Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

All Different Kinds Of Free

All Different Kinds Of Free

4.7 19
by Jessica Mccann

See All Formats & Editions

"A terrific historical novel -- well executed, emotionally engaging, illuminating an important Supreme Court case and the heart of a heroic woman." ~Jewell Parker Rhodes, American Book Award winner and author of Douglass' Women

" Jessica McCann adds flesh and blood to dry history to recreate the savagery and sometimes even the humanity of slavery. This book


"A terrific historical novel -- well executed, emotionally engaging, illuminating an important Supreme Court case and the heart of a heroic woman." ~Jewell Parker Rhodes, American Book Award winner and author of Douglass' Women

" Jessica McCann adds flesh and blood to dry history to recreate the savagery and sometimes even the humanity of slavery. This book tears at your heart." ~ Sandra Dallas, New York Times best-selling author of Prayers for Sale and Whiter Than Snow

A free woman of color in the 1830s, Margaret Morgan lived a life full of promise. One frigid night in Pennsylvania, that changed forever. They tore her family apart. They put her in chains. They never expected her to fight back.

In 1837, Margaret Morgan was kidnapped from her home in Pennsylvania and sold into slavery. The state of Pennsylvania charged her kidnapper with the crime, but the conviction was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the first time a major branch of the federal government had made a pro-slavery stand, and the ruling in Prigg v. Pennsylvania sewed the bitter seeds of the states' rights battle that eventually would lead to the Civil War.

Yet, the heart of this story is not a historic Supreme Court ruling. It is the remarkable, unforgettable Margaret Morgan. Her life would never be the same. Her family had been torn apart. Uncaring forces abused her body and her heart. But she refused to give up, refused to stop fighting, refused to allow her soul to be enslaved.

Jessica McCann's work as an award-winning journalist has been published in Business Week, The Writer, and many other publications. ALL DIFFERENT KINDS OF FREE is her first novel. Learn more about McCann online at www.jessicamccann.com.

