Ann Maria Weems was the daughter of a free father and an enslaved mother. She was "owned" by Charles Price, a slave trader in whose house she lived in Rockville, MD. While a teenager, she was rescued in November 1855 with help of a biracial network including Jacob Bigelow and a white Philadelphia medical professor. Although Ann Maria's mother and sister were redeemed with money raised by her father and abolitionists, Price refused $700 for Ann Maria. Her brothers were sold south, so the situation seemed urgent. She was hidden within the black community. Then, dressed as a boy, she met the professor by the White House, and acted as coachman as they left the city. After arriving in Philadelphia, she went to Canada to join an aunt and uncle.