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Ten Hills Farm: The Forgotten History of Slavery in the North

Knowing half the story is not enough.

New England proudly names its heroes. But when Barack Obama studied law at Harvard did he know his apartment lay on ground that was home to African slavery for 150 years? Did he know that an early owner of that land gave money from the slave trade to help found the famous law school he attended? Who, in this century, knows that slavery persisted in Massachusetts longer than it did in Georgia?

Slavery in New England lasted for 150 years. It was enduring, pervasive and violent. Much of that history is lost.

TEN HILLS FARM: The Forgotten History of Slavery in the North (Princeton, 2010) tells the powerful saga of five generations of slave owners in colonial New England. Wrapping early American history around a single 600-acre farm, C. S. Manegold digs deep into the history of the North American slave trade to bring the story full circle from concealment to recovery.  Settled in 1630 by John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Ten Hills Farm was a sprawling estate just north of Boston that passed from one prominent family to another; each tied to the Native American and Atlantic slave trades. In this mesmerizing narrative, Catherine Manegold exposes how these families’ fortunes were bound to America's most tragic and tainted legacy. In telling this story, the author weaves a tale of enslavement that started with Native Americans and, within a decade of the Puritan's landing, included Black slaves, too. This story of enslavement, and its erasure, lay discreetly buried … until now

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