The Liberator, June 25, 1858; Still, The Underground Railroad, 74-75.
Captains Baylis and Fountain Bring Concealed Passengers from Virginia and North Carolina to Freedom via the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal
In 1858, a Virginia court sentenced schooner captain William B. Baylis to forty years in prison for transporting slaves to freedom. William Still wrote that “quite a number of passengers at different times availed themselves of [Baylis’s] accommodations and thus succeeded in reaching Canada.” Still also chronicled the Underground Railroad exploits of a second schooner captain, Alfred Fountain. Still does not explicitly state the water route taken by these two captains sailing freedom seekers out of Norfolk, Richmond, and North Carolina. But he made one reference to a canal lock and in other narratives he provided clues that these captains sailed north through the Chesapeake Bay and the canal to reach Wilmington and Philadelphia. The first narrative presented here is the one referring to Baylis and the lock, and the second one, also involving Baylis, provides another important reason for why captains Baylis and Fountain would use the canal route. The Still narratives that recount the rescues of Captain Fountain that offer further indications the canal route was used are presented after the Baylis incidents. Beyond the information provided in the Still narratives, there are additional reasons to conclude that Fountain and Baylis favored the Chesapeake Bay-Delaware River route through the canal over the Atlantic Ocean-Delaware Bay route for most if not all of their rescues, and these will be discussed in the upcoming posts.
 The Liberator, June 25, 1858; Still, The Underground Railroad, 74-75.
Freedom Seekers and Freedom Stealers along the Mason - Dixon Line
Milt Diggins, M. ed., an independent scholar, author, public historian, and public speaker.