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Tonight at 8pm learn more about William Lambert on The Gist of Freedom as we resume our reading of William Katz's book Breaking The Chains, Chapter 12 "Black Militias"
William Lambert created the “African American Mysteries; the Order of the Men of Oppression,” a complicated set of rituals that protected the very existence of the Underground Railroad.
Lambert was a friend and confidant of well known abolitionist John Brown, who Lambert insisted was a sane and reasonable man who voluntarily sacrificed himself to fan the flames of liberty.
Blackburn, Thornton and Ruth (or Lucie)
The Blackburns successfully and bravely escaped slavery from Louisville, KY. They had been settled in Detroit, Michigan, for two years when, in 1833, Kentucky slave hunters captured and arrested the couple. The Blackburns were jailed but allowed visitors, which provided the opportunity for Ruth to exchange her clothes - and her incarceration - with Mrs. George French; Ruth escaped to Canada. The day before Thornton was to be returned to Kentucky, the African American community rose up in protest. While the commotion was going on, Sleepy Polly and Daddy Walker helped Thornton to escape to Canada. The commotion turned into a two day riot and the sheriff was killed. It was the first race riot in Detroit, and afterward the first Riot Commission was formed in the U.S. Once in Canada, Thornton designed, built, and operated Toronto's first horse-drawn carriage hackney cab and cab company.
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