Product Details

Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

All Different Kinds of Free 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Mel_in_AZ More than 1 year ago
You won't want to put this book down once you start reading. Living, breathing, feeling, three-dimensional characters are trapped within the backdrop of a painful period in American history, setting the tone for this historical fiction novel. During the pre-Civil War era, a free black woman from Pennsylvania and her free children are forced back into slavery at the hands of a ruthless bounty hunter from Maryland. Such events create the aching pulse of this sad, but uplifting, debut by Jessica McCann. All Different Kinds of Free reminds us of the strength of hope, the bonds of family, and the power of love. It's also a reminder of the liberties we so often take for granted. A must read. Gripping. A page-turner by an up-and-coming voice in historical fiction.
nyauthoress More than 1 year ago
The 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War approaches. Sound the trumpet for a novel where justice, personal liberty and self-reliance are celebrated by a writer who has the savvy to make her voice ring. An obscure 1842 Supreme Court Case is the backdrop for this compelling book. All Different Kinds of Free, a historical fiction novel based on true events, is really the story of Margaret Morgan, a free woman of color from Pennsylvania who is abducted and sold into slavery. The court case received moderate visibility in historical records. The author states that the details of Margaret's life are frustratingly omitted from historical documents; however McCann has created a gripping tale of Margaret and her fight for freedom. Stolen freedom is appalling. "Don't lose hope," Margaret reassures her children who are also kidnapped, ".when something's lost, it can be found again." Jessica McCann, an established non-fiction writer and editor broadens her talents and becomes a historical fiction author to watch. All Different Kinds of Free won the 2009 Freedom in Fiction Prize, an international award recognizing the best unpublished work of fiction championing the values of a free, truly compassionate society. Some detail about the Supreme Court Case is woven into the narrative to give us proper perspective. Even there, the author is careful to tie in the plight of victims like Margaret. "Better a thousand slaves escape," says the civil rights litigator, "than should one free man be thus carried into remediless slavery." Margaret's story, however dominates the novel. Her experiences are as horrendous as the reader can imagine, but she uses courage, indomitable strength and faith in God as weapons against the inhumanity heaped upon her. McCann expertly endears us to Margaret's heart. Somewhat overdone are the extensive use of questions and Margaret's internal thoughts. McCann could have highlighted a landmark, albeit obscure Supreme Court case that spurred us toward the Civil War. Instead, using vivid storytelling, she enlightens the more salient issue through an unforgettable character "demanding" to be treated as a human being who safeguarded her soul against all onslaughts. For a century and a half, people have argued over the Civil War being about state's rights or freedom of the enslaved. All Different Kinds of Free weighs heavily on the human side- the preservation of the dignity of the individual. Does Margaret prevail? Read the book to find out. Does McCann succeed? Strikingly so. She is an author venturing into a new genre with boldness and heart and has given us a riveting read. I thank Bell Ridge Books for supplying a copy of this book. The opinions in my review are unbiased and wholly my own. Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
Margaret grew up as a free black woman in the south, born to two slaves who were freed by their owner before she was born. She marries an ex-slave who is now free, and they move north, settle their own homestead and have a few kids. They have a wonderful life together. Then Margaret is kidnapped by a man sent by her parents' previous owner, who claims that she is a runaway slave. Based on real historical characters, this is one of those absorbing stories that can keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen to Margaret and her children. Little is known about Margaret, other than the fact that she lost the case against Pennsylvania that concerned her. This book speculates about how her life may have gone. Margaret is a strong woman, living a blessed life with her husband and children, when Edward Prigg forcibly takes her and her children from her home and returns her to the widow of the man who once owned her parents. I really enjoyed this story, although there were a few characters that seemed to have been inserted into the story for no real purpose, such as the character of Rose McFarland. She was a spirited and intelligent young woman that I would have been interested in getting to know better, but instead she was introduced briefly and then disappeared from the story again. It left me wondering why make a character so intriguing and likable just to have her be a momentary distraction? My final word: Simple and unadorned, this hard-hitting story will leave you rooting for Margaret and her family, hoping against hope that she regains the freedom stolen from her. If you like fictional stories about slavery and the struggle to overcome, pick up this book!
Dragon_Riders More than 1 year ago
