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The Underground Railroad

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Allen Jay and the Underground Railroad
by Marlene Targ Brill, Janice Lee Porter (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Library Binding (June 1993)
Carolrhoda Books; ISBN: 0876147767

Barefoot : Escape on the Underground Railroad
by Pamela Duncan Edwards (Author), Henry Cole (Illustrator)

Beyond the River: A True Story of the Underground Railroad
Beyond the River: A True Story of the Underground Railroad
by Ann Hagedorn
Book Description: Beyond the River brings to brilliant life the dramatic story of the forgotten heroes of the Ripley, Ohio, line of the Underground Railroad. 

The decades preceding the Civil War were rife with fierce sectarian violence along the borders between slave and free states. The Ohio River was one such border. Here in the river towns of Ohio and Kentucky, abolitionists and slave chasers confronted each other during the "war before the war." Slave masters and bounty hunters chased runaway slaves from Kentucky into Ohio, hoping to catch their quarry before the slaves disappeared on the underground path to freedom. In the river town of Ripley, the slave hunters inevitably confronted John Rankin and his determined, courageous colleagues. 

One of the early abolitionist leaders, Rankin began his career when he wrote a series of letters denouncing his brother's recent purchase of a slave in Virginia. The letters were collected and published as Letters on American Slavery and influenced William Lloyd Garrison, among others. Rankin, a Presbyterian minister and a farmer, bought property on a high hilltop overlooking Ripley and the Ohio River. His house was visible for miles into Kentucky, and he hung a lantern at night to help guide runaways. He and his fellow abolitionists, both black and white, formed the front line of freedom, and some of them paid a high price for it. 

In 1838, abolitionist John B. Mahan, a colleague of Rankin's, was lured into a trap and transported to Kentucky for one of the most celebrated trials of the era. Charged with breaking Kentucky laws, even though he had not been in the state for nearly twenty years, he was imprisoned in a windowless cell for three months, shackled at his wrists and ankles. At his trial, slaveholders tried in vain to identify and break the Ripley line "conductors." 

Another celebrated conductor on the Ripley line, John Parker, a former slave himself, was regarded as the most daring of the Ohio abolitionists. He made dozens of trips across the river into Kentucky to bring out slaves trying to escape, risking his life and his own freedom every time. 

Ann Hagedorn moved to Ripley from her home in New York City to research and write this book. Ripley's historic area is little changed from antebellum days, and Rankin's house still stands high on the hill behind the town. With this enthralling and compelling book, she has restored John Rankin and the Ohio abolitionists to their proper place in American history as heroes of the Underground Railroad.
Hardcover from Simon & Schuster

Beyond the River : The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad
by Ann Hagedorn
Paperback from Simon & Schuster

Delia Webster and the Underground Railroad
Randolph Paul Runyon, William Albert Davis
Paperback - 264 pages (December )
Univ Pr of Kentucky; ISBN: 0813109744

Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad
by Jacqueline L. Tobin, et al
When quiltmaker Ozella McDaniels told Jacqueline Tobin of the Underground Railroad Quilt Code, it sparked Tobin to place the tale within the history of the Underground Railroad. Hidden in Plain View documents Tobin and Raymond Dobard's journey of discovery, linking Ozella's stories to other forms of hidden communication from history books, codes, and songs. Each quilt, which could be laid out to air without arousing suspicion, gave slaves directions for their escape. Ozella tells Tobin how quilt patterns like the wagon wheel, log cabin, and shoofly signaled slaves how and when to prepare for their journey. Stitching and knots created maps, showing slaves the way to safety.

The authors construct history around Ozella's story, finding evidence in cultural artifacts like slave narratives, folk songs, spirituals, documented slave codes, and children's' stories. Tobin and Dobard write that "from the time of slavery until today, secrecy was one way the black community could protect itself. If the white man didn't know what was going on, he couldn't seek reprisals." Hidden in Plain View is a multilayered and unique piece of scholarship, oral history, and cultural exploration that reveals slaves as deliberate agents in their own quest for freedom even as it shows that history can sometimes be found where you least expect it. --Amy Wan -
Paperback: 220 pages
Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Trd Pap); ISBN: 0385497679; (January 18, )

His Promised Land : The Autobiography of John P. Parker, Former Slave and Conductor on the Underground Railroad
John P. Parker, Stuart Seely Sprague (Editor)
John Parker was born a slave in Virginia but managed to buy his freedom. He hated the injustice of slavery, and so for about 20 years before the Civil War devoted his life to the dangerous work of helping other blacks escape to freedom. This is one of only a few accounts of a black American's fight against slavery in his own words. Unpublished for nearly a century, it brings to life the American frontier of the mid-18th century in as thrilling a fashion as any John Ford film or historical novel.
Paperback: 165 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.43 x 7.88 x 5.29
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company;
ISBN: 0393317188

Let My People Go : The Story of the Underground Railroad and the Growth of the Abolition Movement (Southern Classics Series)
Henrietta Buckmaster, et al
Paperback / Published 1992

The Liberty Line : The Legend of the Underground Railroad
Larry Gara

The Underground Railroad in Floyd County, Indiana
by Pamela R. Peters

Under the Quilt of Night
by Deborah Hopkinson, James Ransome (Illustrator)
(School & Library Binding)

A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, 1859 (Dear America)
by Pat McKissack
Listed under the Dear America Series

The Story of Harriet Tubman, Conductor of the Underground Railroad
by Kate McMullan
(Paperback - January 1991)

The Underground Railroad in American History (In American History)
by Kem Knapp Sawyer, Kam Knapp Sawyer
(Library Binding)

Hippocrene Guide to the Underground Railroad
Charles L. Blockson / Hardcover 
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