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Tristram_Goncalves

It Is Well - Your WRITES

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Tristram_Goncalves
Posted

(This is a writing assignment I did about a mysterious, ornate headstone in a cemetary in Shelton, CT. It was for my writers' group at Derby Neck Library.)

One night she walked away from the plantation with a group of other slaves to follow the North star to freedom. They were lucky, they had a conductor from the Underground Railroad to lead them north. They walked in wooded paths by night and slept by day at safe houses to avoid slave catchers. They walked endless miles to acheive freedom.

Just as they all; hungry, cold, damp from rainstorms, their clothing rags, thought that it would never happen, they passed the Mason-Dixon Line into freedom. Soon, they were entering the biggest city any of them had ever seen, Philadelphia. There, abolitionist Quakers took them in; feed them, let them bathe, let them sleep and gave them fresh clothing. They were split into three groups, to head west, north or east.

She was sent east, the group was provided the amazing luxury of a train ride to New York City. There, they were split up again, all to avoid capture, and sent west, north and east. She and another woman withchildren were sent east, on a second train trip. They were met in Bridgeport, CT by an older, Black woman who led them to their new lives.

They were taken to a place called Little Liberia, to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church. All along the way they had been told to take new names, to avoid recapture, and she took a new identity. She was Thankful to be free and for walking away from the plantation. That Sunday, the AME zion church in Little Liberia enrolled a new sister, Thankful Walker.

For a year she worked as a laundress, living in a roominghouse. They then sent her with a guide up to Derby, and out to Derby Neck, where she lived with the Freeman family. The Freeman sisters cared for their ailing parents and she kept the household going. After a year they found her a job to move on to and Thankful went to be a live-in cook for a wealthy family in Shelton, across the river from Derby.

There, she met her husband, he was the yardman; chopping and stacking wood, mucking out the horse stalls, polishing the family's fine coach. He was a tall, healthy man with bronze skin, a local man. The family tittered about having a high and mighty Huntington as a servant, even if he was mostly Paugusset Indian.

She married this man, Oakham Huntington, and he took her home tto his farm on the Housatonic River, on land Whites had stolen from the reservation land that was once off limits to their greed. The Coram Hill reservation was gone but he still held a piece of his ancestral land. She went to work as a parlor maid, a different day in each home, where they tittered about having the nigger wife of a Paugusett related to the Huntingtons working for them.

Oakham and Thankful were happy and had several children. Oakham passed first, and she, having once thought that Thankful Walker Huntington seemed so grand, worried. She confided in her children that a fine, new name that God might not know who she was. She fretted and fretted over her fate, even though her children assured her that God would know her.

When Thankful Walker Huntington died her children bought a plot from a family in need of cash and bought her a fine, elaborate headstone. They made sure that God would know her come Judgement Day. On that lovely headstone they had inscribed a simple epithet, Mary...It Is Well.


Posted

That's really beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.


Tristram_Goncalves
Posted

Thanks Jack, glad you enjoyed my work.


Indiana_Dolly
Posted

Hey,

It's a beautiful piece of literature, Tris.

-Indie-


Posted

Amazing


Tristram_Goncalves
Posted

Thanks, glad you enjoyed my work!


Indiana_Dolly
Posted

Hey,

You're very much welcomed!

-Indie-



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