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

Record Detail

Record #46 from Abstracts from William Still's Underground Railroad

Traveler's Names Samuel Green
Age 25
Alias Wesley Kinnard
Origin- Town/City Indian Creek
Origin- County Chester Co
Origin- State Maryland
Destination Canada
Slaveowner's Name Dr. James Muse
Chapter Title Samuel Green alias Wesley Kinnard, August 28th, 1854
Page Number 246
Other Travelers
Other Conductors
Additional Names
Method of Travel
Additional Resources
Items in Possession
Full Narrative The passenger answering to the above name, left Indian Creek, Chester Co., Md., where he had been held to service or labor, by Dr. James Muse. One week had elapsed from the time he set out until his arrival in Philadelphia. Although he had never enjoyed school privileges of any kind, yet he was not devoid of intelligence. He had profited by his daily experience as a slave, and withal, had managed to learn to read and write a little, despite law and usage to the contrary. Sara was about twenty-five years of age and by trade, a blacksmith. Before running away, his general character for sobriety, industry, and religion, had evidently been considered good, but in coveting his freedom and running away to obtain it, he had sunk far below the utmost limit of forgiveness or mercy in the estimation of the slave-holders of Indian Creek. During his intercourse with the Vigilance Committee, while rejoicing over his triumphant flight, he gave, with no appearance of excitement, but calmly, and in a common-sense like manner, a brief description of his master, which was entered on the record book substantially as follows : "Dr. James Muse is thought by the servants to be the worst man in Mary- land, inflicting whipping and all manner of cruelties upon the servants." While Sam gave reasons for this sweeping charge, which left no room for doubt, on the part of the Committee, of his sincerity and good judgment, it was not deemed necessary to make a note of more of the doctor's character than seemed actually needed, in order to show why " Sam " had taken passage on the Underground Rail Road. For several years, "Sam" was hired out by the doctor at blacksmithing ; in this situation, daily wearing the yoke of unrequited labor, through the kindness of Harriet Tubman (sometimes called " Moses "), the light of the Underground Rail Road and Canada suddenly illuminated his mind. It was new to him, but he was quite too intelligent and liberty-loving, not to heed the valuable information which this sister of humanity imparted. Thenceforth he was in love with Canada, and likewise a decided admirer of the U. R. Road. Harriet was herself, a shrewd and fearless agent, and well understood the entire route from that part of the country to Canada. The spring previous, she had paid a visit to the very neighborhood in which " Sam " lived, expressly to lead her own brothers out of "Egypt." She succeeded. To " Sam " this was cheering and glorious news, and he made up his mind, that before a great while, Indian Creek should have one less slave and that Canada should have one more citizen. Faithfully did he watch an opportunity to carry out his resolution. In due time a good Providence opened the way, and to " Sam's " satisfaction he reached Philadelphia, having encountered no peculiar difficulties. The Committee, perceiving that he was smart, active, and promising, encouraged his undertaking, and having given him friendly advice, aided him in the usual manner. Letters of introduction were given him, and he was duly forwarded on his way. He had left his father, mother, and one sister behind. Samuel and Catharine were the names of his parents. Thus far, his escape would seem not to affect his parents, nor was it apparent that there was any other cause why the owner should revenge himself upon them.

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[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.

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