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Often called the Second Civil War, Reconstruction was a painful period of civil unrest, violence, and bloodshed. At the center were the agents of the Freedmen's Bureau, Northerners dedicated to the education and uplifting of former slaves.This Violent Land tells the story of South Carolina Freedmen's Bureau agent Major William Stone, a Civil War veteran...
Often called the Second Civil War, Reconstruction was a painful period of civil unrest, violence, and bloodshed. At the center were the agents of the Freedmen's Bureau, Northerners dedicated to the education and uplifting of former slaves.This Violent Land tells the story of South Carolina Freedmen's Bureau agent Major William Stone, a Civil War veteran struggling to uphold new civil rights legislation for freed slaves amidst pressures for a return to the antebellum South. Many, including the Ku Klux Klan, are determined to keep blacks from voting or educating their children. Quaker teacher Mary Taylor is equally determined to teach black children and to marry William Stone, while also shaping his political future.Johnson's story is based on William Stone's Civil War and Freedmen's Bureau journals, possessed by the family of Robert Johnson's wife, Suzanne, herself a descendant of Stone. Johnson weaves together these journals with other exhaustive research and his own narrative fiction, inferring and adding what might have happened, to create a vivid, colorful drama about people trying to carry on during those violent years.Many of the themes in this story are familiar in our world today disputed elections, military-enforced democracy, local violence, and social instability. Though the setting is over a hundred years old, This Violent Land is more timely than it might at first appear.
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