In the conventional information of American history, enslaved people fled north to “free” states or to Canada. And many did—among 30,000 and 100,000 people. But others, in all likelihood no greater than 3,000 or 5,000 human beings, went south to Mexico. Although a relatively small group, their collective story had strategic and political significance out of percentage to their numbers. Historian Alice L. Baumgartner info the reasons why in her deeply researched and eloquently argued South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War. Her e-book suggests that “enslaved those who escaped to Mexico . . . Contributed to the outbreak of a first-rate sectional controversy over the future” of slavery within the U.S.
Baumgartner makes a speciality of a complicated series of events between Mexico and the U.S. in the early nineteenth century till 1867, frequently related to property rights and individual freedom, along with the Texas Revolution, the annexation of Texas and the Mexican-American War. American slaveholders relentlessly pushed for the growth of slavery via their elected officials, even as Mexico gradually restrained after which abolished slavery in 1837. Complicating topics even greater, the Mexican authorities had 49 presidents, which includes some dictators, between 1824 and 1857.
Many people on all aspects are portrayed here, however the most compelling testimonies are the ones of enslaved those who, at huge risk, escaped for what they hoped could be a higher existence in Mexico. Sadly, no longer all of them determined advanced conditions. They had few alternatives for work or army service, but they did have the possibility to choose.
Baumgartner’s fast-paced yet detailed exploration is continually illuminating and gives a new manner to recognize the past. It is a must-read for every person seeking a fuller focus of our history.