Record Details

Catalog Search

Flee north : a forgotten hero and the fight for freedom in slavery's borderland / Scott Shane.

Shane, Scott, 1954- (author.).

"A riveting account of the extraordinary abolitionist, liberator, and writer Thomas Smallwood, who bought his own freedom, led hundreds out of slavery, and popularized the term "underground railroad," from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, Scott Shane. Flee North tells the story for the first time of an American hero all but lost to history. Born into slavery, Thomas Smallwood was free, self-educated, and working as a shoemaker a short walk from the U.S. Capitol by the 1840s. He recruited a young white activist, Charles Torrey, and together they began to organize mass escapes from Washington, Baltimore, and surrounding counties to freedom in the north. They were racing against an implacable enemy: men like Hope Slatter, the region's leading slave trader, part of a lucrative industry that would tear one million enslaved people from their families and sell them to the brutal cotton and sugar plantations of the deep south. Men, women, and children in imminent danger of being sold south turned to Smallwood, who risked his own freedom to battle what he called "the most inhuman system that ever blackened the pages of history." And he documented the escapes in satirical newspaper columns, mocking the slaveholders, the slave traders and the police who worked for them. At a time when Americans are rediscovering a tragic and cruel history and struggling anew with the legacy of white supremacy, this book -- the first to tell the extraordinary story of Smallwood -- will offer complicated heroes, genuine villains, and a powerful narrative set in cities still plagued by shocking racial inequity today"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781250843210
  • ISBN: 1250843219
  • Physical Description: viii, 340 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Celadon Books, 2023.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 305-327) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
The Most Inhuman System That Ever Blackened the Pages of History -- Until No Slave Should Be Found in Our Land -- That Mock Metropolis of Freedom -- The Flesh-Mongers -- Slavery's Borderland -- Safe from the Fangs of Robert Gilmor -- The Laughingstock Letters -- That Vile Wretch Slatter -- Very Vigilant Officers! -- Between Two Fires -- A Fugitive from Justice -- Perhaps Reckless -- Let the Strife Go On -- Fly to Canada, and Begin Anew -- Resident Capitalist -- No Breeze Comes.
Subject: Smallwood, Thomas, 1801-
African American abolitionists > Biography.
Abolitionists > United States > Biography.
Underground Railroad.
Torrey, Charles T. (Charles Turner), 1813-1846.
Slatter, Hope H. (Hope Hull), 1790-1853.
Slave trade > United States > History > 19th century.
Fugitive slaves > United States > History > 19th century.
Toronto (Ont.) > Biography.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Nazareth. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity 973.7 SHA 2023 (Text) 31001101913771 Adult Non Fiction Available -

Additional Resources