That it is an evil system, a new form of slavery covered up with certain niceties of complexity. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor
Imagine this discussion if you were children in the mid-seventeen hundred’s in Colonial Maryland near what is now Hyattsville on a farm. You hear your father talking or debating, with others from surrounding farms, that he is thinking of freeing his slaves. Lit by candle or oil lamp, the room would have been a place of flickering light, warm most of the year, an interesting place to be. The discussion going from farm house to farm house. Farmers of the land, tobacco the crop. Farms powered by slavery.
Questions about what would happen to the slaves once they became freemen, with questions about what would happen to the farm if the freemen decided to leave. How would others see the freeing of the slaves. Would others do the same or complain to the King’s agents?
You are one of many families farming the area. You are looking forward to moving somewhere with game and fresh dirt. The wild game in the area has been hunted to extinction. Your fields are producing fewer crops, especially tobacco. It is time to move. With your father, Basil Foster marrying Mary Acton, you have some favors from William Penn, governor of Pennsylvania colony and grandfather of Mary. Might as well go north to Pennsylvania.
But what about your slaves. Keep them as slaves? Release them as freemen? Pennsylvania was tending to stop the owning of slaves in the colony.
Basil Foster made freemen of his slaves. They, the clan and freemen, moved north to Pennsylvania colony and started clearing land around Bedford, Round Top. The clan just north of them was massacred, the bodies stabbed onto the stubs of where tree branches had been prior on the large trees. The Foster clan, including the new freeman, returned to the old farms around Hyattsville. After the Revolutionary War, they all moved back to Round Top.
Consider that we, as a nation, are still debating this issue.