The Road to Dawn

The Road to Dawn

Josiah Henson and the Story That Sparked the Civil War

This sweeping biography immortalizes the man who was the inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in an epic tale of courage and bravery in the face of unimaginable trials.

Josiah Henson overcame incredible odds to escape from slavery and improve the lives of hundreds of freedmen throughout his long life. He found international fame–including visits to Windsor Castle and the White House–as the real “Uncle Tom” in the novel that fueled the abolitionist movement and ignited the Civil War. But his story has been mostly lost to history, until now.

A dynamic, driven man with exceptional intelligence and unyielding principles, Henson spent forty-one years in bondage before he was finally able to escape with his wife and four children, carrying the youngest two on his broken shoulders for 600 miles. He eventually settled with his family as a free man across the border in Canada. Once there, Henson agitated for racial equality, raised millions for the abolitionist cause, won a medal at the first World’s Fair in London, and became a beloved preacher. He returned to America and rescued 118 more slaves, including his own brother, and helped purchase land to build what would become one of the final stops on the Underground Railroad, a 500-person freedman settlement called Dawn.

The Road to Dawn retraces Henson’s improbable journey from slavery to freedom and restores a hero of the abolitionist movement to his rightful place in history.
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Genre: Nonfiction / History / African American

On Sale: May 15th 2018

Price: $25.98 / $33.98 (CAD)

ISBN-13: 9781549113246


"Vivid....a moving account of Henson's life and a book from which readers will learn a great deal about the struggle against slavery."—Publishers Weekly
"Jared Brock's biography of Josiah Henson is an impressive effort to piece together the story of a man nearly lost to history and broken by slavery. The Road to Dawn is sure to become required reading in the archives of African American history."—Lonnie G. Bunch III, Founding Director, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
"The Road to Dawn tells the story of a courageous man who pursued the common good in spite of painful wounds, discouraging setbacks, and personal flaws. Josiah's winsome character and role within the broader abolitionist context keep us turning the page, as does Jared Brock's fine storytelling about this American figure. And these stories remind us that we have much to learn from those who embody the message of justice and mercy, whatever their flaws or fortune may be."—Timothy B. Tyson, Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, author of The Blood of Emmett Till and Blood Done Sign My Name
"Among the many incredible things he accomplished throughout his lifetime, readers might be surprised to learn Josiah Henson was one of our nation's first social entrepreneurs. The Road to Dawn expertly explains how education and economy are key elements for achieving emancipation and equality."—Deval Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts, managing director, Bain Capital Double Impact
"The Road to Dawn is an honest and moving portrait of one of our nation's greatest unsung heroes. Jared Brock's biography brings much-deserved attention to Josiah Henson's epic life story, serving as a reminder to what can be accomplished when we fight on the right side of history."—The Right Honorable Paul Martin P.C., 21st Prime Minister of Canada
"For too many years, the contributions of African-Americans to our society were minimized or hidden. This book captures the triumph of the human spirit over slavery and of man's inhumanity to man. Josiah Henson exhibited an indefatigable determination to live a life dedicated to the realization of educational opportunities and self-sufficiency for all. We can never know too much about those who paved the way and about those upon whose shoulders we stand."—Lillie R Hughes, National Council of Negro Women

"The Road to Dawn expertly casts Josiah Henson's heroic struggle for emancipation against the backdrop of a national fight for freedom, and in doing so, re-introduces a vital character to American history."—Jamie Glavic, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

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