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

Record Detail

Record #48 from Abstracts from William Still's Underground Railroad

Traveler's Names Josiah Bailey
Age 28
Description 5 feet 10 inches of chestnut color, bald head, with a remarkable scar on his cheek, not posibive on which it is, but think it is on the left, under the eye, has intelligent countenance, active and well-made
Origin- Town/City Easton
Origin- County Talbot
Origin- State Maryland
Destination Canada
Slaveowner's Name William H. Hughlett
Chapter Title Heavy Reward
Page Number 273-274
Other Travelers Josiah and William Bailey, Peter Pennington
Other Conductors
Additional Names Eliza Nokey
Method of Travel
Additional Resources Runaway Ad
Items in Possession
Full Narrative Two THOUSAND Six HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.? Ran away from the subscriber, on Saturday night November 15th, 1856, Josiah and William Bailey, and Peter Pennington. Joe is about 5 feet 10 inches in height, of a chestnut color, bald head, with a remarkable scar on one ot his cheeks, not positive on which it is, but think it is on the left, under the eye, has intelligent countenance, active, and well-made. He is about 28 years old. Bill is of a darker color, about 5 feet 8 inches in height, stammers a little when con- fused, well-made, and older than Joe, well dressed, but may have pulled kearsey on over their other clothes. Peter is smaller than either the others, about 25 years of age, dark chestnut color, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high. A reward of fifteen hundred dollars will be given to any person who will apprehend the said Joe Bailey, and lodge him safely in the jail at Easton, Talbot Co., Md., and $300 for Bill and $800 for Peter. W. R. HUGHLETT, JOHN C. HENRY, T. WEIGHT Josiah Bailey was the leader of this party, and he appeared well-qualified for this position. He was about twenty-nine years of age, and in no particular physically, did he seem to be deficient. He was likewise civil and polite in his manners, and a man of good common sense. He was held and oppressed by William H. Hughlett, a farmer and dealer in ship timber, who had besides invested in slaves to the number of forty head. In his habits he was generally taken for a " moderate " and " fair " man, " though he was in the habit of flogging the slaves ? females as well as males," after they had arrived at the age of maturity. This was not considered strange or cruel in Maryland. Josiah was the " foreman " on the place, and was entrusted with the management of hauling the ship-timber, and through harvesting and busy seasons was re- quired to lead in the fields. He was regarded as one of the most valuable hands in that part of the country, being valued at $2,000. Three weeks be- fore he escaped, Joe was " stripped naked," and " flogged " very cruelly by his master, simply because he had a dispute with one of the fellow-servants^ who had stolen, as Joe alleged, seven dollars of his hard earnings. This flogging, produced in Joe's mind, an unswerving determination to leave Slavery or die : to try his luck on the Underground Rail Road at all hazards. The very name of Slavery, made the fire fairly burn in his bones. Although a married man, having a wife and three children (owned by Hughlett), he was not prepared to let his affection for them keep him in chains ? so Anna Maria, his wife, and his children Ellen, Anna Maria, and Isabella, were shortly widowed and orphaned by the slave lash.

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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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