Escape on the Pearl by Mary Kay Ricks
The Heroic Bid for Freedom on the Underground Railroad

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On the evening of April 15, 1848, nearly eighty enslaved Americans attempted one of history's most audacious escapes. Setting sail from Washington, D.C., on a schooner named the Pearl, the fugitives began a daring 225-mile journey to freedom in the North—and put in motion a furiously fought battle over slavery in America that would consume Congress, the streets of the capital, and the White House itself.

Mary Kay Ricks's unforgettable chronicle brings to life the Underground Railroad's largest escape attempt, the seemingly immutable politics of slavery, and the individuals who struggled to end it. Escape on the Pearl reveals the incredible odyssey of those who were onboard, including the remarkable lives of fugitives Mary and Emily Edmonson, the two sisters at the heart of this true story of courage and determination.


About Mary Kay Ricks

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A former attorney at the Department of Labor, Mary Kay Ricks has written about Washington history in numerous publications including the "Washington Post". She is the founder of Tour DC (, which features in-depth walking tours in the nation's capital, and lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 450 pages
Genres: History, War, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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moreover, former Labor Department attorney Ricks writes, the Upper South—the District, Virginia and Maryland—was increasingly important as a source of slaves for the Deep South, in what Ricks calls “the internal slave trade.” Punishment for those who aided runaway slaves was severe, and it was th...

Feb 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Escape on the Pearl: The Hero...

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