Working Bibliography

Primary Sources



  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum (ALPLM).  Springfield, IL
  • Bureau County Historical Society, Princeton, IL
  • Chicago History Museum. Chicago, IL
  • Knox College Special Collections, Galesburg, IL
  • Lincoln Library, Sangamon Valley Collection, Springfield, IL
  • Newberry Library. Chicago, IL


  • Kansas History Museum, Topeka, KS –Platt Family Papers (see post)


  • Missouri History Museum. St. Louis, MO
  • Missouri State Archives. Jefferson City, MO
  • Missouri State Archives, St. Louis, MO
  • St. Louis Mercantile Library. St. Louis, MO
  • State Historical Society of Missouri. Columbia, MO
  • State Historical Society of Missouri, St. Louis, MO



Atherton, Lewis E. “Life, Labor, and Society in Boone County, Missouri, 1834-1852, As Revealed in the Correspondence of an Immigrant Slave Owning Family from North Carolina.” Part 1. Missouri Historical Review 93 (Oct. 1998): 49-73.

Frazier, Margaret Mendenhall, ed. Missouri Ordeal 1862-1864: Diaries of Willard Hall Mendenhall. Newhall, CA: Carl Boyer, 1985. [WEB]

Hamm, Thomas.  “A Quaker View of Black St. Louis in 1841.” Missouri Historical Review 98 (Jan. 2004): 115-120.

Missouri’s Early Slave Laws.  Missouri State Archives. 2007-2018. [WEB]

Moore, W.K. “An Abortive Slave Uprising.”  Missouri Historical Review 52 (Jan. 1958): 123-126. [WEB]

Pease, Theodore Calvin and James G. Randall, eds. The Diary of Orville Hickman Browning. 2 vols., Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1925. (see post)

Phillips, Christopher and Jason L. Pendleton, eds. The Union on Trial: The Political Journals of Judge William Barclay Napton, 1829-1883.  Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2005.

  • Saline County; see “Another Fugitive Slave Case” (p. 102) referring to “cheating” of law by northern commissioners in Chicago, c. 1851, plus other comments on Fugitive Slave Law

Ripley, C. Peter with Roy E. Finkenbine, Michael F. Hembree, and Donald Yacavone, eds. Witness for Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery and Emancipation. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993.

Secondary Sources

Astor, Aaron. Rebels on the Border : Civil War, Emancipation, and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2012.

Bellamy, Donnie Duglie. “Slavery, Emancipation, and Racism in Missouri, 1850-1865.” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1971. [Proquest]

Blackett, R.J.M. Making Freedom: The Underground Railroad and the Politics of Slavery.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.

Blackett, R.J.M. The Captive’s Quest for Freedom: Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the Politics of Slavery.  Cambridge, UK / New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018. [POST]

Blight, David W., ed. Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory. Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 2004.

Bordewich, Fergus M. Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America. New York: Amistad / HarperCollins, 2005. [POST]

Campbell, Stanley W.  The Slave Catchers:  Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, 1850-1860.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970 (orig.) / 2012 ed. [POST]

Christensen, Lawrence O. “Black Education in Civil War St. Louis.” Missouri Historical Review 95 (April 2001): 302-16.

Delbanco, Andrew.  The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War.  New York: Penguin, 2018. [POST]

Dempsey, Terrell. Searching for Jim: Slavery in Sam Clemens’s World. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2003.

Dexter, Darrel.  Bondage in Egypt:  Slavery in Southern Illinois.  Cape Girardeau, MO: Center for Regional History, Southern Missouri State University, 2011. [POST]

Epps, Kristen.  Slavery on the Periphery: The Kansas-Missouri Border in the Antebellum and Civil War Eras.  Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016. [POST]

Fellman, Michael.  “Emancipation in Missouri.” Missouri Historical Review 83 (Oct. 1988): 36-56  [JSTOR]

Finkenbine, Roy E. “Love and Danger on the Underground Railroad: George and Edy Duncan’s Journey to Freedom, 1820.” Ohio History 123 (Spring 2016): 7-25. [MUSE]

Foner, Eric.  Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad. New York: W.W. Norton, 2015. [POST]

Franklin, John Hope and Loren Schweninger.  Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation .New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. [POST]

Frazier, Harriet C.  Runaway and Freed Missouri Slaves and Those Who Helped Them, 1763-1865.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004. [POST]

Freehling, William W.  The Road to Disunion, Volume 2: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Frizzell, Robert W. “Southern Identity in Nineteenth-Century Missouri: Little Dixie’s Slave-Majority Areas and the Transition to Midwestern Farming.” Missouri Historical Review 99 (April 2005): 238-260.

Gara, Larry. “The Underground Railroad in Illinois.” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 56 (1963): 508-28. [JSTOR]

Gara, Larry. The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad.  Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, (1961), 1996 ed. [POST]

Greene, Lorenzo J. and Gary R. Kremer, Antonio F. Holland. Missouri’s Black Heritage: Revised Edition.  Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1980.

Griffler, Keith P. Front Line of Freedom: African Americans and the Forging of the Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley.  Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2010.

Gross, Ariela J. Double Character:  Slavery and Mastery in the Antebellum Southern Courtroom.  Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2000.

