Kidnapped man released, 1856
– Joseph Balance, Esq., who lately passed through this city on his way to HagersTown, Md, to prove the freedom of a colored man who had been kidnapped in this State, and taken and lodged in the prison of that place as a runaway, returned on Saturday last with the information, that after considerable difficulty, he succeeded in obtaining his discharge, and bringing him back to this State.
It is not true, that Mr. Balance encountered considerable difficulty in obtaining the negroe’s discharge. Mr. GARLINGER, the Sheriff, and Officer WILLIAM FREANER, extended to the negro every facility and rendered him all the aid in their power, to establish his freedom. Officer FREANER took a gentleman from Lancaster County to the Prison, who at once identified him as a free boy, and he was afterwards regarded as such. And if even no white person had come for him, he would have been discharged at the expiration of sixty days from the date of his first imprisonment, and costs to the county. We believe he was brought from Pennsylvania by a native of that State, and committed as his instance as a runaway! We want our slaves who runaway from us, but none of the lazy free negroes from Pennsylvania. If our neighbors across the line would but make half the effort to execute the Fugitive Slave Law, that we do to enforce the laws against kidnapping, there would be no cause of difference between us.
Herald of Freedom and Torch Light
Washington County Free Library
Slaves and Free Blacks, Western Maryland
Western Maryland, 1800-1864