STAMPEDE.––There is a great commotion among the slave owners of Maryland, in consequence of the large number of slaves who have seen proper to take 'French leave' of their masters, and emigrate into free States. The papers published in border counties come teeming full of advertisements offering rewards for runaways, and editorial notices of the absconding of whole gangs and families of slaves, who are seldom ever caught, and only heard of when safe far north of Mason & Dixon's line. So great has been the loss to planters on the Eastern Shore counties of the State, that the owners of slaves are proposing to construct a line of telegraph through the centre [center] of the counties for the purpose of giving early information to police agents of the flight of their property, and thus aid in their detection. Several instances have occurred lately, of gangs of slaves having run away in one night, and successfully got off, whose value would be from 5,000 to $8,000. The facilities are so great for the poor slave to get away, that they run but little risk of late in making the attempt. They lose nothing by the effort to obtain their freedom, for if caught, and sold again to sugar and cotton planters, they merely make an exchange of masters.
"Stampede," Carlisle (PA) Weekly Herald, September 19, 1849, p. 1