By way of record, let me share this with you:


Iowa Journal of History and Politics, v24-1924

Owen Garretson, remembering:


" the spirit of liberty is implanted in every human soul and can not be eradicated. Ruel Daggs finally realized the difficulty of holding slaves so near the free State of Iowa and contemplated selling his slaves south so that he would be free from the necessity of keeping a constant guard on valuable property. Nothing was more repugnant to the Negroes of the border States than the thought of being "sold South" and as soon as the slaves of Mr. Daggs learned that their master was planning to dispose of them in this manner, nine of them- three men, four women, and two children- determined to make an attempt to escape from Iowa before it was too late."


"To this lonely dwelling (near Athens, Mo.) on Thursday night or Friday morning early in June 1848, came the nine Negroes from the plantation of Ruel Daggs. Without doubt they had been informed that if they could reach Salem, twenty five miles north of the Missouri border, they would receive assistance."


"No sooner had they arrived at this home, than a terrific rain set in and they were compelled to stay all the next day and part of the following night."


"Sometime Friday night, the rains having ceased, the Negroes started for the north accompanied by their host. On reaching the Des Moines River, however, the stream was found to be so swollen that its passage was difficult and a long delay ensued." "by assistance of Mr. Leggens, they procured or constructed a raft and successfully passed to the northern shore," How the fugitives reached Salem is not known, "but in all probability they were in touch with sympathizing friends who aided in their transportation."


"On Monday, following the escape of the Negroes, two men,who were searching for the Negroes and heading their course toward Salem, saw a covered wagon being driven rapidly several miles ahead of them. They increased their speed and on arriving at the woods, about a mile south of Salem, they found the wagon in the bushes near the roadside, while scattered through the near-by woods were the supposed slaves of Ruel Daggs. The horses hitched to this wagon were the property of John Pickering, an active worker in the anti slavery cause, and the team was driven by Jonathan Frazier, a son of Thomas Frazier, the son of a noted pioneer preacher and leader of the anti-slavery Friends of Iowa"


Excerpted from the research material of Lewis D. Savage