Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-x

In 1855 the Boston journalist Benjamin Drew traveled to Canada, where he interviewed dozens of fugitive slaves from the United States. Among the interviews he published the following year in A North-Side View of Slavery is one given by a Henry Gowens of Galt (now Cambridge), Ontario (see appendix B). In the interview, Gowens talked primarily about his life as

Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xxxiv

With those words, the barber and steamboat steward known as Henry Goings revealed how he was giving voice to his experiences as a slave and a free man. He had been a fugitive for eighteen years, and a resident of Ontario, or Canada West as it was then called, for thirteen. Although it never became a large volume, Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery...

Chronology

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pp. xxxv-2

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Chapter 1

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pp. 3-37

I was born upon the estate of James Walker, Esq.,1 within three miles of a place called Window Shades,2 in the State of Virginia, and distant some two and a half miles from James’ River. Of the date of my birth, I have no knowledge; the slave has no Family Bible in which to record the births, marriages and deaths of his domestic circle. It is possible, the...

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Chapter 2

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pp. 38-47

Some few years before the death of my master, I had purchased of a mulatto, named “Henry Goings,” his free paper.1 He was a well-known character, and upon representing that this document had been lost or stolen he could, easily have it replaced. I had always surplus cash in my pocket, and knowing that from Henry’s love of drink, he might strike a...

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Chapter 3

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pp. 48-55

The first really “free soil” that my feet touched, was in Essex County at Fort Walden now called Amherstburgh, in Canada on the Detroit river.1 There I stayed about a month, securing employment with the Major of the 42nd Regiment Infantry. While here I found the persons who were mentioned to me by the horse trainer in Kentucky. I afterwards entered...

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Chapter 4

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pp. 56-66

It is the opinion of many eminent discerners of the times that the death knell of slavery is now being rung.1 The slaveholders themselves have long trembled for the fate of their despotic institution. Jefferson forewarned the people of its downfall, and the sword is now dealing its foretold destruction.2 I remember while in Alabama, that my master received...

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Chapter 5

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pp. 67-78

It may not be unacceptable to the reader, to give some slight picture of the peculiar physical features of the several States through which the author has travelled, with a view to assist the intending emigrant in his choice of a location, should the tidal movement once more set in in that direction. Much has been written, and said adverse to the Southern climate...

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Appendix

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pp. 79-120

Since writing the foregoing pages, some additional thoughts have suggested themselves to my mind, which I would venture to suggest, as well worthy the consideration of my colored brethren.1 I know they will extend to me, that pardon which a disinterested motive should always demand. Should any one feel disposed to charge me with a dictatorial spirit, I would merely ask him to exercise the practice of that charity “that...

Editors’ Appendices

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pp. 121-122

Appendix A. Maps

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pp. 123-126

Appendix B. Interviews with “Henry Gowens” and “Mrs. Henry Gowens”

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pp. 127-130

Appendix C. Letter to the Editor, by Henry Goins

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pp. 131-132

Appendix D. “Farm for Sale” Notice Showing Henry Goings as Sales Agent

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pp. 133-134

Bibliography

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pp. 135-150

Index

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pp. 151-158

Further Reading

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