Harrold, Stanley. Border War: Fighting Over Slavery Before the Civil War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010. [POST]

Hines, Alisha J. “Geographies of Freedom: Black Women’s Mobility and the Making of the Western River World, 1814-1865.” Ph.D. Dissertation. Duke University, 2018.

Hudson, J. Blaine. Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2002.

Hurt, R. Douglas.  “Planters and Slavery in Little Dixie.” Missouri Historical Review 88 (July 1994): 397-415.

Kennington, Kelly M. In the Shadow of Dred Scott:  St. Louis Freedom Suits and the Legal Culture of Slavery in Antebellum America.  Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2017.

LaRoche, Cheryl Janifer.  The Geography of Resistance: Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2014. [POST]

Lee, George R. “Slavery and Emancipation in Lewis County, Missouri.”
Missouri Historical Review 65, no. 3 (April 1971): 294-317. [WEB]

Lubet, Steven. Fugitive Justice: Runaways, Rescuers, and Slavery on Trial. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010. [POST]

Martinez, Jaime Amanda.  Confederate Slave Impressment in the Upper South.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.

Merkel, Benjamin G. “The Underground Railroad and the Missouri Borders, 1840-1860.” Missouri Historical Review, 37 (April 1943): 271-85, [WEB]

McKirdy, Charles R. Lincoln Apostate: The Matson Slave Case. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2011.

Morgans, James Patrick. The Underground Railroad on the Western Frontier: Escapes from Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa and the Territories of Kansas, Nebraska and the Indian Nations,
1840–1865.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010. [POST]

Muelder, Owen W. The Underground Railroad in Western Illinois. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012. [POST]

Mutti-Burke, Diane.  On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small-Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865.  Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2010. [POST]

Naglich, Dennis.  “The Slave System and the Civil War in Rural Prairieville.” Missouri Historical Review 87 (April 1993): 253-73.

Nasta, Jesse. “Making Slavery’s Borders: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Slavery’s Northwestern Frontier, 1787-1860.” Ph.D. Dissertation. Northwestern University, 2017.

Oakes, James.  “The Political Significance of Slave Resistance.” History Workshop Journal 22 (October 1989): 89-107. [JSTOR]

Oakes, James.  Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865.  New York: W.W. Norton, 2013.

Pinsker, Matthew.  “Interpreting the Upper-ground Railroad,” in Max van Balgooy, ed. Interpreting African American History and Culture at Museums and Historic Sites. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015, pp. 75-88

Pargas, Damian Alan, ed. Fugitive Slaves and Spaces of Freedom in North America.  Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2018. Including chapter by Matthew Pinsker After 1850

Prinsloo, Oleta. “’The Abolitionist Factory’: Northeast Religion, David Nelson, and the Mission Institute Near Quincy, Illinois, 1836-1844,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 105 (Spring 2012): 36-68.

Prichard, James M. Into the Fiery Furnace: Anti-Slavery Prisoners in the Kentucky State Penitentiary, 1844-1870, Part One,” KET. [WEB]

Reinhardt, Mark. Who Speaks for Margaret Garner? The True Story That Inspired Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

Reynolds, David S. John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.

Roberts, Anna K. “Crossing Jordan: The Mississippi River in the Black Experience in Greater St. Louis, 1815–1860.” Missouri Historical Review 113 (Oct. 2018): 22-40.

Rule, D.H. and G.E. Rule.  “Civil War St. Louis.” 2001-18. [WEB]

Savage, W. Sherman. “The Contest Over Slavery Between Illinois and Missouri.” The Journal of Negro History 28 (1943): 311-25. [JSTOR]

Siebert, Wilbur H. The Underground Railroad From Slavery to Freedom. London: Macmillan, 1899. [POST]

Sheridan, Richard B. “From Slavery in Missouri to Freedom in Kansas.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 12:1 (Spring 1989): 28-47. [WEB]

Sinha, Manisha.  The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016.

Smith, Dale Edwyna.  African American Lives in St. Louis, 1763-1865 : Slavery, Freedom and the West. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2017. [POST]

Strickland, Arvarh E. “The University of Missouri—Columbia History Department: Training Scholars in the Black Experience.” Missouri Historical Review 95 (July 2001): 413-430.

Tallant, Harold D. Evil Necessity: Slavery and Political Culture in Antebellum Kentucky. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2003.

Trexler, Harrison Anthony.  Slavery in Missouri, 1804-1865.  Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1914.

VanderVelde, Lea.  Mrs. Dred Scott:  A Life on Slavery’s Frontier.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. [POST]

VanderVelde, Lea.  Redemption Songs:  Suing for Freedom Before Dred Scott.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. [POST]

Welch, Kimberly M. Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018.

Willoughby, Robert J. “‘I’ll Wade in Missouri Blood’: Daggs v. Frazier: A Case of Missouri Runaway Slaves.”  Missouri Historical Review 99 (Jan. 2005): 115-138.

Yanuck, Julius.  “The Garner Fugitive Slave Case.” Mississippi Valley Historical Review 40 (June 1953): 47-66. [JSTOR]

  • Cites NY Daily Times article on January 29, 1856 describing case as “stampede of slaves.”