All Different Kinds of Free

All Different Kinds of Free

4.18 (1,214 ratings by Goodreads)
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A free woman of color in the 1830s, Margaret Morgan lived a life full of promise. One frigid night in Pennsylvania, that changed forever. They tore her family apart. They put her in chains. They never expected her to fight back.

In 1837, Margaret Morgan was kidnapped from her home in Pennsylvania and sold into slavery. The state of Pennsylvania charged her kidnapper with the crime, but the conviction was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the first time a major branch of the federal government had made a pro-slavery stand, and the ruling in Prigg v. Pennsylvania sewed the bitter seeds of the states' rights battle that eventually would lead to the Civil War.

Yet, the heart of this story is not a historic Supreme Court ruling. It is the remarkable, unforgettable Margaret Morgan. Her life would never be the same. Her family had been torn apart. Uncaring forces abused her body and her heart. But she refused to give up, refused to stop fighting, refused to allow her soul to be enslaved.

Jessica McCann's work as an award-winning journalist has been published in Business Week, The Writer, and many other publications. ALL DIFFERENT KINDS OF FREE is her first novel. Learn more about McCann online at
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Product details

  • Paperback | 274 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 16mm | 404g
  • English
  • 1611940052
  • 9781611940053
  • 1,433,417

Review quote

"A terrific historical novel -- well executed, emotionally engaging, illuminating an important Supreme Court case and the heart of a heroic woman." Jewell Parker Rhodes, American Book Award winner and author of Douglass' Women

"Jessica McCann adds flesh and blood to dry history to recreate the savagery and sometimes even the humanity of slavery. This book tears at your heart." Sandra Dallas, New York Times best-selling author of Prayers for Sale and Whiter Than Snow
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Rating details

1,214 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 41% (499)
4 41% (497)
3 14% (176)
2 2% (30)
1 1% (12)

Our customer reviews

Review originally featured on Bookluvrs Haven. This is the second novel this year that I have read that deals with slavery in the United States. And initially when I downloaded it from Netgalley, I did not realize this story was based on a real person and her battle for her freedom. Finding out that was the case, gave me a different feeling prior to beginning this novel. I guess when you believe that it is a work of fiction, even if slavery was real, there is a weird sense of detachment, though it is still emotional. But knowing that this person actually existed and had to fight so hard for her freedom, losing almost her entire family in the process, made this story so much sadder, and hit so much harder in the heart. Everyone deserves to be born free. We all take it for granted, but there was a time where that was not the case for many people, and I am not so naive to think that it doesn't still exist today in this, or other forms... This was an incredibly saddening story of a colored woman who had that freedom where so many others did not, and had that freedom cruelly taken from her. Her family was completely torn apart while both her and her husband separately fought the courts to give them back what had been theirs to begin with. The obstacles placed in front of them that made it so difficult to obtain that freedom back was abhorrent. And shameful. To know that this woman actually suffered so much loss really existed makes this story so much more touching and the crimes committed against her and her family that more cruel and inhumane. Though I don't doubt that every slave in history will have their own story, and share in common cruelties that I don't even like to think of. And I am only thankful that those practices are no longer legal in our continent this day. I hope that one day that will be true for all of the world, and that every man, woman and child will be born free and in charge of their own destinies. This story was well written with a captivating voice. I would not hesitate to read another of this author's works, though I think I have had enough of these depressing reads for a little while, and more inclined at the moment to pick up a different genre for now. I would definitely recommend this novel to those curious to sample something different and outside their comfort zones. If you are a reader that does enjoy reading stories that deal with these types of issues, then it will not more
by Lily
Reason for Reading: I love historical fiction set in this time period about this subject. A magnificent, heart-felt, compelling read. I just loved this book. What an unimaginably brutal, yet inspiring story. A woman's life is torn apart; she is put into bondage and yet she continues to keep her spirit free and full of hope. What is most surprising about this story is that the main character actually existed, though very little is known about her. The author has given this important though obscure historical figure a chance to have her story known and given her a possible life she may have lead. If this is not exactly how she lead her life, it certainly was the lot of many a "Negro" woman and her family in the early 1800's in America's dark past. Margaret is a riveting character whom one connects with right from the beginning. The cast of secondary characters are also vividly portrayed. The bounty hunter, Prigg, sums up all the evil and prejudice of the times in one person, making him a very disturbing character. This was a page-turner for me. The historical aspect was appreciated for its relative obscurity. But mostly it was a story that hit my heart and while nothing surprising happens plot-wise, I was invested in the characters and deeply satisfied with the more
by Nicola Mansfield
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