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All Different Kinds Of Free [Kindle Edition]

Jessica McCann
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A free woman of color in the 1830s, Margaret Morgan lived a life full of promise. One frigid night in Pennsylvania, that changed forever. They tore her family apart. They put her in chains. They never expected her to fight back.In 1837, Margaret Morgan was kidnapped from her home in Pennsylvania and sold into slavery. The state of Pennsylvania charged her kidnapper with the crime, but the conviction was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the first time a major branch of the federal government had made a pro-slavery stand, and the ruling in Prigg v. Pennsylvania sewed the bitter seeds of the states' rights battle that eventually would lead to the Civil War.Yet, the heart of this story is not a historic Supreme Court ruling. It is the remarkable, unforgettable Margaret Morgan. Her life would never be the same. Her family had been torn apart. Uncaring forces abused her body and her heart. But she refused to give up, refused to stop fighting, refused to allow her soul to be enslaved.Jessica McCann's work as an award-winning journalist has been published in Business Week, The Writer, and many other publications. ALL DIFFERENT KINDS OF FREE is her first novel.

Editorial Reviews


Editors' Choice: McCann re-imagines Margaret's plight in painful, realistic detail. I was drawn in by Margaret's strength ... anxious to learn her outcome. Kudos to the author for bringing Margaret's story to life.
--Historical Novels Review

Product Details

  • File Size: 615 KB
  • Print Length: 262 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611940052
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (March 28, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004YF1TJS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,221 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, unique read March 31, 2011
ADKF is the story of how the comfortable life of free woman of color, Margaret Morgan, is irrevocably altered when the widow of her former owner sends a bounty hunter to reclaim her and her children as property to be sent to auction. What follows is a series of horrific events that crush and destroy a family, but never the spirit of the courageous, honorable, and remarkable Margaret.

I had never heard Margaret Morgan's story or the landmark case of Prigg vs. Pennsylvania that contributed to the rumblings leading up to the Civil War. I've also never before read such detailed, heart-rending accounts of slave auctions or injustice against free people of color in the nineteenth century. McCann perfectly balances history and story, and her cast of characters is unforgettable.

There is a great new voice in historical fiction, and it is Jessica McCann.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting Tragedy, Beautifully Written April 27, 2011
By Shawna
I went and picked up my copy of "All Different Kinds of Free" last week. Didn't get to open it until over the weekend, I think Friday. And didn't get to put it down until this evening, after I'd read cover to cover, lived the story, cried during the auction, and ended with a commingled sense of disgust and helplessness about what our world had done - and indeed continues to on smaller scales in the seedier corners of society.

The image Jessica created about Margaret's younger boy being chained up with a collar and having to trot alongside the horse to keep up - his first ever experience of mistreatment at the hands of another individual, and that's how it went, with no one to guide him and gently break him in.

I watched a movie years ago called "Amistad." True story. Starred Matthew McConaughey. The visual impact of a line of about 12 slaves on a ship chained together at the ankles, chained even to a horse/mule, and when they needed to cut weight, they slapped that mule on the butt and it went overboard - taking all those people up by their ankles and over the side with it. It was the most disturbing thing I'd seen to that point and it stuck with me for weeks.

There are many passages in Jessica's book that will stick with me that way. Particularly the scene where she so vividly describes the auctioning of Margaret's children, and then her, and her daughter standing up for her, and the feelings she had watching her sons get carried off... amazing. I was taken into Margaret's head and I felt what she might have felt like, and I couldn't handle it. I cried when I read that. Honest. To. God, I blubbered.

Jessica's book is a keeper.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a Fluffy Feel-Good Read April 20, 2011
If you are a regular reader, you know my taste in literature tends toward escapist--light, fluffy and feel-good. This book is anything but light, fluffy and feel-good. The ending is hopeful, but not artificially happy. It is the story of the evil of slavery through the eyes of a woman born free, a woman whose life, while not luxurious, was happy and prosperous. It is the story of a women who would not allow her soul to be enslaved.

All Different Kinds Of Free is a beautifully written book I do not hesitate to recommend, unless you are looking for a light, happy, feel-good read. Grade: A.

