Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground

Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground

by Ann Hagedorn, A. Hagedorn
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Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This wonderful work of non-fiction was just named one of 25 Notable Books of 2004 by the American Library Association. A panel of judges compiles this annual list of 25 very good, very readable and very important books. Beyond the River deserves this lofty honor. The book is a beautifully written and painstakingly researched account of some of the abolitionist hereoes who helped usher escaping slaves to freedom in Ripley, Ohio in the years leading up to the Civil War. It brings to life the personalities, the passions and the emotions that ran rampant during this turbulent time in our nation's history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a child growing up in Cincinnati, I often heard vague stories about the Underground Railroad, about houses along the Ohio River's edge which had secret cellars and tunnels, about some of the men and women who worked to set the slaves free. In photographs, the freedom fighters appeared old and desiccated to my child's eye, making it difficult to imagine the heroic and dangerous lives they led. This book vividly brings those heroes to life in this 'War Before the War' by focusing primarily on a tiny corner of the world (Ripley, Ohio) and an abolitionist leader, John Rankin. The research is so extensive that at times, one might feel bogged down by details but then again, it was those details (especially some of the cold, hard economic ones) which made the story so real and immediate, and demonstrated the power and control the Southern states had over the nation. For example, a major concern for slavers was the fact that every escaped slave represented a loss of 'capital' and they wanted somebody to pay for that. So, when the Suspension Bridge was proposed across the Ohio River between Covington and Cincinnati, it was stipulated that the bridge's owners would be financially liable for any slaves using it as a means of escape. By the way, Cincinnati is the home of the soon-to-open National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.