Download Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge Audiobook

Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge Audiobook, by Erica Armstrong Dunbar Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Erica Armstrong Dunbar Narrator: Robin Miles Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2017 ISBN: 9781442394506
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A startling and eye-opening look into America’s First Family, Never Caught is the powerful narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave who risked it all to escape the nation’s capital and reach freedom.

When George Washington was elected president, he reluctantly left behind his beloved Mount Vernon to serve in Philadelphia, the temporary seat of the nation’s capital. In setting up his household he took Tobias Lear, his celebrated secretary, and eight slaves, including Ona Judge, about which little has been written. As he grew accustomed to Northern ways, there was one change he couldn’t get his arms around: Pennsylvania law required enslaved people be set free after six months of residency in the state. Rather than comply, Washington decided to circumvent the law. Every six months he sent the slaves back down south just as the clock was about to expire.

Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, the few pleasantries she was afforded were nothing compared to freedom, a glimpse of which she encountered firsthand in Philadelphia. So, when the opportunity presented itself one cold spring day in Philadelphia, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs.

At just twenty-two-years-old, Ona became the subject of an intense manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts to recapture his property.

Impeccably researched, historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar weaves a powerful tale and offers fascinating new scholarship on how one young woman risked it all to gain freedom from the famous founding father.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A crisp and compulsively readable feat of research and storytelling.”

    USA Today

  • “A story of extraordinary grit.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “A valuable addition to African-American history.”

    Richmond-Times Dispatch

  • “What makes Never Caught uniquely interesting and important is that this is one of the rare narratives from a black woman slave. It also shines light on the dark corners of American history and the first Family, the Washingtons.”

    Washington Book Review

  • Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
  • Finalist for the 2018 New England Book Award for Nonfiction

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About the Author

Erica Armstrong Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University. She also serves as director of the program in African American history at the Library Company of Philadelphia. She is the author of A Fragile Freedom, Sweet Buds of Promise, and Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, which was a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and a winner of the 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Award.

About the Narrator

Robin Miles, named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration, an Audie Award for directing, and many Earphones Awards. Her film and television acting credits include The Last Days of Disco, Primary Colors, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order, New York Undercover, National Geographic’s Tales from the Wild, All My Children, and One Life to Live. She regularly gives seminars to members of SAG and AFTRA actors’ unions, and in 2005 she started Narration Arts Workshop in New York City, offering audiobook recording classes and coaching. She holds a BA degree in theater studies from Yale University, an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama, and a certificate from the British American Drama Academy in England.