Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History & Culture Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva's Black History

Record Detail

Record #41 from Abstracts from William Still's Underground Railroad

Traveler's Names Mary Ennis
Age 33
Description quite tall with a countenance and general appearance well fitted to awaken sympathy at first sight
Alias Licia Hemmin
Origin- Town/City Georgetown, DE
Origin- County Sussex Co.
Origin- State Delaware
Destination Canada
Slaveowner's Name John Ennis
Chapter Title Hansel Waples, Rose Anna Tonnell and Mary Ennis
Page Number 207
Other Travelers Mary Ennis and her two children
Other Conductors
Additional Names
Method of Travel
Additional Resources
Items in Possession
Full Narrative Mary arrived with her two children in the early Spring of 1854. The mother was a woman of about thirty-three years of age, quite tall, with a countenance and general appearance well fitted to awaken sympathy at first sight. Her oldest child was a little girl seven years of age, named Lydia ; the other was named Louisa Caroline, three years of age, both promising in appearance. They were the so called property of John Ennis, of Georgetown, Delaware. For their flight they chose the dead of Winter. After leaving they made their way to West Chester, and there found friends and security for several weeks, up to the time they reached Philadelphia. Probably the friends with whom they stopped thought the weather too inclement for a woman with children dependent on her support to travel. Long before this mother escaped, thoughts of liberty filled her heart. She was ever watching for an opportunity, that would en- courage her to hope for safety, when once the attempt should be made. Until, however, she was convinced that her two children were to be sold, she could not quite muster courage to set out on the journey. This threat to sell proved .in multitudes of instances, " the last straw on the camel's back." When nothing else would start them this would. Mary and her children were the only slaves owned by this Ennis, consequently her duties were that of "Jack of all trades; "sometimes in the field and sometimes in the barn, as well as in the kitchen, by which, it is needless to say, that her life was rendered servile to the last degree. To bind up the broken heart of such a poor slave mother, and to aid such tender plants as were these little girls, from such a wretched state of barbarism as existed in poor little Delaware, was doubly gratifying to the Committee.

If you are citing this record, please use the following format:

[Author (if known)], Abstracts from William Still's Underground Railroad, [Date (if known)], Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva’s Black History, Nabb Research Center, Salisbury University.