His Promised Land: The Autobiography of John P. Parker, Former Slave and Conductor on the Underground Railroad

Overview

This narrative, never before published, was told to a newspaperman after the Civil War. It follows John P. Parker 1827-1900, a determined young slave who at the age of eight was forced from his family in Virginia and made to walk to Alabama. In Mobile, Parker was sold to a doctor. There he was taught illegally by the doctor's sons to read. Parker lived in the doctor's household for several years, and then ran away to New Orleans. After a series of harrowing near captures, Parker was found by his master and ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $145.00   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$145.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(177)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

This narrative, never before published, was told to a newspaperman after the Civil War. It follows John P. Parker 1827-1900, a determined young slave who at the age of eight was forced from his family in Virginia and made to walk to Alabama. In Mobile, Parker was sold to a doctor. There he was taught illegally by the doctor's sons to read. Parker lived in the doctor's household for several years, and then ran away to New Orleans. After a series of harrowing near captures, Parker was found by his master and returned to Mobile. He persuaded a widow to buy him and let him earn his way out of slavery through working in a foundry. Moving to Ohio, Parker worked with other members of the Underground Railroad in Ripley, a stronghold of the abolitionist movement. Parker is one of the few African Americans whose battle against slavery we can now turn to in his own words. He recounts dramatically how he helped fugitive slaves to cross the Ohio River from Kentucky and go north to freedom. He risked his life - hiding in coffins, diving off a steamboat into the Ohio River with bounty hunters on his trail - and his freedom to fight for the freedom of his people.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This previously unpublished manuscript, resurrected from the Duke University Archive, tells a remarkable story. Parker's oral history, taken down by a journalist in the 1880s, provides a lively and indelible account of a man determined to escape slavery and to help others reach freedom. Parker's vigorous vernacular has echoes of Huckleberry Finn, but his tragicomic accounting of many death-defying episodes is freighted with truth and "an eternal hatred of the institution [of slavery]." Born in 1827 in Norfolk, Va., at eight Parker was sold and marched south in chains. He soon learned self-sufficiency and abhorrence of brutality. Though his master in Mobile, Ala., was kindly, Parker's apprenticeships put him in the path of cruel racists; indomitably, he began a series of escapes, all of which failed. He finally earned his freedom by working in an iron foundry; before moving north, he fought a white co-worker who stole an invention of his. In Ripley, Ohio, from 1845 to 1865, Parker, perpetually armed, helped smuggle slaves north. He persisted despite a $1000 bounty on his head, heartened by the courage and sacrifice most fugitives showed. Over the years he variously owned foundry and milling businesses in Ohio. He had six children, all of whom became educated and middle class. Parker died in 1900. Sprague teaches at Morehead State University in Kentucky. Photos not seen by PW. Film option to Tri-Star. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Unlike black conductors who had escaped earlier or had been born free in the North, John Parker, after an unsuccessful attempt to escape, bought his freedom in the Deep South in 1845, headed north to the "Borderland south of the Ohio river," and became one of the networks to freedom for fugitive slaves, particularly from Kentucky. As an iron molder, he was among the few blacks during that period in America to obtain patents for a series of inventions. Published here for the first time, his picturesque narrative clarifies the striking similarity between the slave trade in tropical Africa and in the United States. Parker constantly mentions slave breeding, a shameful enterprise not often discussed. Over a period of years he assisted hundreds of fugitives en route to Canada and elsewhere. His narrative is a worthwhile addition to the literary slave narrative tradition that includes Charles Webber's Underground Railroad, James McGowan's Life & Letters of Thomas Garrett, and Wilbur Siebert's Mysteries of Ohio's Underground Railroad. Highly recommended for all libraries collecting materials on African American studies. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/96.]Edward G. McCormack, Univ. of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Long Beach
School Library Journal
YAParker's recently discovered manuscript is action-packed adventure from his first memories as an eight-year-old slave in chains to his defiant involvement in leading fugitive slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad station in Ripley, Ohio. Parker's early experiences made him "designing, hateful, and determined." He became an iron molder by choice but an abolitionist by chance. This book presents the man's personal history and many of the episodes he accidentally experienced or willingly engaged in to bring other African Americans to his "Promised Land." The original document is printed with only minimal editing. Illegible writing has been guessed at; missing words have been added and placed in brackets. A necessary purchase for libraries wanting to extend their collection of African-American leaders or their coverage of the Underground Railroad during America's Civil War.Dottie Kraft, formerly at Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A rip-roaring adventure yarn lies at the heart of this recently discovered autobiography.

Fortunately, editor Sprague, of Morehead State University, mostly lets Parker speak for himself, which the former slave does eloquently. So eloquently, in fact, that the reader wonders at Sprague's assertion that this account "has the slight rough edge associated with oral history." The rough edges seem nearly all smoothed over—probably by Frank Moody Gregg, the white reporter to whom Parker dictated his wonderful tale. Parker (18271900) was a slave whose owners taught him to read and gave him a useful trade. Iron molding was so lucrative, ultimately, that Parker used his wages from it to buy his freedom. He started up a business of his own, married, and had several children, three of whom went on to graduate college. As fascinating as his revealed life was, however, the true excitement of this account comes from Parker's secret activities in the Underground Railroad in Ripley, Ohio, a hotbed of abolitionism when Parker moved there in 1849. Parker tells of traps and daring rescues, near escapes and noble sacrifices. One man gave up his own freedom so that a husband and wife could escape together. Another woman, the "Eliza" of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, crossed the Ohio River with her baby as the ice cracked under her and dogs barked at her heels. Although Parker was not directly involved in Eliza's escape, it is because of her that this autobiography exists at all: It was while researching Harriet Beecher Stowe's tale that Frank Moody Gregg stumbled onto the amazing Parker.

The rest is history of the best kind—both highly entertaining and informative.

Jonathan Yardley - Washington Post
“John P. Parker was an extraordinary man . . . a person who spent much of his life facing racial battles yet saw the world through colorblind eyes. . . . As a slave seeking escape and then as a free man aiding others, fighting 'my own little personal war on slavery,' [Parker] lived a perpetual Perils of Paul and did so with unending zest. . . . Now he can be given his due.”
Nell Irvin Painter
“Riveting. . . . Astonishing and believable.”
Washington Post - Jonathan Yardley
“John P. Parker was an extraordinary man . . . a person who spent much of his life facing racial battles yet saw the world through colorblind eyes. . . . As a slave seeking escape and then as a free man aiding others, fighting 'my own little personal war on slavery,' [Parker] lived a perpetual Perils of Paul and did so with unending zest. . . . Now he can be given his due.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393039412
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/1996
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)