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Go South To Freedom

New South Books

An author from Mobile has written a new children’s book about a family of escaped slaves in the 1830's who found freedom by traveling south. The book is called Go South To Freedom, and it’s the work of Frye Gaillard, an author and the Writer in Residence at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He talked with WUWF's Bob Barrett about what inspired the story.

  • A life long friend introduced him to the story when he told Gaillard an oral history of his family. They were slaves who escaped a plantation in Georgia.
  • The family planned to run north following the North Star, but got turned around in a thunderstorm and ended up going further south.
  • They met a fellow escaped slave who told them about an Underground Railroad that ran in the south. He said they could live with the Seminole Indians of Florida, or head to a colony of free blacks in the coastal town of Mobile. Eventually, he said, they did both.
  • Gaillard said this was all new information to him, but found it was well documented when he began research for the story. 
  • After living with the Seminoles and going as far south as the Everglades, the family did eventually end up in Mobile, Alabama.
  • Gaillard said he aimed the book at grade school readers, but some older readers have enjoyed the story.

Here is Bob and Frye Gaillard's full conversation.