Sunday, July 21, 2013

To Free a Family

     Writer Sid Nathans has written a remarkable book called "To Free A Family,"  It tells the story of Mary Walker, a slave from the Raleigh area who possessed the talents of a designer and seamstress and worked for Mary Todd Lincoln.
     Mary Walker was quite successful and ended up purchasing the Village Smithy House in Cambridge, which was memorialized in the poem by Wordsworth.  She was taken in by a minister and his wife and received a lot of support from the Cambridge community.
     Unfortunately, she was separated from her children, who remained in the Raleigh area.  This story was widely known in Massachusetts.  During the Civil War, a Union soldier located her son, and told him that his mother wanted him and the other children to join her in Massachusetts.  As a consequence, Mary Walker was re-united with her family.
     Author Sid Nathans came to the Durham County Library to give a lecture and slide show about his book.  I had a chance to talk with him and to meet some of the descendants of Mary Walker.

For more information about the book, click on this link:

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