Charleston Mercery

Charleston, South Carolina

December 14, 1858



Rescuing a Fugitive Slave – Thirty-Seven Indictments.



      On the 13th of September last, a slave named “Little John,” was arrested in Oberlin, by United States Deputy Marshal Lowe, of Columbus, by virtue of a warrant issued by United States Commissioner Crittenden, of the Southern District of Ohio, at the instance of Anderson D. Jennings, the deputed agent of the owner, John G. Bacon, both residents of Mason County, Ky. 

      The same day a mob of the citizens of Oberlin was raised to prevent the execution of the process by the marshal, and the slave was rescued at Wellington, a few miles from Oberlin.  The citizens of the latter place held a glorification meeting, and determined to resist, in the future, any and every attempt to arrest a slave at Oberlin.

      The recollection of the affair has mostly died away, but its history is revived by the recent act of the United States grand jury at Cleveland, who have brought their labors to a close, by finding true bills against thirty-seven of the ringleaders in this affair, including the Rev. Henry Peck, Professor in Oberlin College, the Rev. James M. Fitch, formerly Missionary to Jamaica, several theological students, five fugitive slaves, and thirty other persons, including eleven free colored persons.

      The two clergymen and eleven others and indicted for aiding and abetting the rescue of the slave, and the remaining twenty-four are indicted for the rescue itself.  It is surmised that whatever course the white men and free negroes indicted may adopt in regard to exposing themselves to trial, the fugitive slaves among the indicted will at least disappear from the scene and take the underground railroad for some secure retreat.



The Charleston Courier, Tri-Weekly

Charleston, South Carolina

June 4, 1859



Attempted Murder of a Witness in the Rescue Case at Oberlin.



      The teachings of Giddings and the Oberlin Professors are being followed to the letter by the negroes of Oberlin.  The Cleveland Democrat states that an attempt was made on Wednesday night last by two blacks to murder a respectable citizen of that town, named Mr. N.A. Wood, who was one of the witnesses for the prosecution in the late Rescue trail.  Mr. Wood keeps a livery stable in Oberlin, and his residence is about three-quarters of a mile fro his stable.  About nine o’clock in the evening, as he was proceeding home from his stable, two negroes appeared and walked behind him.  Supposing they desired to pass, Mr. Wood stepped to one side, when one of them suddenly caught him by the shoulder, and made a desperate thrust at him with a large knife, which he held in his hand aiming at his head evidently.  Wood then threw up his arm in time to ward off the blow, which otherwise might have proved fatal, and the knife passed through his coat sleeve, and raised the skin upon his wrist.  The other negro then dealt him a powerful blow on the head with some kind of weapon, which brought him to the ground, when the murderous assailant with his knife gave him another stab, and jumping over the fence, they ran away before they could be recognized.  The second stab, like the first, missed its aim, and grazed his side.