ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A professor at St. Cloud State University has written a new book.

Christopher Lehman is a professor of ethnic studies at SCSU. His new book is called "It Took Courage: Eliza Winston's Quest for Freedom".

The book takes place in 1860 when the enslaved woman traveled to Minnesota with her captors Mississippi residents Richard and Mary Christmas for summer vacation.

Shortly after she arrived in Minnesota she petitioned for her freedom.

What I wanted to do was look deeply at the one document that exists that was in Eliza's own words and that was her court affidavit from when she legally petitioned for her freedom while she was in Minnesota.

Outside the courthouse in St. Anthony in Hennepin County, a mob of violence broke out. In 1860 our state's constitution forbade slavery. However, many white businessmen benefited from the tourism of southern slaveholders traveling to Minnesota during the summer months. Local business owners feared the Winston case would slow tourism.

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Lehman's book will be released on April 16th, but you can pre-order it now wherever you buy your books.

February is Black History Month.


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