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Posted March 30, 2012
To Free a Family: The Journey of Mary Walker is a spellbinding true story of two families, one anchored by a Northern abolitionist husband and wife and the other by a fugitive slave who had left her children behind in North Caroline.
More than just a good read, this book reminds us of our real or hoped-for heroic ancestors. Indeed, in Peter and Susan Lesley, white New Englanders, we see remarkable courage and generosity in their support of Mary Walker, the runaway slave. I’m sure I’m not the only reader who hopes that my forebears showed some measure of the same courage and generosity in those pre-Civil War days and that in similar circumstances I myself would do the same.
And in Mary Walker we see steadfastness that is often tried and bravery in the face of even physical danger, both as she lived her own life in the North but as she carefully and patiently plotted to free her children, who remained in slavery.
Sydney Nathans is a wonderful writer. This is a superbly written, remarkably well-researched book; I found it hard to put down.
I loved To Free a Family.
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