The Road to Frogmore: Turning Slaves into Citizens

The Road to Frogmore: Turning Slaves into Citizens

ABOUT Carolyn Schriber

Carolyn Schriber
I am a retired college professor who specialized in medieval European history  After many years of writing academic monographs, I am now indulging my love of the Civil War by writing historical fiction. But along the way, I've also learned a great deal about today's publishing atmosphere. More...



What could possibly go wrong?  Laura Town and her life-long friend Ellen Murray joined the Port Royal Experiment in 1862 to test their abolitionist ideals against the realities of slaves abandoned by their owners in the Low Country of South Carolina. They hoped to find a place they could call home, as well as an outlet for their talents as schoolteacher and doctor. It seemed like a good idea at the time, until . . .

Until they  experienced the climate—violent storms spawned over the Atlantic, searing heat, tainted by swamp gasses, cockroaches, bedbugs, swarming mosquitoes,and “no-see-ums” that left nasty bites in their wake.

Until they met the slaves themselves—full of fear and resentment of white people caused by centuries of cruelty, slaves who had never seen the outside world, slaves whose superstitions included breath-sucking night hags, evil graybeards living in local trees, and unfree spirits rolling down the roads at night in balls of fire.

Until the dedication of the missionaries found itself tested by lack of food, furniture, medicine, and the bare necessities of life.  Until the unity of the abolitionist effort fell apart under the strains of religious differences and unrecognized prejudices.

And until the combination of battle wounds and a raging smallpox epidemic made death their constant companion. Could these two independent women survive the Civil War and achieve their goal of turning slaves into citizens?