In the fall of 1822, the year after David Grose had left North Carolina, I accompanied my brother-in-law, Benjamin White, and his family to Indiana. We traveled the same road that David Grose had traveled, camping out every night as was the custom of movers at that day. While passing through Wythe County, Virgina, we camped near the place where Sam had been taken, and there learned all the particulars of his being chased by wolves, his capture and imprisonment.
When we reached Richmond, Indiana — near which place my brother-in-law located for the winter — I inquired for Jack Barnes and learned that he lived at Milton, about fifteen miles to the west. Having relatives at that place, I went there in a few days, traveling on horseback. As I rode into the village, almost the first man I saw was Jack Barnes.
As soon as he recognized me, he hastened to me and clasped me in his arms, uttering exclamations of joy and gratitude that attracted the passers-by. A little crowd of people gathered, and Jack told them that I had saved him from slavery, that if it had not been for me, he would have been dragged back to prison and perhaps sold to the rice swamps of Georgia, or the cotton fields of Alabama, where his only allowance of food would have been a peck of corn a week.
When his first excitement was over, he wanted to give me some money, to repay me for my trouble and exertion on his behalf. I told him that I was amply repaid and would not receive a cent. Jack had got employment at good wages, had been industrious and frugal, and had accumulated property. Milton was a new place then; Jack had bought a lot and built the first cottage in the village. He had many friends in the place, and it would have been a difficult task for Osborne, Barnes’ heirs, or anybody else, to have captured Jack and taken him away from Milton.
Early in the following spring, I went to Terre Haute, Vigo County, to enter land for my brother-in-law, and finding that David Grose had settled in that county, several miles below, I went to visit him, receiving a warm welcome. He still had Sam’s bundle of clothing, but had not heard a word about him since the morning he left their camp in Wythe County, Virginia, to hunt a place of concealment during the day among the thickets.
On the following morning, when he did not join them as usual, they felt much anxiety about him, fearing that he had got lost or been captured, or that some accident had befallen him. They still hoped that he might overtake them the following night, but when the next night came and no Sam appeared, they gave him up. Since locating in Indiana they had seen no person from North Carolina, of whom they could inquire, and until I arrived they were in the dark regarding the fate of poor Sam.