Escaping the Cabin

By: Lauren Finan and Alexis Tucker

Whites and the Fights for Rights

Although America has always prided itself on freedom and liberty for all, this freedom had never been extended to, or even contemplated for minorities. However, in the 1850s, more people began to sympathize with blacks because of frequent depictions of slave realities.

Two Questions


a) The subtle ideas conveyed by the images are that people began to sympathize with, as well as understand, slaves. Instead of just portraying them as stoic, they gave them emotions, which all people could understand, fear, horror, and sadness. Therefore, whites began to more understand the struggles of blacks.

b) One thing that surprised me was that many of the blacks were almost the same color as whites in illustrations, saying that despite the differences, they are all people.


a) These images reflect the sympathy that was starting to increase for the abolitionist movement of the time. They show the cruelty and injustice of the slave-owners by depicting them with contorted features and with hounds and whips. And God also plays a major role in the pictures, making the escapes look like miracles and the story, which reflects over the idea of faith being crushed by the horror experienced on plantations.

b) What's surprising about the images is the amount of detail and expression on the faces of slaves, who were typically portrayed as brutes and simple-minded creatures during this time period. The slaves/freed slaves also have a similar skin tone to the white people in the images.