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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred D. Taylor

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Find the line that tells in what year Big Ma's husband Edward was born in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. When Big Ma is talking about her life, find the line that tells you in what year her husband Edward was born just two years before what historic event.

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Big Ma says about her husband Paul Edward,

"Born into slavery he was, two years 'fore freedom come, and him and his mama stayed on at that plantation after the fightin' was finished."

Depending upon if Big Ma considers the time when freedom came to be when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863 or when the Civil War was over in 1895, Paul Edward would have been born in either 1861 or 1863. He had been a slave, and, as Big Ma explains, had stayed on at the plantation where he had grown up with his mother for awhile after the fighting had ended. When he turned fourteen and his mother died, he left the plantation and worked his way over near Vicksburg in Mississippi. He had picked up the skill of carpentry somewhere along the way, and was working in a furniture shop when he met Big Ma, who at eighteen was eight years younger than he was. Paul Edward married Big Ma, and the two settled on some land Paul Edward was amazingly able to buy, with money he had saved from his job, from a white man, Mr. Hollenbeck, who was anxious to sell. The land remained in the Logan family long after Paul Edward passed away, and was a legacy from him to them. It is the land that Cassie and her family live on with Big Ma at the time the story takes place (Chapter 4).

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