On July 8, 1860, Dallas, Texas burned. Three slaves were accused of arson and hanged without a trial. Today, most historians attribute the fire to carelessness.
Texas was the darkest corner of the Old South, too remote and violent for even the bravest abolitionists. Yet North Texas newspapers commonly reported runaway slaves, and travelers in South Texas wrote of fugitives heading to Mexico.
Perhaps a few prominent people were all too happy to call the fire an accident.
Silent We Stood weaves the tale of a small band of abolitionists working in secrecy within DallasÆs close-knit society. ThereÆs Joseph Shaw, an undertaker and underground railroad veteran with a shameful secret; Ig Bodeker, a charismatic, melancholic preacher; Rachel Bodeker, a fierce abolitionist, IgÆs wife, and Joseph ShawÆs lover; Rebekah, a freed slave whoÆll sacrifice everything for the cause; Samuel Smith, a crypto-freedman whose love for Rebekah exacts a terrible cost; and, towering above them all, a near-mythical one-armed runaway who haunts area slavers and brings hope to those dreaming of freedom.
With war looming and lives hanging in the balance, ideals must be weighed against friendship and love, and brutal decisions yield secrets that must be taken to the grave.