Thursday, February 13, 2020

Charles Bell of Bucknell

The story of an escaped slave. From Valley Girl Views:
"That night a Sunday in August, 1849, my wife and I left Romney. We walked thirty miles to the Potomac River. We followed the river until we came to a bridge and before daylight were outside of the state of West Virginia. We made straight for the mountains, never stopping until we reached them. Rain had been falling all day. For a week it poured. We had no shelter nor a way to keep ourselves dry. During the day we rested as best we could under some thick tree or overhanging rocks, which sheltered us a little from the rain. At night we traveled. As soon as it was dark we worked our way down to the highway, and all night long we stumbled along in the mud. Alone either of us would have given up. However, we encouraged each other, and although we were wet and hungry, and foot-sore, we never lost our determination. We knew that if we went back or were captured, we should be sold down the river."

"For four weeks we kept to the mountains. After we had been traveling for a week or two, we came down to the highway, but almost the first thing we saw was a poster, nailed to a dead tree, Describing me and offering a reward for my return. That frightened us so we never again ventured on the highway in the daytime. "

"Only once in all four weeks did we speak to anybody. One day we came in sight of a little farmhouse in a clearing. We were very hungry and decided to try and go down to the hours and get something to eat. There were two women there. We asked for some food. The women looked us over and said they had nothing to give us then, but if we came back a little later they would have something for us. That made me suspicious at once. My wife and I went back among the trees and hid ourselves. Presently we saw one of the women leave the house and hurry over to some men on the hillside. She talked to them for a minute and then the men dropped their tools and came over to the house. We knew they intended to catch us and we hurried away as fast as we could go. By this point we were so used to traveling in the woods that we could go very fast. The farmers never overtook us." (Read more.)

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