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Pre-Confederation (to 1867)

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  1. 14.6 hrs • 2/20/2016 • Unabridged

    It was the day before Independence Day, 1833. As his bride, Lucie, was about to be sold down the river, Thornton Blackburn planned a daring and successful daylight escape from their Louisville masters. Pursued to Michigan, the couple was captured and sentenced to return to Kentucky in chains. But Detroit’s black community rallied to their cause in the Blackburn Riots of 1833, the first racial uprising in the city’s history. Thornton and Lucie were spirited across the river to Canada, but their safety proved illusory when Michigan’s governor demanded their extradition. Canada’s defense of the Blackburns set the tone for all future diplomatic relations with the United States over the thorny issue of the fugitive slave and confirmed the British colony as the main terminus of the Underground Railroad. The Blackburns settled in Toronto, where they founded the city’s first taxi business, but they never forgot the millions who still suffered in slavery. Working with prominent abolitionists, Thornton and Lucie made their home a haven for runaways. When they died in the 1890s with no descendants to pass on their fascinating tale, it was lost to history—Lost, that is, until archaeologists brought the story of Thornton and Lucie Blackburn again to light.

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    I've Got a Home in Glory Land

    14.6 hrs • 2/20/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.3 hrs • 10/14/2008 • Abridged

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Washington's Crossing offers a sweeping, enthralling biography as dramatic and exciting as the life it portrays. Soldier, spy, master mariner, explorer, cartographer, artist, and Father of New France, the remarkable Samuel de Champlain comes to life in acclaimed historian David Hackett Fischer's Champlain's Dream. Born on France's Atlantic coast, Champlain fought in France's religious wars for the great Henri IV, with whom he shared religious tolerance in an age of murderous sectarianism. He was also a brilliant navigator, never losing a ship in 27 Atlantic crossings. But we remember Champlain mainly as a great explorer. On foot and by ship and canoe he traveled through what are now six Canadian provinces and five American states, where he founded, colonized, and administered French settlements in North America. Despite much resistance and many defeats, Champlain's astonishing dedication and stamina finally established France's New World colony. He tried constantly to maintain peace among Indian nations, but when he had to take up arms he forcefully imposed a new balance of power, proving himself a formidable strategist and warrior. Throughout his three decades in North America, Champlain remained committed to a remarkable Grand Design for France's colony. A leader who dreamed of humanity and peace in a world of cruelty and violence, he was a true visionary, especially when compared to his English and Spanish contemporaries.

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    Champlain's Dream

    10.3 hrs • 10/14/08 • Abridged
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