the underground railroad
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
"The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto! stands out as an engaging and highly readable account of the lives of Black people in Toronto in the 1800s. Adrienne Shadd, Afua Cooper and Karolyn Smardz Frost offer many helpful points of entry for readers learning for the first time about Black history in Canada. They also give surprising and detailed information to enrich the understanding of people already passionate about this neglected aspect of our own past." - Lawrence Hill, Writer The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto!, a richly illustrated book, examines the urban connection of the clandestine system of secret routes, safe houses and "conductors." Not only does it trace the story of the Underground Railroad itself and how people courageously made the trip north to Canada and freedom, but it also explores what happened to them after they arrived. And it does so using never-before-published information on the African-Canadian community of Toronto. Based entirely on new research carried out for the experiential theatre show "The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Freedom!" at the Royal Ontario Museum, this volume offers new insights into the rich heritage of the Black people who made Toronto their home before the Civil War. It portrays life in the city during the nineteenth century in considerable detail. This exciting new book will be of interest to readers young and old who want to learn more about this unexplored chapter in Toronto's history.
Enjoy learning the vast history of the Underground Railroad through many different eyes in this book by William Still, the black abolitionist who is often called the "Father of the Underground Railroad" for his remarkable role in organizing its operation, as well as the multitude of people he helped to find freedom. Discover the many individual stories of the journey to freedom in this remarkable book.
• Reprint of a significant primary source on the Underground Railroad • Colorful information and anecdotes from the participants Originally published in 1883 and long out of print, this remarkable volume examines the Underground Railroad as it operated in southeastern Pennsylvania. Based on interviews with those directly involved in the escaped slave network, it tells the stories of freedom seekers, those who helped them, and the places they hid. A new introduction by Christopher Densmore places the book in its historical context and assesses the work in light of more recent scholarship.
Includes many references to Mrs. Stowe and Uncle Tom's cabin.
The Underground Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom outlines the process by which enslaved Africans Americans would sneak to freedom in the north during the Civil War. One of the methods the slaves used to communicate without detection was through quilts.
When the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was passed by Congress, the flight to freedom for runaway slaves became even more dangerous. Even the free cities of Boston and Philadelphia were no longer safe, and abolitionists who despised slavery had to turn in fugitives. But the Underground Railroad, a secret and loosely organized network of people and safe houses that led slaves to freedom, only grew stronger. Since the late 1700s, blacks and whites had banded together to aid runaways like Maryland slave Frederick Douglass, who disguised himself as a sailor to board a train to New York. Virginia slave Henry Brown packed himself in a box to get to Philadelphia. The minister John Rankin, who hung a lantern to guide runaways to his house by the Ohio River, endured beatings for speaking against slavery. Quaker storeowner Thomas Garrett was put on trial for helping fugitives in Delaware. Meanwhile, the nation marched on toward Civil War. At its height, between 1810 and 1850, these secret routes and safe houses were used by an estimated 30,000 people escaping enslavement. In The Underground Railroad: The Journey to Freedom, read how this secret system worked in the days leading up to the Civil War and the pivotal role it played in the abolitionist movement.
The transatlantic slave trade and the fugitive slave laws in the late 18th century led to a significant increase in the number of people seeking freedom. Runaway slaves were often aided in their escape by a growing network of people who saw slavery as morally reprehensible. This work explores this intriguing time in American history.