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Inhaltsangabe: One of the most amazing characters in American history was John Fairfield, a member of the Underground Railroad who helped slaves to freedom before the Civil War. His exploits are mentioned by notables such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Levi Coffin (the “President” of the Underground Railroad). All greatly admired him but were shocked by his tactics. Fairfield was the only high-profile abolitionist to charge people for his work. Some assert Fairfield exploited the slaves because he charged relatives in Canada to get their family members to safety, but he used the fees to help concoct elaborate ruses that he used to steal the slaves and help them to freedom. One time he led nineteen slaves to freedom by pretending to be an undertaker taking the body of a slave across the Ohio River to a slave cemetery on the other side. He had one slave (in an open coffin) pretend to be the deceased―and the other eighteen marched in a funeral procession right through the middle of town in plain sight. The townspeople stepped aside, out of respect for the “deceased,” and watched him take all of them across the river to their freedom! Another time he pretended to be a poultry dealer, gaining the respect of all in a town, and then stole their slaves. Still another time he passed himself off as a businessman who needed to build boats to take salt to the South for a very profitable venture. He got many of the leading citizens of that town to invest in his project, and when the boats were finished, he chose a moonless night to get all the slaves to the boats―and had them row to freedom.Fairfield was seen by some as a scoundrel, a con-man, and a criminal. Others saw him as a very religious man who believed with all his heart that the evils of slavery needed to be wiped out―and he was willing to go to extremes to help with that cause. Fairfield wasn’t as violent as, say, John Brown, but he still got the job done.
From the Author: Ain't No Harm to Kill the Devil: The Life and Legend of John Fairfield is my fourth book in a row describing the adventures and exploits of "important/famous Americans that too few people know about." That is, these individuals, often without regard for their own personal safety and well-being, fought to end injustices and to gain rights for all -- and their stories *should* be known. In Ain't No Harm to Kill the Devil, I present to the reader the story of John Fairfield, one of America's early "James Bond" type of characters. Fairfield, in the decade before the Civil War, used disguises, special weapons, elaborate ruses -- and even his good looks! -- to do his part in the fight to end the evils of slavery. I spent more than a year digging into archives, museums, and historical records centers to find out as much as I could about this amazing man. For those wishing a closer look at my journey to uncover this story, please take a look at "Finding Fairfield: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of Ain't No Harm to Kill the Devil: The Life and Legend of John Fairfield, Abolitionist for Hire." Finding Fairfield is the "companion e-book" that takes readers along with me as I encountered many interesting twists, turns, and adventures as I gathered the background research I needed before I felt I could put the story to paper. It is partly a travelogue - and partly a look into what an author encounters as stories come to life. Finding Fairfield is also available here in the Amazon library. I hope you enjoy both stories! JSC
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