The Inside Story: The Underground Railroad

In this blog series, HPB Buy Guy Steve Leach takes a closer look at the unique curiosities that we see in our stores.


9780345804327_5d023Critics and readers praised Colson Whitehead’s sixth novel, The Underground Railroad, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2017 and the National Book Award in 2016. Its fanciful reimagining of the historic escape route for runaway slaves revived popular interest in the subject.

Here’s a look at Reverend W.M. Mitchell’s Underground Railroad, published in England in 1860, among the most significant items we’ve ever acquired: a book written by a black minister about the slave rescue network during the time it was in operation, and the first book to use the term Underground Railroad in print.

When this copy of this extremely scarce book written during the Civil War made its way to the Half Price Books Flagship store, we knew we had something truly special, and we intend to find a place for it where it can be seen and appreciated by students, historians and anyone who’s fascinated by documents of this noble enterprise.

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Want to check out more rare and collectible treasures? Visit your local Half Price Books or shop HPB.com.

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