Thomas Garrett, a Quaker from Wilmington, Delaware, had a genial disposition unless provoked to defend his strong anti-slavery beliefs. He believed strongly in the Underground
Railroad and in helping slaves escape and chafed under the Quaker belief in non-violence. When he died in 1871, Wilmington’s black community saluted him as "their Moses."
Station Master on the Underground Railroad was an important work in antebellum reform when it was first published in 1977. Author James McGowan disputed earlier arguments that white abolitionists were unified in their opposition to slavery and that they were largely responsible for the success of the Underground Railroad while the escaped slaves were helpless and frightened passengers who took advantage of a well-organized network. The present volume has been revised (in 2005) to include new information on Garrett’s relationship with Harriet Tubman and the abolitionist newspaper editor William Lloyd Garrison. Now published in paperback, the book also gives readers a new perspective on Thomas Garrett, recognizing his shortcomings as well as the uncompromising nature of his Quaker faith.
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