- Category: Mumbet
Acknowledged by so few...
Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman is not mentioned in the publication Notable American Women (1971), a three volume biographical dictionary which is the first full-scale scholarly work of its kind. Mumbet is not mentioned in Merriam Webster's Biographical Dictionary. She is not mentioned in the National Women's Hall of Fame. She is known in Berkshire County Massachusetts and her story is documented and researched by scholars and is the subject of a few books. One day Mumbet will be famous. There is a movement to put her portrait on a stamp. This site will help others to learn why Mumbet will be a television mini-series, a movie and a famous American Folk Hero.
A new book, One Minute A Free Woman: Elizabeth Freeman and the Struggle for Freedom by Emilie Piper and David Levinson has some new claims that "Lizzie" being Mumbet's sister is uncertain. The authors are fairly certain from archival research that Lizzy was in fact her daughter. The authors also point out that even though W.E.B. Du Bois claimed he was related to Mumbet, the genealogical studies show Mumbet was not. The authors studied whether Elizabeth Freeman was married to a man who served in the Revolutionary War and found that records show she was never married. The authors also claim that Elizabeth Freeman was not the first black woman to win her freedom and instead claim Freeman was the first in Massachusetts to sue for her freedom on constitutional grounds and win, thus helping to end slavery in Massachusetts. The book also introduces many new, rich details about this exceptional woman's life that heretofore were unknown. And it sets her story in the context of her times and her home sites, as well as following her descendants through the years.
While the authors have changed the story that has been told for years in Berkshire County there will be without a doubt other researchers and authors stimulated to uncover the facts and add more to Mumbet's story.