Larry McClellan, historian and former professor at Governors State University, will be signing copies of his latest books on the Underground Railroad and its significance to the South Suburbs.
McClellan will be signing books from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the Homewood Public Library, 17917 Dixie Highway.
His latest works are “The Underground Railroad South of Chicago” and “To the River: The Remarkable Journey of Caroline Quarlis, a Freedom Seeker on the Underground Railroad.”
“The Underground Railroad South of Chicago” explores the movement of fugitive slaves/freedom seekers across the region in the decades before the Civil War, and the emergence of the networks of assistance that came to be called the Underground Railroad.
McClellan’s book looks at routes from LaSalle and Livingston counties to the west and east across Will County and the southern portion of Cook County into Northwest Indiana. He reports on thousands of freedom seekers escaping from enslavement by passing through the South Suburbs on their way to Canada.
“To the River: The Remarkable Journey of Caroline Quarlis, a Freedom Seeker on the Underground Railroad” tells the true story of a 16-year-old girl determined to find her freedom after escaping from slavery in St. Louis in 1843.
She journeyed up the Mississippi River to Galena, Illinois, then by stagecoach to Milwaukee and then traveled around Chicago, staying for several days in communities south of the city. From Crete, Quarlis traveled to freedom in Canada.
McClellan’s work outlines how she married and raised a family. He was able to write the book with assistance from Kimberly Simmons, one of Quarlis’ direct descendants.