Stewards of History: Land and Time in the Story of a Southern Family

Johnston describes the impact of race, slavery, civil rights and religion in one Southern family over five generations. The core figure of the book is General John Hartwell Cocke (1780-1866) a Virginia planter, antislavery advocate and younger friend and contemporary of Thomas Jefferson. The book tells the story of the General’s life and family, his conversion to Christianity and his moral objections to slavery. On a solid business and practical foundation the General carried our an emancipation project that lasted for twenty years before the onset of the Civil War.

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