Slavery

The Nastiest Fence in the United States

The fence you see in these photos has to be the wickedest looking fence I have ever laid eyes upon. It is perhaps the most dangerous non-electrified fence in the country. My wife and I...

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 and Nancy

Canton Actors Bring a Remarkable Couple to Life When a friend first approached Roslyn Pratt about playing Nancy Brown in the Canton film production of The Disappearing Man, her first reaction was "Oh no, you...

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...

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...

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...

Slaves Without Masters

Free Blacks Lived on the Edge Between Slavery and Freedom   When Henry Brown arrived in Richmond in 1830 at the age of 15, the city boasted a population of roughly 16,000--half of which were African-American....

Hats Off to Historical Clothing

The Clothing of Slaves Bloomed on Sundays Henry's face lit up when he spotted the mystery girl coming straight toward them, with a friend flanking her on either side--all of them carrying white parasols and...

Boxed In

Slave Patrols and Passes Aimed to Keep Slaves Under Control Henry made his way north through the dark alleys behind the buildings along Fourteenth Street. The darkness was heavy like a tomb, giving Henry a...

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...