Thursday, March 22, 2018

On to Angola: Race to Freedom

On to Angola: Race to Freedom is the third in the Creek Family Saga. Book One, Swimming with Serpents, began with my wondering what the world was like during the time of my fourth great grandmother, Vashti Vann Jernigan, Cherokee Indian. She moved with her husband, Benjamin Jernigan, "friend and neighbor of Andrew Jackson," to Southwest Alabama to settle near Burnt Corn Creek at the request of Andrew Jackson. The Creek War would have been a great influence on her life. Swimming with Serpents gives the reader the Native American perspective through the eyes of Cade Kincaid and Lyssa Rendel.

In Book Two of the Creek Saga, In Pursuit, we trace the survivors of Horseshoe Bend, a band of Creek Indians led by Peter McQueen, into Pensacola where they join forces with British officers, Edward Nicholls and George Woodbine. After the loss of the British in the War of 1812, the Indians and free Blacks and escaped slaves follow Nicholls and Woodbine to the Apalachicola River where they build a well-fortified fort at Prospect Point that came to be known as the Negro Fort. Andrew Jackson sent a gunboat up the river (Spanish territory) that sent a lucky hot shot into the battery that exploded the fort. Jackson then came down into Spanish Florida in pursuit of the Red Sticks under McQueen, a former prophet of the Creek Indian War, and the Blacks that had taken refuge at the fort.

In Book Three, On to Angola, we follow those Blacks who escaped the devastation of the Negro Fort and the former Red Stick Indians to Florida settlements near Charlotte Harbor, including Talapchopco for the Redsticks and, for the Blacks,  a place called Angola (now Sarasota). Angola is undergoing an archaeological rediscovery through the efforts of Uzi Baram and Vickie Oldham.

These exciting adventures follow characters we first meet in Swimming with Serpents, survivors of the Fort Mims Massacre. They get involved with historical figures of the times.  The history of South Alabama, Georgia and Florida come alive through the adventures of these characters. Andrew Jackson's power grows throughout this time. The people who suffered during his mighty mission of manifest destiny at last have their voices heard.

On to Angola is a powerful story of a Black family separated, and the yearning to be reunited that must overcome the challenges of distance, nature, slave hunters and fortune seekers and their own human strengths and weaknesses.

On to Angola is Florida History. It is Black History. It is Native American History. Though the story would appeal to all ages, it would probably also qualify as Young Adult because the two main characters are twins separated at the Massacre at Fort Mims that fate reunites during a tumultuous time. This book would also qualify as Christian reading because of the great influence of the Clapham reformers on the major characters.

The story of the year 1821 reveals a tale hidden behind the veils of time and the truth once more that the victor writes the history. This is the rest of that story.

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