|From Slavery to Salvation; the autobiography of Rev Thomas W. Henry of the AME Church
transcribed, and with an historical essay by Jean Libby
first published 1994 reprints 2005. 2020 primary source of enslaved ironworkers in western Maryland
|In 1859, Rev. Thomas W. Henry was suspected
of being in conspiracy with John Brown. The
essay by Jean Libby develops the circumstances
as told by the minister and documentary evidence
The incident was found by historian Benjamin
Quarles and published in Allies for Freedom;
Blacks and John Brown in 1974. Author Libby
recovered the original Autobiography by Rev.
Thomas W. Henry at Howard University in 1977.
|Art historian Robert Farris Thompson of Yale,
seminal author of Flash of the Spirit: African and
Afro-American Art and Philosophy , confirms that
the enslaved workers at Catoctin Furnace in
Maryland expressed their culture in grave
Rev. Thomas Henry was the pastor to enslaved
workers at both Catoctin Furnace and Antietam
Iron Works in the 1830s.
Photo by Jean Libby in Berkeley, California, 2000.
|Rev, Thomas Henry writes of an insurrection that occurred at Antietam Iron Works in the 1830s. caused
by white workers attacking black workers. who responded in defense. Rev. Henry interceded with the
owner's promise of support/ At the same time, his own children were sold away in Hagerstown by the
slaveholder of his wife. With all that he could save, Henry was only able to make the purchase of his wife
and younger children. In 1865, after Emancipation, he sent a notice looking for his son Rousby (or
Asberry) who was last known to be in Tallahassee, Florida.
Publication of this notice by the National Archives inspires the 2020 edition.
|Drawing of the Antietam Iron Works ca. 1830 courtesy of the current
owners, Wayne and Gayle McCrossin of Sharpsburg Maryland and
Kathy Marshall, Finding Otho, the Search for Our Enslaved Williams