In the early to mid-19th century, Isaac Brown, a slave, was once accused of the tried homicide of a sought after plantation proprietor, regardless of there being no proof of his guilt. Brown, after enduring brutal floggings, used to be shipped to a brand new Orleans slave pen. From there the imaginitive Brown used to be in a position to make a bold get away to Philadelphia within the loose kingdom of Pennsylvania. His largest errors used to be writing a word informing his loose spouse and eleven young children in Maryland of his whereabouts. The observe used to be intercepted and resulted in his arrest and extradition again to Maryland.
While engaged in gaining knowledge of an ancestor named Isaac Brown, Bryan Prince encountered the very high-profile case of what became out to be a distinct Isaac Brown. the tale of this slave, with its end result in Brown's dramatic get away and supreme luck in crossing the border into Canada, is the riveting topic of historian Bryan Prince's most recent book.
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Additional resources for One More River to Cross
The land, which had a gradual descending northerly slope from Lake Erie towards the Thames River, used to be surveyed into fifty-acre plenty and made to be had on the modest fee of $2. 50 an acre with a ten-year compensation time period. broad assurance in North American and British newspapers and in anti-slavery circles introduced loads of confident consciousness to the payment, and inside a decade over a thousand runaways and loose males got here and took up place of abode there. a number of thousand extra uninhabited acres surrounding the payment attracted thousands extra blacks who wanted to have an emotional, social, and actual tie to this grand project. Isaac Brown could ultimately be in that staff, yet no longer for an additional decade after his arrival in Canada. situated at the banks of the River Thames, midway among the sunrise and Elgin Settlements and nonetheless in the confines of Kent County, used to be the city of Chatham. The Voice of the Fugitive newspaper mentioned that during the mid-nineteenth century the inhabitants used to be 2,070, residing in either body and brick houses. They belonged to “congregations of the entire prime Christian denominations” and town had: [S]everal reliable colleges, a circulating library, six Divines, six Physicians, six legal professionals, 3 deputy Provincial Surveyors, 3 Apothecaries, retailers’ outlets and shops past quantity: there are laptop retailers and Steam Engine factories, Iron and Brass Foundries. There are ten Steam Engines in energetic operation in several institutions, 5 Flour and Grist Mill, and extra being erected. 3 top quality Steam Boats belong to the port, with numerous of the best Sail Vessels upon the Lakes. Proving that there has been whatever for everybody, the thing endured to boast that “there are 3 Breweries, every one production selection specimens of that scrumptious beverage known as Beer, 3 Distilleries of Whiskey and one Tobacco Manufactory. ” it sounds as if combating an uphill conflict have been “two inns belonging to The Sons of Temperance. ” Rounding out the outline have been “two Brick Yards, and Mechanics’ Artisans, &c. , of each important description. ” within the 1850s, nearly one-third of Chatham’s inhabitants was once of African descent and the newly included city obtained effusive compliment as a vacation spot for fugitives.  The Frederick Douglass’ Paper proclaimed that it used to be “‘a blessed urban of shelter’ for the down-trodden … it really is Liberia of the North, supplied via Heaven for the fugitive. ” an analogous article notes that the black citizens “are wealthy and satisfied” and “whenever a fugitive arrives, he meets a joyous welcome, and straight away unearths employment and solid help. ” one other customer famous that regardless of sour prejudice, he “found coloured males prosecuting a number of the basic handicrafts of civilized lifestyles. i discovered them carpenters, blacksmiths, cupboard makers, shoemakers, &c. , with no enable or predicament. ” Isaac Brown might additionally quickly count number in that quantity, yet no longer for it slow but. For no matter what cause, it was once now not till 4 years after his arrival in Canada that this related middle-aged runaway slave from Maryland resurfaced within the public checklist.