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Ten Hills Farm: The Forgotten History of Slavery in the North Hardcover – December 28, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; First Edition edition (December 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069113152X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691131528
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Manegold (In Glory's Shadow) centers her study of slavery in the North on Ten Hills Farm, a 600-acre estate north of Boston, passed down through five generations of powerful slave-owning dynasties. Famous figures defend and transform Ten Hills, beginning with Manegold's epitomic Puritan, John Winthrop, founder of the farm and governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and his son, John Jr. The Puritan is followed by William Ryall, the Immigrant, whose heirs Isaac Royall and Isaac Jr. morph into Master and Benefactor of Harvard, respectively. Their domestic lives and commercial dealings form the scaffold of Manegold's forgotten history of the tangled bond, stitched with the skins of slavery and blown by the winds of greed, between American slavery and American wealth. Tightly focused on the Ten Hills Farm connection, Manegold conveys a lively depiction of New England social, cultural and political history peppered with jolting reminders that what may have been forgotten, nevertheless remains. Manegold's thoughtfully researched and eminently readable biography of this piece of land will allow no one to remain unaware of the North's extensive links to slavery and the slave trade. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Manegold's research is wide-ranging and meticulous, and with her vivid storytelling and persistent ethical sense, she does much-needed justice to this obscure chapter in American history."--New York Times Book Review

"The story of five generations of slave owners in Colonial New England. John Winthrop, Puritan governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony settled in 1630, famously spoke of 'the shining city upon a hill,' yet he was a slave owner, as were other powerful Massachusetts families on land, part of which today is Cambridge, Mass."--Billy Heller, New York Post

"Ten Hills Farm dispels the myth of slavery as a solely Southern phenomenon. It recounts the establishment of slavery in the northern colonies and traces its path to the sugar cane fields of the island of Antigua. Manegold, an award-winning journalist and the author of In Glory's Shadow: The Citadel, Shannon Faulkner, and a Changing America, unravels the intricate family lineages and the brokered deals of America's elite and the institutions they founded upon slavery, including Harvard Law School. With a wealth of primary source research, Manegold, a former fellow at the American Antiquarian Society and Harvard University, reveals the names and faces of masters and slaves alike, while providing the reader with an invaluable lesson on the history of slavery."--ForeWord

"Exposing the Puritans as not so pure, Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist Manegold lays bare the deep slavery connections that enriched early New England. Her conversational narrative interweaves past and present in a personalized story of the whites who owned, and blacks who slaved at, Ten Hills Farm."--Thomas J. Davis, Library Journal

"This is a book that draws one into the world of pre-Revolutionary New England and beyond with a storytellers intensity and a historians integrity. Ten Hills Farm will win awards--and deserves them."--George H. Wittman, American Spectator

"Here, Manegold looks back to reveal the truth about the Puritans' 'bold experiment,' refuting conventional wisdom that too often dismissed references to slavery in the North. . . . This is a story that needed to be told."--Kirkus

"[An] intimate and sobering account of slaverys hold on New England. . . . [Manegold] makes vivid what has not so much been forgotten as suppressed."--Stephan Salisbury, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Manegold's graceful, small-scale treatment of the large, often murky issue of Northern slavery puts a human face on a shameful practice too often ascribed solely to the South."--Robert Knight, Post and Courier

"As an award-winning journalist, Manegold crafts a narrative not stuffed with jargon but filled with lively prose that not only links the reader to past events but illustrates their connection to modern-day issues. . . . Manegold produces a vivid and compelling case which highlights the need for both academics and the general public to understand not only the role slavery played in the North but its relationship to other American colonies as well as the larger Atlantic world."--James J. Gigantino II, Common-place

"Manegold's flair for the dramatic will be sure to please history buffs everywhere. . . . Manegold's style breathes life into potentially arid names and dates of history, and it gives white characters at least ambition, intent, and motive. Famous personages of history leap from the page in a riot of human complexity, longing, and imperfection that is eminently readable."--Alexandra Chan, Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"Eloquent and plain-spoken meditations on America's past, such as those found in Ten Hills Farm, will help readers to hear and to seek out the ancient stories that resound still in our twenty-first-century worlds."--Lois Brown, New England Quarterly

"Written in a style that makes it accessible to a wide audience, Ten Hills Farm is an important addition to the growing literature on race and slavery in the American North. Adding the account of this property and the people who owned it, as well as lived and labored on it, moves us ever closer to regaining the complex history so casually erased over the last few hundred years."--Richard A. Bailey, The Historian

More About the Author

C. S. Manegold was a reporter with The New York Times, Newsweek and The Philadelphia Inquirer before turning her attention to longer works. As a foreign correspondent, she covered Southeast Asia and reported from the Middle East during the Gulf War. When she joined the New York Times in 1992 she wrote frequently for the Week In Review and the Sunday magazine, covered the U.S. military intervention in Haiti and the case of Shannon Faulkner v. The Citadel, a battle that would become the most expensive civil rights case in American history, and the subject of her first book. Winner of numerous national awards, Manegold was part of The New York Times's team recognized with a Pulitzer Prize (staff award) for the paper's coverage of the 1993 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center, an event which, horrific as it was, would be tragically eclipsed on 9/11.
Manegold's first book, "In Glory's Shadow," was published by Knopf in 2000 and cited on the Los Angeles Times' list of best non-fiction for that year. Work on her second book, "Ten Hills Farm" was supported by grants and fellowships from Harvard University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Antiquarian Society and the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College. In 2001, Manegold moved to Atlanta to become the James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism at Emory University. While there, she taught journalism history and ethics, narrative non-fiction, South African history and contemporary issues and business reporting. She left that position in 2006 to focus exclusively on "Ten Hills Farm: The Forgotten History of Slavery in the North," Princeton, 2010.
Now at Mt. Holyoke College, she continues to concentrate on narrative non-fiction and journalism ethics. When not teaching or writing she is either wheeling about on her beloved bike, making pottery, doing the great American juggling act with her busy family, or mucking about in the garden.

