In 1848, an ingenious couple escaped from slavery in Macon, Georgia. William and Ellen Craft (1824-1900; 1826-1891) traveled openly by train, steamship and carriage to arrive in free Philadelphia on Christmas Day. Ellen, who could pass for white, disguised herself as a gentleman slaveholder; William accompanied her as his "master's" devoted slave valet. One of the most dramatic stories in American history is the focus of a new book by Barbara McCaskill and the subject of her book talk at the Russell Library next Monday:
McCaskill, an associate professor of English at the University of Georgia, will speak on "The Rise and Fall of William and Ellen Craft, Fugitives from Slavery in Georgia" May 18 at 3 p.m. in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.
Based on her recent book from UGA Press, "Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory," McCaskill's talk will be followed by a reception and book signing. The event is open free to the public.
"Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery" is McCaskill's fourth scholarly book. She also is co-director of the Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative and the Georgia Projects co-director of People Not Property.
Sounds like a terrific combination of engaged scholarship and literary thriller. This talk should whet your appetite for the book, a great collaboration between the UGA press, the libraries and one of the university's most outstanding scholars. And not a bad way to spend Monday afternoon.