Within her home, Helen is haunted by the previous Mrs. Galway, recently deceased but still an oppressive presence. Her husband, injured by a drunken tumble off his horse, is assisted by a doctor of questionable ambitions who keeps a close eye on Helen. It’s 1835 in Utica, New York, and newlywed Helen Galway discovers a secret: two people who have escaped enslavement are hiding in the shack behind her husband’s house. Suddenly, she is at the center of the era’s greatest moral dilemma: Should she be a “good wife” and report the fugitives? Or will she defy convention and come to their aid?
Deirdre Sinnott, a native of Utica, NY and a lifelong civil rights activist, has dedicated her life to fighting institutionalized racism. Sinnott has been a historical consultant for the National Parks Service’s survey of Oneida County New York’s Underground Railroad sites. This project of the Ft. Stanwix National Monument, headed by historian Judith Wellman, has identified more than 70 sites in Oneida County. The report is due to be published in 2022. Sinnott attended Syracuse University where she earned a BFA in theatre.
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