Tag: Underground Railroad

Printed newspaper ad for the return of a self-liberating African American woman.

For the Cause of Freedom: William Still and Abolitionist Data Collection

Emeline Chapman faced a difficult choice in the summer of 1856. As an enslaved woman in Washington, D.C., Chapman and her husband John Henry were raising a young family while enduring the daily struggles of enslavement. Chapman’s enslaver, Emily Thompson, profited by regularly hiring her out to different White residents ...
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A New “Alternative” History: Ben Winters’s <i>Underground Airlines</i>

A New “Alternative” History: Ben Winters’s Underground Airlines

Because most are poorly-plotted, barely-disguised apologies for the Lost Cause, many historians have a low tolerance for “alternative histories” of the Civil War. Whether in the form of Confederate memorials like Silent Sam or Harry Turtledove novels, folks love to fantasize about what the United States would have been like if ...
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The Underground Railroad in Art and History: A Review of Colson Whitehead’s Novel

Colson Whitehead’s eerily brilliant and deceptively simple novel, The Underground Railroad, is much more than a fictional account of historical reality. Like all inspired works of art, the book, even at its most fantastical, deftly unearths the horrible truth at the heart of racial slavery in a manner that very ...
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'Break Free’ From A One-Dimensional Portrayal of Slavery:  WGN’s new series, "Underground"

‘Break Free’ From A One-Dimensional Portrayal of Slavery: WGN’s new series, “Underground”

In the 1872 narrative, The Underground Rail Road, William Still stated that he owed “it to the cause of Freedom, and to the Fugitives and their posterity” to bring the activities of the Underground to “the public in the most truthful manner…to show what efforts were made and what success ...
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Screenshot 2016-02-01 at 8.43.34 AM

Slavery 101: Slate’s “History of American Slavery” Podcast

In the inaugural Slate Academy, Slate history writer Rebecca Onion, and Slate’s chief political correspondent, Jamelle Bouie offer a podcast series billed as the “college course you wish you’d taken.” Onion’s and Bouie’s course – The History of American Slavery – outlines the development of American slavery by focusing on ...
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