CANADA A REFUGE FOR THE SLAVE. 129
convention, and had defied the whole South to reclaim them, the very men thus exhibited were fleeing to Canada for their lives. Massachusetts even had become a hunting-ground for fugitives. The circumstances connected with the capture and delivery to their former owners of Thomas Sims and Anthony Burns. two escaped slaves who had reached Boston. were of sad significance. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, an active friend of the slaves, remarks: "The curious thing was that although there was a state law of 1843 prohibiting every Massachusetts official from taking any part in the restoration of a fugitive slave, yet nearly all these employees [in the capture and restoration] were Boston policemen, acting, so the city marshal told me, under orders from the mayor and aldermen". For the fugitive, therefore, any life worth living lay only beyond the national boundary line—in Canada.'
Miss Janet Carnochan, president of the Niagara Historical Society, in an interesting paper published in the
Transactions" of the society for 1897, gives a brief sketch of one of the earlier arrivals at Niagara:
My informant, a large woman, somewhat portly, with good features, not darker than many Caucasians, with a stately presence and bearing well the snows of seventy winters, told the story well in her soft voice: 'Yes, I could tell you about the old times. I was born in Niagara in 1824 and my father came here in 1802. He was a slave. No. he did not run away. He came with his master all the way from Fredericksburg, Virginia, driving the carriage with six horses, his master bringing his money in bags, enough to last him; he came all that way to see the Falls, and staid at Black Rock a while. My father was the coachman, and though his master was not cruel like some masters, my father was always afraid he might be sold off to work in the cotton fields, and a
'"Cheerful Yesterdays-, pp. s 3s. 144. Houghton. 31iM1in & Co., Boston, 1998.