This book marks an important episode in American history. In 1619 Africans kidnapped from the dark continent were sold into slavery in Jamestown, Virginia. By 1860 there were some 3,950,000 souls enslaved in America.
Though the Northern States abolished slavery by July 4th 1827, the fugitive slave law was imposed in 1850, with heavy fines or imprisonment for those helping runaways. In spite of this 36,000 slaves made it to freedom.