Slavery

History By the Slice Heroines

Jennifer Goran, the Champaign actress who portrays Ellen Craft, the hero of my novel, The Vanishing Woman, was recently featured by the Champaign newspaper, The News Gazette. Jennifer mentions her new venture, portraying "History...

‘The Lincoln League’ Available as E-Book!

You can now purchase my new novel, The Lincoln League, in e-book formats--Kindle, iBook, and Nook. The Lincoln League is inspired by the true story of John Scobell, one of the first African American spies for...

Where Book Covers Come From–Part 1

When I did a presentation at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati last fall, one of the people at the museum said jokingly, "The women here were wondering if the man on...

The New Abolitionists

Going Out on a Limb to Stop a Fast-Growing Crime: Modern Slavery   Miller McKim would never forget the day that a Richmond shoemaker named Samuel Smith showed up at his Philadelphia office with a most...

One Book, One Community–And One Film

Canton Group Brings The Disappearing Man to Life Furious, the overseer stepped away from Mamma and kicked up dust with his boot...Then he picked up a stick, a sturdy one, and circled Mamma like he...

What Was the Real Lincoln League?

Timothy Webster, the most famous spy during the first year of the Civil War, first encountered the Lincoln League when he was taken to a secluded hideout in the woods. He was taken there...

The Ohio Underground

Canton, Ohio, Embraces The Disappearing Man There's something about Ohio. Cincinnati, Ohio, is home of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, where I first discovered the story of Henry "Box" Brown and his incredible escape from...

The Myth of Black Confederates

My two worlds converged recently. In my world as a writer for the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I recently did a story about the "Myth of Black Confederates"--a subject that...

The Civil War’s First Martyr

Elijah Lovejoy's Last Stand Mobs had already destroyed Elijah Lovejoy's printing press three times, and they were aiming for a fourth time in November of 1837. Lovejoy, a Presbyterian minister, had riled up people in St....

Henry’s Freedom Box

Caldecott Honor Book Joins The Disappearing Man in Canton Festivities I first came across Henry Brown's incredible story while visiting Cincinnati for the premiere of the VeggieTales movie, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. At...