The Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston has acquired an 1860 first-edition copy of the pre-eminent slave narrative, ‘Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom.’
The book contains the dramatic account of William and Ellen Craft’s 1848 escape from Macon, Ga. to Philadelphia. It describes how the light-skinned Ellen Craft dressed as a man and pretended to be a wealthy, white invalid seeking treatment in Philadelphia, while accompanied by ‘his’ slave, William.
The Charleston DeCosta family descended from the Crafts, said Patricia Williams-Lessane, Avery’s executive director. Well-known Charleston architect and contractor Herbert DeCosta’s mother was Julia Ellen Craft DeCosta. She was the granddaughter of William and Ellen Craft. Herbert DeCosta died in 2008.