Sam Hawkins acquired the assistance of Samuel D. Burris, a free black conductor in the Delaware Underground Railroad.
During a raging snowstorm, Burris lead the Hawkins and four other male runaways out of Maryland into Delaware. Emeline, Sam and the youngest children traveled in a wagon while the others walked. At Camden, Delaware free African American friends took them to the home of Ezekiel Jenkins, a Quaker. Jenkins gave Samuel Burris a letter of introduction and a request to John Hunn, the Underground Railroad stationmaster in Middletown, for help.