The overlooked story of the abolitionist movement is brought back to life in an engaging and accessible account.
By Scott Shane ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 19, 2023
Thomas Smallwood and Charles Torrey were two men who made a significant impact in the fight against slavery before the Civil War. Smallwood, a freedman, was a shoemaker in Washington and Baltimore who was known for helping enslaved people escape to Canada on a large scale. He would load up to 15 people into a wagon and drive them north, evading the slave patrollers. Torrey, an abolitionist from New England, was just as daring and often sent mocking letters to slaveholders after their “chattels” had been safely delivered to Canada. Smallwood eventually had to remain in Canada due to the number of enemies he had made, and he even referred to himself as the “general agent of all the branches of the National Underground Railroad, Steam Packet, Canal and Foot-it Company.” Torrey, however, is the one who is remembered in history books as a hero, as he died of tuberculosis while in prison after being caught. Both men should be remembered and honored for their bravery and courage in risking their lives to help others. One of their chief tormentors was killed by yellow fever, which ironically had first been brought to the New World on slave ships from Africa.
Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Celadon Books
Review Posted Online: June 29, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023