“The moment of truth” by Linda Spalding: Making the journey to the west

«L’heure de vérité» de Linda Spalding: Faire route vers l’ouest

At the border of Virginia and Kentucky, a few years before the Civil war, the firm of Dickinson is led by two brothers. Benjamin is owner, and John, a preacher of a methodist itinerant, took care of the land, cotton sales and water-of-life.

In 1855, a naturalist of passage in the plantation and pretends to be interested in plants and birds. In reality, its mission is quite different : it distributes maps, compasses and knives to slaves to allow them to escape and follow the Underground Railroad. This road with multiple steps secret was driving then the runaway slaves to Canada.

During this time, tensions are increasing on the plantation, and the brothers Dickinson entredéchirent. Half of the family is piled up in a cart covered and puts the cap on the Kansas, to the west. It is a double flight for John, who, in love with a black woman, will choose his own road.

Family legends

Linda Spalding, a writer to pen a rich, evocative, of great humanity, tells the fate of a family which must assume its past slavery while the current abolitionist proclamation the american Civil war. She was heavily involved in the writing of this story captivating, a result of The Acquisition.

“These two books are based on my family legends,” she said in an interview. “I discovered that my father’s family had been slave owner. I also knew that they were quakers, so I was very surprised : how a quaker could it be slavery? It is so contradictory.”

“Then I learned that the family was ruined, in Virginia, in the course of the next generation, and that my direct ancestors took on the road, truck tarpaulin, to Kansas. This truck has been put on a steamer – a usual thing at the time. I also learned that we had a bear in the family.”

She knew the grandparents, her father, and learn that his ancestors were slave owners was much disturbed. “I wanted to make peace with it, exploring what effect could it have on my father, on me, on our family. How does one make peace with such a sin – to be the owner of a human being.”

“It was necessary that I discovered why they had done this, how they were punished in some way – for me, I see this as a punishment. They have somehow been expelled from their own paradise on earth and had to start on the road.”

Covered wagons

Begin to the west was an adventure, at the time. Linda Spalding, may be imagined to travel in a carriage covered. “When I was a child, in Kansas, there was a big festival of history and everyone was dressed in dresses, with hats of the era. This period obsessed me, even when I was a child.”

Alexander Milton Ross, the naturalist, abolitionist, which occupies a place of choice in his novel, has actually lived in Belleville, Ontario. He studied medicine in New York and wrote four books on nature. “He is interested in the emancipation of the slaves. I don’t think it went in my family, but it has truly traveled in the area.”

  • Linda Spalding is a native of Kansas and was established in Canada in 1982.
  • She is a novelist and essayist, and his work has been hailed by critics.
  • She won the Governor general’s Award, in 2012, for the original edition of English Acquisition.
  • She lives in Toronto with her family, and her husband, writer Michael Ondaatge.



The moment of truth
Linda Spalding, Editions Lemeac, 384 page.”>

The moment of truth
Linda Spalding, Editions Lemeac, 384 page.

As this street is part of the Wilderness Road, the main road, one sees regularly, followed by beasts gémissantes, the covered wagons with broad wheels which carry their passengers to the west of human beings to lack of resources and determined to find them in abundance at the end of their journey.” – Linda Spalding, The moment of truth

Share Button