I'd like to thank the author for making a review copy available via NetGalley.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and haunting July 3, 2011
Historical fiction based on the true case of Margaret Morgan, a free black woman in Pennsylvania, who, together with her children, were abducted by a bounty hunter and sold into slavery in Maryland.

Pennsylvania in the 1830s had a Personal Liberty Law which demanded that bounty hunters show proof of ownership before they were allowed to take Negros from the state back to the states and owners where they were accused of running away from.

Prigg vs Pennsylvania turned into a landmark case which went all the way to the US Supreme Court and started the fiery debates across state lines about state rights. This eventually led to the Civil War.

While the court case ran in the background, the main story is about Margaret and her children. 2 of her sons were sold at the auction to 2 different owners while she and her daughter were sold together. The story tells of her resilience and that of her young daughter as they tried to cope with abuse, hunger and the relinquishing of any personal rights they had to their new Master.

I thought the imagery was powerful, but the writing felt a little choppy at times.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unknown Piece of History June 16, 2011
I love history. I am always amazed when an author can bring something new to the table to make me say, "wait a minute, I didn't know anything about this piece of history". It is this type of work that sends me to my computer to research the actual historical event. So it is with this book. I was unaware of the court case that was one of the biggest things to lead up to the Civil War. The author took a court case from 1842 and built her story around it. This is the story of Margaret Morgan who was a free woman, married to a free man. She lived in Pennsylvania. One day she and her children are kidnapped from their home and sold into slavery. The men who kidnapped them was tried and found guilty. However, they appealed it to the Supreme Court. The decision made by that court set the wheels of the Civil War in motion. Through the telling of this story we experience with Margaret the selling of her children and the other atrocities she must endure. We also watch her cling to her faith letting them know that it is the one thing they cannot possess. I will definitely recommend this to all of the history teachers I work with and to all history buffs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Had me glued to the story
I can't remember a time when a book I was reading chocked me up completely to the point I was crying during Margaret and her children's slave auctioning. Read more
Published 7 hours ago by Judith Sobczynski
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I was pulled in from the very beginning. Such an emotional book for me to read. I only wish we could have learned of Margaret's true ending.
Published 14 days ago by TaB
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!
This is not my usual genre for leisure reading, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It rendered each character a quality that allowed the reader to feel a personal connection and... Read more
Published 20 days ago by BJ
2.0 out of 5 stars The reviews on this were good. This is a book I would give to ...
The reviews on this were good. This is a book I would give to a 5th or 6th grader to read. The realities of slavery and the ordeal one faced daily were severely toned down. Read more
Published 21 days ago by ghosty girl
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
Wonderful use of fact to make a story that makes a difference- worth every moment to read- worth all the reflection needed to digest it.
Published 21 days ago by Patricia Jehle
5.0 out of 5 stars All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann is an unforgettable...
All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann is truly an unforgettable read. I have some books about slavery, but never had I read a book a out a free black woman and her... Read more
Published 26 days ago by S. White
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Interesting events, kept me reading almost all the book in one sitting lol
Published 27 days ago by Teresa Sharp
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, I won't be reading this. If "and ...
Sorry, I won't be reading this. If "and the ruling in Prigg v. Pennsylvania sewed the bitter seeds of the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Really started well. Interesting characters. Emotional writing. I felt though the ending was abrupt and left too many unfinished situations.
Published 1 month ago by Jessicapic
5.0 out of 5 stars A real emotional story
This book was well written and it was very emotional to read. The author portrayed a family torn apart by society`s injustice
of slavery.
Published 1 month ago by Valerie
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More About the Author

Thank you for visiting my Amazon Author page! I am the author of the award-winning novel All Different Kinds of Free and am a professional freelance writer. My creative nonfiction and reporting have been published in Business Week, Phoenix, Raising Arizona Kids and ASU Research magazines, among others.

Reading and writing historical fiction is my passion, though I'm also drawn to memoirs, contemporary fiction, nonfiction, literary classics -- anything with a compelling story. I love connecting and talking books with other readers and writers on my website, Facebook and Twitter. Hope to see you there!

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