Underground RailRoad in Johnstown
On February 12, 1837, two slaves, brothers “Patrick” and “Abraham” escaped from the Fruit Hill farm of Col. John Sherrard in Bath, Va. They were pursued by slave catchers, John Compston and Edward Maxwell, into Pennsylvania.
The first night the brothers took refuge in a private home in Bloody Run (Everett). Their pursuers came upon them in the night and threatened them with violence if they didn’t surrender. The brothers fought for their liberty and one was wounded in the cheek. They made their escape to Bucks Town (St. Clairsville) where they stopped at the house of a free black man. Again they engaged in a struggle with their pursuers and managed to escape taking the Johnstown Road to the Heltzel home on the mountain. They remained here over night but were again caught. One brother was beaten with a small ax, seeing this, the other brother rushed to help. They managed to break free, with one brother telling his pursuer, “for you don’t have us yet.” Two men who were hunting at the time had guns and joined the pursuit. The hunters shot one brother in the chest and the other in the leg.
They managed to get to Geistown and were helped by William Slick who sent them to Johnstown for treatment. While in the custody of authorities the freedom seekers escaped.
Slave catchers, John Compston and Edward Maxwell filed suit and named, Henry Willis, William Barnett, John Myers, Wallace Fortune, Isaac Weatherington, John Cushon and Frederick Kaylor as assisting in the escape of Patrick and Abraham. The suit was dismissed.
Interred here in Sandyvale are abolitionists: William Slick, Benjamin Slick, John Cushon, James and Charlotte Heslop.