Monuments EDITORIAL: A promise deferred on the courthouse grounds

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EDITORIAL: A promise deferred on the courthouse grounds
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Sunday, Jun. 4, 2017 by Times-Mirror Editorial Board | 3 comments | Email this story
William Jordan Augustus was enslaved at Oatlands Plantation until he left in 1809 to seek his freedom in the north.

Leonard Grimes was an important black abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor. He was born in Leesburg around 1815 and was tried and convicted there in 1839 for helping a woman and her six children escape from slavery in Loudoun.

Nelson Talbott Gant was freed and forced to leave Virginia without his wife, whose Leesburg owner refused to sell her. He returned and was denied again, but the couple left anyway. They were captured, returned, and Nelson Gant was tried in 1847. His lawyers successfully argued that matrimony was higher law than slavery.

John W. Jones escaped from slavery near Leesburg and became a noted stationmaster on the Underground Railroad in Elmira, N.Y, as large numbers of blacks fleeing slavery migrated to Canada before and during the Civil War.

Leesburg blacksmith Peyton Lucas swam across the Potomac to escape from slavery. He settled in Pennsylvania until he saw an ad for his capture. He then left for New York. After passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, he fled to safety in Canada.

More: http://www.loudountimes.com/news/article/editorial_a_promise_deferred_on_the_courthouse_grounds432
 
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