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Darrel Dexter has taken upon himself a daunting but extremely useful task in producing a broad survey of slavery in southern Illinois under French, English, and American regimes. This book, based on exhaustive research in printed source materials, will henceforth be the starting point for anyone interested in exploring this important but little known subject. --Carl J. Ekberg, author of French Roots in the Illinois Country: The Mississippi Frontier in Colonial Times
Darrel Dexter s book, carefully researched, not only shows how slavery worked in the North, but also provides a thorough history of black-white race relations in Illinois through the end of the Civil War. Dexter sheds light on dark corners of the 19th century, and the illumination will help Americans today understand why race relations remain problematic today, even after the election of an African American presiden --James W. Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me and Sundown Towns
Darrel Dexter's masterful study of Bondage in Egypt: Slavery in Southern Illinois 1720-1865 amasses a compelling array of data to argue that during the antebellum period "Illinois was not a free state polarized against slavery." His writing is clear and graceful. This work will undoubtedly become a standard reference guide for anyone interested in the African American experience in Illinois. It is an important first work by a historian steeped in deep knowledge of the region he writes about. --Jane Adams, professor of anthropology at Southern Illinois University and author of The Transformation of Rural Life: Southern Illinois 1890-1990
Darrel Dexter was born in Cairo, Illinois. He received BA and BS degrees in history from Southern Illinois University and an MA degree in history from Southeast Missouri State University. A teacher and historian, he received the Delta Award in 2006, from the Southern Illinois University Friends of Morris Library, for writing and publishing about southern Illinois history with distinction. He lives in rural Jonesboro, Illinois.