The Road to Dawn (Hardcover)

Josiah Henson and the Story That Sparked the Civil War

By Jared A. Brock

PublicAffairs, 9781541773929, 320pp.

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (5/14/2018)
Library Binding, Large Print (11/7/2018)
Compact Disc (5/15/2018)
Compact Disc (5/15/2018)

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A major literary moment: after being lost to history for more than a century, The Road to Dawn uncovers the incredible story of the real-life slave who inspired Uncle Tom's Cabin.

-He rescued 118 enslaved people
-He won a medal at the first World's Fair in London
-Queen Victoria invited him to Windsor Castle
-Rutherford B. Hayes entertained him at the White House
-He helped start a freeman settlement, called Dawn, that was known as one of the final stops on the Underground Railroad
-He was immortalized in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, the novel that Abraham Lincoln jokingly blamed for sparking the Civil War

But before all this, Josiah Henson was brutally enslaved for more than forty years.

Author-filmmaker Jared A. Brock retraces Henson's 3,000+ mile journey from slavery to freedom and re-introduces the world to a forgotten figure of the Civil War era, along with his accompanying documentary narrated by Hollywood actor Danny Glover.

The Road to Dawn is a ground-breaking biography lauded by leaders at the NAACP, the Smithsonian, senators, authors, professors, the President of Mauritius, and the 21st Prime Minister of Canada, and will no doubt restore a hero of the abolitionist movement to his rightful place in history.

About the Author

Jared A. Brock is the author of A Year of Living Prayerfully, Bearded Gospel Men, and The Road to Dawn. Brock is the director of Over 18, Red Light Green Light, and Josiah, and his writing has appeared in Esquire, Huffington Post, and Writer's Digest.

Praise For The Road to Dawn: Josiah Henson and the Story That Sparked the Civil War

"Vivid....a moving
account of Henson's life and a book from which readers will learn a great deal
about the struggle against slavery."—Publishers Weekly

"Jared Brock's
biography of Josiah Henson is an impressive effort to piece together the story
of a man nearly lost to history and broken by slavery. The Road to Dawn
is sure to become required reading in the archives of African American
history."—Lonnie G. Bunch III, Founding Director, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

"The Road to
tells the story of a courageous man who pursued the common good
in spite of painful wounds, discouraging setbacks, and personal flaws. Josiah's
winsome character and role within the broader abolitionist context keep us
turning the page, as does Jared Brock's fine storytelling about this American
figure. And these stories remind us that we have much to learn from those who
embody the message of justice and mercy, whatever their flaws or fortune may
be."—Timothy B. Tyson, Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, author of The Blood of Emmett Till and Blood Done Sign My Name

"Among the many
incredible things he accomplished throughout his lifetime, readers might be
surprised to learn Josiah Henson was one of our nation's first social
entrepreneurs. The Road to Dawn expertly explains how education and
economy are key elements for achieving emancipation and equality."—Deval Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts, managing director, Bain Capital Double Impact

"The Road to Dawn is
an honest and moving portrait of one of our nation's greatest unsung heroes.
Jared Brock's biography brings much-deserved attention to Josiah Henson's epic
life story, serving as a reminder to what can be accomplished when we fight on
the right side of history."—The Right Honorable Paul Martin P.C., 21st Prime Minister of Canada

"For too many
years, the contributions of African-Americans to our society were minimized or
hidden. This book captures the triumph of the human spirit over slavery and of
man's inhumanity to man. Josiah Henson exhibited an indefatigable determination
to live a life dedicated to the realization of educational opportunities and
self-sufficiency for all. We can never know too much about those who paved the
way and about those upon whose shoulders we stand."—Lillie R Hughes, National Council of Negro Women

"The Road to Dawn
expertly casts Josiah Henson's heroic struggle for emancipation against the
backdrop of a national fight for freedom, and in doing so, re-introduces a
vital character to American history."—Jamie Glavic, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

"Harriet Tubman [and] Frederick Douglass are well known figures in the abolition of slavery. Josiah Henson was less known. Here was a man who had spent more than 40 years in slavery but promised to use his freedom well. He delivered on that promise. Jared A. Brock takes us through the life of a hero of the abolitionist era who overcame unspeakable pain and adversity to make an impact on his home country. A must read."—Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius

"Josiah Henson made a vow to use his freedom well, and his successful legacy serves as an inspiration long after his lifetime. As a descendant of once-enslaved Americans who also used their freedom well, I hope many will join me in reading the vital message of The Road to Dawn."—Justin Fairfax, 41st Lieutenant Governor of Virginia

"Jared Brock brings to life the struggles and perseverance of a man almost forgotten in history. This well-researched book documents the life of Josiah Henson, whose experiences in Maryland, his escape to Canada, and his work on the Underground Railroad reveal a man of incredible fortitude and determination."—Senator Thomas M. Middleton

"Finally, a biography worthy of the man. The Road to Dawn elevates Josiah Henson to his rightful place among important international liberators and frees him from the grip of 'Uncle Tom.' Black history, when properly told will transform your life and your thinking."—Cheryl Janifer LaRoche, PhD author of Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad

"A captivating biography of superb scholarship."—Library Journal, starred review

"From newspaper
advertisements to slave narratives, Brock conveys graphic accounts of the
violence of slavery. But from the novels of the day to Henson's own
autobiography, he remains focused on Henson's personal story. This is perhaps
this book's greatest feat-keeping Henson's message and story central."—

recommended."—Eric Metaxas

AudioFile Earphone Award-winner