A Slave No More: Two Men who Escaped to Freedom : Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 307 pages
27 Reviews
Slave narratives, some of the most powerful records of our past, are extremely rare, with only fifty-five post–Civil War narratives surviving. A mere handful are first-person accounts by slaves who ran away and freed themselves. Now two newly uncovered narratives, and the biographies of the men who wrote them, join that exclusive group with the publication of A Slave No More, a major new addition to the canon of American history. Handed down through family and friends, these narratives tell gripping stories of escape: Through a combination of intelligence, daring, and sheer luck, the men reached the protection of the occupying Union troops. David W. Blight magnifies the drama and significance by prefacing the narratives with each man’s life history. Using a wealth of genealogical information, Blight has reconstructed their childhoods as sons of white slaveholders, their service as cooks and camp hands during the Civil War, and their climb to black working-class stability in the north, where they reunited their families.

In the stories of Turnage and Washington, we find history at its most intimate, portals that offer a rich new answer to the question of how four million people moved from slavery to freedom. In A Slave No More, the untold stories of two ordinary men take their place at the heart of the American experience.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation

User Review  - Amy Pedersen - Goodreads

Very insightful into what it was like to not only be a slave, but what it was also like to run away during the civil war. The fact that Blight also includes the narratives of both Washington and ... Read full review

Review: A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation

User Review  - Keith Lovell - Goodreads

The narratives are quite excellent as is the discussion on Lincoln's view of slavery though very brief. The authors underlying theme of slavery as the cause of the war is somewhat self serving and lacking. It would be a much better read without it. Read full review


Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Authors Note
John M Washington
Journal of Wallace Turnage

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

WALLACE TURNAGE(1846–1916) was born in Snow Hill, North Carolina, and spent his adult life in New York City and Jersey City, New Jersey.

JOHN WASHINGTON(1838–1918), born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, worked as a house and sign painter in Washington, D.C., after his escape. He retired to Cohasset, Massachusetts.

is the director of Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition and a professor of American history. Among his books is Race and Reunion, which won the Frederick Douglass Prize, the Lincoln Prize, and the Bancroft Prize. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Bibliographic information