EW Reviews a big fat book in 30 seconds flat
In Bound for Canaan, Fergus M. Bordewich delves into the history of the Underground Railroad for escaped slaves from the antebellum South. If the 439-page journey seems daunting, here are some highlights.
· The exact origin of the railroad metaphor remains unknown. Some credit an angry slave owner; others, Emmor Kimber and Elijah Pennypacker, who helped fugitives and developed early railroads around Philadelphia in the 1830s.
· Lucretia Mott, later a women’s rights pioneer, was one of the speakers at the first national conference of abolitionists in 1833.
· During the Civil War, some Southerners used ”Underground Railroad” to describe the path of escaped Confederate prisoners returning to the South from Yankee jails.
· Harriet Tubman, a spy in Union-occupied South Carolina, was the first woman in U.S. history to lead a detachment of troops in battle.