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A Story of Slavery and Restitution

I was delighted to be joined by Caleb McDaniel, History professor and author of the Pulitzer prizewinning book, “Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America”. He told me the remarkable story of Henrietta Wood. Born into slavery in Kentucky, she was freed as an adult and worked as domestic worker. In 1853, her employers conspired to trick her into crossing the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, where she was recaptured and taken to work in the harrowing conditions of the Mississippi cotton fields. At the end of the Civil War, Wood was freed for the second time, where she sued her kidnapper for $20,000. Although she only received $2,500 (more than $60,000 today) it allowed her son, Arthur H. Simms, to buy a house in Chicago, and attend Union College of Law, now Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

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