The passage of the Susquehanna River at Havre de Grace was made by ferry boat at that time, on board of which I met a young colored man by the name of Nichols, who came very near betraying me. He was a ‘hand’ on the boat, but instead of minding his business, he insisted upon knowing me, and asking me dangerous questions as to where I was going, and when I was coming back, etc. I got away from my old and inconvenient acquaintance as soon as I could decently do so, and went to another part of the boat. Once across the river I encountered a new danger. Only a few days before I had been at work on a revenue cutter, in Mr. Price's ship-yard, under the care of Captain McGowan. On the meeting at this point of the two trains, the one going south stopped on the track just opposite to the one going north, and it so happened that this Captain McGowan sat at a window where he could see me very distinctly, and would certainly have recognized me had he looked at me but for a second. Fortunately, in the hurry of the moment, he did not see me; and the trains soon passed each other on their respective ways.
Another famous escape by rail was the daring and cunning ploy of Ellen and William Craft to free themselves from a Georgia slaveholder in 1848. After a close call in Baltimore, their escape plan nearly collapsed at the crossing between Havre de Grace and Perryville. I will recount their story in an upcoming post.