Did any of the information the author provided about slavery, slave owners or slavery laws surprise you?
Join Date: 10/11/10
Join Date: 04/21/11
Join Date: 07/28/11
Join Date: 07/11/13
Join Date: 04/14/11
Join Date: 03/24/12
Theodora had a quiet acceptance of her life as the wife of the plantation owner. she was passive, but at the same time managed to have some kindness to the slaves. I was not surprised, I found the characters and story authentic.
Join Date: 01/16/12
Yes. I had no idea that some of the plantations were so large that they had hundreds of slaves or that the plantation masters arranged marriages with the sole intention of increasing their slave population. Intellectually, I've understood the nature of slavery and have thought it abhorrent, but this was an emotional awakening for me
Join Date: 07/17/12
Much of the information about the laws is fairly common knowledge, but some of it is not and did come as a surprise to this southerner. As I said in other posts I found the author's research and ability to include the legal aspects into the story was done in a very effective manner, it is one of strengths of the book, even if the story line does get a tad historionic at times.
Join Date: 03/13/12
I wasn't surprised by any of the slavery information since I have done extensive reading about this period of American history. I have also visited several former slave plantations in the South and at times ahead that sensation of "feeling" the tortured souls that died there. The only terminology that I didn't remember hearing previously was "body servant" for the unfortunate slaves who were forced to have sex with their masters. Perhaps someone else knows if this was a term that the author developed or if this was a common phrase.
Join Date: 04/22/11
No, being a minority I am very aware of information about slavery. My family is from Alabama. Both my 95-year old mother and I were born in Talladega, Alabama. My mother lived on the campus of Talladega College. Her father graduated from the college in 1917. She graduated from the college in 1939. She lived on the integrated campus, went to integrated school from Kindergarten thru college. She lived on an integrated college campus in a very segregated city.
Join Date: 08/23/11
I found it interesting that the American government was willing to intercept the illegal slave trade ships and rescue and return these Negroes. I also didn't realize that escaping slaves would have gone to Jamaica and British Honduras where Sarah ended up.
Join Date: 08/11/13
The author Marlen Suyapa Bodden's research of this era in the South and the working of a plantation is perfect !! I have read many books and researched this period in the South and this book is great and stayed true to this era
I will be choosing this book for my Book Club !!!
Join Date: 02/16/12
Most of the terrible conditions that the slaves had to submit to I had already learned from reading many books. I didn't know that the owners encouraged and even performed that marriages of the slaves in order to increase their population and thus increase population and the owners profits.
Join Date: 10/16/10
Yeah, Margie, just like breeding cattle. What a horrible way to look at people!
I think the only thing that surprised me was that escape to a non-slave state didn't necessarily mean the slave couldn't be "reclaimed," and that the law said the person had to go back to their owners if caught. I would have thought the laws would have protected former slaves in free states, but apparently not.
Join Date: 08/29/13
I was surprised about the free states too. I thought a slave would be free if they got to a free state. It makes me sad to think that they would be scared of being caught for the rest of their lives.
Join Date: 10/04/13
Yes, as a matter of fact -- I was surprised to hear that slaves were used for specialized skills such as carpenters. I did not realize that they were used outside the fields and homes. I'm not from the South, and have never been there, nor is my family from the area. In spite of the extensive reading that I do, this was new information to me.
Join Date: 04/21/11
After viewing and visiting plantations last spring, I could vividly picture life living at Allen Hall. In a way I was surprised when reminded of the cruelty of he owners vrs. their slaves. Especially the lengths the slaves catchers went to to capture runaways. I guess one always needs to put times in perspective. What a time in our history. The feudal system worked the same way in Europe. That time and behavior is nothing to be proud of as well.
Join Date: 11/14/11
This book was enlightening in many ways to me. It really hit me how the plantation owners promoted marriages among their slaves and in this way increased their "stock" by encouraging offspring. How they took care of them in physical ways by providing cabins, health care etc.- taking care of them so they could get more work out of them ...like a person would care for their livestock. about their profits The laws about slaves making it to a free state, but not having any protection. That they could be taken back into slavery by slave hunters even though they had made it to "freedom". I did not realize that. There is a street in Cincinnati called "Liberty Street". I was told that if a slave managed to make it across the Ohio River to Ohio (Kentucky on one side of the river, Ohio on the other) they were free. That is how Liberty Street was named. But, I didn't know that it wasn't guaranteed freedom- they could be recaptured. I also didn't know that slaves were sold as punishment for disobedience. How the threat of families being torn apart was a constant fear for these people. It was one more way to maintain control.
Join Date: 09/26/12
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