The House of Dies Drear
How we cite our quotes:
Of the one hundred thousand slaves who fled from the South to Canada between 1810 and 1850, forty thousand of them had passed through Ohio. (1.68)
Ohio had a very special role in helping slaves reach freedom. If you're looking for a paper topic for this novel, you might consider Ohio. The website Ohio History Central is a treasure trove of information.
Those who ran the house in Ohio had an even greater risk than the care and concealment of slaves. They actually encouraged the slaves to let themselves be caught and returned to slavery! (2.5)
Thomas can't believe this, and we admit, it's hard to wrap the mind around. Luckily the book explains. Slaves would willingly return to slavery to help free others. This was, as you can imagine, extremely dangerous, a job for the "brave and strong, and very clever" (2.14).
The report went on to say that three slaves whom Dies Drear had hidden for a time were caught in an attempt to reach Canada. Two of the slaves were killed by the bounty hunters who caught them. (2.20)
Thomas thinks that two of the slaves are the "slave ghosts" that, according to the ghost legend, haunt the house. We learn that the third slave escaped to freedom and was Mr. Skinner's great-great grandfather.