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Mother of Freedom

: $13.00
Item Number: 9780978912314
Publisher / Author: TreeLine Press
ISBN: 9780978912314
Mum Bett and the Roots of Abolition

By Ben Z. Rose

As the Revolutonary War drew to a close, a black slave known as Mum Bett summoned the courage to take her owner to court in a bid for her freedom. She succeeded--becoming one of the first slaves to gain her freedom through the courts. 
Though slavery in the New England town in which she lived had been legal for more than 100 years, Mum Bett sought help from Theodore Sedgwick, an ambitous 33 year old attorney who agreed to take her case. Their quiet success set in motion a sequence of events that would topple an established way of life.  As a free woman Mum Bett would protect Sedgwick's family during the Shays' Rebellion, a test of civil authority that shook a fragile government to its roots. She also became a second mother to Sedgwick's children, as he pursued a career in Congress, and his wife Pamela experienced the anguish of mental depression.
As we search for insight into those who planted the first seeds of abolition, Mum Bett's courage and conviction act as an inspiration, and a reminder of the tremendous strength required to uproot American slavery.

"Ben Z. Rose preserves the legacy of Mum Bett, as she is best known, and adds to it with a fascinating context in which to measure her achievement. Only with diligent probing such as this can the larger picture of America's past come to life."

            --Bernard A. Drew, distinguished Berkshire County author and historian.


"Mum Bett's quick wit, passion for life, and dedication to doing what's right shine through in the vivid anecdotes Rose shares...a great companion book for students in U.S. history courses, and a marvelous addition to any amateur or professional historian's private collection. Women's groups will greatly benefit from learning the story of this courageous American whom little is known about."

            --Graciela Sholander in


"Highly recommended to those interested in slavery, African American biography, and early American history."

            --Brother Benet Exton, in

"Telling the true story of this remarkable woman, "Mother of Freedom" is well worth the look."
            ---James Cox in the Midwest Book Review

Treeline Press

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