Friday, April 24, 2009

Amos Fortune, Free Man

I just finished reading the book _Amos Fortune, Free Man_ by Elizabeth Yates to my kids.

This is an excellent true story about a man who was born a prince of his tribe in Africa, kidnapped at age 15 by the slavers, and brought to America. Amos (Atmun was his first name) was bought as chattel by a Quaker family, where he was treated well, leaned to read and weave and later, after being sold to a new owner when his first master died, he became a tanner.

Eventually Amos was able to buy his freedom in his sixth decade of life and by working his trade, saved up enough money to buy, marry and free his first wife. She died within a year, as did his second wife. His third wife, who had a daughter of her own, outlived Amos fortune. In all, Amos freed five women, in memory of his younger sister who got left behind in Africa, whom he never forgot.

This story will gently introduce young people to the reality of slavery in the American colonies, and provides a good jumping off point for discussing slave ships, the middle passage, slavery, race issues, the sugar triangle and what it means to live as a true Christian.

I recommend it as a good example of "living literatue" which will help teach history as well as good morals.

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