Tuesday, 3 May 2011

All Different Kinds of Free

Finished May 3
All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann
This novel took its inspiration from a real situation where a black woman took her case to freedom to court.
Here we have Margaret, whose mother was freed by her owner, Mr Ashmore, and who therefore was born free in Maryland in the early 1800s. She became a seamstress and married a freed black man. After a few years, the two moved to Pennsylvania, a free state.
Margaret had been taught to read and write by Mrs. Ashmore, who is now a widow. Mrs. Ashmore is convinced by her daughter to send someone after Margaret and her family, claiming ownership. The man she sends, Mr. Prigg doesn't have any papers proving such ownership, so the Pennsylvania court disallows such action. But Mr. Prigg kidnaps Margaret and her children. The subsequent story is how Margaret first tries to prove her freedom, and then finds her family torn apart, sold into slavery. Mrs. Ashmore finds that guilt over her actions cause regret and she makes some steps toward assauging that guilt.
This was a very interesting story, drawing a picture of different types of slave owners and their outlooks. It shows the social feeling of the day and how once freedom has been tasted, it is hard to submit again.


  1. Thank you for taking the time to read my book and write about it. I'm so glad you enjoyed learning about Margaret's story.

    Jessica McCann

  2. Wow, I'm always amazed that people actually did this to one another.

  3. I know. I was getting really angry at some of the scenes in the book. I can't believe people can live with themselves doing such things.