Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #29
…The action we are contemplating could go a long way to eliminating the need for vigilante raids, in the name of freedom…
There is a gavel-less call to order. “If you recall, last month Herb Love proposed we attempt to free the Campbell family at Smythwick’s plantation. It is an ambitious undertaking, perhaps our most complicated; 3 adults, one elderly and 4 children who are on a farm deep inside Fort Sumter South. To make things harder, we’ll have to do it at night.
“However, the Pensacola & East Railroad cuts through the backside of the property. It also crosses State Road 268 and there will be a full moon the night of 5 October. These are real positives.
“And negatives? One of us must infiltrate Sumter the day before, the 4th, to prepare the old lady and the children, for the five mile escape route.
“And there will be one of us stationed at each of the three mile of track, until road 268, where a LOVE ICE truck will take it from there, for the final leg to Quincy. We figure no one will suspect an ice truck.” Smythwick has been known to line the pockets of certain unnamed constabulary, enabling to keep his “employees” on the property.
But the early hours of the daily ice run should mask its surreptitious companion purpose.
So far, Jacob Haley has dominated the meeting, doing much of the research on their possible mission, mainly because he is the lone black in the raid contingent. He is the most likely candidate to take on the highest risk.
Every mission seems to spotlight a different leader. Herbert Love planted the seed this time, the inspirational forerunner. In the past, other ventures have been precipitated by those most greatly been affected by witnessed injustices. There are many of these in the course of living in a segregated environment.
“Jacob has done a great job with the plan, even to the point of volunteering to go undercover. So I would like to propose that we accept it as presented. A show of hands please… unanimous? Good. We have 45 days to hand out assignments. There is a sign-up sheet at the end of the table for those who want to be part of the action.
“And remember, as always, we are not to discuss this or any other rescue with anyone, period.” Love exhorts the room.
Jacob Haley has one closing thought, “The action we are contemplating could go a long way to eliminating the need for vigilante raids, in the name of freedom. We are acting above the law, but Jefferson Smythwick’s influence will be severely damaged if he loses his best people.”
The publisher of The Quincy Reporter, Harv Pearson will see to it that Smythwick will not become a sympathetic figure, only pathetic. “You can be sure that my paper will make the Campbell escape the headline story. And every paper in the Panhandle and north will get the story as well. We will refresh the slave issue, make it the topic of the day from Texas to Maryland, the Texas Rangers to Grover Cleveland.
“Let’s put an end to neo-slavery for good!”
‘Yes!’, ‘Amen!’, ‘You bet!’, ‘Slavers be damned!’, are among the shouts of acclamation, robust reaction to Pearson’s inspiring impromptu speech.
Alpha Omega M.D.