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READING ON THE GO AT UNION STATION LENDING LIBRARY
In the spring of 2015, The Union Station Redevelopment Corporation launched a […]
Mary Kay Ricks
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After a terrifyingly calm night, the wind came up as the sun rose the next morning, and the small schooner shot off down the Potomac River. Hours later, stunned owners--including a former first lady, a shipping magnate, a former congressman, a federal marshal, and a Baptist minister--raised the alarm. Authorities quickly formed a posse that chased the fugitives down the river. But with a head start and a robust wind that filled their sails, the "Pearl" raced ahead--unaware that a violent squall was moving into their path and would halt their bid for freedom.
"Escape on the Pearl" reveals the incredible odyssey of those who were onboard, including the remarkable lives of fugitives Mary and Emily Edmonson, the two sisters at the heart of the story, who would trade servitude in elite Washington homes for slave pens in three states. Through the efforts of thesisters' father and the northern "conductor" who had helped organize the escape, an abolitionist outcry arose in the North, calling for the two girls to be rescued. Ultimately, Mary and Emily would go on to stand shoulder to shoulder with such abolitionist luminaries as Frederick Douglass and attend Oberlin College under the sponsorship of Harriet Beecher Stowe.
A story of courage and determination, "Escape on the Pearl" revives one of the most poignant chapters of U.S. history. The Edmonsons, the other fugitives of the Pearl, and those who helped them can now take their rightful place as American heroes.
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