Jessica McCann has written an incredible story of courage and hope, as seen through the eyes of her main character, a free black woman who is kidnapped and forced into slavery by her parents' former masters. If you love historical fiction, you will love this novel. It's suspenseful, emotional and ultimately leaves the reader with a sense of hope, even after all Margaret endures. It also leaves the reader wondering what will happen next. It's not a neat, cut & dry ending, which is actually one of the strengths of this incredible book. You won't be disappointed.
ReenaJacobs More than 1 year ago
I have to say, I wasn’t impressed with the blurb. I’m glad I’d forgotten it by the time All Different Kinds of Free reached the top of my list, cause I might have passed it over for another work. In this case, I let the cover reel me in, and didn’t even bother with the blurb before flicking through the pages. The story started innocent enough. Margaret lived up North where blacks were free despite slavery continuing in the south. When a bounty hunter arrived on the scene, claiming Margaret was a runaway slave but had no papers, even the Pennsylvania laws supported her rights. Then all hell broke loose. Margaret and her children were stolen from their home in the dead of night. When they reached their southern destination, it became apparent Blacks had absolutely no voice in the South. The people in control were willing to do just about anything to ensure nothing changed their way of life. When all was said and done, Margaret and her children were sold into slavery without due process of the law Despite knowing things like that happened in the past, I tend to stay blissfully ignorant about the harsh realities. This book shattered my rose tinted glasses. I cried… I cannot express to you how heartbroken I was over events in this book. At times, the kind of tears I shed were the rare ones I drown in the shower so no one can hear the accompanying sobs. It saddened me to think folks would treat others so inhumanely, worse than animals. I’d like to think slaves were too valuable a commodity to neglect to the point starvation or disease claimed them in mass — as if there were replacements waiting around the bend — but I know not everyone is kind or rational. Over all, this work was a roller coaster of ups and downs. One passage stood out and summarized the stakes well. Before Margaret and her children were sold into slavery, she told her daughter, Emma: “And, most important of all, don’t lose hope. You were free once. Emma, you were. We all were. We lost our freedom, and it’s not fair. But when something gets lost, it can be found again. Just because we don’t see something anymore, doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. Remember that. Promise me you’ll remember that.” Despite the words of encouragement, it was difficult for Margaret to stay strong. Each time Margaret was given a piece of hope, it was snatched away. Every blow left a chip in her armor, until I questioned if she’d ever recover from all the disappointments. It’s been a while since a book has hit me so strongly on an emotional level. This is definitely one of the best reads I’ve read this year. If you’re up for a work which will truly make you feel (sadness, outrage, hope, joy), I highly recommend this book. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.
patsypacker More than 1 year ago
In searching for "good" books to download onto my new reader, I discovered: All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann. This book depicts a free black family living a quiet and rewarding life in Pennsylvania. It took one dark night for everything to change when a bounty hunter sent by Margret Morgan's former owner, Mrs. Ashworth, captures Margaret and her two sons and a daughter. This begins a tragedy of days, weeks and months that eventually turned into years filled with turmoil, despair, conniving, anguish and other emotions that result when her family is literally torn apart. Supreme Court involvement merely makes a mockery of what justice should provide! This historical fiction novel is based on a real person(Margaret Morgan), real events and is filled with real emotion. The story of Margaret Morgan was so very real to me and I agonized in her plight to just be "free". We need to be reminded of these tragic stories and realize that although life never came easy for any of us. However, for the slaves it was a matter of total rejection as a human being and more. Once I began this book, I could not put it down- - -and it was worth every minute of that time and concentration. It is a powerful historical account of slavery- - something we need to be reminded of as to how it molded and shaped our country. Jessica McCann is a gifted author who can, by her words, draw you smack into the time and place of these events. It made me realize what a great movie this story would make! I LOVE THIS BOOK and I can assure you that it will be held on my reader to read again and again.
The_Book_Diva More than 1 year ago
