I've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad by Karolyn Smardz FrostI've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad by Karolyn Smardz Frost

I've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad

byKarolyn Smardz Frost

Paperback | December 22, 2007

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Winner of the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction, 2007

It was the day before Independence Day, 1831. As his bride, Lucie, was about to be "sold down the river" to the slave markets of New Orleans, young Thornton Blackburn planned a daring - and successful - daylight escape from Louisville. But they were discovered by slave catchers in Michigan and slated to return to Kentucky in chains, until the black community rallied to their cause. The Blackburn Riot of 1833 was the first racial uprising in Detroit history.

Karolyn Smardz Frost is an archaeologist, historian and award-winning author who teaches at York and Acadia. Her book I've Got a Home in Glory Land won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction in 2007. She co-edited A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland, which won the His...
Title:I've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground RailroadFormat:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.25 inPublished:December 22, 2007Publisher:DundurnLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0887623387

ISBN - 13:9780887623387

Customer Reviews of I've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Land of Canaan In this harrowing tale of terror, resistance, love, and emancipation Archeologist Karolyn Smardz Frost has brought to life the stories of fugitive slaves Thornton Blackburn and his wife Lucie Blackburn in their journey to Canada in what is now known as "The Underground Railroad" during the 19th century. The significance of the Blackburns lies in the amazing journey they took to freedom, and their subsequent activities in facilitating the flight of future slaves and their work as abolitionists leading up to the Civil War period. Frost shines as a narrator bringing to life the painstaking research she has done to piece together the lives of these remarkable individuals. As a work of non-fiction, Frost is well-deserving of the Governor General Award for 2007. For the most part, Frost gets all the historical details correct. The brutality of the Cotton King plantation slavocracy, the merciless slave traders, the determination of the abolitionists, enduring racism in British North America (BNA), and the Civil War triangulation between US, BNA and Britain. The greatest accomplishment of Frost's book is to show "the manipulations of personal relationships [between] masters, mistress, and other whites" (p64). In other words, the master/slave relationship was much more complicated than it appeared on the surface and Frost is able give us a glimpse of this complexity through the relationships between Thornton and his masters, and Ruthie (as she was known before she fled) and her masters. Frost is also able to combine elements of romance and suspense through the difficulties they encountered to hide the love for each other and ultimately their desire to be with one another which led them on their harrowing journey to earn their liberty. Having said that, there are a few minor blemishes in detail of the book. Firstly, Frost would like to have the reader believe that the number of refugee slaves that fled to BNA was upwards of 30,000. Recent figures based on Canadian census data puts the figure at less than 5,000 and US census data at approxiamately 6,000. Frost acknowledges this, but states that census data was highly unreliable. However, Frost contradicts herself here as she relies heavily on much of this "unreliable" census data herself for research in this book. The figure could very well be 30,000 or more, however, there is no factual data that proves this. As flawed as they are, the only data we have to draw from are the census figures which both put the number between 5 and 6,000. The other minor historical blemish is the omission of Vancouver Island and James Douglas as a primary destination of many fugitive slaves in BNA. James Douglas himself being part Creole, actively campaigned to settle refugee slaves in his colonial territory as a way to dissuade American annexation. Despite the minor errors, "I've Got a Home in Glory Land" is a significant contribution to the Underground Railroad literature. The story of the Blackburns should be added alongside pioneers such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Sojournor Truth who won their own freedom then fought to break the chains of slavery for so many others.
Date published: 2008-08-23

Editorial Reviews

A vivid historic tale of slavery, freedom, love and history... - The Intelligencer, Belleville