Being born into slavery in 1837, Fannie Jackson (at the time) was one of the least likely people to make a mark in US history. She was not only African American and a slave, but she was also a woman. Her grandfather purchased his own freedom and four of his children's freedom as well, leaving Fannie's mother in slavery in Washington DC.
At the age of twelve, Fannie's freedom was purchased by her Aunt Sarah for $125. To give you an idea of the sacrifice of Sarah Orr Clark, I looked up a women's wages during that time. A woman working in the textile industry could expect to be paid $2 a week plus board (some were as low as $1.25). A woman working in domestic service and tailoring could earn .50-$1 a week.
When Fannie's freedom was purchased, she was then sent to another aunt in Bedford Massachusetts. But she only remained with her aunt for two years, and at the young age of fourteen, Frannie decided she needed to take care of herself.
She found an employer in Rhode Island and went to work in the household of author George Henry Calvert. The Calverts' were an upper-class family, him being the great-grandson of Lord Baltimore and his wife, Elizabeth, being the descendant of Mary Queen of the Scots. Their aristocratic qualities molded Fannie. Her desire to learn was so great she was allowed one hour every other afternoon to study. She hired a tutor with her earnings and was later able to go to public school. During her stay with the Calverts, Mrs. Calvert taught her domestic skills. Fanny finished her schooling at the Rhode Island State Normal School. It was there she found her love of learning and wanted every Black American to have the opportunity to learn as she did.
Her aunt helped her continue her education at Oberlin College, a college breaking barriers. For they were the first College to accept Black Americans and women. She stayed with two different professors and their families while going to school, becoming part of their families. The second black American to graduate from the school, Frannie earned her bachelor's degree in 1865. While she had attended the college Frannie had four big accomplishments. She established an evening school for freed slaves, she was the first African American to be appointed to the College's preparatory department, and she was elected to the Young Ladies Literary Society. Lastly, she had received a job offer to teach Greek and Latin and higher mathematics.
It was in September that Frannie took the job at The Institute of Colored Youth in Philidelphia. She only worked there a year before being promoted to principal of the women's department. Within three years, at the young age of 32, she was promoted yet again to principal of the entire school. This position gave her another first as the first African American woman to gain the title of school principal. Her determination to break the barriers of her people continued on in her life. She saw opportunities and took them or opened doors herself. One of which was raising money for a new department in the school that helped men and women learn crafts.
A broken heart, a controlling father, and an intrusive Scot leave Charlotte Jackson reeling. Accused of stealing an heirloom pin, she must choose between an unwanted marriage and the ruin of her family name. With the futures of her three younger sisters at stake, as well as her own reputation, Charlotte must navigate through injustice to find forgiveness and true happiness.
Eager to find the traitor who caused the death of his brother, Duncan Mackenzie comes to America and attempts to fit in with Charleston society. But when the headstrong Charlotte catches his eye, Duncan takes on a second mission—acquiring the lass's hand. After being spurned several times, he uses unconventional ways of winning her heart.