Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery
Judith and Dennis Fradin
In January, 1856, an Ohio community in a collective act of protest and heroism successfully defied the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. At this time the Fugitive Slave Act remained fully enforced in every state of the union, but a slave, John Price, took a courageous gamble for freedom by crossing the frozen Ohio River from Kentucky into Ohio. This book tells a little-known, true story about how hundreds of townspeople in Oberlin, Ohio, came together and stood up for their fellow man based on the belief that all people deserved to be free. Price started a new life in the town until two years later when a crew of slave-catchers arrived and captured him. Even though Ohio was a free state, it still was under the Federal Act that made it illegal to shelter a runaway slave. Residents of Oberlin heard of Price's capture and surrounded the hotel where he was being held to demand his release. A heroic showdown followed with rescuers risking their own freedom and all serving jail time. A full-spread photograph of the Welcome Home celebration on the night that the Rescuers were released notably shows black and white, young and old heroes.