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Charles Nallie escapes from slavery, 1858
Posted by: Caleb G. Teffeteller (ID *****4419) Date: October 27, 2003 at 23:36:58
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Madisonville Democrat, (Monroe Co. TN) Wednesday, June 18, 1890:

“Historic Shackles Found---An Albany dispatch to the New York Sun states the following: “The finding of an old broken pair of slave shackles in the rubbish brought up from the bottom of the river, near West Troy has recalled a stirring incident of ante-bellum times. The shackles were broken from the wrists of one, Charles Nallie, a fugitive slave, who had run away from his master, Blucher W. Hansbrough of Culpepper, Va., in October, 1858. Nallie slowly worked his way north and finally reached Troy, where he worked as a coachman for Uri Gilbert. He had, prior to this, worked for a farmer in Sand Lake, and while there foolishly told his story to a lawyer named Horace F. Averill. This lawyer wrote to Nallie’s former master, informing him of the fugitives whereabouts, and on Friday, April 27, 1860, Nallie was arrested under the fugitive slave law. The arrest caused great excitement in Troy, where the abolition sentiment ran high. Martin L. Townsend, who is today a member of the Constitutional Commission, was secured as counsel for the slave, and a writ of habeas corpus obtained from Judge Gould. The fugitive was taken from the hands of the police officers, was surrounded by a crowd of citizens, who easily secured possession of him and hurried him toward the river. Nallie, shackled as he was, sprang into the river and swam to West Troy where friends broke the irons and threw them into the river, where they have ever since lain. Subsequently, after being concealed for a long time, he was taken to Watervliet and made good his escape. He was never recaptured.”

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