Ten Hills Farm tells the powerful saga of five generations of slave owners in colonial New England. Settled in 1630 by John Winthrop--who would later become governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony--Ten Hills Farm was a six-hundred-acre estate just north of Boston. Winthrop, famous for envisioning his 'city on the hill' and lauded as a paragon of justice, owned slaves on that ground and passed the first law in North America condoning slavery. In this mesmerizing narrative, C. S. Manegold exposes how the fates of the land and the families that lived on it were bound to America's most tragic and tainted legacy. Challenging received ideas about America and the Atlantic world, Ten Hills Farm digs deep to bring the story of slavery in the North full circle--from concealment to recovery.
Manegold follows the compelling tale from the early seventeenth to the early twenty-first century, from New England, through the South, to the sprawling slave plantations of the Caribbean. John Winthrop, famous for envisioning his "city on the hill" and lauded as a paragon of justice, owned slaves on that ground and passed the first law in North America condoning slavery. Each successive owner of Ten Hills Farm--from John Usher, who was born into money, to Isaac Royall, who began as a humble carpenter's son and made his fortune in Antigua--would depend upon slavery's profits until the 1780s, when Massachusetts abolished the practice. In time, the land became a city, its questionable past discreetly buried, until now.
Challenging received ideas about America and the Atlantic world, Ten Hills Farm digs deep to bring the story of slavery in the North full circle--from concealment to recovery.
C. S. Manegold is the author of In Glory's Shadow: The Citadel, Shannon Faulkner, and a Changing America (Knopf). As a reporter with the New York Times, Newsweek, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, she received numerous national awards and was part of the New York Times team honored with a Pulitzer Prize in 1994.
"Manegold's research is wide-ranging and meticulous, and with her vivid storytelling and persistent ethical sense, she does much-needed justice to this obscure chapter in American history."--New York Times Book Review
"The story of five generations of slave owners in Colonial New England. John Winthrop, Puritan governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony settled in 1630, famously spoke of 'the shining city upon a hill,' yet he was a slave owner, as were other powerful Massachusetts families on land, part of which today is Cambridge, Mass."--Billy Heller, New York Post
"Ten Hills Farm dispels the myth of slavery as a solely Southern phenomenon. It recounts the establishment of slavery in the northern colonies and traces its path to the sugar cane fields of the island of Antigua. Manegold, an award-winning journalist and the author of In Glory's Shadow: The Citadel, Shannon Faulkner, and a Changing America, unravels the intricate family lineages and the brokered deals of America's elite and the institutions they founded upon slavery, including Harvard Law School. With a wealth of primary source research, Manegold, a former fellow at the American Antiquarian Society and Harvard University, reveals the names and faces of masters and slaves alike, while providing the reader with an invaluable lesson on the history of slavery."--ForeWord
"Exposing the Puritans as not so pure, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Manegold lays bare the deep slavery connections that enriched early New England. Her conversational narrative interweaves past and present in a personalized story of the whites who owned, and blacks who slaved at, Ten Hills Farm."--Thomas J. Davis, Library Journal
"This is a book that draws one into the world of pre-Revolutionary New England and beyond with a storyteller's intensity and a historian's integrity. Ten Hills Farm will win awards--and deserves them."--George H. Wittman, American Spectator
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