His Promised Land: The Autobiography of John P. Parker, Former Slave and Conductor on the Underground Railroad

By John P. Parker

"Surpasses all prior slave narratives. . . . frequently we have to invent our American heroes. With the ebook of Parker's impressive memoir, we appear to have found the real article." ―Joseph J. Ellis, Civilization

John P. Parker is among the few African americans whose conflict opposed to slavery we will be able to now flip to in his personal phrases. He recounts dramatically how he helped fugitive slaves to go the Ohio River from Kentucky and move north to freedom. He risked his life―hiding in coffins, diving off a steamboat with bounty hunters on his trail―and his freedom to struggle for the liberty of his humans.

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As she used to be status there attempting to make up her brain [what] to do, the lads and the canines got here down the financial institution at her, with one of these rush she was once pressured to rush on or be captured. As she ran out at the ice the canines have been at her heels, yet refused to move additional. unusual because it could seem, the ice held till she disappeared in[to] the darkness. whilst the boys got here down the financial institution they yelled for her back after which started firing their pistols over her head. The sound of the bullets drove her on swifter and quicker until eventually, coming to a weak point, she went during the tender ice into the river.

You could think this video game of hide-and-go-seek used to be now not with no its excitements and tragedies, which known as into play the nerve and braveness of fine males on each side of this probability line. The good fortune of the fugitives was once completely based upon a couple of conscientious males north of the road who bought no repayment, in reality, made themselves negative serving the helpless fugitives who got here to their doorways. The fugitives in such a lot circumstances needed to look after themselves south of the road, yet as soon as around the Ohio River they have been within the arms in their pals.

One of the humans I knew in cellular was once a widow named Mrs. Ryder. She was once a sufferer of the doctor’s, so I have been to her domestic a few instances. To her I now went asking her to shop for my freedom, letting me pay her again from my gains. She was once frank adequate to inform me that the proposition didn't attract her, simply because i used to be consistently in hassle, and will now not maintain a task. From her I went to numerous different filthy rich humans, yet bought completely no encouragement. i used to be a puppy with a nasty identify, which used to be in reality very undesirable.

36 all of the boatyards are long past. The flatboats have disappeared years in the past, no longer even a steamboat may be visible. That staff of capable financiers and businessmen are long past and with one exception no longer a kith or kinfolk of these busy males is left on the town. the lads and ladies of the city of Ripley have handed on. infrequently a reminiscence of them now exists, other than within the brain of some elderly voters like myself. So fast does our kingdom switch in its facilities of exchange yet [also] in its equipment of alternate. however the Ohio River nonetheless continues to be a specific thing of genuine good looks to me.

Joe with ax in hand stood contained in the door, prepared for motion, listening yet stubbornly refused to offer me up. Tom and invoice retired to their shanty. there have been uninteresting thuds. Joe threw open the door and that i observed Tom with an ax in hand, as our boat swung away from the opposite boats. He had reduce the rope tying the boats jointly. As they can no longer get rid of me, they trapped Joe by means of sending him adrift with me on board. It was once now as much as Joe to put off me. It used to be my plan that Joe followed to impact this objective.

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