Henry Boyd’s Freedom Bed
A children’s book written and illustrated by Whitney L.B. Miller
“Henry Boyd’s Freedom Bed” is the true story of an enslaved Kentucky man who purchases his freedom and becomes one of the most innovative and important furniture makers in 19th-century Cincinnati.
In this children’s picture book, appropriate for ages 3-8, you can follow young Boyd as he learns to farm hemp. There he became fascinated by the wooden tools used on the Kentucky farm. From there Boyd is sent to work in the dangerous salt mines in West Virginia.
Eventually Boyd purchases his freedom and moves to Cincinnati to start a successful furniture-making business, thwarting the overt racism of the time. There Boyd invents a clever bed frame that is patented and becomes so famous it is known all over as "The “Boyd Bed.”
In this book you'll learn that Boyd was far more than a furniture maker. He used his woodworking skills to become an important station on the famous Underground Railroad for people who are trying to start a new life in Canada or the Free States.
“Henry Boyd’s Freedom Bed” is the first book dedicated entirely to the deeds of this incredible citizen and is backed up by original historical research. While Boyd’s life has been written about in newspaper articles or as footnotes in books, many of these earlier accounts were incomplete or incorrect.
The book is written to inspire a new generation of young woodworkers and show how simple things made from wood can lead to a successful, creative and important life.
The book is written and illustrated by Whitney L.B. Miller, a television journalist, woodworker and maker.
In addition to the illustrated story of Boyd, “Henry Boyd’s Freedom Bed” also features three pages of historical facts about Boyd, including a complete timeline of his life based on historical documents.
“Henry Boyd’s Freedom Bed” is a 36-page hardback book, printed on heavy paper and produced and printed entirely in the United States. The binding is sewn so it will outlast many decades (and multiple young ones).
About the Deluxe Edition
We are also offering 440 copies of a "deluxe" edition of this book. The deluxe edition contains the hardback book, plus a letterpress signature plate signed by Whitney LB Miller. It also includes three 100-percent vinyl stickers made from artwork from the book. Finally, you also will receive (at checkout) a lovely video featuring Whitney reading the entire book aloud, which is animated with illustrations from the book.
The video is entirely free of DRM (digital rights management) so you can feel free to load it onto any device to play for kids or grandkids (have Whitney baby sit your young ones...).
We have only 440 copies of the stickers and signature plates, so once those are exhausted, the deluxe edition will not be offered.
About the Author
Daughter to Jamaican immigrants, Houston native Whitney L.B. Miller learned at a very young age that the future is as bright as you make it.
Alongside being a professional journalist, Whitney considers herself a "maker."
Whether it be sewing, cooking, DIY decor, arts and crafts or digital illustration, Whitney will try her hand at any project that will create something beautiful.
After a three-day woodworking class she learned about the story of Henry Boyd. His perseverance and determination inspired her to dive into the deep end wit no life jacket to write and illustrate a story that will hopefully inspire you to use your hands and try something new.