Ilyon Woo Presents Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey From Slavery to Freedom

By Cambridge Public Library

Join the New York Times best-selling author Ilyon Woo for a discussion of her new book Master Slave Husband Wife.

Event image for Ilyon Woo Presents Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey From Slavery to Freedom
Wednesday, June 21 6pm – 7:30pm

Ages: Pre-natal to 18 and Adults.


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  • In-person only.

Main Library

449 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Mid Cambridge

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In 1848, a year of international democratic revolt, a young, enslaved couple, Ellen and William Craft, achieved one of the boldest feats of self-emancipation in American history. Posing as master and slave, while sustained by their love as husband and wife, they made their escape together across more than 1,000 miles, riding out in the open on steamboats, carriages, and trains that took them from bondage in Georgia to the free states of the North. Master Slave Husband Wife is the true story of the Crafts' long journey to freedom, as they traveled another 1,000 miles on the abolitionist lecture circuit; escaped slave hunters, following the passage of an infamous new Fugitive Slave Law; and were forced to flee again, this time from the United States. Theirs is an American love story, one that would challenge the nation's core precepts of life, liberty, and justice for all—one that challenges us even now.

Ilyon Woo is the New York Times best-selling author of Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey From Slavery to Freedom, and The Great Divorce: A Nineteenth-Century Mother's Extraordinary Fight Against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times. She has written for The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, and Time Magazine, and she has received support for her research from the the Whiting Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other organizations. She holds a BA in the Humanities from Yale College and a PhD in English from Columbia University.