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The shoemaker who helped slaves escape the South
Scott Shane shares the tale of Thomas Smallwood, a formerly enslaved man and shoemaker who helped hundreds of people to flee from southern slavery in the 1840s
Thomas Smallwood, a formerly enslaved shoemaker, helped hundreds of people to flee from slavery in the American South in the 1840s. Speaking to Elinor Evans, Scott Shane shares Smallwood’s remarkable story, and reveals how he was known for writing a cache of anonymous satirical letters that included the first use of the term ‘underground railroad’.
Scott Shane is the author of Flee North: A Forgotten Hero and the Fight for Freedom in Slavery’s Borderland (Celadon, 2023)