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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Love Empowered Slaves To Flee For Freedom

When John Little and his ailing wife escaped from slavery, Little was still healing from beatings that had torn his back to shreds. That didn't stop him from carrying his wife to freedom. He jumped over a fence with Eliza on his shoulders and then ran for a quarter of a mile, ignoring his pain. Later, he guarded her while she slept. The couple's greatest challenge came, though, when they crossed Ohio's Scioto River without a boat.

"The water was black and deep," Little later told a researcher. "I bound our package on my wife's back, placed her on a log as a man rides on horseback, and I swam, pushing the log, holding it steady to keep her up. Had the log turned right or left, she would have slipped off. … It would have been death sure — but worse than death was behind us, and to avoid that we risked our lives …"

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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