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Anthony Burns : the defeat and triumph of a fugitive slave /

A biography of the slave who escaped to Boston in 1854, was arrested at the instigation of his owner, and whose trial caused a furor between abolitionists and those determined to enforce the Fugitive Slave Acts. Full description

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: A.A. Knopf, 1988
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This true story is the historically accurate account of the escape, capture, and sensational Boston trial in 1854 of the fugitive slave Anthony Burns. As he waits in jail and then is tried, and as his case galvanizes the abolitionist movement, Burns remembers his life in bondage and his struggle to be free. (Booklist). Moving and unforgettable.--School Library Journal, starred review. ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

Review by Booklist Review

Gr. 7-9. By skillfully blending historical fact with fiction, Hamilton presents a moving account of a young man who escapes slavery only to be returned to his master under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The horrors of slavery are made vivid as Burns recalls his past life and the chain of events that led to his momentous trial.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

This riveting, much lauded historical chronicle concerns a Virginia slave's aborted flight to freedom--and subsequent trial; PW said, ``This moving story becomes all the more scathing and rich for being rooted in truth.'' All ages. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up In 1854, Anthony Burns, a 20-year-old black man, was put on trial in Boston under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Abolitionist activity and the efforts of lawyers, black ministers, and humanitarians to prevent the return of the prisoner to Virginia caused demonstrations by mobs of citizens, the calling out of 2000 militia, and several episodes of violence during the proceedings. Retelling the day-by-day events of the trial which polarized the city, Hamilton shows the kind of political issue which brought the nation to fever pitch in the decade before the Civil War. Hamilton's biography is actually a ``docudrama'' which centers on the often silent, mistreated, and humbled figure of the runaway slave. Burns' story is fleshed out with dialogue and flashbacks to his earlier life. Through the fictional device of his mental withdrawal into memories of the past, the typical experience of a child raised in slavery is described. Restricted from full character development by the constraints of working with historical sources and trial records (all fully noted in the afterword), Hamilton creates drama and climactic conflict by describing the political, racial, and social tensions that surrounded the trial. In addition to the usefulness of the book to any study of the Civil War period, the insights which Hamilton gives into the personal side of slavery are moving and unforgettable. Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Virginia Hamilton was born March 12, 1934. She received a scholarship to Antioch College, and then transferred to the Ohio State University in Columbus, where she majored in literature and creative writing. She also studied fiction writing at the New School for Social Research in New York.

Her first children's book, Zeely, was published in 1967 and won the Nancy Bloch Award. During her lifetime, she wrote over 40 books including The People Could Fly, The Planet of Junior Brown, Bluish, Cousins, the Dies Drear Chronicles, Time Pieces, Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl, and Wee Winnie Witch's Skinny. She was the first African American woman to win the Newbery Award, for M. C. Higgins, the Great. She has won numerous awards including three Newbery Honors, three Coretta Scott King Awards, an Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. She was also the first children's author to receive a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant in 1995.

She died from breast cancer on February 19, 2002 at the age of 67.

(Bowker Author Biography)