A Remarkable Case of Alleged Fugitives from Slavery

A Remarkable Case of Alleged Fugitives from Slavery

(Douglass’ Monthly, June 1859) Years ago a woman held as property by A.H. Evans, of this county, came with his consent to St.Louis and worked here for wages, a stipulated part of which was paid to him. She here formed a marriage connecting with a free negro,and had successively two children, whom she reported to her “master” as having died. She had then another child, whose freedom she subsequently purchased, together with her own.

Her present husband is John Jackson, at Fourteenth and Gratiot streets, and does chores at the Recorder’s Court Room and Calaboose. That the mother so long succeeded in averting the suspicion of their existence, from her two children, is most remarkable.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.

The revelation that she had deceived him seems not to have been made to Evans until within a few days. Another negro having knowledge of the facts in the case, and becoming involved in a quarrel with Jackson, communicated his information to Evans on the payment, as we learn, of $100 therefor.

The lad Isam, aged about eighteen, and the girl Anna, aged about seventeen years—who all their lives had been taught to feel themselves free—were accordingly consigned to the felon’s cell.

Yesterday the mother procured an application for habeas corpus writ in their behalf, which was granted, and on which investigation will probably be had before Judge Lackland, of the Circuit Court, this forenoon. Than that humane and upright Judge, we know none to whom this delicate case could better be committed. He must, however, administer “the law”— whatever that may be

The child which Mrs. Jackson bought of Mr. Evans, is called “Gilly,” and is fifteen or sixteen years old. A day or two since, he met the informer, whose revenge had thrown Isam and Anna in jail, and very unceremoniously and vigorously assaulted him with rocks. “Gilly” was therefore arrested, and was yesterday fined in the Court of Justice Hequembourg, $9,50 for his temerity.

Perhaps the instance thus related, is to be taken as an illustration of the humanity and justice of the “peculiar institution.”— St. Louis Democrat.

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