Free Spirits 3/4 viewVICKSBURG PRESS is a brand new publisher and is proud to present Free Spirits as its first book.

Free Spirits itself is the first in a series, the action starting in 1859 when West Point Cadet Jack Ruffin enlists the aid of the Underground Railroad to find and rescue his mother from slavery.

Free Spirits has at its centre the stories of Jack Ruffin and his mother, Lucy; of Lucy’s mother and the sister from whom she was snatched on the streets of Boston and hurled into slavery; and the love story of Jack and Ellen Emerson, daughter of the poet who is herself one of the ‘conductors’ of the Underground Railroad, the secret network designed to rescue slaves.

The action revolves around the struggle between the Underground Railroad and the Patrol, the ever-present machine whose sole purpose was to keep the slaves where they were. The book introduces the reader to the pre-American Civil War South, its people and traditions, from the point of view of those resisting slavery and the institutions (formal and informal) which nourished it.

You will meet Grace, the founder of several branches of the Underground Railroad and Tracker, Graces’ eyes and ears, and you will see them operate in hostile territory in the bid to assist Jack in securing his mother’s freedom.


The Free Spirits series takes the characters from Free Spirits and Grace and their descendants through the Civil War to Reconstruction (the period from 1865 to 1877 when the North tried to eradicate the racist legacy of slavery) to Redemption, when the white South ‘took back’ its dominance; and into the period where segregation was imposed and lynching was rife, ending with the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.