered with very severe weather, though they travelled day & night_  When about 100 miles from home, in the neighborhood of Cheat River, Md, they were assailed by 6 men & a boy who resolutely demanded of them to give account of themselves_ wanted them to show what right they had to travel there as they were doing
The Fugitives being strongly armed and determined on gaining their liberty or death, resolutely drew their Pistols (double barrelled) and said they would not be taken_ said that no gentleman would attact persons travelling as they were_  as the leader amongst the Fugitives “pulled back the hammers” of his Pistols, and the two young women_ one with a Pistol & large derk & the other a derk, resolutely showed a disposition to defend themselves which had the effect to intemedate their persuers_ hence they escape_ though not without many other difficulties
              Barnaby was owned by Wm Rogers_(Farmer) who was considered a moderate slaveholder_ though had of late become addicted to intemperance.  The was the owner of about a Dozen or 14 Slaves_  He had a wife & two children_
Barnaby’s chances of making anything for himself was not favorable_  of nights he was only allowed to make something for himself.  He was prompted to escape because he wanted to live by the sweat of his own brow_ though all men ough So to live_ hence he fled that he might occupy that position.
              Mary Elizabeth had been owned by Towsend McVee_ farmer.  He was severe but his wife was charged with making him so_  He owned some 25 slaves_  He hardly allowed them them to talk_ would not allow them to raise a chicken_ only allowed Mary 3 Dresses in a year_ the rest they got as they could.  Some times he would sell_  Last year he sold two Could not say anything good for her Mistress  she knew no mercy no shewed no favour.  Mary left because of the domineering character of her Mistress.
              Frank_ was owned by Luther Sullavin_ “the meanest man in Va”.  He treated his people just as bad as he could in every respect”_ “would ‘lowance the Slaves”, and “stint them to save food” & to get “Rich_” & then sell them_ whip them &c.  “About 25 had been sold_” He quite a large no_  He sold Franks’ Mother & two children to Georgia, some 4 years since.  Frank left because he feared that his numerous Credtors would come upon him in which case he knew he would have  His poor Mother had been often flogged by this brutal master.  His mistress was tolerably good_
       Anna Wood was owned_ by McVee and is anown sister to Elizabeth_ and could hear Testimony to her sisters Statement respecting the character of her master &c.  The above four are all young, & “likely_”
       Barnaby is 26 yrs of age, molato, medium size, intelligent &c. _ his wife is about 24 yrs, of age, quite dark, good looking, intelligent, and prepossessing_ Frank is 25_ Molato, medium size and very Smart; Anna is 22, good looking and Smart.
              Julia Little new name Caroline Graves[5]_ from Md_ Had had more than one owner_ the first was kind_ the latter was hard. So C. thought she had as well escape_  For some time he had been in Pa_ but not feeling satisfied she prefered to go to Canada.  She is about 40 yrs of age.

                             Jan. 16/56.
(2)   Two at one arrival_ Henry Washington & Eliza his wife came from Alexandria, Va.  They old names were George Graham[6], & Jane[7]_  Henry is about 24 yrs of age_ of genteele appearance, pleasant countenance_ and Smart_ dark complected_  Through life he has had ruff usage.  Often Flogged & otherwise abused_ had been sold twice within the last year, to prevent the renewal of subsequent sales_  He belonged to the widow Beverly.
       Henry had been married only about 6 mos_  His wife while in the service of her old Mistress which had been the case until resently had been severely abused & so was


[1] Barnaby Grigby journeyed with his companions to Toronto, Canada West, where he settled with them by late January 1856.  Barnaby chopped wood for employment.  Still, Underground Rail Road, 124-27.

[2] The fearless Mary Elizabeth Grigby settled in Toronto with her companions where she worked as a seamstress for employment.  Still, Underground Rail Road, 124-27.

[3] Frank Wanzer was the acknowledged leader of the group.  While en route to Canada, Frank and the others stopped at an underground railroad station in Syracuse, New York. Frank and his fiancé, Emily Foster, decided to wait no longer and were married in Syracuse by the Reverend Jermain Loguen, renowned former slave, abolitionist, underground railroad conductor, and African Methodist Episcopal Zion minister.  Despite his safe settlement in Toronto, Frank remarkably returned to Virginia again in the summer of 1856 to rescue his sister and other friends from slavery.  Still, Underground Rail Road, 124-29.

[4] Emily Foster married Frank Wanzer after they had stopped for several days in Syracuse while en route to Canada.  Along with Mary Elizabeth Grigby, she labored at sewing in Toronto.  Still, Underground Rail Road, 124-27.

[5] Caroline Graves, formerly enslaved in Maryland, had been alerted by the Vigilance Committee in Philadelphia that Barnaby Grigby and his three companions would be arriving in Toronto at about the same time as herself.  They reunited there in late January 1856.  One letter Still reprinted mentioned her as “the solitary person” who accompanied the group to Toronto.  Once there, the Ladies’ Society attended to Caroline.  Still, Underground Rail Road, 127-28, 337.

[6] William Still listed his name as George Graham.  The details of his life in slavery and of his flight are briefly recounted in Still, Underground Rail Road, 337-38.

[7] William Still listed her name as Jane.  The details of her life in slavery and of her flight are briefly recounted in Still, Underground Rail Road, 337-38.

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