Married, but separated on different plantations William and Ellen Craft devised a plan to escape the horrors of slavery.
Ellen, who was very fair-skinned, passed as a young white woman. Her husband William played her doting servant.They set out on December 21, 1848 and traveled luxuriously by train and ferry. During a four-day trip they were almost thwarted, but quick wits and good old-fashioned luck kept them on their way. After arriving in the free city of Philadelphia they were given a crash course in reading and writing. After a short stay, they moved to Boston where William resumed work as a cabinetmaker and Ellen became a seamstress. Two year later slave catchers showed up, but they quickly fled to England to avoid their captors. They remained in Europe for over 20 years and had five children.
In 1860, the couple wrote “Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom,” chronicling the escape. The Craft’s returned to the United States in the 1870s and established a school for newly freed African Americans.
Learn more about their story in Smithsonian Magazine.
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Uganda’s government has been hit with substantial aid cuts after the President Yoweri Museveni enacted a severe anti-gay measure earlier this week.
At least three European countries announced the withdrawal of millions of dollars in direct support to Uganda’s government, which depends on donors for about 20 percent of its budget.
The Dutch government said in a statement Thursday that it is suspending aid to Uganda’s government but will continue supporting non-governmental groups, joining the governments of Norway and Denmark in taking such action.
Norway is withdrawing at least $8 million but will increase its support to human rights and democracy defenders, while Denmark is restructuring aid programs worth $8.64 million away from the Ugandan government and over to private actors and civic groups.
(Photo: Rebecca Vassie/AP)