Category Archives: Haley, Alex

Alex Haley. A Different Kind of Christmas New York: Doubleday, 1988.

Alex Haley was known worldwide for his blockbuster Roots.  Fewer people know this later, brief novel which tells the story of a slaveholding North Carolinian who has a change of heart.

Fletcher Randall is the son a powerful state senator in Ashe County.  Senator Randall’s 3,000 acre plantation is worked by over 100 slaves who bring in crops of cotton and tobacco.  Fletcher’s parents send him to the College of New Jersey (Princeton) where he endures insults and harassment because of his family’s slaveholding.  The harassment does not move Fletcher, but his relationship with three Quaker brothers does.  On a visit to their home in Philadelphia he is taken to a meeting of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, an anti-slavery organization involved with the Underground Railroad.  His outrage at this affront turns to something else as he reads about the Quakers and the Underground Railroad.  After much soul-searching, Randall changes sides and returns to Ashe County to assist enslaved people in a mass escape set for Christmas Eve.

This book was evidently issued for the holiday season in 1988. It is beautifully produced book, with a lovely dust jacket and ornamental designs in the book itself.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1980-1989, 1988, Ashe, Haley, Alex, Mountains