Fleeing For Freedom

Overview

Published to coincide with Black History Month and the opening of the new Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati, Fleeing for Freedom includes selected narratives from the two most important contemporary chroniclers of the Underground Railroad, Levi Coffin and William Still. Here are firsthand descriptions of the experiences of escaped slaves making their way to freedom in the North and in Canada in the years before the Civil War. George and Willene Hendrick have chosen a broad range of stories to reflect the ...
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Fleeing for Freedom: Stories of the Underground Railroad as Told by Levi Coffin and William Still

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Overview

Published to coincide with Black History Month and the opening of the new Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati, Fleeing for Freedom includes selected narratives from the two most important contemporary chroniclers of the Underground Railroad, Levi Coffin and William Still. Here are firsthand descriptions of the experiences of escaped slaves making their way to freedom in the North and in Canada in the years before the Civil War. George and Willene Hendrick have chosen a broad range of stories to reflect the strategies, tactics, heartbreak, and dangers—for both the slaves and the "conductors"—of the secret network. In their Introduction, they provide basic information about the scope and workings of the Underground Railroad and its impact on slaves, slaveholders, and the Northern abolitionist societies that were so heavily involved. Fleeing for Freedom offers gripping personal accounts of one of the great collaborations between whites and blacks in American history. With 15 black-and-white engravings and line drawings.
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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
A must for African American history collections, this book provides a compelling glimpse into a noble juncture in the American experience.
— Margaret Flanagan
Grand Forks Herald
This book offeres insight on the movement's impact on slaves, slaveholders, and the Northern aboltionist societies that were so heavily involved.
— Kiley Clapper
Dallas Morning News
Would that we had more books like Fleeing for Freedom…bringing to life...dangers and rewards of the Liberty Line.
Niagara Gazette
Includes several dramatic accounts.
— Don Glynn
Indiana Magazine Of History
The Hendricks' introduction provides a valuable overview of the UGRR and of the lives of Coffin and Still.
— Timothy Crumrin
Indiana Magazine of History
The Hendricks' introduction provides a valuable overview of the UGRR and of the lives of Coffin and Still.
— Timothy Crumrin
Booklist - Margaret Flanagan
A must for African American history collections, this book provides a compelling glimpse into a noble juncture in the American experience.
William L. Van Deburg
The Hendricks' judicious selection of period accounts drawn from classic nineteenth-century texts honors the memory of both the fugitive slaves and their Underground Railroad and Vigilance Committee benefactors. Its colorful, yet balanced portrait of Liberty Line heroism should win the new book a wide readership.
John David Smith
Coffin's and Still's stories underscore slavery's cruelties, document the heroism of the slaves' black and white allies, and remind us of the resiliency and determination of the human spirit to be free.
Grand Forks Herald - Kiley Clapper
This book offeres insight on the movement's impact on slaves, slaveholders, and the Northern aboltionist societies that were so heavily involved.
Niagara Gazette - Don Glynn
Includes several dramatic accounts.
Indiana Magazine Of History - Timothy Crumrin
The Hendricks' introduction provides a valuable overview of the UGRR and of the lives of Coffin and Still.
University Of Illinois News Bureau
The book brings together for the first time...stories from...the two major chroniclers of the Underground Railroad.
Vicksburg Post
The editors...reflect the strategies, tactics, heartbreak and dangers for both the slaves and the ‘conductors’ of the fabled network.
Virginia Quarterly Review
An excellent introduction to the history of the system that helped between 20,000 and 75,000 slaves.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS NEWS BUREAU
The book brings together for the first time...stories from...the two major chroniclers of the Underground Railroad...
Dallas Morning News
Would that we had more books like Fleeing for Freedom...bringing to life...dangers and rewards of the Liberty Line.
KLIATT
Excerpted from the writings of Levi Coffin, a Quaker activist living in Newport, Indiana, and of William Still, a free black who headed the Vigilance Committee in antebellum Philadelphia, this book is valuable not only for its contents but also for its introduction and its bibliographical notes. The introduction by the editors summarizes the history of the Underground Railroad itself as a revolutionary activity and surveys its participants and the risks that they ran. The notes contain a rather brief but valuable annotated bibliography of the works available in recent editions. Among the stories told are the familiar ones of Ellen and William Craft, Henry "Box" Brown, and Eliza leaping from ice slab to ice slab as she crossed the Ohio. (Harriet Beecher Stowe did not imagine Eliza. She was real.) The value of the work lies in the stories that are less well-known, stories that reveal the day-to-day activities of those who worked on "the liberty line." Levi Coffin was known as "the President of the Underground Railroad." From his Reminiscences, written in 1876, come sober chronicles of runaway slaves and the efforts made to help them. Unadorned and straightforward, the tales are impressive in their manner and their message. William Still is a more fiery writer. From his 1872 The Underground Railroad come more excited but no less documented accounts of slaves who escaped through Philadelphia. Still's occasional use of heavy irony is clear in meaning to the experienced reader, but a younger student might need guidance in handling Still's tone. From Still also comes the account of a confrontation between slave catchers and runaways in Cristiana, Pennsylvania in 1851. When one of the slavecatchers is killed in the clash, the abolitionists involved are brought to trial, not for murder, but for treason! Detailed transcripts from the trial are included. Recommended as supplementary reading for all American history courses. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Ivan R. Dee, 224p. illus. maps. bibliog. index., Ages 12 to adult.
—Pat Moore
Library Journal
Literary and cultural historians George and Willene Hendrick write and edit books on topics as diverse as the poetry of Carl Sandburg and the Creole mutiny. Their latest is an abridgment of two firsthand accounts written by the Underground Railroad's conductors, one white and the other black. A Quaker and abolitionist, Coffin was regarded as the principal organizer of the Underground Railroad. He recounted his experiences in Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, first published in 1876. Still was a freedman who authored The Underground Railroad in 1872. As each of these tomes was in excess of 700 pages, the Hendricks have significantly condensed the original text but have preserved the tone and voice of the authors. Their introduction is particularly valuable, offering excellent background for what follows. While serious scholars pale at the thought of reading an abridged source, this well-edited work makes history accessible to the general and undergraduate reader. It also nicely complements Ann Hagedorn's Beyond the River, another account of white station master John Rankin.-Daniel Liestman, Florida Gulf Coast Univ. Lib., Ft. Myers Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566635462
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 2/25/2004
  • Edition number: 224
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.55 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

George and Willene Hendrick are independent scholars and researchers who together have written The Creole Mutiny: A Tale of Revolt Aboard a Slave Ship, and edited Two Slave Rebellions at Sea and several collections of Carl Sandburg's poems, including Poems for the People. George Hendrick, formerly professor of English at the University of Illinois, has also edited To Reach Eternity: The Letters of James Jones. The Hendricks live in Urbana, Illinois.
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