“Freedom's Crucible: The Underground Railroad in Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas, 1854-1865, A Reader” has recently been made freely available to a world-wide audience by KU ScholarWorks, the online institutional repository managed by the University of Kansas. “Freedom’s Crucible” is now freely available and accessible. This book was originally published in 1998 and has served as a high school textbook and a general introduction to the topic.
“The Underground Railroad was a system of receiving, concealing and forwarding fugitive slaves on their flight from bondage in the American South to freedom in the North and Canada,” according to the opening page.
This book has fifteen narratives, with an extensive introduction and commentary on the Underground Railroad and its extension to Kansas Territory, especially to Lawrence and Douglas County. It is 190 pages, with 41 photographs, maps and illustrations. The narratives range from original documents to selections from periodicals and books.
The editor and compiler, Dr. Richard B. Sheridan, was a professor at the University of Kansas for 37 years and was the great-nephew of Levi Coffin, one of the key leaders of the Underground Railroad.
"I am glad that KU ScholarWorks was able to make my father's book available,” said Rick Sheridan, assistant professor at Wilberforce University in Ohio. “The Underground Railroad is an important part of U.S. history, and this book provides details about both the local and national efforts to free slaves."
The book is available as a PDF and is free to download. For more information and to view the manuscript, visit KU ScholarWorks.