January 5th, 2016
In “Gateway to Freedom,” Pulitzer-Prize winning scholar, Eric Foner delves into American slavery and freedom, focusing on New York City, where slavery continued even after it was abolished. New York also had the largest free black community, where slave-catchers trolled, often selling free children into slavery in the south. Abolitionists and free blacks formed the New York Vigilance Committee in 1835 and by the 1840s was a thriving network which became known as the underground railroad.
Using the formerly secret records of Sydney Howard Gay, Foner develops an inspiring chronicle, introducing characters formerly unknown to the history books. This 2015 book is also available for immediate download via Hoopla, which provides free movies, music, television, and audiobooks.
Looking for more Underground Railroad stories? Check out the DVD “Underground Railroad: the William Still Story,” a compelling tale of William Still, one of the most unheralded individuals of the Underground Railroad. There’s also a book of journals published by William Still called “The Underground Railroad: Authentic Narratives and First-Hand Accounts.”
If you’re interested in local history about the Underground Railroad, visit the Chesapeake City Branch, Monday, January 11 at 6:30 PM when Historian Milt Diggins explores the Underground Railroad through the Baltimore-Wilmington-Philadelphia corridor and how the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal played an important part of this history. Or he will present Regional Tales of the Underground Railroad at the Perryville Branch, Wednesday, February 17 at 7 PM.
What do you know about the Underground Railroad?