John was conveyed to Washington
and offered for sale to speculators, who were buying up gangs for the Southern
The sight of dejected and brutified slaves, chained together in coffles, was too common at the seat of our republican government to attract attention; but the barbarity of John's master was so conspicuous, that even there he was rebuked for his excessive cruelty.
These expressions of sympathy were quite unexpected to the poor slave, and they kindled a faint hope of escape, which had been smouldering in his breast.
Manacled as he was, he contrived to trip up his master, and leaving him prostrate on the ground, he ran for the woods.
He was soon beyond the reach of his tyrant, and might have escaped easily if a company had not immediately formed to pursue him. They chased him from the shelter of the bushes to a swamp, where he was hunted like a fox, till night with friendly darkness overshadowed him. While his enemies were sleeping, he cautiously made his way by the light of the stars, to the house of an old acquaintance, who hastened to take off his fetters, and give him a good supper.
Thus refreshed, he hastened to bid his colored friend farewell, and with fear and trembling set off for Philadelphia
He had several rivers to cross, and he thought likely men would be stationed on the bridges to arrest him. Therefore, he hid himself in