This sweeping biography about the man who was the inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is an epic tale of courage and bravery in the face of unimaginable trials.
The Road to Dawn tells the improbable story of Josiah Henson-a dynamic, driven man with exceptional intelligence and unyielding principles, who overcame incredible odds to escape from slavery and improve the lives of hundreds of freedmen throughout his long life. He was immortalized by Harriet Beecher Stowe in her 1852 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin and catapulted to international fame, though his story has been lost to history. Until now.
The book chronicles Henson’s forty-two years spent in bondage and his eventual escape with his wife and four young children, carrying the youngest two on his broken shoulders for 600 miles, eventually settling with his family as a free man across the border in Canada. Once there, Henson rescued 118 more slaves, including his own brother, and purchased land to build what would become one of the final stops on the Underground Railroad, a 500-person freeman settlement called Dawn.
The Road to Dawn retraces Henson’s path from slavery to freedom and restores a hero of the abolitionist movement to his rightful place in history.