Josiah Bailey Painting Series

1856

As Joe, his brother, Bill, Peter Pennington and Eliza Manokey approached Wilmington Delaware, they were warned of impending danger that lay only feetaway, as they approached the Market Street Bridge. Thomas Garrett, a Quaker, who turned his home in Wilmington into the last station on the UGRR before the slavesreached freedom in Pennsylvania heard of the heavy police patrols at all routes into the city of Wilmington DE, “he thus formed a plan. He engaged two wagons, filledthem with bricklayers, whom of course he paid well for their share in the enterprise, and sent them across the bridge. They went as if on a frolic, singing and shouting.The guards saw them pass, and of course expected them to re‐cross the bridge. After nightfall (and fortunately it was a dark night) the same wagons went back, but withan addition to their party. The fugitives were on the bottom of the wagons, the bricklayers on the seats, still singing and shouting; and so they passed by the guards,who were entirely unsuspicious of the nature of the load the wagons contained, or of the amount of property thus escaping their hands. ” Excerpt from Scenes in theLife of Harriet Tubman. Sarah H. Bradford, Auburn, N. Y. W. J. Moses, Printer 1869. p31.

As Joe, his brother, Bill, Peter Pennington and Eliza Manokey approached Wilmington Delaware, they were warned of impending danger that lay only feetaway, as they approached the Market Street Bridge. Thomas Garrett, a Quaker, who turned his home in Wilmington into the last station on the UGRR before the slavesreached freedom in Pennsylvania heard of the heavy police patrols at all routes into the city of Wilmington DE, “he thus formed a plan. He engaged two wagons, filledthem with bricklayers, whom of course he paid well for their share in the enterprise, and sent them across the bridge. They went as if on a frolic, singing and shouting.The guards saw them pass, and of course expected them to re‐cross the bridge. After nightfall (and fortunately it was a dark night) the same wagons went back, but withan addition to their party. The fugitives were on the bottom of the wagons, the bricklayers on the seats, still singing and shouting; and so they passed by the guards,who were entirely unsuspicious of the nature of the load the wagons contained, or of the amount of property thus escaping their hands. ” Excerpt from Scenes in theLife of Harriet Tubman. Sarah H. Bradford, Auburn, N. Y. W. J. Moses, Printer 1869. p31.

“There was now but “one wide river to cross,” and the cars rolled on to the bridge. In the distance was heard the roar of the mighty cataract, and now as they neared thecenter of the bridge, the falls might be clearly seen. Harriet was anxious to have her companions see this wonderful sight, and succeeded in bringing all to the windows,except Joe. But Joe still sat with his head on his hands, and not even the wonders of Niagara could draw him from his melancholy musings. At length as Harriet knew bythe rise of the center of the bridge, and the descent immediately after, the line of danger was passed; she sprang across to Joe’s side of the car, and shook him almostout of his seat, as she shouted, “Joe! you’ve shook de lion’s paw!” This was her phrase for having entered on the dominions of England. But Joe did not understandthis figurative expression. Then she shook him again, and put it more plainly, “Joe, you’re in Queen Victoria’s dominions! You’re a free man!” Then Joe’s head went up,he raised his hands on high, and his face, streaming with tears, to heaven, and broke out in loud and thrilling tones: “Glory to God and Jesus too, One more soul is safe!Oh, go and carry de news, One more soul got safe.” Excerpt from Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman. Sarah H. Bradford, Auburn, N. Y. W. J. Moses, Printer 1869. pp 50,51