The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of Sally Miller and Her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans

( 17 )

Overview

It is a spring morning in New Orleans, 1843. In the Spanish Quarter, on a street lined with flophouses and gambling dens, Madame Carl recognizes a face from her past. It is the face of a German girl, Sally Miller, who disappeared twenty-five years earlier. But the young woman is property, the slave of a nearby cabaret owner. She has no memory of a "white" past. Yet her resemblance to her mother is striking, and she bears two telltale birthmarks. In brilliant novelistic detail, award-winning historian John Bailey ...

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The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of Sally Miller and Her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans

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Overview

It is a spring morning in New Orleans, 1843. In the Spanish Quarter, on a street lined with flophouses and gambling dens, Madame Carl recognizes a face from her past. It is the face of a German girl, Sally Miller, who disappeared twenty-five years earlier. But the young woman is property, the slave of a nearby cabaret owner. She has no memory of a "white" past. Yet her resemblance to her mother is striking, and she bears two telltale birthmarks. In brilliant novelistic detail, award-winning historian John Bailey reconstructs the exotic sights, sounds, and smells of mid-nineteenth-century New Orleans, as well as the incredible twists and turns of Sally Miller's celebrated and sensational case. Did Miller, as her relatives sought to prove, arrive from Germany under perilous circumstances as an indentured servant or was she, as her master claimed, part African, and a slave for life? A tour de force of investigative history that reads like a suspense novel, The Lost German Slave Girl is a fascinating exploration of slavery and its laws, a brilliant reconstruction of mid-nineteenth-century New Orleans, and a riveting courtroom drama. It is also an unforgettable portrait of a young woman in pursuit of freedom.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802142290
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/9/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 249,710
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2006

    One of the best historical fiction books I have ever read.

    If you have an interest in History, early New Orleans, slavery, or just a very good mystery, this would be a book that you can¿t put down until you finish it. I carried the book around with me until it was finished then wished it was longer. John Bailey has a gift for taking the facts and putting them into a readable narrative which turns history into an interesting and enlightening experience. His work was so well researched that I, as a native of the area, could find no place where he misrepresented the people, facts or language of old New Orleans and the Slavery and legal questions of the early 1800¿s. His method of introducing an explanation of the facts within the narrative gives the reader information supporting the story as it moves along. Quite a feat for a person who is not even from America. This is only his second book but I hope it is not his last.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    very interesting and shocking

    As they say, truth is stranger than fiction. This is indicative of this book, which tells of the horrid laws of slavery during the 1800's, and the true tale of a 3 year old child who had emigrated to Louisiana in the early part of the 19th century. After surviving a horrendous ocean voyage to America from Germany, where many died on this voyage, this child, as well as many others who were immigrants, were enslaved temporarily, regardless of their race. The child, however, had an olive complexion, and was taken to be a negro. After many years of being a slave, she was recognized by her godmother, who proceeded to try to get her freed. The story is compelling and should be read by all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2007

    A reviewer

    During the 19th century, Sally Miller was found by Madame Carl Rouff and brings her to the village where German immigrants lived. And everyone recognizes her as Salome Muller, a lost German slave girl. She is a daughter of Daniel Muller who was sold to another slave owner who was from far away. So all the relatives and friends gets separated. Then they never heard from them ever. Sally Miller, by a help of the other German families tries to win a freedom from slavery. The whites, or Europeans, were to be indentured servants because they had to pay off debt that was to come to America. Sally's trial starts with her previous master, John Fitz Miller, the rich owner of slavery. Then it also includes with . John Miller then goes with research that Sally is not Salome and goes with how he bought her, how she didn't have any accents, and that her skin is a bit dark, not white. Then the Defense team with Upton's help proves about how Sally look just like her mother and that she has a mole. Also, with witnesses help, that she did have a German accent and that she was sold to Attakapa where John Miller's farm was. Many of the trials of her fails and people begins to give up. But Upton and Eva, her Godmother, helps her until the end, trying to look for more witnesses to prove. This book, also, shows some examples of many other trials that are similar to this and how the outcome was successful. It, also, shows how people were trying to win their freedom, not giving up, and how they want to prove that they have a right. In my opinion, I think that Sally Miller is not Salome Muller, but I am glad about how she freed herself from slavery, and how strongly her community fought for her. When I read this book, it seemed so realistic to me that this was actually happening now. If there is a time during the class, this book should be read to actually understand how these people felt and why they want freedom so much, that they could risk their life. Later, Sally Miller is freed following by the judges, and she tries to free her own children. This taught me how difficult it is to be freed. There is many ways to be freed, and if none of them works, then there is no way. This taught me how when slave is pregnant, then the children immediately becomes slaves. And the only way to free themselves is to pay certain amount of money or win their freedom someway. If I was one of the slave owner's daughter, I would want to end this and help the slaves with their life. I with everyone in 19th century would feel this way, so that there wouldn't be such thing as slavery since all human are equal. ^_^

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2012

    A good read because it's true.

    Interesting, holds your attention, but not one I'm running out telling people they should read. One new insight, I never know about the 'redemptioners' and the possible consequences of the practice.
    I think any one with a law background would be interested -again because it is a true story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Hard to Put Down!

    Very entertaining history. It becomes a supense story of whether Sally Miller will obtain her freedom and has a surprise ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    A fascinating story, but a dreadfully written book. The author

    A fascinating story, but a dreadfully written book. The author is trying to tell two stories here. Many authors succeed in this kind of endeavor. He did not. The story of Sally Miller is amazing...as is the story of the history of laws governing slaves. I hope for readers' sakes, the author and/or editor will take another stab at trying to present it coherently.

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  • Posted February 13, 2012

    Excellent presentation of actual events

    The research is presented straight-forward and documents. A book that could be dry and lifeless. It is the exact opposite. I was caught in the story and rooting for the lost German slave girl!

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  • Posted February 7, 2012

    Good Book

    What I found most interesting about this book were the facts. It was interesting to me to learn the laws of slavery back then. Not a lot of story, but it was just facts of the case. Interesting.

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