The Price of Freedom:

How One Town Stood Up to Slavery (2013)
The Price of Freedom:


This superb factual tale of John Price is fascinating.  John Price escaped from slavery in January 1856.  After crossing the frozen Ohio River, he was in Ohio, was slavery was not allowed.  He wasn't completely safe though, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed slave owners to capture their runaway slaves anywhere in the United States, even in states where slavery was against the law, like Ohio.  Canada was Price's destination; slavery was completely outlawed there.  Price stopped for the winter in Oberlin, Ohio.

According to the book, "Oberlin College professors and the town's ministers claimed there was a 'higher law' than the Fugitive Slave Act.  This was the law of right and wrong, by which everyone deserved to be free."  John Price decided to settle in Oberlin.

When slave hunter Anderson Jennings, who had been hired to find Price, located him in Oberlin, Jennings forced Price to go with him.  A man walking by heard Price shout out, and ran to get help from the people of Oberlin, who came out en masse to save John Price from Jennings.  A group of men who would come to be known as "the Rescuers" took Price back and hid him until he vanished.  Thirty seven of the Rescuers were charged with defying the Fugitive Slave Law, were found guilty, and stayed in jail for three months.  After the Civil War was fought between 1861 and 1865, slavery was ended in the United States. 

The illustrations do a wonderful job of describing the text through art.  A photograph of the Rescuers is found at the back of the book.

Recommended for students in 3rd through 6th grade.

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