Library of Congress contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

Harry N. Abrams Inc. contact: Laura Mihalick (212) 229-7110

January 23, 2009

New Book on Slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction Aimed at Young People

Book Features First-Person Accounts from Library of Congress Collections

"Traveling the Freedom Road: From Slavery and the Civil War Through Reconstruction" by Linda B. Osborne has been published by the Library of Congress and Harry N. Abrams Inc. The book draws on interviews in the Library of Congress collections with former slaves to convey the aspirations, sorrows, courage and hopes of ordinary people living through this period.

Osborne, a senior writer and editor in the Library’s Publishing Office, mined the Federal Writers’ Project slave narratives as well as materials in the Library’s Manuscript, Prints and Photographs, Rare Book and Special Collections, and Geography and Map divisions for this work that focuses on the experiences of African-American children. She will discuss her book during a "Books & Beyond" event sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress on Monday, Feb. 9, at noon in the sixth-floor West Dining Room of the Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The event is free and open to the public

More than 80 archival images complement the text. Major events covered include the rise of the domestic slave trade, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Republican Congress’s Reconstruction policies.

From Charles Cowley, an enslaved child who had no shoes to wear as he walked through the snow, to Richard Slaughter, who enlisted in the Union Army at 17, this book reveals the personal hardships and courageous endurance of black youth in 19th-century America.

This full-color hardback book is available for $24.95 from the Library of Congress Sales Shop (www.loc.gov/shop/) or by calling (888) 682-3557. It is also available in bookstores nationwide and online.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its Web site at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at myLOC.gov.

The Library’s collections include the papers of 23 presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, whose 200th birthday will be celebrated with a bicentennial exhibition titled "With Malice Toward None," opening at the Library on Feb. 12. A companion volume, "In Lincoln’s Hand: His Original Manuscripts," edited by Harold Holzer and Joshua Wolfe Shenk, has been published by the Library in association with Bantam Books.

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PR 09-009
01/23/09
ISSN 0731-3527

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