Chicken Chicken

chicken chicken-01.jpg
chicken chicken-01.jpg

Chicken Chicken

from 300.00

John Andrew Jackson was born into a brutal life of labor and abuse in what is present-day Lynchburg, South Carolina. Even as a boy, he was whipped or beaten—for praying, not obeying fast enough, or for no reason at all. Most horribly, he saw his sister whipped to death at the instruction of the plantation owner’s daughter.

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He found some brief happiness with Louisa, a young woman who lived on a nearby plantation. He married her, but when she and their daughter, Jenny, were sold to a plantation owner in Georgia, Jackson’s devastation knew no bounds, and he resolved to use the rapidly degrading sanity of plantation owner Robert English to his advantage. With his owner collapsing into dementia, oversight and discipline on the plantation were lax.

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Jackson began to hatch a plan for escape. If he couldn’t join Jenny and Louisa, he would escape slavery entirely and perhaps someday, somehow, be reunited with them.

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Jackson traded some chickens for a pony that a neighboring slave had somehow obtained. He hid the pony deep in the woods. On Christmas Day, he took advantage of the customary three-day holiday and fled on horseback for Charleston.

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As he was walking past the docked boats, several dockworkers asked him bluntly if he was a fugitive slave and asked to whom he “belonged.” Since he couldn’t plausibly pass as a Charleston slave and certainly didn’t want to admit to being a fugitive, Jackson said he “belonged to South Carolina.”

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His clever and unexpected response may have perplexed his interrogators—and they let him be.

When Jackson found a ship heading to Boston, he tried to board, but the crewmen refused to let him.

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That night, when he was sure no one was on the ship, he hid in a five-by-three foot box on a lower level of the vessel. Eventually, on the high seas, the crewmen found him and threatened to unload him on the next ship. There never was another ship, and Jackson made it to Boston safely.

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From Boston, he went on to settle in Salem, Massachusetts. Rather than live underground, Jackson chose to keep his name and live openly. He worked to raise funds with Northern abolitionists who were willing to help him negotiate freedom for the wife and baby daughter he had left behind.

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But this plan was doomed to failure. Before he was able to raise sufficient funds to purchase his family’s freedom, the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act effectively forced him to flee again, this time north to Canada with the help of the increasingly organized Underground Railroad.

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Print Sizes

(S): 8.5x11 in
(M) 24x36 in
(L) 30x40 in
(XL) 60x40 in

Printed on High Quality Archival Metallic Paper

Hand signed and numbered.

Ships within 14 days of purchase 

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