I often hesitate when reading a book about slavery, especially slavery within the United States. This can be a very emotional subject for many of African-American descent. I wish I could say that All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann wasn't an emotionally-charged read, but it was . . . in a very good way. Ms. McCann provides a poignant bordering on tragic fictionalization of the life of Margaret Morgan and family. Margaret was born to freed slaves of Mr. Ashmore and grew up free in Maryland. She was taught to read by Mrs. Ashmore. She marries Jerry Morgan, a freed slave, and they have three children -- Sammy, Johnny and Emma. When tensions rise in Maryland due to an attempted slave revolt, they move to Philadelphia where Blacks are treated with humanity and a sense of respect. Margaret is an accomplished seamstress and quite happy with her life in Pennsylvania. Jerry works as a teamster and earns enough to keep his family clothed and well fed. All is well with the Morgans until the day Edward Prigg comes to Philadelphia. Prigg asserts that he is a bounty-hunter looking for a runaway slave of Mrs. Ashmore, Margaret Morgan. His quest is thought to be thwarted when the Pennsylvania courts rule that since he doesn't have papers showing ownership the Morgans remain free. However, Mr. Prigg doesn't like to be told no and mounts a late-night capture of Margaret Morgan and her children. Before they know it, they are back in Maryland with the intent of being sold to offset Mrs. Ashmore's debts. Thus begins a fight between the states of Pennsylvania and Maryland on state rights. Pennsylvania in 1835 is a state that presumes a Black man or woman is free and since the state doesn't recognize slavery, goes out of its way to protect the rights of these men and women. Maryland is a slave state and presumes that any Black man or woman seen out and about is a slave or a runaway and the only rights to be protected are those of the slaves' owners. While Margaret and her children languish in a jail cell, Maryland and Pennsylvania launch a battle that is taken all the way to the Supreme Court. Margaret even tries to sue Mrs. Ashmore to prove that she was born free, but she isn't allowed to question anyone in court, have an attorney protect her interests or present evidence on her behalf so she loses. What follows is heart-wrenching. Margaret and her children are prepared for sale and her sons are sold to two different slave owners. Margaret and Emma are sold together to a slave-owner from South Carolina that has started his own "breeding" program. Although Margaret is intended to be a house slave, her attitude gets her beaten and raped on the first night at the plantation. She does eventually find her "place" acting as a nurse to the other slaves. She and Emma are permitted to grow foods that supplement the allotted foods to the slaves as well as herbs used to treat their sicknesses. Meanwhile, back in Maryland, Mrs. Ashmore is starting to have a change of heart. She has become "friends" with her one remaining slave, Jim. Jim finds a way to get messages to Margaret using the Underground Railroad. Later when he is freed, Jim leaves Maryland for South Carolina to purchase the freedom of Margaret and Emma, with the blessings of Mrs. Ashmore. The results are less than spectacular. All Different Kinds of Free is not light-hearted but it is a well-written and thought-provoking read.
skstiles612 More than 1 year ago
I love history. I am always amazed when an author can bring something new to the table to make me say, "wait a minute, I didn't know anything about this piece of history". It is this type of work that sends me to my computer to research the actual historical event. So it is with this book. I was unaware of the court case that was one of the biggest things to lead up to the Civil War. The author took a court case from 1842 and built her story around it. This is the story of Margaret Morgan who was a free woman, married to a free man. She lived in Pennsylvania. One day she and her children are kidnapped from their home and sold into slavery. The men who kidnapped them was tried and found guilty. However, they appealed it to the Supreme Court. The decision made by that court set the wheels of the Civil War in motion. Through the telling of this story we experience with Margaret the selling of her children and the other atrocities she must endure. We also watch her cling to her faith letting them know that it is the one thing they cannot possess. I will definitely recommend this to all of the history teachers I work with and to all history buffs.
JoyAnneTN More than 1 year ago
Mama always told me bad things happen on Wednesdays, 'cause it's the middle of the week and the Lord just ain't looking then. I never really understood what she meant by that, because I thought the Lord was always supposed to be looking. I'm grown now, and Mama's long since gone. But, oh, how I pray she was wrong about Wednesdays and that the Good Lord is looking down on York County, Pennsylvania this day. Smart, hard-working, educated. A proud wife and mother. As a free woman of color in the 1830's, Margaret Morgan lived a comfortable life and envisioned a good future for her family, until the day her former owner sent a vicious bounty hunter to return her and her children to Maryland. Thrown back into a brutally cruel system, Margaret did the unthinkable in that era: she took her case to court. Her fate would to be determined by the laws of a time when one state considered her a citizen but another saw her as property. The landmark case of Prigg vs. Pennsylvania sewed the bitter seeds of the states' rights battle that would lead eventually to the Civil War. But the heart of this story is not a historic Supreme Court ruling, it is the remarkable, unforgettable, Margaret Morgan. Her life would never be the same. Her family had been torn apart. Uncaring forces abused her body and her heart. Yet she refused to give up; refused to stop fighting; refused to allow