Customer Reviews

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See all 12 customer reviews
Great read and full of American history.
S. Rubens
A gret book, that will open your eyes to the true story of slavery & how it began, and about the people who lived on Tory Row which was part of Ten Hills Farm.
Sandra L. Faust
The prose as presented by C.S. Manegold captivates the reader as it weaves visual panels revealing the tapestry of a long forgotten history.
Gary L. Kieffer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gary L. Kieffer on January 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Although touted as a historical review of the forgotten past of slavery in the North of the United States, Ten Hill Farms reads as easily as a Harry Potter novel. The prose as presented by C.S. Manegold captivates the reader as it weaves visual panels revealing the tapestry of a long forgotten history. This is not a historical tome as we had in any history class I have ever attended. With all of my education being in the U.S. I have never come across the realization that slavery even existed in the New England states prior to the civil war. We were taught that slavery in America was a Southern phenomenon, that the North was filled with abolitionists and free slaves. Ten Hill Farms reveals the truth and provides a comprehensive review of the slave/sugar/rum trade that was so lucrative to many of the merchants of the North and South in America. Pick up a copy of Ten Hill Farms and discover for yourself not only the forgotten history of slavery in the North of America, but an enjoyable read as well. You will not be disappointed.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By John Umland on March 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A couple years ago, reporters from the Hartford Courant published a book on slavery in Connecticut called Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery and in my immature self-righteous belief that the North did little compared to the South, I refused to read it. I figured it was a white, liberal self-flagellation. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and I encountered the book this report focuses on, Ten Hills Farm, The forgotten history of slavery in the North by C. S. Manegold. This time I was ready to learn. And I did. Ms. Manegold smacks my northern arrogance around. She confronts it directly.

"This matter of station has consistently and perhaps conveniently been confused with ideas about the supposedly "gentle" culture of slavery as it evolved in the North. Yet that assumption breaks down with even the scantiest analysis. The great shibboleth of northern slavery is that it was somehow "benign," softer than its southern cousin, even vaguely "familial" in some way, as though all could gather happily around a kitchen table, a master at the head. Yet the reality for these slaves could not hae been more at odds with that fine fantasy. For them, the most fundamental truth was this: Whites who ruled their lives at Ten Hills Farm and in the big houses along Brattle Street were, in many case, the very same men and women who had ruled their livers on warmer shores." p.180

There is nothing gentle and familial about the ownership of humans. Even worse was it was ongoing from nearly the founding of the colony of Massachusetts. At first Governor Winthrop, founder of Ten Hills Farm in modern day Medford, Mass. owned native american slaves.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Donald A. Collins on January 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The perception of most Americans about slavery is that it existed only in America south of the Mason Dixon line. Simply not true.

The author therefore does all of us a great service to report that beginning in the 1630's and extending into the early days of the 1800's, there existed a lot of slavery in the North, which no doubt will astound most Americans.

Unfortunately, with the plethora of books that are published, finding a good read on any subject becomes a bit like panning for gold, but with dust jacket kudos from distinguished Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. who says about the book, " A feat of historical excavation... ." and from Pulitzer Prize winning author ("A Nation Under Our Feet"), Steven Hahn, who says this book is "Riveting and wrenching... one of the best works of history I've read in a long time.", there surely is a great basis for going to your favorite purveyor to get a copy.

Readers will find that, unlike the typical historical tome, this author's prose is highly readable and digestible. I still recall from my history classes from grade school through college that slavery was a Southern phenomenon only. Indeed, the North was populated entirely by people such as William Lloyd Garrison (December 13, 1805 - May 24, 1879), the prominent New England Abolitionist, journalist and social reformer. He was best known as editor of The Liberator, a radical abolitionist newspaper. However, my history lessons did teach that President Lincoln was quite cagy, until his Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 about his stance on slavery, focusing on his primary objective, keeping the Union together.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Wise on May 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've only finished the first 100 pages but so far, I think it is excellent. It's a bit overwritten and repetitive, but just push through it and it will be worth it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rachel I. Branch on March 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
C. S. Manegold has written an astounding book about the unconscionable hidden past of slavery in the north. Many Americans, until recent years, have had very little or no knowledge of this past, and Ms. Manegold has produced, through careful and exhaustive research, an uncompromising exposure of the horror Native Americans and African Americans suffered under the hands of the early Puritans and John Winthrop. It is another clear and necessary step toward unearthing the real history of the United States.

As Americans we must all look in the mirror at our truths so that we can accept the responsibility for what our ancestors have done to our Native American and African American sisters and brothers and continue the reparations with apologies and actions that will help all of us reach that democracy we so dearly long to achieve.

This is a monumental achievement in that process, and Ms. Manegold is to be commended.
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