Contributed by Susan
Description: Runaways – Forged PapersDate: September 20 1853
Newspaper published in: Richmond, VA
Runaways – Forged Papers
A gentleman by the name of R. A. Stuart of McDowell, Highland County, Va., stopped at our place one day this week in search of a runaway Negro, who had left his house abut a month since, and who he had tracked to this place. The Negro in question came here in the stage by the Northwestern Turnpike on Saturday, the 6th ult., in company with two others, and immediately after getting out, the three started for the landing, intending to cross the river.
They were immediately stopped by some of our citizens to whom they replied that they had got the necessary papers with which to travel. They were then taken before Squire Gibbons. Mr. Stuart's Negro first produced a certificate of good character, signed by a number of names, but all evidently done by the same person. On being told that more proof was necessary, they then produced a certificate purporting to be from the clerk of Bath County, stamped with the county seal, which attested him to be a free man and his own master. The paper described him accurately, and there is no doubt that it was Mr. Stuart's own slave.
Mr. Stuart pronounced the paper to be forged and totally untrue. The Negroes said they were going to Ohio, and are very likely but a few miles distant. The question now remains to be solved as to how the Negro got his certificate sealed with the county seal. [From the Parkersburg News]