The man that lives with the Logans to help and protect the family while Papa is away is Mr. L.T. Morrison. Mr. Morrison has lost his job on the railroad. He was fired for getting into a fight with some white men, and even though it was not his fault, he was punished while they were not. Since losing his job, Mr. Morrison has been unable to find another. Papa has asked him if he would come and work as a hired hand on the farm, and he has said he would, for food, shelter, and perhaps a few dollars in cash when Papa comes home in the winter.
Papa goes away to work on the railroad to help make ends meet. Mama had written to him because some black men had been intentionally and brutally burned by white men at nearby Smellings Creek, and she is worried about the family. Papa comes home to bring Mr. Morrison, knowing that he will protect the Logans while he is gone. Mr. Morrison is
"the most formidable-looking being (Cassie) had ever encountered...a human tree in height, towering high above Papa's six feet two inches. The long trunk of his massive body bulged with muscles, and his skin, of the deepest ebony, was partially scarred upon his face and neck, as if by fire. Deep lifelines were cut into his face and his hair was splotched with gray, but his eyes were clear and penetrating".
Besides his huge physical presence, Mr. Morrison is a good and loyal friend of Papa. Mr. Logan knows that with the man staying on the farm, his family will be in good hands (Chapter 2).