Genealogy Adventures

Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom: or, the Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery

Running a thousand miles for freedom; : or, the escape of William and Ellen Craft from slavery

Ellen Craft (c. 1826-c. 1897) was a slave in Macon, Georgia. Her mother was a slave and her father was her mother’s owner. She married William Craft (c1826-1900) in 1846. In 1848, Ellen daringly decided to use her light skin to pass as white in order to travel by train and boat to the North, with William posing as her slave.

In order to carry out this plan, Ellen also had to pass as male since a single white woman would not have been traveling alone with a male slave at this time. Although they encountered several close calls along the way, the plan worked. Eight days after they began in Georgia, William and Ellen arrived in Philadelphia on Christmas day, 1848.

In 1850, William and Ellen went to England for fear that the Fugitive Slave Bill would end their freedom. Their narrative, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom (1860), is one of the most compelling of the many fugitive slave narratives.

The Crafts continued to make appearances abroad, and made a life there, including having four children. In 1868 they returned to the U. S. and eventually bought land in Georgia and opened an industrial school for young African Americans.

Description

Running a thousand miles for freedom; : or, the escape of William and Ellen Craft from slaveryEllen Craft (c. 1826-c. 1897) was a slave in Macon, Georgia. Her mother was a slave and her father was her mother’s owner. She married William Craft (c1826-1900) in 1846. In 1848, Ellen daringly decided to use her light skin to pass as white in order to travel by train and boat to the North, with William posing as her slave.

In order to carry out this plan, Ellen also had to pass as male since a single white woman would not have been traveling alone with a male slave at this time. Although they encountered several close calls along the way, the plan worked. Eight days after they began in Georgia, William and Ellen arrived in Philadelphia on Christmas day, 1848.

In 1850, William and Ellen went to England for fear that the Fugitive Slave Bill would end their freedom. Their narrative, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom (1860), is one of the most compelling of the many fugitive slave narratives.

The Crafts continued to make appearances abroad, and made a life there, including having four children. In 1868 they returned to the U. S. and eventually bought land in Georgia and opened an industrial school for young African Americans.

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