John Clagart, runaway, 1857
From William Still, The Underground Rail Road, (William Still, 1871), pp. 406-407.
JOHN was a well-made yellow man, twenty-two years of age, who had counted the cost of slavery thoroughly, besides having experienced the effects of it. Accordingly he resolved to "be free of die," "to kill or be killed, in trying to reach free land somewhere!"
Having "always been hired out amongst very hard white people," he was "unhappy." His owner, George Coleman, lived near Fairfax, Va., and was a member of the Methodist Church, but in his ways was "very sly," and "deadly against anything like freedom." He held fifteen of his fellow-men in chains.
For John's hire he received one hundred and fifty dollars a year. He was, therefore, ranked with first-class "stock," valued at $1,500.
[Clagart escaped to Philadelphia, apparently in the company of three other men from the Washington, D.C. area.]
April 29th, 2007