This engaging history presents the extraordinary lives of Patty Cannon, Anna Ella Carroll, and Harriet Tubman, three "dangerous" women who grew up in early nineteenth-century Maryland and were vigorously enmeshed in the social and political maelstrom of antebellum America. The "monstrous" Patty Cannon was a reputed thief, murderer, and leader of a ruthless gang who kidnapped free blacks and sold them back into slavery, whereas Miss Anna Ella Carroll, a relatively genteel unmarried slaveholder, foisted herself into state and national politics by exerting influence on legislators and conspiring with Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks to keep Maryland in the Union when many state legislators clamored to join the Confederacy. And, of course, Harriet Tubman--slave rescuer, abolitionist, and later women's suffragist--was both hailed as "the Moses of her people" and hunted as an outlaw with a price on her head worth at least ten thousand dollars.
Carole C. Marks gleans historical fact and sociological insight from the persistent myths and exaggerations that color the women's legacies. Though they never actually met, and their backgrounds and beliefs differed drastically, these women's lives converged through their active experiences of the conflict over slavery in Maryland and beyond, the uncertainties of economic transformation, the struggles in the legal foundation of slavery and, most of all, the growing dispute in gender relations in America.
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