Flora Slave Case (and) SUFFIELD?

slaveRUpon our quest to find and discover new leads that might suggest Suffield’s involvement in the Underground Railroad, we have found the Flora Slave Case. This slave case includes valuable information that pertains to Suffield’s involvement in the Underground Railroad. Below is an excerpt from the text cited from John Hooker’s novel, “Some Reminiscences of a Long Life”, which describes the Flora Slave Case:

“In 1845 I was living in the town of Farmington, Conn.,

having begun the practice of law there in 1841. At that time

I received a letter from Rev. Mr. Hemingway of Suffield, in

this state, requesting me to come up there and help him look

up some evidence in an important slave case in Virginia.”

It has become clear that Mr. Hemingway’s involvement in slavery is rooted in Suffield. Although Mr. Hemingway’s was stationed in Suffield and was clearly active in his pursuit to abolish slavery and bring about a more democratic society, it is not clear if his passion in ending the slave institution stemmed in Suffield. If his passion did in fact stem from within Suffield, it could perhaps indicate a strong anti-slavery society in Suffield. If that happens to be the case at hand, we could perhaps discover other people with like intentions and perhaps draw vague connections and discover evidence that Suffield was involved in the Underground Railroad. Mr. Hemingway was a firm standing abolitionist who went out of his way to lend a helping hand to a man he never met. Mr. Hemingway is a man that must be further pursued. If we track down additional evidence that proclaims Mr. Hemingway’s involvement in slavery, we could perhaps trace his actions and predict his actions.

This discovery has sparked new excitement in our research. We have a new lead to track down and this discover could lead to others. Suffield has not yet been critically acclaimed to be involved in the Underground Railroad, but with these new leads, we could finally change that. Was Mr. Hemingway acting alone, or did he have an accomplice? Or maybe he was working with a collection of people? Mr. Hemingway is man of mystery that might bring about additional enlightenment in our mission. Because the nature of the Underground Railroad is secretive in its nature, this small discovery could result in tremendous strides.

This entry was posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century Skills, HOT Log March, March hot log, March Hot Log 2014, March Hotlog 2014 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Flora Slave Case (and) SUFFIELD?

  1. Doug Harwood says:

    The case you are referring to is not fiction, nor is the “novel” cited, nor the Reverend. I stumbled into the court records of the case a few years ago. There were, as I recall, five trials in various parts of Virginia. (The case was brought in Montgomery County, where the slaves and their “master” lived. It dragged on for more than a decade. The reason Fincastle comes up is that the last lawyer for the slaves, a man named Anderson who later served on the Virginia Supreme Court, lived there.) A jury here in Rockbridge County freed the slaves. The state Supreme Court would have none of it, and changed an important rule (the change still stands) on depositions in order to reverse the decision. By the time of the last trial, there were more than 50 slaves…all descendents of Flora, involved. It is an amazing and sad story, and it caught my attention partly because virtually nothing had been written about it in more than 100 years, and partly because the towns referred to in New England are all places where I used to hang out a bit when I was growing up.
    Anyway, if you plan on learning some more about it, I’d be happy to help. And I’m glad to see you taking some interest in it.
    Doug Harwood, Editor, The Rockbridge Advocate, PO 70, Lexington, VA 24450.

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