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Daring Attempt and Successful Escape of a Slave - August 20, 1853

History » Historical Documents » Daring Attempt and Successful Escape of a Slave - August 20, 1853


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Daring Attempt and Successful Escape of a Slave – another bold Stroke for Freedom. – A friend at Toronto has just told us that, as the Steamer Chief Justice Robinson was on her way from Lewiston to Toronto, about twelve miles from Niagara, on Wednesday last, about 10 o’clock in the morning, the passengers saw a coloured man floating on a raft made of a gate. He was immediately picked up and taken on board. He gave his name as Ben Hockly; stated that he had been a slave in Tennessee, and had made his escape to Oswego. While there, he chanced to hear that some men from the South were in pursuit of him; so he fled to Lewiston. When he arrived there he was afraid to apply for a passage on any of the steamboats, for fear of being captured. In this emergency, he resolved to make a bold stroke for freedom; so he lashed himself to a gate, and launched forth upon Niagara River, in hopes that he should make his way to the Canada shore. In this, however, he was mistaken; the force of the current was too strong for him, and drifted him out into the Lake. He was providentially rescued by the British Steamer, as above stated, “and carried into the Ladies’ Saloon,”

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