Aired Sunday, March 3rd, 2013
Slaves who crossed the border of a gangster's farm were free, in "The Promised Land."
One of my patients and his wife Joann live on a farm in southern Missouri called "The Promised Land." Fascinated by the name, I asked Joann to tell me the story of the farm. Homesteaded by a former gang member, the land became a haven for freed slaves. Thomas, the white farmer, divorced his first wife and married a slave. Thomas and his African American wife Rebecca had children of their own. When Thomas died he left all of his land to Rebecca. The first wife contested the will, but the local judge upheld Rebecca as the sole heir of the land and all of Thomas' estate. Rebecca's story reminds of a woman of similar mettle, Harriet Tubman.