The "Trials of Nance" is the true story of the three Supreme Court Trials of Mrs. Nance Legins-Costley (1813-1873) in Illinois. The dramatic non-fiction narrative is based on the original sworn and witnessed court records written with quill and buried deep in the Archives of the Illinois Supreme Court and other record depositories.
This is the only known historical biography to receive awards from an African-American Museum as well as the Illinois State Historical Society. The editor of the Illinois History Journal claimed this is the only story about Abraham Lincoln that is really new. The truth of the story was actually buried by white supremecist attitudes for over 100 years. Nance actually tried to free herself, but need lawyer Lincoln to make it legal.
Nance's struggles began as a teenager and it took 15 years to win her freedom. Nance is the only known slave in American history who managed to get to a state supreme court THREE times. It was discovered there are more old records on Nance than any other Illinois slavery case. The result is the book holds a piece of history to own, a copy of Nance's original signature from her historic testimony in 1827, ten years before Abraham Lincoln became a lawyer...and Nance risked everything for the sake of her eight children, both born and the unborn.
About the Author
Adams did not think of it at the time, but lived on the socially invisible colour line between the white 'hood' and the black neighborhood and went to an integrated school when much of the US was fighting over segregation during the Civil Rights Movement. During the 'summer of rioting' following the murder of Martin L. King in 1968 childhood friends suddenly became enemies caught in the cross fire of social justice for people of colour. These events left a life long impression of social justice. In 2003, Adams, a white guy, was presented the R.B. Garrett Humanitarian Award from the African American Museum in Peoria Illinois for the research into the genealogy of Nance, the first slave freed by Abraham Lincoln 20 years before the Civil War.
Table of Contents
1-New Reviews; 2-Old reviews of the case study; 3-Introduction; 4-Time Line; 5-Easy reading narrative for students of history and general public; 6- Epilogue; 7-1870 Newspaper article about Nance; 8-History of phrase "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist..."; 9-Postscript about Nance's son's Civil War experiences; 10-Bibliography; 11-Note to parents and teachers;12-Index of people involved.