He Planned Numerous Escape Attempts And Lived To Tell His Tale

enslaved persons running away
L. Graciella Maiolatesi
May 2, 2023

As an enslaved runaway Jacob Green had been recaptured before, multiple times in fact. This time around he’d barely been able to evade his enslaver, pushing him aside and running to hide in a nearby cellar. 

In the darkened room he thought about some of his wildest escapes.

During his first run for freedom, three white women promised him food, shelter, and safe passage. Desperate, he’d accepted. 

But later in the night he’d overheard them plotting to return him and reap a reward. Enraged, Green stormed in, tied the women up, and fled the scene. Unfortunately he was recaptured not long after.

Another successful escape came whilst Green and his enslaver were on a steamboat, traveling back to the South. Green jumped ship and swam to the nearest shore, right underneath his enslaver's nose.

Suddenly, loud footsteps coming from above the darkened cellar shook Green from his daydreams. Heart pounding, he clenched his fists. 

He’d go down swinging before being captured this time.

Luckily the footsteps belonged to a maid who connected Green with conductors from the Underground Railroad. Disguised as a woman, Green escaped to Canada and would later publish the Narrative of the Life of J. D. Green. 

Green’s determination reminds us that liberation takes time. Rest if you must, but do not quit.