Two Female Passengers From Maryland
As the way of travel, viâ the Underground Rail Road, under the most favorable circumstances, even for the sterner sex, was hard enough to test the strongest nerves, and to try the faith of the bravest of the brave, every woman, who won her freedom, by this perilous undertaking, deserves commemoration. It is, therefore, a pleasure to thus transfer from the old Record book the names of Ann Johnson and Lavina Woolfley, who fled from Maryland in 1857. Their lives, however, had not been in any way very remarkable. Ann was tall, and of a dark chestnut color, with an intelligent countenance, and about twenty-four years of age. She had filled various situations as a Slave. Sometimes she was required to serve in the kitchen, at other times she was required to toil in the field, with the plow, hoe, and the like. Samuel Harrington, of Cambridge District, Maryland, was the name of the man for whose benefit Ann labored during her younger days. She had no hesitation in saying, that he was a very "ill-natured man;" he however, was a member of the "old time Methodist Church." In Slave property he had invested only to the extent of some five or six head. About three years previous to Ann's escape, one of her brothers fled and went to Canada. This circumstance so enraged the owner, that he declared he would "sell all" he owned. Accordingly Ann was soon put on the auction block, and was bought by a man who went by the name of William Moore. Moore was a married man, who, with his wife, was addicted to intemperance and carousing. Ann found that she had simply got "out of the fire into the frying-pan." She was really at a loss to tell when her lot was the harder, whether under the "rum drinker," or the old time Methodist. In this state of mind she decided to leave all and go to Canada, the refuge for the fleeing bondman. Lavina, Ann's companion, was the wife of James Woolfley. She and her husband set out together, with six others, and were of the party of eight who were betrayed into Dover jail, as has already been described in these pages. After fighting their way out of the jail, they separated (for prudential reasons). The husband of Lavina, immediately after the conflict at the jail, passed on to Canada, leaving his wife under the protection of friends. Since that time several months had elapsed, but of each other nothing had been known, before she received information on her arrival at Philadelphia. The Committee was glad to inform her, that her husband had safely passed on to Canada, and that she would be aided on also, where they could enjoy freedom in a free country.
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