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Go South to Freedom

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Description

More than twenty years ago, Robert Croshon, an elderly friend of Frye Gaillard's, told him the story of Croshon's ancestor, Gilbert Fields, an African-born slave in Georgia who led his family on a daring flight to freedom. Fields and his family ran away intending to travel north, but clouds obscured the stars and when morning came Fields discovered they had been running south instead. They had no choice but to seek sanctuary with the Seminole Indians of Florida and later a community of free blacks in Mobile.

With Croshon's blessing, Gaillard has expanded this oral history into a novel for young readers, weaving the story of Gilbert Fields through the nearly forgotten history of the Seminoles and their alliance with runaway slaves. As Gaillard's narrative makes clear, the Seminole Wars of the 1830s, in which Indians fought side by side with former slaves, represents the largest slave uprising in American history. Gaillard also puts a human face on the story of free blacks before the Civil War and the lives they painfully built for themselves in Mobile. Hauntingly illustrated by artist Anne Kent Rush, Go South to Freedom is a gripping story for readers of any age.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 11, 2016 – Gaillard (Journey to the Wilderness) recounts a family story told to him by a friend, Robert Croshon, about an escape led by Croshon's enslaved great-grandfather, Gilbert Fields, as he fled a Georgia plantation "sometime well before the Civil War, probably in the 1830s." Reflecting the nature of the story as one passed down orally between generations, Gaillard adopts the informal voice of one of Fields's descendants: "I was just a boy the first time I heart it, probably 'bout the age that you are now," he writes after describing a perilous trek across a creek that claimed the life of one of Fields's daughters. As Fields and his family attempt to flee to Savannah, a storm prevents them from using the Big Dipper as their guide; after getting turned around, they decide to head for Mobile, Ala. Gaillard weaves information about the history of the Black Seminoles into the story including a cameo by one of the community's real-life leaders, John Horse though these circuitously described details can dissipate some of the tension from the in-progress escape. Rush provides rough black-and-white sketches throughout. Ages 10 up.
Go South to Freedom
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Sep 16, 2016
  • Publisher: NewSouth, Inc.
  • Seller: NewSouth Books
  • Print Length: 72 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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