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Elizabeth's Field: Of Freedom and Bondage on Harriet Tubman's Eastern Shore

Elizabeth's Field: Of Freedom and Bondage on Harriet Tubman's Eastern Shore

by Barbara Lockhart

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Winner, Silver Medal, IPPY AWARDS (Regional Fiction)

     Elizabeth’s Field captures the realities of pre-Civil War life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and creates characters that struggle in extraordinary adversity. Lockhart traces the branches of several generations of black families, their histories merging, the memories of their grandparents’ miseries fading yet not forgotten. Her carefully limned descriptions of the land – the profusion of flora and the turning of the seasons – are masterful. Through fully rounded characters and lyrical prose, Lockhart’s novel teaches some hard lessons about man’s inhumanity to man.

     Kathryn Lang, former editor at Southern Methodist University Press

     The characters in Elizabeth’s Field are clearly defined and the environment carefully re-created so that we feel we are indeed stepping into the past, actually viewing people behind the gauze curtains of long ago. Weaving the present with the past, Lockhart brings us face-to-face with how slavery has continued to impact people on the Shore. Elizabeth’s Field is a thoroughly readable work, thought-provoking and well-written.

     G. Ray Thompson, PhD, professor of history emeritus and former director, The Nabb Center, Salisbury University

     Elizabeth's Field is the story of the free black population living on Maryland's Eastern Shore in a county known for being the birthplace of Harriet Tubman. Elizabeth, a free woman of Indian and African-American descent, owns land in 1852 and loses it in 1857. Her struggle to hold onto the land and her connection with Sam Green, the local minister who is sentenced to ten years imprisonment for owning a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin, attest to the turmoil existing within Maryland's borders.

     Mattie, the present-day farm worker on whose oral history the novel is based, searches for answers to her genealogical history. As she tells the story of her life, she reveals the societal and agricultural changes that occurred on the same land that was Elizabeth's field one hundred and fifty years before.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781944962760
Publisher: Secant Publishing
Publication date: 07/04/2020
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 242
File size: 539 KB

About the Author

Award-winning author Barbara Lockhart uses the setting of the Eastern Shore of Maryland for her historical novel, Elizabeth's Field, and her latest work in Collected Stories. She has been the recipient of two Maryland Arts Council Awards for excerpts from her first novel, Requiem for a Summer Cottage, and excerpts from her short stories.

Elizabeth's Field won a silver medal in the Independent Book Publishers Award for Regional Fiction, and her previous collection of short stories, The Night is Young, won a Finalist position in the National Indie Excellence Awards.

With lyrical prose, Lockhart captures the flavor of the land and the people, ordinary folk living in small towns and on farms in both the present era and in pre-Civil War history. She has an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Vermont College. Through lectures, readings, and book discussion groups, Lockhart's interest has been to explore Shore life and history, while recognizing and honoring the humanity that links us all.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Prologue 1

Mairie, 2000 5

The Burton Household, 1844 24

Mattie, 2000 62

The Language of the Fields, 1850 69

Libby, 1850 74

The Fire, 1852 82

A Bargain Kept, 1852 91

Mattie, 2000 97

Addy's Journey 101

A Will and a Way, 1854 123

Mattie, 2000 137

Currents, 1855 143

The Alpha and Omega Seasons, 1856 155

Wheels of Change 171

Mattie, 2000 182

Preacher Green and the Borrowed Book, 1857 186

Aftermath, Spring, 1857 201

Inside the Walls, Fall, 1857 211

Elizabeth in Rain and Snow 215

Mattie, 2000 226

Deliverance, March, 1862 230

Mattie, 2000 235

Notes 239

Family Tree 241

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