When her master is betrothed to a woman who conceals a tragic secret, Hannah Crafts, a young slave on a wealthy North Carolina plantation, runs away in a bid for her freedom up North. Pursued by slave hunters, imprisoned by a mysterious and cruel captor, held by sympathetic strangers, and forced to serve a demanding new mistress, she finally makes her way to freedom in New Jersey. Her compelling story provides a fascinating view of American life in the mid-1800s and the literary conventions of the time. Written in the 1850s by a runaway slave, the book is a provocative literary landmark. It provides a window into the psychology and perspective of a slave woman.
Hannah Crafts may be a pseudonym for the female slave who wrote this novel in the United States in the mid-19th century. Editor Henry Louis Gates Jr, one of the US's leading African-American academics, bought and authenticated the MS. He lives in Massachusetts.