5 Black People Who Triumphed Over Slavery and Made it to Freedom

There are many stories of how slaves escaped to freedom. Some of these stories just goes to show that Black people have always been a highly intelligent group. Here are five stories of how some slaves made it to freedom.


1. William Craft

2. Ellen Craft

William and Ellen Craft escaped their master’s plantation and made a run for freedom, and the two did it in plain sight. Ellen, was the daughter of a white plantation owner. William was also a half-white slave who was often mistaken for being a white family member of his master. Ellen cut her hair and traveled as a man, and William traveled as her slave. Since Ellen could not read or write she put her harm in a sling to use as an excuse for not being able to sign her name. Their travel was not easy; the two never revealed their identity until they were far up north. Even after reaching north they had to move to England because they were being pursued by slave hunters.


3. Blind Tom Wiggins Used His Musical Talent for Freedom

Blind Tom Wiggins was born on a Georgia plantation, his owner thought of him as being useless and not worth having around. His masters quickly sold him and his family. His new family soon found out that Tom had musical talent, and they thought of him as a gold mine. The family began sending him on tours throughout the North and South. The money made off Tom’s performances went to the Confederate army to help the injured. It’s believed that Tom taught himself over 7000 pieces of music, from classical to popular songs, from hymns to whatever got people dancing. One thing about Tom is that his musical talent kept him off the plantation and from being beat.


4. Slave woman Harriet Jacobs Hides for Seven Years

Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery in 1813, and she had a very good childhood. She was taught how to read, write, and sew by her mistress. When her mistress died she fell into the hands of her niece. Her niece was just a toddler, so Harriet became the property of the toddler’s father, Dr. James Norcom. Norcom set his eyes on Harriet, and she was abused by him and his jealous wife. Harriet soon found herself in a relationship with a nearby attorney, and had two children with him. The children by law belonged to Norcom. Jacobs later made Norcom believe that she had escaped. She was actually hiding in a crawlspace above the main house. She spent seven years hiding and watching over her children until they were sold. Once the children were sold and taken to Washington, DC, to be with their father Jacobs ran off to be with them.

Slaves picking cotton

5. Polly Berry Sues for Freedom

Polly Berry was born during the early 1800s in Illinois. She was born a free woman, but was kidnapped by slave-catchers and sold to a Southern General. She later had two daughters, Nancy and Lucy, with a slave on the plantation. After the death of their master, the women were sent farther down south. Eventually, both the girls escaped and made their way to Canada, their mother soon followed behind them. Later, Polly Berry sued for her freedom on the grounds that she had been born free but kidnapped. She had documents to prove that she was indeed born a free woman; her proof was enough for her to win her case.





Polly Berry


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