5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft's Flight from Slavery

5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft's Flight from Slavery

by Judith Fradin, Dennis Brindell Fradin
     
 

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What would it take for slaves to escape from slavery in the Deep South, 1,000 miles from freedom and then on to England during the period of the Fugitive Slave Act? For most slaves the thought of escape was unimaginable. But fear did not stop Ellen and William Craft from chasing freedom.

An inspiring and riveting story of two amazing people stopping at nothing to

Overview

What would it take for slaves to escape from slavery in the Deep South, 1,000 miles from freedom and then on to England during the period of the Fugitive Slave Act? For most slaves the thought of escape was unimaginable. But fear did not stop Ellen and William Craft from chasing freedom.

An inspiring and riveting story of two amazing people stopping at nothing to fight for freedom and racial equality, this thrilling true tale chronicles Ellen and William Craft's lives from their flight from slavery in Georgia to their rise to world-wide fame as heroes of the Abolitionist movement.

Illustrated with period artwork, newspaper clippings, and archival photographs, 5,000 Miles to Freedom captures the unforgiving realities of slave life, the political hatred between North and South, and, above all, the extraordinary achievements of this remarkable couple.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
In 1848, with slavery at its height in Georgia, slaves William and Ellen Craft made plans to flee north. Ellen, who could pass for white, cut her hair and donned the clothing of a young gentleman. William posed as her personal slave. Their dangerous journey took them first to Philadelphia, then to Boston, and ultimately to England. With the aid of a network of abolitionists and free blacks, they learned to read and write, lectured about their flight, and worked hard to support themselves. After the Civil War, they returned to Georgia to establish a school for former slaves. The Fradins are careful historians and reliable researchers. Notes, bibliography, time line, and copious illustrations add to the book's usefulness. William and Ellen's frequently quoted words are from their own written account, so that these adventurous ex-slaves speak in a formal, somewhat-stilted nineteenth-century manner. The authors do not need to dramatize an already dramatic story, but their desire to be complete and accurate sometimes makes the book dry and plodding. The Crafts' resourcefulness comes through clearly, along with their determination to shake off their well-meaning patrons and become independent. Their admirable story will appeal to readers who are interested in African American and Civil War history, need a good biography, or just want a true tale of courage. The book is a natural resource for that perennial assignment to dress up as an historical figure and present his or her life story. Green glasses like Ellen's will be in demand. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, definedas grades 7 to 9). 2006, National Geographic, 96p.; Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology., Ages 11 to 15.
—Kathleen Beck
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-In 1848, light-skinned Ellen Craft, dressed in the clothing of a rich, white man, assumed the identity of "Mr. William Johnson" and, escorted by his black slave, William, traveled by railroad and boat to reach the North. With the passage of a more stringent Fugitive Slave Law in 1850, the couple, whose story was well known as a result of public speeches and accounts in the abolitionist press, decided to travel to England. Here they improved their education, perfected their occupational skills, and continued to cultivate influential friends. In 1869, they returned to the United States, opening a school and operating a farm in Georgia. Their lives were a continuing source of adventure and inspiration. This lively, well-written volume presents the events in their lives in an exciting, page-turner style that's sure to hold readers' attention. Black-and-white photographs, illustrations, and reproductions enhance the text. Relying heavily upon primary sources, including letters, diaries, and newspapers, the story unfolds in a smooth narrative with dialogue based upon the Crafts' own book, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom. This is an important and well-organized addition to any collection.-Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780792278856
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
01/24/2006
Series:
National Geographic Series
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
717,708
Product dimensions:
8.91(w) x 11.17(h) x 0.49(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Dennis Brindell Fradin and his wife Judith Bloom Fradin have collaborated on several award-winning books for young readers. The Fradins live in Evanston, IL.

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