Free Events, Literary Events

Jeffrey S. Copeland

When: Sun., Oct. 25, 1 p.m. and Mon., Oct. 26, 10:30 a.m. 2015

If it's a given that most of us don't square up tidily, that we're often walking paradoxes, it's more true than most of John Fairfield. Fairfield was born into a slave-holding Virginia family but early on formed a lifelong, bitter aversion to slave owning. As slavery was accepted as business as usual throughout the South, the fact that this Southern young man hated the very institution that buttered his society's bread was guaranteed to set him apart and keep him there. Perhaps it surprised no one who knew Fairfield well when he became not just an outspoken abolitionist, but a conductor on the Underground Railroad. And if being a Southerner who helped slaves escape the South didn't make him unusual enough, he was also the only person of note in the Underground Railroad system to charge escapees for his services. Learn more about the man when Jeffrey S. Copeland discusses his book, Ain't No Harm to Kill the Devil: The Life and Legacy of John Fairfield, Abolitionist for Hire, at 1 p.m. Sunday and at 10:30 a.m. Monday (October 25 and 26) at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org). The talk is free.

Alex Weir

Price: free admission