The Great Escape
How come I can never get it right? I wondered. Everything I do, my owner disagrees. Within a split second of when I start something, the words that come out of his mouth are: “You're not doing that right!” or “Oh you are worthless. Even though I am a slave, he has no right to treat me the way he does... My name is Jack Ray, I am a 16 year old slave. I live with my owner Devin Stammel in Oxford, Georgia, I am his only slave. One day I was doing one of my chores, working one the farm. I was sweating, parched and famished, so I decided to take a break. I knew my owner was watching me, I couldn't see that he was watching me, but I could just feel that he was watching me. I was just sitting there, peacefully alone in the quietness, when i heard a window shut: “SLAM!” My owner came at me with a whip, and whipped me with it, hard, until he saw blood, and there was blood, alot... The next my master left the house early like everday and I just got done cooking his breakfast and I forgot to take off my apron. As I was watering the flowers as a man walked up to me and asked: “Why wear an apron while you garden?” “I just finished cooking breakfast” I replied. We started talking and I told him I worked for a nasty man named Devin Stammel. He told me he was a conductor, someone who helps slaves escape from slavery. The mans name is Michael William. Soon this became a routine; The master would leave, and Michael comes along. We became friends. Later on that evening, my master beat me again, for slacking off. I told Michael that my owner had beaten me again. “Why this time?” He asked. “Slacking off” I replied with a sigh. He reminded me that he is a conductor, and that he would help me out any time. I told him I will think about it. The next three nights were very hard, the master beat me, and made me sleep outside, and I couldn't sleep because of the hard groung i had to sleep on along with the cold wind blowing, and I was to busy thinking about what Michael said... By the next morning, I had decided that I'm leaving, I'm sick of this life, I'm done with it. When Michael came, I immediatly told him that I made up my mind, I am escaping. “I will take some money from my owners room for the food and the trip” I said. He accepted.
I gathered all my thing and slipped about five‐hundred dollars from my owners room, and by the time my master got home, I was gone. We decided to go to New York, the route was called the Underground Railroad. Millions of slaves used it for escape. We went to the Underground Railroad and a women named Harriet Tubman walked up to us, she is a big part to the Underground railroad, she has helped millions of slaves escape. “Excuse me, who are you?” She asked. I talked, “ My name is Jack Ray, I'm a slave trying to escape from slavery.” “We need a safehouse.” Michael said. “Can I ask, what's a safe house” I asked. “A safe house is a place for escaped slaves to stay” Harriet replied, and she brought us to one. For the next couple of days we stayed there while we figured out the way to New York... Before we left, we said our goodbyes, “Thankyou Harriet Tubman, you really helped me out” I said. “Good luck” She said, and we left. The conditions were harsh, we had to sleep in caves, we cooked our food with fires that we made in caves by rubbing sticks together for a half hour. Our easiest transportation was by sneaking on trains. Days went by, then weeks, soon months went by, but we can't stop, we're still going, we will make it. On August 23rd 1821, Michael and I we're standing in front of a bunch of big buildings. “We're in a city.” I said. “What city?” Michael asked. “Michael check the map.” I replied. “Jack... Jack!” “What!?” “We're here.” “Jack we made it!” He said. “Yes! See I told you we would make it!” I said. He smiled, I laughed. We were ready to celebrate, but I realized, I still don't even have a job though... "Wait a second," I said, "I still have money left over from what I took from my master, Devin." That money could hold me over until I got a job, Michael said he knows just the job for me. I became a blacksmith. I bought a house in New York and made some pretty good money from my new job.
Published on Jun 19, 2012