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The Appendix. A New Journal of Narrative and Experimental History







Slaves were allowed three day's holiday at Christmas time, and so it was over Christmas that John Andrew Jackson decided to escape. The first day I devoted to bidding a sad, though silent farewell to my people; for I did not even dare to tell my father or mother that I was going, lest for joy they should tell some one else. Early next morning, I left them playing their "fandango" play. I wept as I looked at them enjoying their innocent pay, and thought it was the last time I should ever see them, for I was determined never to return alive. To run by day or by night? To flee on a road or in the woods? To rely upon subterfuge or unadulterated boldness? These were life-or-death decisions for a fugitive slave. When John Andrew Jackson fled a Sumter District plantation in South Carolina, he made strategic choices for his survival. he had a pony and rode mostly on roads, talking his way out of confrontations. Jackson gambled on his plausibility and charm. Most of all, he clung to a faith in his ability to mislead others with his own imagination. He crafted his own terrain.



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