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Whispering Quilts tells the story of a young Dahomean girl who was sold or traded into slavery on the West African Slave Coast in the late 18th century, brought to America, and bought by a Southern rice planter; she is renamed Charlotte. Although a new identity was forced on the young girl, she does not lose her sense of who she was: an African queen, and a warrior. Half a century later, her progeny attempt an escape from the brutality of the southern plantation to freedom in Canada in 1850. To fail in this attempt means possible torture or death... Will they make it?
This 19th-century historical fiction, set during the pre-Civil War period of the Antebellum South, tells the story of one branch of Charlotte’s progeny. This is a tale of a time when unimaginable savagery, unmitigated abuse, institutionalized racism, mental, physical, and psychological tortures were common tools of punishment used by slave owners against the enslaved – young and old.
This is also an inspiring tale of the tender love that bound an enslaved family together and tells how the enslaved African Americans coped with their bondage to survive. It is a story of how—through an Underground Railroad system—courageous White abolitionists, Quakers, and people of goodwill broke the law to help fugitive slaves escape their bondage to find freedom in the North and Canada, aided by coded quilts and Negro spirituals.
Although a work of fiction; most of the experiences of the main characters are rooted in historical facts based on firsthand accounts of former slaves, as recorded in the Slave Narratives and other historical sources. Many abolitionists and places mentioned in connection with the Underground Railroad are historically accurate.