Slaves to Freedom

What would you sacrifice for a friend?Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a slave woman?

Or how it would be if you became comfortable with your life on a plantation – and then were offered an opportunity to leave on the Underground Railroad?

And what would you sacrifice if it meant saving your friend even if you’d never see her again?

Slaves to Freedom is an historical novel set in 1850’s Baltimore, Maryland, that features the interaction between two young women. Sarah Laughlin, a young girl orphaned by the Irish potato famine, leaves Ireland’s feudal landlord system and the tyranny of poverty and starvation, only to arrive in America and experience prejudice against the Irish and the beginning of the demise of slavery. The other heroine, Matilde Kensington, has lived on the Kensington Plantation since her birth, has married there, and still remains.

Sarah’s maternal grandfather takes her in during the turbulent, violent decade prior to the Civil War and introduces her to the perils of the Underground Railroad, plantation life, and the proslavery and abolitionist politics of Baltimore.

Slaves to Freedom by Kathy TilghmanShe meets and befriends a slave girl, Matilde Kensington, on the Kensington Plantation and the two girls develop a lifelong friendship, a friendship that is scorned by both races. Though great danger to herself and Matilde, Sarah teaches her friend to read, witnesses the birth of her first child, and encourages her to escape to freedom.

Historical events, including the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1852, throw both women into unpredictable worlds and force them to make decisions that test their physical, moral, and spiritual mettle.

Slaves to Freedom by Kathy Tilghman


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