The Androscoggin Historical Society invites you to spend an informative hour with author Mark Alan Leslie, whose historical novel, “True North: Tice’s Story” explores a slave’s escape to freedom. Leslie will speak on the Underground Railroad at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, at the society’s headquarters in the Davis-Wagg Museum on the third floor of the County Building in Auburn.

Author Mark Alan Leslie, whose historical novel, “True North: Tice’s Story” explores a slave’s escape to freedom, will speak on the Underground Railroad at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, at the Androscoggin Historical Society in Auburn. Submitted photo

Maine’s connection to the famous Underground Railroad that helped free runaway slaves in the early- to mid-1800s does not begin and end with Harriet Beecher Stowe and Hannibal Hamlin. Indeed, from Kittery to Fort Fairfield, citizens conspired to break the law and put their lives and fortunes in peril by forming a network of “safe houses” operated by “conductors” and “station managers” to hide slaves from slave hunters and scurry them to Canada.

Leslie weaves the tale of the brave families who housed and fed slaves in hidden rooms, attics and elsewhere en route to the next secret “way station” on the “railroad.”

“Slavery was the one issue that has been able to tear America apart, and that included Mainers,” Leslie said. “Reportedly half Maine’s population thought slavery was essential to the economy, while many others reviled it as ‘the absolute power of one person over another — the vilest human behavior and institution.’ The rift was tangible and dangerous.”

Maine’s Underground Railroad itself was “a marvel of secret connections from churches to hack stands, second-hand clothing stores and people’s homes.”

A longtime journalist, Leslie wrote his first novel in 2008. “Midnight Rider for the Morning Star” is based on the life of Francis Asbury, America’s first circuit-riding preacher.

Since then, in addition to “True North,” he has written “The Crossing” about the Ku Klux Klan in Maine in the 1920s and four contemporary suspense/thrillers: “Chasing the Music” about the hunt for King David’s music of the Psalms, “The Three Sixes” about Islamic terror cells in America, “The Last Aliyah” about the Jewish escape from America when the United Nations bans Jewish emigration to Israel, and “Operation Jeremiah’s Jar” about the search for proof of the Jews’ longtime ownership of the land of Israel.

A book signing will follow Leslie’s presentation.

The public is welcome free-of charge. Donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, call (207) 784-0586 or email [email protected]


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