On this day [actually yesterday; sorry!] in 1776, a Tuesday, Landon Carter, several of whose slaves, led by a man named Moses, had recently escaped, entered the following into his diary:
Beale returned but brought no account of Moses and his gang. He went to the King and Queen camp on the point between the Rappahannock and Pianketank and talked with the commander. They had catched other people’s negroes but not mine. Beale reported that the men who followed my people in the Petty Auger when they were driven ashore was the Towles Point guard in a boat of Burgess Ball.
Another report from Guthrie, who I have a long time known to be an egregious liar, that some runaways told him that they saw some slaves who had run away from Dunmore, who told him that they saw Moses on the Island; who swore to them if he could get back he would return to his master; for Dunmore had deceived all the Poor Slaves and he never met so barbarous or so vile a fellow in all his life.
Beale owns the Captain of that guard told him the slaves were returning daily, most miserably and barbecued, and did aver the whole gang of slaves must leave the Island as soon as they could get off.
Beale tells me that when he went to ask for the Petty Auger which the minute men had taken from my People, Captain Berryman with an oath refused to give it up.
IMAGE: On Gwynn’s Island, in the Chesapeake Bay, where Virginia’s royal governor, Lord Dunmore, and a number of escaped slaves, had taken refuge