Waverly, Pennsylvania was a haven for run-away slaves in the 19th century

SCRANTON, Pa.  — Sunbury Press has released Embattled Freedom: Chronicle of a Fugitive-Slave Haven in the Wary North, Jim Remsen’s history of the town of Waverly’s role in the Underground Railroad and other abolitionist activity.

About the Book:
ef_fcRural Northeastern Pennsylvania was a bucolic farming region in the 1800s—but political tensions churned below the surface. When a group of fugitive slaves dared to settle in the Underground Railroad village of Waverly, near Scranton, before the Civil War, they encountered a mix of support from abolitionists and animosity from white supremacists. Once the war came, 13 of Waverly’s black fathers and sons returned south, into the bowels of slavery, to fight for the Union. Their valor under fire helped to change many minds about blacks. Embattled Freedom lifts these 13 remarkable lives out of the shadows, while also shedding light on the racial politics and social codes they and their people endured in the divided North. The men had found a safe haven in Waverly, but like other people of color in the 1800s and early 1900s, their freedom was uneasy, their battle for respect never-ending.

Readers are invited to visit embattledfreedom.org, a related, free educational website. There you will find:
Learning segments based on themes in the book
Author’s blog
Classroom materials
Repository of illustrations
Recommended reading

About the Author:
Jim Remsen is a journalist and author of two prior books, The Intermarriage Handbook (HarperCollins, 1988) and Visions of Teaoga (Sunbury, 2014). Since retiring as Religion Editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jim has pursued his keen interest in history, with a focus on underappreciated aspects of our nation’s local histories. Being a native of Waverly, Pa., he is pleased to be bringing his old hometown’s remarkable black and abolitionist period to light.

Praise:
A fascinating history that needs to be shared.”
-Mary Ann Moran-Savakinus, Director, Lackawanna Historical Society, Scranton

A well-researched and documented read that revisits the challenges of 13 freedom-seekers who served during the Civil War. A research gem.”
-Sherman Wooden, President, Center for Anti-Slavery Studies, Montrose, Pa.

Embattled Freedom: Chronicle of a Fugitive-Slave Haven in the Wary North
Written by Jim Remsen
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″   (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
246 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620068113
ISBN-10: 1620068117
BISAC: History / United States / Civil War

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Embattled-Freedom-978162…

"Tweener" girl stumbles upon Native American history in a quiet corner of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON, Pa.Sunbury Press has released Jim Remsen’s YA historical novel Visions of Teaoga, about an adolescent girl who stumbles upon local Native American history.

vot_fcAbout the Book:
The year is 1790 and Queen Esther, a notorious American Indian matriarch, travels under cover to observe a U.S.-Iroquois summit at the ancient Teaoga treaty grounds. Will she be able to pass on her wisdom – and warnings – to the Indian villagers before the hostile settlers discover her in their midst? Will troubled native girl Sisketung awaken to Esther’s truths and see how wrong-headed the brash settler girl Sarah was?

Moving two centuries forward, restless tweener Maddy Winter also visits Teaoga, now a quiet riverfront town on the Pennsylvania-New York border. She tunes in to the region’s dramatic lost history and soon encounters spirits in the wind. As she gains in wisdom, Maddy longs to take on Esther’s mantle of the “peace woman,” but will she find the courage to do right in her own life?

04_massacreDrawing richly from the historical record, Visions of Teaogacaptures a world in upheaval. Readers sit at a native story circle and learn of the tensions and treachery besetting the Eastern frontier. As Maddy and her modern-day compatriots enter the story, they ponder how our history was recorded and by whom. The book is a perfect companion for middle-school history classes, with discussion questions and other supplemental materials provided on the author’s website, www.jimremsen.com.

Excerpt:
“Sheshequin, Madd. Yo, how’s that for a name?”

Maddy jerked awake. “Wuh. Wha-where?”

“We just passed the turnoff to Sheshequin,” her father smiled. “Sorry, girl, you were conked out for a few minutes.”

Maddy righted herself and peered around. “Sheshequin?” It sounded like another Indian word. Earlier on the drive, he’d had her pronounce the names of other spots as they passed: Tunkhannock, Meshoppen, Wyalusing, Towanda. The big river, she knew that one already: Susquehanna. All were place names left over from the original native inhabitants. And all whispered not Texas.

Mr. Winter found an oldies station on the radio and began wah-waahing along to a love ballad. Maddy listened lightly, still too groggy to join in. Once her eyes would stay open and focused, she turned to look outside. They were traveling down on the valley floor now. Not a single cottonwood tree in sight, but those frilly white wildflowers were everywhere. Lots of noisy trucks, too.

Soon something told Maddy to look to the right. Her gaze caught a big slab of rock just ahead. It was sunk in the ground along her side of the road. As they shot past, words flashed by her window: Tea-something. Queen-E-something. Whoa, that was a monument. To a queen? I love queens!

“Wait!” she cried. “Stop!”

About the Author:
Jim Remsen is a professional writer and editor in Philadelphia, where he had a successful career at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Prior to retirement, he was newspaper’s awarding-winning Religion Editor. He also is co-author of The Intermarriage Handbook: A Guide for Jews and Christians (HarperCollins), a widely used bible for mixed-faith couples.

Jim, an avid student of history, stumbled onto the story of Queen Esther and the Bloody Rock while on a road trip. Deciding to bring the poignant saga to life for the young reader, he spent nearly two years researching and writing Visions of Teaoga. He is a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and the Authors Guild. To learn more about Jim, and to access educational materials about Queen Esther’s world, visit his website at www.jimremsen.com.

Visions of Teaoga
Authored by Jim Remsen
List Price: $14.95
7″ x 10″ (17.78 x 25.4 cm)
Black & White on White paper
178 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064511
ISBN-10: 1620064510
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Historical / United States / Colonial & Revolutionary Periods

Also available on Kindle and Nook

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Visions-of-Teaoga-978162…