Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

From Midnight to Dawn: The Last Tracks of…

From Midnight to Dawn: The Last Tracks of the Underground Railroad

by Jacqueline L. Tobin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
613194,696 (3.39)7



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 7 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
From Midnight to Dawn: The Last Tracks of the Underground Railroad
by Jacqueline L. Tobin
Audio narrated by Richard Allen

This is a very well-researched and interesting testament of some of the key players involved in the implementation of the Underground Railroad and their impact, following a timeline starting well before the American Civil War and following up through the war and during the Reconstruction period.

Included is the well-known Araminta Ross (Harriet Tubman), whom I always pictured only as an old woman, but we are also given her personal history as a young woman, including her abandonment by her first husband. She was married to John Tubman and was separated from him when she was forced to flee for her own safety. They assume John didn't feel the need to flee with her because he was already a free man. Ain't love grand? By the time she came back to free the rest of her family, he had already remarried. She later married Nelson Davis. Harriet collaborated with abolitionist, John Brown, in planning his fateful raid at Harper's Ferry, which doomed him and many others, but left him a martyr to the cause in many people's eyes. During the Civil War, Harriet served as a nurse, scout and spy for the Union army, crossing rebel lines on many occasions to uncover helpful information.

Another interesting study is of Josiah Henson, the gentleman who inspired the noble character, Tom, in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. He and his family made their way to freedom and prosperity in Canada, and later returned to help another 100 slaves find their way to freedom through the Underground Railroad. Unfortunately, his association with the famed book turned out not to be favorable to his reputation, as the docility and loyalty seen in Tom's character was thereafter more often seen as a sign of stupidity or associated with "selling out", which was not the intention of the author, nor was it anything like the highly intelligent man who inspired the character in Stowe's novel.

The author included a lot of written correspondence, sermons, and newspaper articles, etc., throughout the book which shared what was happening politically and socially, giving us an interesting viewpoint of what the cultural climate was at the time. There was a particularly poignant discussion by a former slave of how it felt as a slave-husband to see his wife and child abused by their owner and mistress. To know that his wife could not be pure for him, could just be "taken" or beaten at the master's whim; or to come back from working in the field to see welts and bruises on his young daughter from beatings received from their mistress, and he as the husband/father not being able to do anything about it. Not to mention not having any control over if or when any of them could be sold, causing a possible permanent separation from each other. If being treated as a possession wasn't horrible enough.

Another avenue of thought that was interesting to me was how much more progressive Canada was even back then. Thirty years before (white) America even had a twinkle in its eye about freeing the slaves, Canada (and all of the British Empire with a few exceptions such as the territories in the possession of the East India Company; all such exceptions were eliminated in 1843) had already declared emancipation for their black citizens, as well as integrating them as equals into schools and society in general. Runaway and freed slaves who made it to Canada found they were welcome to make a new life on their own merits, ingenuity, and hard work.

This book is more informative than entertaining, but it is important because it covers people and events which aren't always talked about. The whole Canada connection was really interesting to me, because any education on my part about this subject was always about only what was going on in America or the more dramatic tales of slave auctions, abusive masters, the process of escape, or the arduous life on the plantations themselves. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Apr 29, 2017 |
This book was on a fascinating topic and I was excited to read it.  The major characters in the history of the Underground Railroad were included but played a minor role to less famous heroes.  Tobin really tried to give the stories of less famous players in African American history especially some of the women who were looked over due to conventions of the time period.  Tobin also gave details on the fugitive slave towns started in Canada and the ongoing debate the fugitive slaves had about how much help to accept from white abolitionists.  She also gave details on the battle between emigration and colonialism.  The topic was very interesting, I just wish it hadn't read so much like a high school history textbook.  It was worth reading for the content though. ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
From Midnight to Dawn tells the history of the underground railroad, of the settlements of former slaves in the northern states of the U.S., and even more so those in Canada. It is fairly detailed about the settlements and towns, from their inception to the Reconstruction era.

Of course, I'd already known about the underground railroad, and the likes of Harriet Tubman who risked so much for others. I felt as if the book didn't have much new to offer in that respect. What I did find interesting and informative was the in-depth look at the establishment and growth (or decline) of settlements and towns by slave state refugees.

What I, personally, found most interesting of all, though, was how Tobin pointed out, in several instances, possible links between characters and incidents in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and real life people and events. I also liked the reminder of the powerful impact that book had on our history. I've always loved that book! ( )
  bookwoman247 | Feb 8, 2011 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038551431X, Hardcover)

This extraordinary narrative offers a fresh perspective on the Underground Railroad as it traces the perilous journeys of fugitive ex–slaves from the United States to free black settlements in Canada.

The Underground Railroad was the passage to freedom for many slaves, but it was rife with dangers. There were dedicated conductors and safe houses, but also arduous nights in the mountains and days in threatening towns. For those who made it to Midnight (the code name given to Detroit), the Detroit River became a River Jordan—and Canada became their land of Canaan, the Promised Land where they could live freely in black settlements under the protection of British law. One of these settlements was known as Dawn.

In prose rich in detail and imagery, From Midnight to Dawn presents compelling portraits of the men and women who established the Railroad, and of the people who traveled it to find new lives in Canada. Some of the figures are well known, like Harriet Tubman and John Brown. But there are equally heroic, less familiar figures here as well, like Mary Ann Shadd, who became the first black female newspaper editor in North America, and Osborne Perry Anderson, the only black survivor of the fighting at Harpers Ferry.

From Midnight to Dawn evokes the turmoil and controversies of the time, reveals the compelling stories behind events such as Harpers Ferry and the Christian Resistance, and introduces the reader to the real–life “Uncle Tom” who influenced Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Toms Cabin.

An extraordinary examination of a part of American history that transcends national borders, From Midnight to Dawn will captivate readers with its tales of hope, courage, and a people’s determination to live equal under the law.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:24 -0400)

The Underground Railroad was the passage to freedom for many slaves, but it was rife with dangers. While there were dedicated conductors and safe houses, there were also arduous nights in the mountains and days in threatening towns. For those who made it to Midnight, the code name given to Detroit, the Detroit River became their Jordan. And Canada became the Promised Land where they could live freely in black settlements, one known as Dawn, under the protection of British law. This book presents the men and women who established the Railroad and the people who traveled it. Some are well known, like Harriet Tubman and John Brown, but there are equally heroic, less familiar figures here as well. The book evokes the turmoil and controversies of the time, including the furor over Uncle Tom's Cabin, congressional confrontations in Washington, and fierce disputes among black settlers in Canada.--From publisher description. Includes information on abolitionist movement, Frederick Douglass, emigration movement, slavery, etc.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
4 wanted2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.39)
2.5 1
3 4
4 4

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 117,019,585 books! | Top bar: Always visible