Maryland Lighthouse Keeper to a Baltimore Judge

Sandy Point [Md.]  Novr 6th 1864

Sir   i wish to impose A few moments on your Valuable time By Speaking to you after this maner   I Have bein Living or Rather Staying on the Bay Shore about Seven miles N. East From annapolis in the midts of a people Whose Hearts is Black in treason and a more fearless peopel for Boldly Expressing it Lives not outside of the Hosts that Bare Arms in upholding it

Since we the people have Proclaimed that Maryland Should Be free the Most Bitter Hatred has bein Manifested againest the poor Devils that Have Just Escaped from beneath there Lash   there actions Since Tusday Last1 Indicates to me that there is all Ready Orginized Bands Prowling apon Horse Back around the Country armed with Revolvers and Horse Whips threatning to Shoot every Negroe that gives Back the first word after they Lacerate his flesh with the Whip   i have bein told By Several Pearsons that a man By the name of Nick Phips on Last Wesnsday the first Sun That Rose apon the [wrech] in hes fredom after years of Bondage took in the Seller of Tom Boons the Post Master of St Margrets a negroe Woman stript her and with a Cow Hyde Lasarated her flesh untill the Blood ozed from every cut and She with in a Month of giveing Burth to a child   She appeared Before Court with the Blood Still Streaming from her   To Cover his guilt he ivents a Charge   She is thrown in prson and he goes free   the Same parties caught a Man By the name of Foster Eight Miles from annapolis hand cuffed him and Drove him before them and they on Horse With Such Rapidity that when he got to Severen Ferry he fell apon the Beach Exausted Covered with foam   and this Man was Born free   this mans offence was [to say] that he nor no wife of his Should be Treated in that maner without avenging it. What i have bein trying to get at is this   Saml Richardson has taken to annapolis four Childern of one of his Slaves   apon the face of the Mothers Ojections in court he has had them Bound to him after She stating that all the cloth they had on were By her after Night   there is a woman down heare By the name Yewel   She is allso Demanding of the wiman She has turned without a stich of winters clothing all there childen to be bound to her When she cannot get Bread for her Self   On friday there was upwards of hundred young Neagroes on the ferry with there old Masters draged away forseble from there parents for the purpose of Haveing them Bound

a number of other cases i could cite that i Will Not Bother you with

In the Name of Humanity is there no Redress for those poor ignorant down troden Wreches. Is this or is it not Involuntarey Slavery   you may juge what for peopels they are for ever cent worth i purchase i have to get in Baltimore   they will neather Lend give nor Sell me any thing not even a ho[r]se to go for a Doctr if my wife to be confined   unfortunatly that acurs every Eleven or Twelve Month's   I would not stay heare if i could possible get away   unkel Sam has got me stuck down heare on three hundred and fifty a year   you may Juge how much i save out of that   there is five Rooms in the house and each one you can pick up three or four Children   I am the only union man within ten miles of my Residence   you may guess the feelings of my neighbours towards me   Some folks in Baltimoe to see this Letter would hint that it was a fathers interest, manifested in young darkies but it not so   every one of them are Jett Black and every knot of wool that groes on there Heads Both ends groes in there Schull   therefore there is no anglow Saxon in them   Yours [&c]

Thos B Davis

PS  please tender my kind Regards to Archabald Sterling Esqr and Excuse my famieliarty   tell him i walked Seven miles to annapolis and Back come to Baltimor and voted for him   cost six dollars   could do him no good   he will be all Right nex time   T B Davis

Thos. B. Davis to Hon. J. Lanox Bond, 6 Nov. 1864, filed with M-1932 1864, Letters Received, ser. 12, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives. The addressee, Hugh Lennox Bond, was judge of the Baltimore Criminal Court and a prominent antislavery unionist.

1. November 1, the day the state constitution abolishing slavery went into effect.

Published in The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Upper South, pp. 511–13, and in Free at Last, pp. 370–72.