The Sugar House: Background information when reading The Second Mrs. Hockaday

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The Second Mrs. Hockaday

by Susan Rivers

The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers X
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2017, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2017, 288 pages

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Beyond the Book:
The Sugar House

The Sugar HouseIn The Second Mrs. Hockaday, Susan Rivers' historical novel about the Civil War, Mr. Hockaday says to his new wife: "... there's an Armory in Holland Crossroads. A market hall in Traveler's Joy. In Charleston, it's the Sugar House. It's where servants are sent to be corrected." This novel, of course, like all historical novels, is based on true events and Rivers did her research for it using a number of documents. One document is an 1838 article written by a slave who was detained for three months in the Sugar House, a part of the Charleston city jail, located in South Carolina. The article, titled "Recollections of a Runaway Slave", was published in an abolitionist newspaper based in Maine, the Advocate of Freedom.

The Sugar House – named because it had formerly been a sugar warehouse – was a notorious workhouse jail which, by some accounts, housed infamous criminals such as Lavinia Fisher who was supposedly the first female serial killer in the United States, as well ...

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