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Pineapples at the gates

Most Americans see pineapples as a symbol of "welcome" and "hospitality."  But who knows where the symbol came from? In the 1700s, ships' captains impaled the prickly fruit on gateposts to cheer a safe return from the Caribbean, selling sugar, selling slaves.  Drawing from original documents, Ten Hills Farm takes readers on a sea voyage to the New World at its earliest settlement, then leads us to the present, showing how markers of a slave past lie all about -- from the Harvard Law School seal, to the welcome mats in countless quaint New England villages.

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