Avery Research Center acquired 1860 first-edition slave escape narrative- Charleston Post and Courier

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.


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