Unsuccessful effort to capture the Crafts

December 6, 1850

From the Georgia Constitutionalist is an account of an unsuccessful attempt to recapture fugitive slaves from Boston.  It is written by Willis H. Hughes, from Macon, dated Nov. 21, 1850, and is addressed to “fellow citizens”.   The fugitive is named as “Bill”, but it becomes clear it is William Craft.  Hughes recounts the ways in various officials in Boston avoided assisting him by delays, postponements, jurisdictional disputes, and even at one time when he was arrested for slandering Ellen Crafts, and held to bail for $20,000.  He indicates that he has leaned that the Crafts had “positively left for England”.  Hughes concludes that he “went to Boston as an agent to execute a lawful trust, thinking I should be protected and assisted by the laws of my country.  But, on the contrary, from the first, the laws of the country, instead of a protection, were made an engine of cruelty, oppression, injustice, and abuse; so that my life was constantly endangered, and this, without the first offer of assistance from Government, national, State, or city. I feel that every man who has a Southern heart in his bosom, and would maintain the honor of his country, should sustain the Southern right cause, by every constitutional measure, until our rights are acknowledged, and justice obtained.”

A similar account is given here by John Knight, the slave Pursuer, from Macon, who had been with Mr. Hughes.