A major literary moment: after being lost to history for more than a century, The Road to Dawn uncovers the incredible story of the real-life slave who inspired Uncle Tom's Cabin.
-He rescued 118 enslaved people
-He won a medal at the first World's Fair in London
-Queen Victoria invited him to Windsor Castle
-Rutherford B. Hayes entertained him at the White House
-He helped start a freeman settlement, called Dawn, that was known as one of the final stops on the Underground Railroad
-He was immortalized in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, the novel that Abraham Lincoln jokingly blamed for sparking the Civil War
But before all this, Josiah Henson was brutally enslaved for more than forty years.
Author-filmmaker Jared A. Brock retraces Henson's 3,000+ mile journey from slavery to freedom and re-introduces the world to a forgotten figure of the Civil War era, along with his accompanying documentary narrated by Hollywood actor Danny Glover.
The Road to Dawn is a ground-breaking biography lauded by leaders at the NAACP, the Smithsonian, senators, authors, professors, the President of Mauritius, and the 21st Prime Minister of Canada, and will no doubt restore a hero of the abolitionist movement to his rightful place in history.
Uncle Tom, the hero of Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, is generally viewed as a humble, even obsequious character, symbolizing African-Americans' internalization of their oppression. But, as anti human trafficking activist Brock's vivid biography shows, Josiah Henson, on whom Tom was based, liberated not only himself but many of his fellow slaves. Born on a Maryland plantation in the late 18th century, Henson becomes an overseer and a preacher, for many years accepting rather than resisting white dominance. But when faced with the prospect of being sold apart from his family, he orchestrates their escape. Reaching Canada with his wife and four children, Henson becomes a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad and establishes a free black community, Dawn, in rural Ontario. He narrates his autobiography to a Bostonian abolitionist, who brings Henson to Stowe's attention, and she draws heavily upon his experiences in composing her novel, which Abraham Lincoln later claims created the Civil War. While Brock's breezy writing style, replete with imagined conversations between historical figures, sometimes seems at odds with the somber subject matter, this is nonetheless a moving account of Henson's life and a book from which readers will learn a great deal about the struggle against slavery. Agents: Jennifer Gates and Jane von Mehren, Aevitas Creative Management.