In the mid-1850s, Boston abolitionist Benjamin Drew visited numerous Canadian towns, interviewing scores of refugees from Southern slave states and taking notes of what they had to say. For reasons of safety, he protected the identity of his informants and used fictitious names. Drew's subsequent book was an immediate response to a volume by a Boston preacher who opposed abolition. Drew's soul-stirring account, the culmination of countless fugitive slave autobiographies that preceded it, stressed the well-known abuses suffered by slaves. It also offered fresh insights into the workings of the plantation system and provided a valuable depiction of the lives of former slaves in the North and in Canada. A significant work in the abolitionist crusade that also had an enormous influence on twentieth-century historians, Refugees from Slavery is essential reading for students of American history and African-American studies.