Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom
By: William Craft and Ellen Craft
Beginning in the principal slave state of Georgia, “Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom” details the adventure and eventual escape from slavery of William Kraft and his wife Ellen craft. In December of 1848, both received written passes from their owners allowing them a few days away together. They would make the most of it and never return to bondage. Ellen craft was the daughter of her first master and as such was almost white. So much so that after being frequently mistaken as a child of the house she was given to a daughter, her half-sister, as a wedding present when she was 11 years old. Though both William and Ellen's Masters were moderately humane; neither could stand the thought of marriage or children while being slaves. Ellen in particular, after being separated from her own mother at such a tender age, could not stomach the thought of her own child being taken away from her in a similar manner. But as they saw no escape from their positions, they eventually were married. William Kraft focuses on the adventure of their escape and how the mindset of American slaveholders seemed to continually oppress his race while giving written appreciation to those who helped in securing their freedom along the way. William, himself, was a cabinet maker who watched as his entire family was sold one by one for money or to pay his master's debt. Through this great anguish or more so because of it, he devised a plan to disguise his nearly white wife as an invalid white gentleman and he as a servant slave to him. Leading up to their few days pass, William purchased Ellen's disguise a piece at a time from different parts of the city. At the appointed time, she put on trousers, a gentleman's jacket, and a top hat. Some bandages about her face, spectacles, and sling on her writing hand completed the outfit and their journey began. First they boarded a train to savannah, Georgia, and then...
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