The Flight of The Pearl

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The Flight of The Pearl

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Here are the tragic and almost forgotten events that inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the novel that helped turn the tide of American public opinion against the institution of slavery. In April 1849, seventy-six slaves – all household servants in Washington, D.C. - made a run for freedom on the schooner The Pearl. The escape was planned in part by Paul Jennings, a slave of President James Madison during and after his White House years and now a servant to Senator Daniel Webster. New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Thomas Fleming vividly describes the shameful circumstances that drove the slaves to flee and the unsuccessful attempts by prominent national figures, among them famed educator and lawyer Horace Mann, to defend them after their capture.

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