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Sun Dec 26, 2021, 05:13 AM

Why Christmas was the best time of year to escape slavery

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2021/12/24/christmas-slavery-escape/

Short read and highlights Jermain Wesley Loguen, who was part of the Jerry Rescue. I grew up in Western NY (Rochester) and that was a huge stand taken for justice. His oldest daughter married Frederick Douglass' son.



Christmas marks the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, claimed by Christians to be the son of God, but for enslaved African Americans, the holiday season also offered miracles of a more practical sort. It was the best time of year to escape.

There were a few reasons for this. It was often the only time of year enslaved people were given an extended break, according to the Documenting the American South project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. If they escaped at the beginning of the break, then their enslavers might not become aware of it for a week or more, when work began again and they didn’t show up, giving them a huge head start.

Plus, during their time off, many enslaved people were allowed to visit family at nearby plantations, an activity that required a “pass” from their enslavers permitting them to be on the road by themselves. If during their escape they were caught or questioned by Whites, they could use the pass to convince others to let them go.

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Reply Why Christmas was the best time of year to escape slavery (Original post)
JustAnotherGen Dec 2021 OP
secondwind Dec 2021 #1
Rhiannon12866 Dec 2021 #2
JustAnotherGen Dec 2021 #3

Response to JustAnotherGen (Original post)

Sun Dec 26, 2021, 05:48 AM

1. We had a big house on 50 acres up in Greenwich NY

Situated right off the road…… had a “pig scalding shed”, and an enormous cow barn. It still has writings on the wall……. It had been part of the Underground Railroad.

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Response to secondwind (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 26, 2021, 06:23 AM

2. That is the coolest thing I've read today

I grew up in Saratoga, have a cousin in Greenwich. Most of the history in these parts involves the Revolutionary War - well, except for Grant's Cottage.

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Response to secondwind (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 26, 2021, 11:39 AM

3. That's so cool!

I had a friend growing up whose house was on the outskirts of our village - Scottsville NY. Outside of Rochester. False walls and tunnels - well known as a stop on the railroad. The city of Rochester has lots of former stations and safe houses.

My dads great grandfather went South to Mexico. He was enslaved in Alabama. How brave he was!

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