Colson Whitehead’s 2016 novel, The Underground Railroad, describes the adventures of Cora, a runaway slave from a Georgian plantation. Although a historical entity, Whitehead’s railroad deviates from history’s figurative railroad to a physical one. While Whitehead’s interpretation of the underground railroad is divergent from historical fact, he still grounds his work with the inclusion of all but one authentic runaway slave advertisement. My focus within this essay is centered on Whitehead's final advertisement, which is for Cora. In examining the poster and the unique characteristics of Ridgeway (the slave-catcher), Homer (Ridgeway’s companion), Cora, and Terrance Randall (owner of the Georgia plantation), I attempt to determine the author of the final slave advertisement in The Underground Railroad.
"The Author of a Fictional Slave Advertisement,"
The Criterion: Vol. 2022, Article 7.
Available at: https://crossworks.holycross.edu/criterion/vol2022/iss1/7