Born a slave in Virginia, John Parker was sold to a doctor in Mobile, Alabama where he learned to read and write and apprenticed in an iron foundry. At 18 he purchased his freedom and moved to Ohio. In 1853, he established a foundry and obtained US patents, one of the few African Americans to do so in the 19th century. He was a daring slave rescuer invading Kentucky at night bringing hundreds of slaves to freedom. He kept records of those he helped but destroyed them when the Fugitive Slave Law threatened his home and future.
The Underground Railroad was a network of safe houses operated by abolitionists to aid runaway slaves fleeing slavery in the Southern states. The 1850 Fugitive Slave Law permitted slave owners to reclaim fugitive slaves even if they resided in free states; thus, many slaves traveled on to the safety of Canada.
This John Parker mug is part of our Civil War, Abolitionist and African American Series profiling outstanding men and women who have helped shape our country in important and positive ways.
The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history. The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton. He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone. The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.
- Mugs are food and microwave safe.
- To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
- Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.
- Shipping charges are lower when buying multiple mugs.