Cover image for Mumbet : the life and times of Elizabeth Freeman : the true story of a slave who won her freedom
Mumbet : the life and times of Elizabeth Freeman : the true story of a slave who won her freedom
Wilds, Mary, 1960-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Greensboro, NC : Avisson Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
104 pages ; 23 cm.
A biography of the eighteenth-century female slave whose court case helped to set precedents that would bar slavery in Massachusetts.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E444 .W566 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A scathingly witty attack on literary misperceptions of women and prejudice against women in letters by an Oxonian critic and writer.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-12. In 1781, a black slave, MumBet (aka Elizabeth Freeman), heard the Declaration of Independence read at a town meeting in Sheffield, Massachusetts. The next day she went to a local attorney and asked him to file a lawsuit demanding her freedom. Two years later, MumBet won her lawsuit and became a free woman. Her trial helped set the legal precedents that ended slavery in New England. This brief biography gives the basics of MumBet's life and describes the troubled times in which she lived. There are tantalizing glimpses of a remarkable woman of action--a woman who dared to defy her cruel mistress and was scarred for life with a red-hot shovel as a result; a woman who foiled looters during Shay's Rebellion; a woman who made a new life for herself. Young adults will remember MumBet and her passionate outburst: "Any time, any time while I was a slave, if one minute's freedom had been offered to me and I had been told I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it, just to stand one minute on God's earth a free woman, I would." Bibliography with primary and secondary sources; end notes. --Jean Franklin

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 UpThis book is, in fact, as much (or more) about Revolutionary American times and attitudes about slavery as it is about Elizabeth Freeman. This is because not much is known about MumBets life and the author has, therefore, filled in with a lot of history. The book is a bit confusing and somewhat dry, but there is a lot of information about the lives of African Americans in Colonial society, all meticulously footnoted within the text. Because there is only one primary account of MumBets personal life, Wilds turns to suppositional statements such as One can safely assume that and must have been to flesh out the lack of detail. When facts are available, MumBet comes across as a woman of strong character. In her portrait, the one illustration in the book, her face bespeaks determination and dignity. An additional purchase for history shelves rather than the biography section.Randi Hacker, Montgomery Elementary School, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.