His Promised Land: The Autobiography of John P. Parker, Former Slave and Conductor on the Underground Railroad (Paperback)

His Promised Land: The Autobiography of John P. Parker, Former Slave and Conductor on the Underground Railroad By John P. Parker, Stuart Seely Sprague (Editor) Cover Image


"Surpasses all previous slave narratives…Usually we need to invent our American heroes. With the publication of Parker's extraordinary memoir, we seem to have discovered the genuine article." —Joseph J. Ellis, Civilization

In the words of an African American conductor on the Underground Railroad, His Promised Land is the unusual and stirring account of how the war against slavery was fought—and sometimes won. John P. Parker (1827—1900) told this dramatic story to a newspaperman after the Civil War. He recounts his years of slavery, his harrowing runaway attempt, and how he finally bought his freedom. Eventually moving to Ripley, Ohio, a stronghold of the abolitionist movement, Parker became an integral part of the Underground Railroad, helping fugitive slaves cross the Ohio River from Kentucky and go north to freedom. Parker risked his life—hiding in coffins, diving off a steamboat into the river with bounty hunters on his trail—and his own freedom to fight for the freedom of his people.

About the Author

John P. Parker (1827 – 1900) was an American abolitionist, inventor, iron moulder and industrialist. He helped hundreds of slaves to freedom in the Underground Railroad based in Ripley, Ohio.

Stuart Seely Sprague was a professor in history at Morehead State University from 1968 to 1995. His areas of concentration included Appalachian history and African American studies.

Praise For…

John P. Parker was an extraordinary man…He seems to have been that true American rarity, a person who spent much of his life facing racial battles yet saw the world through colorblind eyes…He lived a perpetual Perils of Paul and did so with unending zest…Now he can be given his due.
— Jonathan Yardley - Washington Post Book World

Riveting…Astonishing and believable.
— Nell Irvin Painter

A rip-roaring adventure yarn…History of the best kind.
— Kirkus Reviews
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393317183
ISBN-10: 0393317188
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: January 17th, 1998
Pages: 168
Language: English