I think that a research on Sylvester Graham would help lead our investigation. Sylvester Graham is born in Suffield, Connecticut. He is the founder of Graham crackers, and brought a great health reform in America. The most important thing about him that we need to focus on is his abolitionist movement. He was a minister, which means he had some influence on the community. His political stance is shown in the case in which Flora’s descendants was involved. He was called for testimony and gave the court a handwritten evidence, written by his father, of Flora and Exeter getting married. This supports their descendants’ argument, so we can conclude that he was an abolitionist. This is significant because he was a big figure in Suffield. He had a lot of influence in American cultural diet and political influence over the town and probably the nation. We are researching about Flora’s case that happened in Suffield, and tracing his actions can guide us through the solution of the mystery.
He was also involved in the temperance movement, and he is very likely involved in the underground railroad. I found this book “Abolitionism and American Reform” in Google Books which explains in detail about abolitionism and different people involved in the movement. It mentions Graham as someone who cared about abolitionism and unhealthy diet of Americans at the time. This book also mentions about excessive sexual activity in the South which Graham thought it was unhealthy.
If we research extensively on Graham, we will be able to find out valuable information about his contributions to underground railroad in Suffield, which likely involves Flora. Because we lack direct evidence of Flora in Suffield, Graham can lead us to some clues to solving the mystery of Flora. Also, the book may guide us through the big picture of Abolitionism in America which can give us a general knowledge about 18th and 19th century culture and history. I have googled that there is a lot of information (3) about Sylvester Graham, so it would be a good beginning point of research.
(3) Basic information about Graham