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Running a thousand miles for freedom;: Or, the escape of William and Ellen Craft from slavery
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About the Author
Ellen Craft (1826–1891) and William Craft (September 25, 1824 – January 29, 1900) were slaves from Macon, Georgia in the United States who escaped to the North in December 1848 by traveling openly by train and steamboat, arriving in Philadelphia on Christmas Day. She posed as a white male planter and he as her personal servant. Their daring escape was widely publicized, making them among the most famous of fugitive slaves. Abolitionists featured them in public lectures to gain support in the struggle to end the institution. As the light-skinned mixed-race daughter of a mulatto slave and her white master, Ellen Craft used her appearance to pass as a white man, dressed in appropriate clothing. Threatened by slave catchers in Boston after passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the Crafts escaped to England, where they lived for nearly two decades and reared five children. The Crafts lectured publicly about their escape. In 1860 they published a written account, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom; Or, The Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery. One of the most compelling of the many slave narratives published before the American Civil War, their book reached wide audiences in Great Britain and the United States. After their return to the US in 1868, the Crafts opened an agricultural school for freedmen's children in Georgia and worked the farm until 1890. Their account was reprinted in the United States in 1999, with both the Crafts credited as authors. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
Reading the account, and all the sad personal side stories that he witnessed regarding the life of slaves and the unfathomably inhumane United States laws that kept African Americans slaves, I was moved to tears, and more importantly, moved to shame that this is what our "American freedom" was founded upon. How ironic, that what early Americans fought for in the Revolution just 100 years earlier, they felt it their right, as even some ministers of the day testified, to hold another human in bondage.
Craft's friend, Rev. Samuel May of Boston, said it best, "Is America the 'land of the free, and the home of the brave'? God knows it is not; and we know it too. A brave young man and a virtuous young woman must fly the American shores, and seek, under the shadow of the British throne, the enjoyment of 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'" Even American President Millard Filmore thought that Craft and his wife should be returned to slavery!
I believe this personal account is a must for every teacher of history, social sciences, literature and humanities. I encourage educators all over this country to read this book and share the stark realities of our history with our students, so that this wretched institution is never, ever again repeated.
The book itself looks rather odd and contains a lot of typographical errors. Also, I recall having paid only around $5 for it. I would wait until the price drops again before purchasing.