The son of a slave owner turns abolitionist and becomes a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
As fierce slavery debates are dividing the country, James Waynewright breaks family tradition and travels to New York to study. Having grown up on a tobacco plantation in Virginia he never questioned how his family’s wealth is generated. In the beginning he is shocked by what he feels are radical ideas of abolition and feels that Northerners have been subject to propaganda. As time goes on, James begins to understand their point of view, and he realizes that he no longer condones slavery.
James falls in love with Katherine Greenfield, an upper class New Yorker and an abolitionist. Due to unforeseen circumstances they hastily marry and return to the plantation. Intending to free their slaves, James and Katherine begin leading double lives in order to help runaways that are escaping north, at the same time having to navigate their neighbors’ increasing suspicion and the slave laws of their state.
Engrossing Historical Fiction
What makes "James’ Journey” a great novel is its insight into the psychology and mindset in the time before the Civil War, when people actually thought they were doing the right thing by owning slaves.
The journey is the exploration of how one’s views can change. When they do, going against one’s culture can be perilous. The compelling story involves you in the characters and the thinking of both abolitionists and those who were pro-slavery. It is rich in historical details that take you to the time and place.
A beautiful book, I couldn't put it down. A thoughtfully constructed story of abolition and the Deep South pre civil war. I loved the characters , their story and their message.
Congratulations Helen Lundstrom Erwin! Your book is an exciting historical novel which portrays the abolition movement in mid nineteenth century New York City and slavery on Virginia plantations during that shameful period of American history. It is also an entertaining page turner. I couldn't put it down and read the whole book in two days.