More than any other scholar, Eric Foner has influenced our understanding of America's history. Now, making brilliant use of extraordinary evidence, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian once again reconfigures the national saga of American slavery and freedom.
As a conductor for the Underground Railroad - the covert resistance network created to aid and protect slaves seeking freedom - William Still helped as many as 800 people escape enslavement. He also meticulously collected the letters, biographical sketches, arrival memos, and ransom notes of the escapees. The Underground Railroad Records is an archive of primary documents that trace the narrative arc of the greatest, most successful campaign of civil disobedience in American history.
The dramatic story of fugitive slaves and the antislavery activists who defied the law to help them reach freedom. They are little known to history: Sydney Howard Gay, an abolitionist newspaper editor; Louis Napoleon, a furniture polisher; Charles B. Ray, a black minister. At great risk they operated the Underground Railroad in New York, a city whose businesses, banks, and politics were deeply enmeshed in the slave economy.
In secret coordination with black dockworkers who alerted them to the arrival of fugitives and with counterparts in Norfolk, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Albany, and Syracuse, underground-railroad operatives in New York helped more than 3,000 fugitive slaves reach freedom between 1830 and 1860. Their defiance of the notorious Fugitive Slave Law inflamed the South. White and black, educated and illiterate, they were heroic figures in the ongoing struggle between slavery and freedom. Making brilliant use of fresh evidence - including the meticulous record of slave rescues secretly kept by Gay - Eric Foner elevates the underground railroad from folklore to sweeping history.
Eric Foner talked about his book Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, in which he examines the efforts of free blacks and white abolitionists to secure freedom for fugitive slaves during the mid-19th century. In his book, the author recounts the development of the New York Vigilance Committee in 1835 as protection against slave kidnappings that occurred in New York City. This group spawned similar organizations throughout the North and ultimately lead to a network that secured the freedom of over 3,000 slaves. He spoke with Edna Greene Medford, chair of the history department at Howard University. close 781b155fdc