Thursday, July 17, 2014

Slave Fugitive: Fed aka John Brown

Fed lived with his family, and were the slave property of an elderly woman, Mrs Moore.  His father had been sold south long before, but he lived with his mother and five siblings and several cousins.  This lady divided her property between her descendants, and the family was split up.  Mrs. Moore's son-in-law was known as a cruel man, and Fed and most of the family went to him.  He lived up to his reputation.  He only fed the slaves corn, and treated the slaves cruelly.
Fed was sold to a slave dealer, and not allowed to tell his mother goodbye.  Fed was sold to a Mr. Stevens, who was always accusing Fed of not working fast enough.  At one point he beat Fed for being too slow, breaking five hickory sticks on hi, and going for another when company came.  This fostered the desire to flee.  Fed befriended John Glasgow, who has a free black from England but kidnapped into slavery.  He suggested to Fed that he get away to England.
Fed began making attempts to get his freedom.  But his attempts came up short.  He did not know the geography, nor where England was located.  His owner passed away, and he became the property of the son, who seemed afraid of Fed.  Fed would take days in hiding without a beating.  His next attempt he made it almost to Ohio, but the mountains got in his way and he was caught.  he escaped, but not knowing where to go, returned to his master, where he was beaten.  He attempted again, and was discovered while sleeping he was smashed in the head with a wooden club.  He then had to wear Bells on his head, a heavy devise which prevented comfortable sleeping.  His aster one day took off the bells so he could fill the corn crib.  As soon as the master was out of sight, he took off.  He made a raft and flowed down the Tennessee River, making it to Paducah, across from Illinois.  However, in his efforts to get to England he took a steam boat back to New Orleans.  There he realized was not a good location, and to avoid having to go back to his owner, he had someone sell him at auction.  He hoped to be bought by someone along the Mississippi, and managed to do this.  While in the negro pen he learned more about geography.  He made another escape attempt, and made it to Illinois and kept heading north.  He met a Quaker family, and was surprised to be treated like a human by white people. He took a new name, John Brown.   He worked in Michigan for a time as a carpenter, then in Canada.  He eventually made his way to England

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