A Shadow on the Household: One Enslaved Family's Incredible Struggle for Freedom
The extraordinary story of one couple’s determination to free themselves and their children from slavery and make a new life in Canada. Prior to abolition in 1865, as many as 40,000 men, women, and children made the perilous trip north from enslavement in the United States to freedom in Canada. In A Shadow on the Household, Bryan Prince, a descendant of slaves, brings to life the heart-wrenching story of the Weems family and their struggle to liberate themselves from slavery. John Weems, a man who purchased his own freedom, paid the owner of his enslaved wife and eight children an annual fee to keep them together at one plantation. But when that owner died, the Weemses were cruelly separated and scattered throughout the South. Heartbroken and desperate, John resolved to raise the money to buy his family’s freedom and reunite them. Mining newspapers, private letters, diaries, estate records, marriage registries, and abolitionist papers for details of a story cloaked in secrecy, Bryan Prince has rescued the Weems family and their plight from historical oblivion.
Bryan Prince is a descendent of enslaved Africans brought to Canada before the American Civil War. He is a Board member of the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum and has worked with Adam Matthew Publications as a consulting editor on projects exploring African Canadian history.
Other publications from this author include: