The reverse underground railroad

Historian Richard Bell tells the story of the "reverse underground railroad" and of five black boys who were kidnapped 1825 Philadelphia and sold into slavery in the south.

Listen 49:01

Guests: Richard Bell

While Harriet Tubman was rescuing enslaved people from the South through the Underground Railroad, there was a “reverse underground railroad” operating, abducting free African Americans from the North and selling them into slavery in the South. In 1825, five free black boys were kidnapped in Philadelphia and smuggled into slavery in the Deep South. University of Maryland historian RICHARD BELL has researched the boys’ story, how they were blindfolded, shackled, beaten and brought by boat to Mississippi, the efforts to rescue them, the boys’ attempts to escape, and the fight bring their abductors to justice.  Bell joins us to tell this important and extraordinary story covered in his new book, Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home.

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