Through the research in this week, I found that the story is never as simple as we thought; there’s always another layer under the story. As everyone shared their resources, many names that we have never heard showed up that are related to the underground railroad activities. In this process of sharing and discussing, I think we gained the ability of accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information. We still need to dig into the storyline and have the patience to find reliable evidence to support the story since there are limited documents. The book, Love of Freedom: Black Women in Colonial and Revolutionary New England, written by Catherine Adams and Elizabeth H. Pleck, provides some information about Exeter’s attempt to free his wife, Flora, and the law for property procession and patriarchal society during 1700s. The book states that by 1780, a large portion of the black families sought for legal marriage and moved out from the White’s family; therefore, we have some clues to search for how these movements have been initiated, how these black families get the chance to escape from the Whites’ control. Then we can ask if they got any assistance from the underground railroad activists. The book also describes that the majority of the enslaved women in colonial and revolutionary New England were inclined to seek their freedom, and provides some cases about free black husbands trying to gain their wives’ freedom, in which we can investigate the social environment that prompts these slave women who fought for their freedom in New England. This book is a valuable resource because it provides the background information, including legal issues and specific examples that are closely tied to the Flora’s case. However, there are some parts that require critical thinking skills, in which we need to question if the information this book provides is really authentic and if we can find same information from other reliable resources. Because the laws of slaves’ marriage and property procession are mentioned in the book Love of Freedom derives, the question rises if in this case: Is Flora the procession of her slave holder or does her husband Exeter have the legal custody of his children and wife? Because the husband, Exeter, went on a journey to find Flora, there’s also a question about how Exeter went from Suffield to New York without any efficient transportation. Did he ever meet with any underground railroad activists on his way if the underground railroad is really prominent during that time period? From all these indications, I think it may be interesting to collect all the derived information about how Flora is traded and how the the slaves are at disadvantage under the laws. In that case, the researching process requires our patience and meticulosity to examine the information and to reconstruct a credible Flora’s case. This book offers us African American stories of freedom as well as underlying elements about underground railroad, and we can follow them and open up the mystery of underground railroad activities.
- “Love of Freedom: Black Women in Colonial and Revolutionary New England.” Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.
- FLORA’S PLIGHT: A MONTGOMERY COUNTY FREEDOM SUIT