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Flee north : a forgotten hero and the fight for freedom in slavery's borderland  Cover Image Book Book

Flee north : a forgotten hero and the fight for freedom in slavery's borderland

Shane, Scott 1954- (author.).

Summary: "A riveting account of the extraordinary abolitionist, liberator, and writer Thomas Smallwood, who bought his own freedom, led hundreds out of slavery, and popularized the term "underground railroad," from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, Scott Shane. Flee North tells the story for the first time of an American hero all but lost to history. Born into slavery, Thomas Smallwood was free, self-educated, and working as a shoemaker a short walk from the U.S. Capitol by the 1840s. He recruited a young white activist, Charles Torrey, and together they began to organize mass escapes from Washington, Baltimore, and surrounding counties to freedom in the north. They were racing against an implacable enemy: men like Hope Slatter, the region's leading slave trader, part of a lucrative industry that would tear one million enslaved people from their families and sell them to the brutal cotton and sugar plantations of the deep south. Men, women, and children in imminent danger of being sold south turned to Smallwood, who risked his own freedom to battle what he called "the most inhuman system that ever blackened the pages of history." And he documented the escapes in satirical newspaper columns, mocking the slaveholders, the slave traders and the police who worked for them. At a time when Americans are rediscovering a tragic and cruel history and struggling anew with the legacy of white supremacy, this book -- the first to tell the extraordinary story of Smallwood -- will offer complicated heroes, genuine villains, and a powerful narrative set in cities still plagued by shocking racial inequity today"--

Item details

  • ISBN: 9781250843210
  • ISBN: 1250843219
  • ISBN: 9781250843227
  • Physical Description: print
    viii, 340 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color), maps ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York, NY : Celadon Books, a division of Macmillan Publishers, 2023.

Contents / Notes

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note: The most inhuman system that ever blackened the pages of history -- Until no slave should be found in our land -- That mock metropolis of freedom -- The flesh-mongers -- Slavery's borderland -- Safe from the fangs of Robert Gilmor -- The laughingstock letters -- That vile wretch Slatter -- Very vigilant officers! -- Between two fires -- A fugitive from justice -- Perhaps reckless -- Let the strife go on -- Fly to Canada, and begin anew -- Resident capitalist -- No breeze comes.
Subject: Smallwood, Thomas 1801-1883
Torrey, Charles T. (Charles Turner) 1813-1846
Slatter, Hope H. (Hope Hull) 1790-1853
African American abolitionists Biography
Abolitionists United States Biography
Underground Railroad
Slave trade United States History 19th century
Fugitive slaves United States History 19th century
Toronto (Ont.) Biography
Abolitionnistes noirs américains Biographies
Abolitionnistes États-Unis Biographies
Underground Railroad
Esclaves Commerce États-Unis Histoire 19e siècle
Esclaves fugitifs États-Unis Histoire 19e siècle
HISTORY / United States / General
Torrey, Charles T. (Charles Turner) 1813-1846
African American abolitionists
Fugitive slaves
Slave trade
Underground Railroad
Ontario Toronto
United States
Genre: Biography.

Currently available copies

  • 12 out of 14 copies are currently available at PINES. (Show)
  • 1 out of 1 copy are currently available at Athens Regional Library System.


  • 2 current holds on 14 total copies.
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Library System: Library Branch Name
Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status  
Athens Regional Library System:
      Athens-Clarke County Library
NONFIC 973.7115 SHANE ( Send Text)
31001006193149 NEW-BKS Available

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