One Noble Journey

"One Noble Journey" recounts the story of Henry “Box” Brown, an African-American born into slavery in 1816 in Louisa County, Virginia. Although he was not subjected to physical violence, Henry’s story demonstrates the cruelty of slavery was every bit as devastating to the heart as it could be on the body. After his family was torn apart and parceled out to various beneficiaries of the estate, Henry devised an ingenious escape plan — sealing himself in a wooden box for shipment to friends and freedom in Philadelphia.

The play also tells the daring and miraculous quest for freedom of Elizabeth Craft and her husband, William, who were born into slavery in Georgia. Ellen Craft, who was very light skinned, disguised herself as a sickly, white gentleman traveling to Philadelphia for medical treatment. Ellen and William, who acted as her slave throughout the journey, bravely traveled on public trains and steamers as they made their way up the eastern seaboard to Philadelphia. Eventually they were forced to sail for England after the Fugitive Slave Law enabled slave hunters to pursue them even in free states.

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