MEDIA
Desperate Conflict in a Barn
Created: 1872
Medium: Prints/Drawings, Wood engraving

Desperate Conflict in a Barn

This illustration depicts a fight between Wesley Harris, alias Robert Jackson, a self-emancipating enslaved person from Harper’s Ferry, and a group of white men attempting to reenslave him. It appeared in prominent Philadelphia abolitionist William Still’s The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters, &c., Narrating the Hardships, Hairbreadth Escapes and Death Struggles of The Slaves in Their Efforts for Freedom, published in 1872. Harris and his companions used firearms to defend themselves against the constable and his men but were overpowered. His captors held him in a nearby town to recover from a gunshot wound in his arm, intending to later sell him at auction. He escaped again during this recuperation, eventually making it to Philadelphia and freedom.