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Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement

Bordewich, Fergus M. Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement. New York: Amistad, 2006.
Bordewich's Bound for Canaan offers a sweeping survey of Underground Railroad operations and dramatic slave escapes across the United States from the late eighteenth century to the Civil War era. The author argues that Isaac T. Hopper and a loose network of agents created a model for organized fugitive aid in Philadelphia at the turn of the nineteenth century and that their work was then replicated and expanded by an antebellum coalition of free blacks and white abolitionists who forged, in his words, the nation's "first civil rights movement." Bordewich relies heavily upon various recollected accounts, but supplements his research with letters, diaries, and contemporary newspaper accounts. Bound for Canaan occupies more than 400 pages of text and includes endnotes, a bibliography and an index. (By Matthew Pinsker)

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