Review of Escape Betweixt Two Suns Essay

Review of Escape Betweixt Two Suns Essay

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In 1809 the Indiana Territory was divided into two separate territories, the second being the Illinois Territory. In 1818, Illinois drew up a constitution, and entered the Union as a free state. However, as we have learned, the North was notoriously a racist society. Their cause for disallowing slavery was more so for reasons of wanting to promote racial purity, as opposed to reasons concerning morality. Many settlers even drew their income from bounties received in exchange for the capture of runaways on the Underground Railroad.

Americans must understand that the horrors of slavery and oppression were not just limited to the South, one reason why the Underground Railroad ran to Canada. Although Fugitive Slave Laws were not dated until 1850, slaves—in this case indentured servants—could not be sure of freedom until they reached Canadian soil. This book gives readers a glimpse of who we might have found as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and what kind of predicaments they put themselves into for the sake of others. The author’s tone generally seems to sympathize with the abolitionist plight, and she refers to the prejudices of southern Illinois society as a “legacy of shame” (Pirtle 120-121).

Carol Pirtle, an author whose works are primary focused around Randolph County, Illinois, has written a book concentrated on the civil court case of William Hayes vs. Andrew Borders of Randolph County, Illinois. The book provides in depth information regarding how Borders made his way to Randolph County in 1816 by way of Georgia and how he kept slaves, even though Illinois entered the Union as a free state. Mr. Hayes made his way to Randolph County much later than Mr. Borders, in 1834. Originally from upstate New York and after liv...


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...ductor on the Underground Railroad might have had to endure in order to help people they didn’t even know escape to freedom. It also give the reader an infinitesimal view of what a slave attempting to escape may have to endure, and the possibilities that they may face, should they not be successful. Also,

If the history of the Underground Railroad and abolition is of interest to a reader, “Escape Betwixt Two Suns” is a great place to start. Although it carries a very specific subject, it is an interesting read that has the ability become a gateway read into a much deeper darker portion of American history.


Works Cited

Chapman, Chas C. History of Knox County, Illinois,. Chicago: Blakely, Brown & Marsh, Printers, 1878. Print.
Pirtle, Carol. Escape Betwixt Two Suns: A True Tale of the Underground Railroad in Illinois. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2000. Print.

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