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“I never did sleep on a bedstead till after freedom....”

“There came this evening an old black man, a young one and his wife and infant....”

“Slavery is the next thing to hell....”


This compelling book by scholar and Peterboro resident Norman K. Dann, Ph.D. is a must-read for anyone who wants to know about slavery in America. It describes the origins of slavery and details the lives of slaves on Southern plantations, with first-person narratives by slaves and their owners
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When We Get To Heaven documents the struggles of those who risked their lives to escape slavery, and in doing so, passed through this quiet Central New York stop on the Underground Railroad.

“This book takes an important step toward recovering the true story
of the Underground Railroad from the fog of myth and legend
to which it was so long abandoned.”
-Fergus M. Bordewich
Author of Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad
and the War for the Soul of America


“This is history in the best tradition of public history: informative, accessible,
and written for anyone interested in how the struggle to
hold liberty's torch high played out in one small
upstate New York Community. Norm Dann confirms
the wisdom of establishing the
National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum
in the place he chooses to call home.”
-Milton C. Sernett, Ph.D.
Prof. Emeritus-African American Studies and History,
Syracuse University
Author of HARRIET TUBMAN: Myth, Memory & History