African American Slave Narratives: An Anthology - Vol. 3

By Sterling Lecater Bland Jr. | Go to book overview

EDITORIAL NOTES TORUNNING A THOUSAND MILES FOR FREEDOM
1.
The biographical details of William and Ellen Craft’s lives are drawn from Blackett, Beating Against the Barriers, 87–137.
2.
The Liberator, January 12, February 2, 1849. Quoted in Blackett, Beating Against the Barriers, 90.
3.
Anti-Slavery Standard, December 26, 1850. Quoted in Blackett, Beating Against the Barriers, 96. The biblical quotation is taken from Matthew 7:16, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” and Matthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
4.
Blackett, Beating Against the Barriers, 127.
5.
Acts 17:26, “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.”
6.
The distance William and Ellen traveled is roughly 1,000 miles.
7.
John Milton (1608–1674) wrote Paradise Lost (1667) in an attempt to “justify the ways of God to man.” The poem narrates the creation, Satan’s fall from grace, and his attempts to get revenge on God by corrupting God’s creation, Adam and Eve.
8.
The Reverend George Bourne (1780–1845) was an antislavery minister who published Picture of Slavery in the United States of America (1834). Reverend Bourne was also known for numerous other works, including a history of Napoleon Bonaparte.
9.
A calaboose is a jail.
10.
Job 3:17.
11.
Delirium tremens is a combination of symptoms caused by excessive use of alcohol. These symptoms include mental confusion, disorientation, and slurred speech, and is often accompanied by hallucinations.
12.
A two-wheeled, one-horse carriage with springs.
13.
The disciple, called Iscariot, who betrayed Christ.
14.
A pass is a note or letter of permission from their owner that all slaves were required to carry during travel.
15.
Black slavery, more fully called “peculiar domestic institution of the South.”
16.
Welts caused by whipping.
17.
A soft composition of bread, bran, herbs, etc., that is heated and spread on a cloth. The concoction is then applied to sores or inflamed areas of the body to provide warmth, moisture, and, sometimes, antiseptic qualities.
18.
A nickname referring to someone from the northern states.
19.
At first view.
20.
Souls relegated to hell.
21.
Dred Scott was enslaved to John Emerson, an army surgeon who lived in Missouri. According to the Compromise of 1820, Missouri was a slave state. In 1834, Scott accompanied Emerson to live in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory, both free areas, before they returned to Missouri. After Emerson’s death, Scott petitioned the courts for his freedom on the basis of the time he had lived in free territory. The case reached the Supreme Court, which, in 1857, ruled against Scott. The decision declared that neither slaves nor free blacks could claim United States citizenship. The court further decided that Congress could not prohibit slavery in territories of the United States.

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