The mystery of Hannah Crafts
Charles Davis sent over The mystery of Hannah Crafts.
By John Bloom
Who was Hannah Crafts. Was Hannah Crafts really a black woman? Was she really a slave? How do we know she wasn\'t a tea-sipping housewife in Morristown who wanted to help abolish slavery?
In case you missed the ballyhoo, 16 months ago an obscure 301-page handwritten manuscript was offered for auction at the Swann Galleries in New York. The title page read \"The Bondwoman\'s Narrative by Hannah Crafts, a Fugitive Slave, Recently Escaped from North Carolina.\"
The catalog said that the manuscript appeared to be from the 1850s and that it was \"uncertain that this work is written by a \'negro,\'\" but that there was textual evidence to suggest that it was written by a slave — for example, \"her escape route is one sometimes used by run-aways.\"