East New Market

Notable People and Families

John Hillis, John Pinket, and Ansal Cannon

From "The Underground Railroad, A Record of Facts, Authentic Narrative, Letters &C, Narrating the Hardships, Hairbreadth Escapes and Death Struggles of the Slaves in their efforts of Freedom, as related by themselves and others, or witnessed by the author; together with sketches of some of the largest stockholders, and most liberal aiders and advisors of the road.  By William Still - 1872.


JOHN HILLIS was a tiller of the ground under a widow lady (Mrs. Louisa LeCount), of the New Market District, Maryland.  He signified to the mistress, that he loved to follow the water, and that he would be just as safe on water as on land, and that he was discontented.  The widow heard John's plausible story, and saw nothing amiss in it, so she consented that he should work on a schooner.  The name of the craft was "Majestic."  The hopeful John endeavored to do his utmost to please, and was doubly happy when he learned that the "Majestic" was to make a trip to Philadelphia.  On arriving John's eyes were opened to see that he owed Mrs. Le Count nothing, but that she was largely indebted to him for years of unrequited toil; he could not, therefore, consent to go back to her. He was troubled to think of his poor wife and children, whom he had left in the hands of Mrs. Harriet Dean, three quarters of a mile from New Market; but it was easier for him to imagine plans by which he could get them off than to incur the hazard of going back to Maryland; therefore he remained in freedom.

[Louisa LeCount is actually Louisa LeCompte, widow of James LeCompte.  She bought $300 worth of real estate in East New Market beginning in 1853.  See the Louisa LeCompte House.  She passed away in 1863.]

JOHN PINKET and ANSAL CANNON took the Underground Rail Road cars at New Market, Dorchester county, Maryland.

JOHN was a tall young man, of twenty-seven years of age, of an active turn of mind and of a fine black color.  He was the property of Mary Brown, a widow, firmly grounded in the love of Slavery; believing that a slave had no business to get tired or desire his freedom.  She sold one of John's sisters to Georgia, and before John fled, had still in her possession nine head of slaves.  She was a member of the Methodist church at East New Market.  From certain movements which looked very suspicious in John's eyes, he had been allotted to the Southern Market, he there-fore resolved to look out for a habitation in Canada.  He had a first-rate corn-field education, but no book learning.  Up to the time of his escape, John had shunned entangling himself with a wife.

ANSAL was twenty-five years of age, well-colored, and seemed like a good-natured and well-behaved article.  He escaped from Kitty Cannon, another widow, who owned nine chattels. "Sometimes she treated her slaves pretty well," was the testimony of Ansal.  He ran away because he did not get pay for his services.  In thus being deprived of his hire, he concluded that he had no business to stay if he could get away.