I recently saw a show about the life of Paul Robeson called I Go On Singing. It was a good show, but it contained several assertions that made me wonder.

  1. Tens of thousands of slaves escaped to Northern Free States.
  2. Agents of the U.S. government doused Paul Robeson with hallucinogenic drugs at some point late in his life, causing psychotic episodes.
  3. Paul Robeson “mastered” two dozen languages.

Some web pages report that Paul or his children make these assertions, but are they right? What other evidence exists?


I don't know about the other two, but that number of escaped slaves is quite creditable. There's no official census of course, for obvious reasons. It seems like even lowball estimates are in the thousands.

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