Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GARRETT, Thomas, abolitionist, born in Upiier Darby, Pennsylvania, 21 August, 1783 ; died in Wilmington, Delaware, 23 January 1871. He was of Quaker parentage, learned his father's trade, that of an edge-tool maker, removed to Wilmington in 1820, and be-" came a wealthy iron merchant. He was devoted to the cause of emancipation from the time when a colored female servant was kidnapped from his father's house, in 1807, and for forty years gave aid and succor to fugitive slaves, and concealed their flight so skilfully that slave-owners usually gave up the chase when they learned that their runaways had fallen into his hands. As many as 3,000 fugitives from Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia owed their liberty to hint. He never enticed Negroes to escape, and shrewdly avoided any breach of the law that could be proved against him. In May, 1848, however, he was compelled to pay heavy damages to owners of escaped slaves, and, after the passage of the fugitive-slave law, incurred the penalty of a fine that swept away the remainder of his fortune. In answer to the reprimand of the United States district judge before whom he was tried, he said that he had always helped a fellow-being to liberty when he could, and should continue to do so. His fellow-townsmen readily advanced him the capital to begin business again, and before he died he had again acquired a competence. In accordance with his dying instructions, his body was borne to the grave by colored men of Wilmington.
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