Eliza Ann Benson (1836-1921) was born near St. Michaels, Maryland, not far from Harriet Tubman’s birthplace, yet Eliza’s valuable life took a very different path. “Free To Stay” by Nan Hayden Agle (granddaughter of Eliza’s slave owner), chronicles the many choices Eliza made when faced with adversity. Ultimately, she became “supermom” to the four minor orphaned children of her former owner. She challenged the Baltimore City Orphans Court to allow her custody and reared each to become educated professionals in their field of interest. Through her love, fortitude and dedication, she not only kept the family together but was the foundation for a lineage that continues to create artists, writers, professors, photographers and more. Eliza’s portrait hangs in the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland History and Culture and would be, I believe, a deserving candidate for recognition by your organization. Further, I believe the book, “Free To Stay” would be a great offering for your online store as well as on site. (I became a publisher to help keep Eliza’s story alive as the previous publisher, Zondervan, was no longer publishing inspirational books. A screenplay is in progress to give her story even a broader and diversified audience.)

Submitted by: Elaine Patterson