Friday, March 31, 2017

Never Caught: New Book By LCP Program Director

In February, Dr. Erica Armstrong Dunbar  (Library Company Program Director of the Program in African American History and the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Black Studies and History at the University of Delaware) published Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge. Never Caught follows the journey of young woman and slave, Ona Judge, as she makes her daring escape to New England. Owned by Washington’s wife Martha, Judge made her exhilarating flight to freedom rather than be sent back south as a gift to Martha’s granddaughter. Liberation was not without its consequences, however; Judge was tirelessly pursued by the Washingtons until George’s death years later.

While researching her first book, Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City, Dunbar came across Judge in an escaped slave advertisement. Intrigued by the runaway slave’s circumstances, Dunbar elected to focus the research of her next book on Judge. Through this captivating window into history, Never Caught explores not only the famous founding father’s perception to slavery but highlights the idea of freedom and what it meant to those enslaved. 

To commemorate the Library Company’s 2017 Juneteenth Freedom Seminar (Thursday, June 15) Dr. Dunbar, will present a lecture focusing on Ona Judge and her story. For event details, please go to or contact Clarissa Lowry at 215-546-3181 or  

Clarissa Lowry
Events and Programs Coordinator

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