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

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Synopsis

"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


John P. Parker is one of the few African Americans whose battle against slavery we can now turn to in his own words. He recounts dramatically how he helped fugitive slaves to cross the Ohio River from Kentucky and go north to freedom. He risked his life—hiding in coffins, diving off a steamboat with bounty hunters on his trail—and his freedom to fight for the freedom of his people.
 

About John Parker

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Parker is a former Fleet Street journalist. Sprague is professor emeritus of history at Morehead State University in Kentucky.
 
Published January 17, 1998 by W. W. Norton & Company. 168 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for His Promised Land

Publishers Weekly

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This previously unpublished manuscript, resurrected from the Duke University Archive, tells a remarkable story. Parker's oral history, taken down by a journalist in the 1880s, provides a lively and in

Nov 04 1996 | Read Full Review of His Promised Land: The Autobi...

Publishers Weekly

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Parker's vigorous vernacular has echoes of Huckleberry Finn, but his tragicomic accounting of many death-defying episodes is freighted with truth and ""an eternal hatred of the institution [of slavery]."" Born in 1827 in Norfolk, Va., at eight Parker was sold and marched south in chains.

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Smithsonian

The history of the civil rights movement of the 1960s has by now been boiled down to a paragraph in the minds of many high school students;

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