Beginning Date
Monday, May 12, 1862

On Friday, May 16, the New York Tribune reported that "a few days ago" there had been a "stampede" of about a thousand enslaved Blacks, seeking freedom "as if by a preconcerted movement."  The anti-slavery Tribune noted sarcastically that these freedom seekers had "simultaneously left kind masters and happy homes in Prince George's County, Md."  According to the report, the refugees went straight to Washington, DC where they received protection.  Again, the Tribune correspondent observed with cold disdain:  "Marylanders complain that the inconveniences growing out of this emigration to the whites of the country are great, free labor––in many cases now necessarily performed by persons entirely unaccustomed to help themselves––being the only kind to be had."  This story made a great stir across the North.  One Republican newspaper in the midwest observed:  "The recent stampede of over one thousand from a single county to the free District of Columbia, is a pretty strong pocket emancipation argument."

Escape Numbers
Escape Numbers Comment
NY Tribune estimated 1,000 but NY Post estimated only 300