Two prizewinning books detail slavery in the north: Washington’s fugitive, Detroit’s forgotten crimeHistorians in the News
tags: slavery, books, George Washington, African American history, Detroit, womens history
Ona Judge, the enslaved woman who fled President George Washington to live for decades as a fugitive, gave just two interviews in her lifetime. The will of Lisette Denison, born in 1786, is the only surviving document generated by an enslaved resident of Detroit.
From such tatters of history, researchers have reshaped the historical narrative around slavery in the US, building a fuller picture of the country’s greatest crime.
And this week, two of those historians were celebrated for presenting the first in-depth portraits of Judge and of slavery in Detroit.
At the Yale Club in New York, Tiya Miles and Erica Armstrong Dunbar accepted the Frederick Douglass Book Prize for the most outstanding nonfiction book in English on the subject of slavery, abolition or antislavery movements. The award was established in 1999 in honor of the slave from Maryland who escaped to become one of the most celebrated abolitionists and orators in history.
In The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits, Miles brings to light a little-acknowledged world where native children were traded for animal pelts.
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