His Promised Land: The Autobiography of John P. Parker, Former Slave and Conductor on the Underground Railroad

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jan 17, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 168 pages
3 Reviews

"Surpasses all previous slave narratives…Usually we need to invent our American heroes. With the publication of Parker's extraordinary memoir, we seem to have discovered the genuine article." —Joseph J. Ellis, Civilization

In the words of an African American conductor on the Underground Railroad, His Promised Land is the unusual and stirring account of how the war against slavery was fought—and sometimes won. John P. Parker (1827—1900) told this dramatic story to a newspaperman after the Civil War. He recounts his years of slavery, his harrowing runaway attempt, and how he finally bought his freedom. Eventually moving to Ripley, Ohio, a stronghold of the abolitionist movement, Parker became an integral part of the Underground Railroad, helping fugitive slaves cross the Ohio River from Kentucky and go north to freedom. Parker risked his life—hiding in coffins, diving off a steamboat into the river with bounty hunters on his trail—and his own freedom to fight for the freedom of his people.

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User Review  - wearylibrarian - LibraryThing

John Parker tells the story of his life as a slave and later as a conductor for the Underground Railroad. I enjoyed the book but I wish he had gone into more detail. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TLCrawford - LibraryThing

Mr. Parker was a businessman, an inventor, and a wonderful storyteller. He also was born into slavery, failed in escaping but succeeded in purchasing himself (and his freedom), and aggressively worked ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Stuart Seely Sprague was a professor in history at Morehead State University from 1968 to 1995. His areas of concentration included Appalachian history and African American studies.

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