Results of the Governor General's Literary Award in the year 2007.
It was the day before Independence Day, 1833. As his bride, Lucie, was about to be sold down the river, Thornton Blackburn planned a daring—and successful—daylight escape from their Louisville masters. Pursued to Michigan, the couple was captured and sentenced to return to Kentucky in chains. But Detroit’s black community rallied to their cause in the Blackburn Riots of 1833, the first racial uprising in the city’s history. Thornton and Lucie were spirited across the river to Canada, but their safety proved illusory when Michigan’s governor demanded their extradition. Canada’s defense of the Blackburns set the tone for all future diplomatic relations with the United States over the thorny issue of the fugitive slave, and confirmed the British colony as the main terminus of the Underground Railroad.
The Blackburns settled in Toronto, where they founded the city’s first taxi business, but they never forgot the millions…[more]