Prologue: A Secret Striving -- Reluctant Runaway -- Sanctuary -- "In the Midst of Friends" -- "Never Reject the Claims of Fugitive" -- The Rescue Plot -- "A Spirit Like a Dove" -- A Season of Silence -- "A Case of Heart-Rending Distress" -- If They Die for Their Freedom, Amen -- "The Welfare of Her Race" -- "To Part No More" -- Epilogue: "Their Works Do Follow Them."
"What was it like for a mother to flee slavery, leaving her children behind? To Free a Family tells the remarkable story of Mary Walker, who in August 1848 fled her owner for refuge in the North and spent the next seventeen years trying to recover her family. Her freedom, like that of thousands who escaped from bondage, came at a great price- remorse at parting without a word, fear for her family's fate. This story is anchored in two extraordinary collections of letters and diaries, that of her former North Carolina slaveholders and that of the northern family- Susan and Peter Lesley- who protected and employed her. The author's sensitive and penetrating narrative reveals Mary Walker's remarkable persistence, as well as the sustained collaboration of the black and white abolitionists who assisted her. Mary Walker and the Lesleys ventured half a dozen attempts at liberation, from ransom to ruse to rescue, until the end of the Civil War reunited Mary Walker with her son and daughter. Unlike her more famous counterparts- Harriet Tubman, Harriet Jacobs, and Sojourner Truth- who wrote their own narrative and whose public defiance made them heroines, Mary Walker's efforts were protracted, wrenching, and private. Her odyssey was more representative of women refugees from bondage who labored secretly and behind the scenes to reclaim their families from the South. In recreating Mary Walker's journey, this book gives voice to their hidden epic of emancipation and to an untold story of the Civil War era."--Jacket.
This book is a first edition, first printing of “The Conjure Woman," a collection of seven short stories, all set in "Patesville," North Carolina and told through the view point of the character Uncle Julius: The Goophered Grapevine, Po’ Sandy, Mars Jeems’s Nightmare, The Conjurer’s Revenge, Sis’ Becky’s Pickaninny, The Gray Wolf’s Ha’nt, and Hot-foot Hannibal. The book has a tan cloth binding. The front cover has three illustrations set in in red blocks at top center of the cover. From left to right the illustrations include a white hare, an elderly bald man with a beard, and a white hare. Title of book, [THE CONJURE WOMAN], is embossed beneath the red blocks in gold serif typeface and author's name, [CHARLES · W · CHESNUTT], centered at bottom of the front cover, also in gold serif typeface. The spine text is all printed in gold serif typeface. The text along the top third of the spine reads [THE / CONJURE / WOMAN]. The author's name [CHARLES W · / CHESNUTT], is embossed on the center of the spine and the name of the publishers [HOUGHTON / MIFFLIN CO] is embossed across the bottom of the spine. The book is two hundred and twenty-nine pages and includes a title page and contents page.