The Road to Black Ned's Forge
By Turk McCleskey. ISBN: 978-0-8139-3582-9. Copyright 2014. Hardcover with 324 pages including appendixes, notes, bibliography and index.
The captivating true story of Ned, an enslaved Pennsylvania ironworker who in 1752 purchased his freedom and moved to the upper James River in Virginia. As Edward Tarr, he established a blacksmith shop, owned land, help found a church, and was accepted in his community along with his white wife. His remarkable story took a perilous turn when the son of a previous master made fraudulent efforts to re-enslave him. The story of Ned's life is also the story of the colonial merchant class, Indian warfare in southwest Virginia, race relations on the frontier, and the rise of slavery west of the Blue Ridge.