When Tolbert Major, an enslaved single father, is offered a chance for freedom, he accepts, even though it means migrating to Liberia. Tolbert, his two little boys, other relatives, and almost 70 additional formerly enslaved people and freeborn black people board the Luna on July 5, 1836, and set sail for Africa.
Several weeks later, Tolbert pens a letter to his former owner, Ben Major: “Dear Sir: We have all landed on the shores of Africa and got into our houses . . . none of us have been taken with the fever yet. We have a prospect of war with the natives.” His letter launches a 15-year correspondence with Ben Major and the settlers’ surviving letters form the heart of Liberty Brought Us Here: The True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia.
Altogether, 16,000 black people left the United States under the auspices of the American Colonization Society and similar groups. It was the largest out-migration in the country’s history.
Why did Ben Major, who descended from a long line of slave owners, decide to free his enslaved people? Did the newly emancipated people want to go to another country? Did they have a choice? What would life in Africa have been like for them? What was the colonization movement about? Did those who supported it have noble or nefarious intentions?
The surviving correspondence seems to indicate that Tolbert respected and perhaps even cared for Ben and his family. Was such a relationship possible between formerly enslaved people and the man who had once owned them? It took more than six years to find answers to these questions.
Liberty Brought Us Here is a well-researched, compelling human drama—a story of survival and dreams for a better life.
The book is now available from University Press of Kentucky or from online booksellers. Receive a 25% discount if you order before August 17, 2020, at www.kentuckypress.com and enter the code FWARE. To order on Amazon, click on: https://www.amazon.com/Liberty-Brought-Us-Here-American-ebook/dp/B083QTP2V9/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Susan+E+Lindsey&qid=1578826285&s=books&sr=1-1. To order from Barnes & Noble, go to: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/liberty-brought-us-here-susan-e-lindsey/1135542267?ean=9780813179339
This unique anthology is part cookbook, part history, and all fundraiser for the historic Farmington plantation in Louisville, Kentucky. Food, family, friends, love . . . from humble spoonbread to chocolate caramels and gingersnaps that snap, this collection of recipes gives today’s cooks a glimpse into the kitchens of the 1800s and early 1900s.
Hattie Morton Speed (of the family who founded Louisville's Speed Art Museum) gathered her own treasured recipes and those of her close friends, and they are reproduced here exactly as they appear in her collection, followed by notes from modern cooks who tested and refined them. You’ll find recipes for sugar pie, Mexican eggs, chicken ala king, transparent pie, and more. Speed Family Heritage Recipes also includes brief sketches of some of the women who, many decades ago, prepared these recipes with love.