The Cecil Whig reported the family’s escape on July 23, 1859
Runaway Slaves—A slave man belonging to George Biddle of Sassafras Neck, and his wife and child, also slaves belonging to George A. Ford of Cecilton, ran off Sunday night. They took with them a horse and small wagon belonging to Mr. Biddle.
William Still provided the rest of their story when he recorded their arrival in his office. He described their lives under slavery, and wrote of Lucinda’s hope of finding her mother. The report begins on page 504 in his book.
JAMES ANDY WILKINS "gave the slip" to a farmer, by the name of George Biddle, who lived one mile from Cecil[ton], Cecil county, Maryland. While he hated Slavery, he took a favorable view of his master in some respects at least, as he said that he was a "moderate man in talk; "but "sly in action." His master provided him with two pairs of pantaloons in the summer, and one in the winter, also a winter jacket, no vest, no cap, or hat. James thought the sum total for the entire year's clothing would not amount to more than ten dollars. Sunday clothing he was compelled to procure for himself by working of nights; he made axe handles, mats, etc., of evenings, and caught musk rats on Sunday, and availed himself of their hides to procure means for his most pressing wants. Besides these liberal privileges his master was in the habit of allowing him two whole days every harvest, and at Christmas from twenty-five cents to as high as three dollars and fifty cents, were lavished upon him.
His master was a bachelor, a man of considerable means, and "kept tolerable good company," and only owned two other slaves, Rachel Ann Dumbson [Dobson?] and John Price.
LUCINDA, the companion of James, was twenty-one years of age, good-looking, well-formed and of a brown color. She spoke of a man named George Ford as her owner. He, however, was said to be of the "moderate class" of slave-holders; Lucinda being the only slave property he possessed, and she came to him through his wife (who was a Methodist). The master was an outsider, so far as the Church was concerned. Once in a great while Lucinda was allowed to go to church, when she could be spared from her daily routine of cooking, washing, etc. Twice a week she was permitted the special favor of seeing her husband. These simple privations not being of a grave character, no serious fault was found with them; yet Lucinda was not without a strong ground of complaint. Not long before escaping, she had been threatened with the auction-block; this fate she felt bound to avert, if possible, and the way she aimed to do it was by escaping on the Underground Rail Road. Charley, a bright little fellow only three years of age, was "contented and happy" enough. Lucinda left her father, Moses Edgar Wright, and two brothers, both slaves. One belonged to "Francis Crookshanks," and the other to Capt. Jim Mitchell.
Her mother, who was known by the name of Betsy Wright, escaped when she (Lucinda) was seven years of age. Of her whereabouts nothing further had ever been heard. Lucinda entertained strong hopes that she might find her in Canada.