Daniel Drayton (1802-1857) was an American abolitionist and coastal trader. He encountered Edward Sayres, the pilot of the Pearl, and was offered money to transport slaves to freedom. In the darkness of the night seventy-six colored men, women, and children found their way to the schooner. On Saturday, April 15, 1848, their freedom was at hand thanks to Drayton, Sayres, and English, the cook. The Pearl Incident was the largest recorded escape attempt by slaves in the United States. The plan consisted of sailing down the Potomac River, then up Chesapeake Bay to freedom. However, the wind prevented the schooner from going up the bay so they anchored for the night. Their delay gave the slave owners time to realize their slaves were missing and send out a search party. The boat, the Salem, found the Pearl on Monday morning and took the slaves and capturers back to Washington DC. Drayton, Sayres, and English were put on trial. Drayton and Sayres were convicted and went to jail due to their inability to pay their fines.