Husband and wife William and Ellen Craft’s break from slavery in 1848 was perhaps the most extraordinary in American history. Numerous newspaper reports in the United States and abroad told of how the two—fair-skinned Ellen disguised as a white slave master and William posing as her servant—negotiated heart-pounding brushes with discovery while fleeing Macon, Georgia, for Philadelphia and eventually Boston. No account, though, conveyed the ingenuity, daring, good fortune, and love that characterized their flight for freedom better than the couple’s own version, published in 1860, a remarkable authorial accomplishment only twelve years beyond illiteracy. Now their stirring first-person narrative and Richard Blackett's excellent interpretive pieces are brought together in one volume to tell the complete story of the Crafts.
Richard J. M. Blackett is the Andrew Jackson Professor of History at Vanderbilt University and the author of several books about nineteenth-century history, including Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War.
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