her soul to be enslaved. This vivid, true story will draw readers deep into the heartbreak, terror, courage and indomitable pride of one heroic woman. My Thoughts: Margaret is a fascinating character, strong and courageous. Her story is inspiring and terrifying. Throughout the horrific incidents she and her family go through Margaret never loses faith or hope. I can't imagine what it would feel like watching your children being taken away as slaves but newcomer McCann has written in a way that gives you a bit of insight. Jessica McCann has given us a book, beautifully written, that will keep you reading from cover to cover. Grab a tissue. All Different Kinds of Free gets 5 stars! I was given a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Title: All Different Kinds of Free Publisher: Bell Bridge Books Pub Date: 04/02/2011 ISBN: 9781611940053
LivingPeacefully More than 1 year ago
Jessica McMann weaves a beautifully sad and touching story around the known facts about Margaret Morgan, whose story prompted Prigg vs. Pennsylvania and began the fight concerning states rights that would later lead to the civil war in her book, All Different Kinds Of Free. The story follows Margaret, a free black woman, who is kidnapped by a bounty hunter, along with her children. The book is beautifully written, pulling the reader in so that they may feel what Maragaret did as she has everything taken from her and conveying what it truly meant to be black in America prior to the civil war. The book had me on the verge of tears the entire time I read it, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. Disclaimer: A complimentary copy was provided by Bell Bridge Books.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Mr. Edward Prigg of Mill Green, Maryland arrived in York County, Pennsylvania seeking Margaret Morgan a free woman of color. He gets Constable McCleary to assist him in bringing back to her owner Margaret Ashmore a runaway slave, Margaret Morgan; she insists otherwise and that they were neighbors for years. Mr. Prigg also claims Morgan's children belong to Ashmore. However since she was born free, she has no papers of manumission. Judge Henderson states in accordance with Pennsylvania statue Personal Liberty Law, the bounty hunter must prove with documents the claim. Mr. Prigg kidnaps Margaret and her children with plans to sell them at auction while her husband Jerry was making a delivery in Trenton. This is the beginning of the Morgan family ordeal as Margaret does the unthinkable for a colored person as she fights for her freedom through the court system ending in a decision in 1842. All Different Kinds of Free is a super timely historical biographical fiction told mostly in the first person by the heroine as she works diligently to regain her freedom all the way up to the Supreme Court in 1842. Margaret makes the story line work as she refuses to give up her quest for the wrongful stealing of her freedom so that she can return to her family. Mindful of the current fervor over documentation vs. profiling, readers will understand why Jessica McCann's insightful look at the blood, sweat and tears of a family trying to regain what was taken from them won the 2009 Freedom in Fiction Prize. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
In 1830, Pennsylvania, a free family of color, Margaret Morgan, her husband Jerry and their three children were seen as an asset to there community . Jerry employed at a local business and Margaret had her a very successful seamstress business . Then her freedom and that of her children's were taken away. Her former boss claiming she was a runaway slave. They were kidnapped and sold at auction to the highest bidders. The kidnapper was charged for the crime of kidnapping but an appeal at a higher court overturned the verdict before anyone could find Margaret and her children. This all sewed seeds of discontent which a lot of people believed eventually brought our country to Civil War. It was unthinkable the treatment Margaret and other slaves had to live through. I cried over the injustice and cruelty the slaves and freed slaves had to endure. They got less care and respect than their owner gave his livestock. Granted not all slave owners were cruel but they still condoned slavery. Margaret never gave up hope that she would once again be free. If you think you can handle the truth think again. You must read what the author writes about the truth of what happened To Margaret Morgan and her family and so many other people back then !!!!! I abhor the fact that there are still people with such prejudice still in this world. Will we ever be free of this ignorance of racism? I pray to God we will! The Holy Bible: King James Version. 2000. The Psalms 23 The LORD Is My Shepherd A Psalm of David. 1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Published by The American Bible Society I highly recommend this book!!! I rate this book a 5+ out of 5. Disclosure: I received of free copy of this book from the Author/Bell Bridge Books for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
becx More than 1 year ago
One woman's believable story to keep her family together in the time of slavery. I loved Margaret's determination and never ending hope for her family's freedom. This story, while fiction, is based on real events and is wonderfully told during a time that represented America at it's worst. Truly inspiring and highly recommended!
Jacqueline Blaeser More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago