Mumbet Past Comments

Subject: thank you
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999
From: “Barry Collum”

I just wanted to thank you for creating the Mumbet page. Im doing school research, and found hardly anything on Elizabeth Freeman except for your site, and links from it! Thanks Again.

From: “Barry Collum”
Subject: me again.
Date: Mon, Mar 29, 1999, 6:50 PM

Just wanted to really let you know that I REALLY appreciate this site of yours. -Collum

Reply from the webmaster
Date: March 29, 1999

Dear Barry, You are welcome. I posted your last comment on in the comments section. You are the lone comment. I appreciated your comment very much.

From: “Walter Schirmer”
To: webmaster
Subject: Additional information

Date: Wed, Apr 14, 1999, 3:18 PM

I have extensively searched the Web and am grateful for your information. Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman isn’t mentioned on most of the “Black” sites I tried, but I’ve managed to build a “net” of connections. Let me know if you’re interested. Thanks again for posting!

Reply from the webmaster
I’m interested.

From: swpub
To: webmaster
Subject: mumbet
Date: Mon, Oct 11, 1999, 5:11 PM

Dear Brady Barrows:

I’ve found your website on Mumbet very helpful (and inspiring). I am writing a book for John Wiley & Sons that features biographical sketches of about 14 extraordinary colonial women — she, of course, is one of them. (I had only seen brief notations about her in a women’s history book, and was happy to see her name in cyber-lights.) I’m trying to locate an address, number or e-mail address for the Masssachusetts Historical Society, so that I can request permission to use the wonderful oil painting of Mumbet. For some reason it’s available via long-distance info — and can’t find on web. If you have that and don’t mind sharing, I’d be grateful. If not, don’t worry. I’ll find it. Mostly I wanted to say congratulations on a terrific site! Mary R. Furbee

Dear Mary R. Furbee:

Glad you enjoyed the site. It is about time that someone else places Mumbet in history. The Massachusetts Historical Society is in Boston. There is a link on my web page to their web site. It is You can see an enlarged image of the 1811 watercolor of Mumbet on my web site. I had to get permission from MHS to use it and pay a fee. Her image is being used on some other web sites without permission. Much success with your book. I would be interested in knowing more about it when published. —BB

From: swpub
To: “Brady Barrows” <>
Subject: mumbet
Date: Fri, Oct 22, 1999, 1:02 PM

Dear Brady: Do you happen to have any idea what Mumbett’s daughter’s name was, and if she went with her to the Sheffields? Do you happen to know what happened to Brom? Thanks much, Mary R. Furbee, Writer & Instructor, 1 Bryson Street, Morgantown, WV 26505

Reply From: webmaster
Date: Oct. 23. 1999
Mary R. Furbee: Two very good questions which I have wondered about. I am still looking into it myself. If you find out, let me know. —Brady

[In Mumbet’s Will she mentions the name of her daughter as Elizabeth]

Reply From:swpub
Date: Oct. 23. 1999

Sure thing, MRF

From: Mmse44
To: webmaster
Date: Wed, Jan 5, 2000, 11:54 PM

Dear Website,

Why was the bracelet so important to mumbet? I liked your website because it is cool and interesring. I couldn’t find any other website on Mumbet. your friendly reasearcher, Sara

Date: Jan.7, 2000

Sara: All I know is that the bracelet was originally a necklace which was given to Mumbet pictured in the 1811 watercolor that she is wearing. Catherine Sedgewick had the necklace made into the bracelet and the Mass. Historical Society has possession of the bracelet. There are links to Mumbet on my website which you can refer and many articles which you can look up.

Brady Barrows

From: “Mary Wilds”
To: <webmaster
Date: Sat, Jan 29, 2000, 11:54 AM

I was quite pleased … and surprised … to find your website for Mumbet. My new book, “Mumbet: The Life and Times of Elizabeth Freeman,” a young adult biography, was published in June. (Your website was up and running after I did my research unfortunately). Glad to see it is here and wonder how I might obtain an advertisement for the book on your website. I look forward to hearing from you. Mary Wilds

From: Brady Barrows
To: Mary Wilds
Sent: Monday, January 31, 2000 6:00 PM
Subject: Re:

Dear Ms Wilds:

Glad you did the book. i am also planning a book as well, a fictional account on her life. My site was registered a year ago this month. How did you come up with the idea of writing about Mumbet if you did not know of my site? She is not known about in most circles.

I would be very pleased to offer your book on my website.

[listed in the books page]

From: “Mary Wilds”
To: “Brady Barrows”
Subject: Re:
Date: Tue, Feb 1, 2000, 11:00 AM

Hi Brady,

I came up with the idea for the book by chance. My husband was on his way home from the airport (on the bus) when he happened to sit next to a curator from the African-American History Museum in Boston. She told him the story of Mumbet. About a year later (I’m a writer by trade) I happened to speak with a publisher regarding another matter. I mentioned the story of Mumbet and he asked if I’d be willing to do a young adult biography on her. It turned into a story about slavery in the north as well.

Avisson Press is a commercial publisher and the book is on but you can also order it from me. (I don’t charge shipping costs.) Probably the advertising-and-yearly-fee arrangement for a place on your website would work best. Or perhaps the name of the site. Why don’t you give me some ideas about fees and we can go from there. Mary Wilds

From: Brady Barrows
To: Mary Wilds
Sent: Tuesday, February 1, 2000 9:26 PM
Subject: Re:

It is interesting how you came to write a book on Mumbet. Her time is finally arriving where she will get the recognition she deserves in history which has been ignored far too long.

From: CrAzYMeL89
To: webmaster
Date: Sun, Apr 30, 2000, 12:12 PM

Hey i need to know when mumbet was born and who her sister was if that wouldnt be any trouble i cnat find anything on her exept your page! Thanks

From: Brady Barrows, webmaster
Date: May 1, 2000

No trouble. The answer to your two questions are on my web site. 1742 and Lizzy. Check it out. Brady Barrows – webmaster for

From: Andrea Doremus
To: webmaster
Subject: Mumbet’s time
Date: Tue, May 16, 2000, 8:42 AM

Dear Mr. Barrows,

Your website is a real contribution and yes, your right…Mumbet’s time is here. When I began to do research back in February for a lesson plan I’m working on for 5th – 12th grades, your site was the first one I found. Thank you for all your hard work.

I’m a little concerned about what seems to be your desire to make money off of Mumbet’s information because it seems a little bit like once again “European American man making money from the life of African American woman”….BUT, you have put in the tremendous effort to get the site to where it is so I guess you certainly deserve something.

Congratulations on getting the word out there and for having the business/technical savvy to be first on the search lists!

Andrea Doremus Cuetara
teacher – Boston, MA

From: Brady Barrows
Date: May 16, 2000

Dear Ms. Cuetara,

Thanks for your comments, which I will post on my site. As to making money off of Mumbet, there are three authors who are doing just that, two of which are women, and so far, I haven’t received a dime off of my site. I recently became aware of how to sell books on Mumbet through’s affiliate program and hope to sell some of their books. The commission is very small and yes, the purpose of this site is commercial. That is what a dot com is, commercial. Do you have the same ‘concern’ about an author making money off of Mumbet? Even educators who make books used in schools make money off their efforts. The National Women Hall of Fame also sells books on their web site, and I hope they will be selling the same books on Mumbet I am offering on my web site if they accept the nomination of Mumbet to their elite hall of fame. So far, I have spent several hundred dollars to post this site on the internet, and an enormous amount of time researching Mumbet and using web authoring tools to post it on the internet. And I am happy you have acknowledged that Mumbet’s time has come and appreciate your comment which will be posted for the world to read. Brady Barrows, webmaster for

From: Andrea Doremus
To: webmaster
Subject: Making money
Date: Wed, May 17, 2000, 8:24 AM

Dear Mr. Barrows,

Thank you for making this a public discussion because I think it is an important and subtle question. Once again, I think you have done a very great service for the larger community by researching and providing this information. I also appreciate that you are selling (and hopefully, yes, making a profit, albeit small) the Mumbet books online. It’s wonderful that the books get visibility and are promoted. I was very impressed that you had sent in nominations to the National Women’s Hall of Fame…I had begun the process (at your suggestion) but then gave up half way through because I “didn’t have the time right then.” Yeah, yeah.

My concern about making money came in response to your comments to author Mary Wilds. When you spoke about selling the domain name to her and talk of movie rights and all that. At that point the focus seemed to shift from Elizabeth Freeman, human being, to Elizabeth Freeman, potential valuable commodity (even if it’s a very worthwhile and respected commodity). You would never even know if the purchaser of would do something positive with it. Perhaps I’m off-base, but this is what my concern was specifically. It’s not that I think you shouldn’t be the one to make the money, if there’s money to be made…because you were indeed the one who had the idea and made the effort to create I wouldn’t even have a concern about advertising banners because you deserve to get paid for your time and effort in getting the word out. I just think we should try to be aware of the dynamics. This is what I am thinking.

Sincerely, Andrea Doremus

From: Brady Barrows, webmaster
Date: May 17, 2000

Ms. Cuetara,

Mumbet is unknown in the literary world and in the academic world because her story is only now becoming recognized as much more interesting especially because of the outstanding qualities of her character that enabled her to overcome the great obstacle of being a slave. Catherine Sedgwick who knew Mumbet wrote about her remarkable personality. There are a scant few others of Mumbet’s contemporaries who wrote about her, all in the Sedgwick household. There is a significant number of researchers who have written about her. While I understand your concern about Mumbet’s being a ‘worthwhile and respected commodity’ and my site turning into the hands of those who may ruin and tarnish her image, I can only assure you that my site speaks for itself about the respect I have for Mumbet.

This week I spoke to a black woman who works in the Elizabeth Freeman Center in Pittsfield which is for battered wives and abused children and mentioned to her my site. We discussed Whoopi Goldberg as Mumbet in a movie and she felt the way I do that she would be perfect for the part. As I pointed out to Mary Wilds, when Whoopi Goldberg decides she wants to make a movie about Mumbet she may want my site more than her and Elizabeth Freeman becomes as you say, a ‘valuable commodity.’ Now if Whoopi Goldberg makes a movie on Mumbet that would be nice, because then everyone will know about Mumbet and she will be a household word. I think I could safely turn the site over to Whoopi and it would be in the right hands.

By the way, it is nice you read the correspondence Ms Wilds sent me. I waited for her response and she never answered. I didn’t think it proper to send her any more email since she never answered my last email. After some time passed, I thought about what she said concerning and found out how to sell her book through them, so she has free advertisement about her book which doesn’t cost her a dime. So who is really winning on this deal anyway? gives me pennies while they give Ms Wilds dollars for each book sold. So Ms. Wilds got what she wanted for free.

As to selling to someone and being concerned about the dynamics, remember dot com is commercial. Dot org is organization. I don’t have an agenda, as the National Womens Hall of Fame has, but my pursuit is worthwhile. The internet is a moving dynamic ethical plethora reflecting mankind’s quandary. Though it is regulated somewhat, the freedom allowed on the internet is what causes this quandary. I think this is what you are experiencing when you came across my site, and became concerned about the ethics of making money on the internet.

Here is one for you that you may not know about. If you write a book, the internet allows you to become the publisher. You no longer need to have your book published by someone else. You can sell each book, one at a time over the internet and send the book any way you like, via a download, or on a web site, a pdf, or even through the U.S. Postal Service. How do I know this? Because that is exactly what I am doing on another site. So far I have sold over 60 copies. Not exactly a best seller, but I am doing this without having anyone publish my book, since I am the publisher! The internet is changing the way we receive information. I hope this helps you understand what we are discussing, the dynamics of free enterprise over the internet, part of which is making money.

Brady Barrows, webmaster for

From: Lucinda L. Damon-Bach
To: webmaster
Subject: correction/clarification
Date: Fri, Jun 2, 2000, 11:57 AM

Dear Barry,

I’ve just read through all the email and enjoyed going through your site on Mumbet. I am especially interested in Mumbet because of my research on Catharine Maria Sedgwick, who was one of the Sedgwick children who gave Mumbet her nickname. To them, she was their substitute mother, which you probably already know. But it might be useful to explain more about her relationship to the children, and to include references to Sedgwick’s works about Mumbet, namely, “Slavery in New England,” published in 1853, as well as “Our Burial Place” (there are others, as well, but those two come to mind first). These stories are now–or soon will be–available on-line at the fledgling Sedgwick Society

web-site: http//

There is a bit of misinformation about Catharine Sedgwick on your site, which I believe you may have gotten from the “Eminent Berkshirites” site (since the wording and mistake is similar). Catharine did not run a school in Lenox, her sister-in-law did; she helped out, but spent most of her time writing. And, for your information, at the upcoming Catharine Maria Sedgwick Symposium, June 9-11, 2000 in Stockbridge, Mass., there will be a performance of a new one-act play by Melville scholar Laurie Robertson-Lorant about the friendship between Catharine Sedgwick and Mumbet (“‘Good Mother, Farewell’: The Friendship of Catharine Maria Sedgwick and Mumbet [Elizabeth Freeman]”). Thanks for your hard work on Mumbet, and for clarifying the above for your readers.

Professor Lucinda Damon-Bach, Ph.D.
English Department, Salem State College, and
Founder of the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society

Reply From: Brady Barrows
Date: Fri. June 2, 2000

Dear Ms Lucinda L. Damon-Bach:

Thanks so much for the clarifications which I will first post on the comments on Mumbet and then will change the part you mention about Catharine on her page on my site. There is a lot more information about Mumbet which needs to be posted, but that is for a future project when I get the time and motivation. Thanks for the information on the Symposium. I will check out your site on Catharine.

Brady Barrows – webmaster for

From: “emt”
To: webmaster

Subject: MUMBETT
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2000 17:05:12 -0500

hey i just wanted to say that this website helped me out a great deal with this report i had to do. My teacher had gave me a website that is the best i guess, but the URL no longer is in service so with that i searhed and found your website thank you very much !!!!

TO: emf
you are welcome…

Brady Barrows, webmaster for

From:  “Andrea Doremus”
To:  webmaster
Subject:  clarification
Date:  Fri, 8 Jun 2001

Thanks for the clarification in your “comments” area about Catherine Sedgwick NOT running the school in Lenox. The writer says it was her sister-in-law instead. I was just about to put the erroneous information (which I got off the internet at a Sedgwick site) in a lesson plan that will be published nationally. Teaches us about the need to double check any information off the internet (or probably anywhere for that matter).

Thanks again for your excellent site and for “saving my butt.”

Andrea Doremus

Brady Barrows responded:
I also mention the same point on my page about Catherine Sedgwick, giving Ms Lucinda L. Damon-Bach credit for the clarification. You’re welcome.

From:  “Mary Rodd Furbee”
To:  <>
Subject:  col/mumbet book
Date:  Sat, 23 Jun 2001

Hi, I thought the books on colonial and frontier women of America below might be of interest. Elizabeth Freeman has her own chapter! Thanks much. MRF

— They were puritan preachers,eastern aristocrats, native chiefs, and backwoods settlers. They were English, Scottish, African and Indian. They were rich, poor, slave and free. They were committed to a rebel cause — or loyal to a distant king.

Outrageous Women of Colonial America by Mary Furbee of Morgantown, West Virginia, features several remarkable founding mothers from throughout the 13 colonies. Published by John Wiley & Sons, the paperback book is geared

for children age 10-15 and was released in March.

Shawnee Capitive: The Story of Mary Ingles, a second book by Furbee, has also been released by Morgan Reynolds Publishing of North Carolina. The book features a western Virginia woman captured by the Shawnee during the French and Indian War, who made a dramatic journey back home,by foot in winter. The Ingles book  is the first release in a series of forthcoming hardback

biographies of frontier appalachian women for children ages 8-12. Other books in the series will profile Nancy Ward, beloved woman of the Cherokee, and Anne Bailey, a frontier scout on early western frontier.

Outrageous Women of Colonial America features 14 women of diverse regions, races, professions and backgrounds.Some of the featured women, for example First Lady Abigail Adams and religious dissident Anne Hutchinson, are well-known historical figures.

Others profiled are comparatively obsure, for example the Wampanoag chief Weetamoo of New England who led her tribe in battle against encroaching white settlers, Anne Bailey a female scout on thewestern Virginia frontier during the “Indian Wars,” Esther Reed, a

Philadelphia-based fundraiser for the Americans, and the Loyalist Peggy Arnold, as much a spy as her notorious husband, Benedict.

Furbee is a clinical instructor and public-relations specialist at the West Virginia University School of Journalism, and this is her fourth

children’s book. Her other books include Women of the American Revolution (Lucent) and her forthcoming books include Anne Bailey: Frontier Scout (Morgan Reynolds); Wild Rose: the Story of Nancy Ward (Morgan Reynolds); and

Outrageous Women of the American Frontier (John Wiley).



Mary Rodd Furbee, WVU Clinical Instructor/Author
112 Martin Hall, School of Journalism
West Virginia University

From:  “Ann-Elizabeth Barnes”
To:  webmaster
Subject:  Mumbet
Date:  Fri, 6 Jul 2001

I live in South Egremont and recently began giving tours of the Col. Ashley House and of course discovered for the first time the story of Mumbet. I am fascinated by her story, her courage, her sense of self, her intelligence and feel her time has come. She is a wonderful role model for children. My children who went to school here in Berkshire County never heard of her and I feel a real opportunity was lost in not connecting them to someone as important as Mumbet who actually lived in their home town! So, I would like to get together with you as my passion has become Mumbet and I also would like to create a made for TV movie about her life and times. My own Great great great great grandfather was Aaron Root who was a frequent visitor to Col. Ashley’s House and a fellow Selectman and crafter of the Sheffield Declaration and no doubt an admirer of Mumbet and her courage and wisdom! My number is below and I have yours from the website! May this be the beginning of a successful bringing to the world the word of Mumbet!

In common striving!


Brady Barrows responded:

Dear Ann-Elizabeth Root-Barnes-Meyers:

Thanks for your email. What do you have in mind?

From:  “Ann-Elizabeth Barnes”
To:  “Brady Barrows”
Subject:  Re: Mumbet
Date:  Fri, 6 Jul 2001

You might well ask. I have no idea except that Cady Landa said that you had written a script and were looking for ways to get the word out and I thought two heads might be better than one? You live in Housatonic, I in Egremont so it wouldn’t be too much effort!

Ann-Elizabeth Root-Barnes-Meyers

Brady Barrows responded:

Dear Ann-Elizabeth Root-Barnes-Meyers:

This could be interesting. I just recently moved into Great Barrington. I kept the Housatonic number which forwards to my new number.

A screenplay is my next project but I am slow, but there is no hurry since Mumbet has been a Berkshire secret since 1781. The internet may change this. Were you thinking of producing this yourself, or what? There is enough talent in the area to accomplish it, but would take a lot of time, energy and money. It could be shot with digital video.

Do you work for Very impressive site.

From:  “Ann-Elizabeth Barnes”

To:  “Brady Barrows”
Subject:  Re: Mumbet on TV?
Date:  Sat, 7 Jul 2001

I am an inspired neophyte who sees the potential of the Mumbet story. I would like to be part of a team that strategizes getting her story out. I could play any number of roles. Did you do the Mumbet website? My husband worked for Metalogica and now we use them as our hosting service. Joel Goodman, the proprietor, does webdesign as well as hosting and a multitude of other stuff. I am off to work at the 18th Century Day celebration in Sheffield, always looking for more background on Mumbet to give her context and create a whole picture of her life and times

Thanks for getting back to me


Brady Barrows Responded:

Yes I made the Mumbet site and hopefully it will make Mumbet famous.

From: “Booth, Roger”
To: webmaster
Subject: Mumbet Translation
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 10:57:06 -0500

Dear Sir/Madam;

I am an Englishman living in Massachusetts, who has just stumbled across the website and the fascinating story of Elizabeth Freeman.

When I looked at the transcript, I noticed one word near the end that had not been deciphered. This is the phrase in question “John Ashley Jun. Esq. Recognizes with [s***ties] as the law Directs…”. I have no access to the original documentation, but I would hazard a strong guess that the missing word is ‘sureties’. This fits the number of letters and the contextual meaning of the document.

Please let me know if you have any questions,

Roger Booth

Brady Barrows responded:
thanks, I will note your correction/addition on a revision.

From: “Will Garrison”
To: webmaster
Subject: Mumbet stamp
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 11:29:54 -0500

Brady Barrows:

We met briefly at Mary Wilds’ lecture at Sheffield last summer. I enjoyed looking through your website. I’m writing to ask if it’s all right with you for me to post a request on the comments page. The request is for anyone interested in Mumbet to write to the U.S. Postal Service. Prompted by the Col. Ashley House advisory committee, I’m submitting Elizabeth Freeman as a subject for a U.S. Postal Service stamp. It’s a long process, largely done in secret (the Postal Service does not respond to submissions, one only knows of success when stamps arrive at local post office). The more folks who write in, the better. I attach the copy of the letter I sent to the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee, c/o Stamp Development, U.S. Postal Service. I have permission from the Massachusetts Historical Society to use the painting of Mumbet.


Will Garrison, Historic Resources Manager
The Trustees of Reservations
Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Brady Barrows responded:

will do.
[Mumbet on a Stamp]

From: “Freeman, Elizabeth”
To: webmaster
Subject: MUMBET
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 11:39:33 -0500






Brady Barrows Responded:

Dear Ms Freeman,

Your message is posted on the world wide web on my site.

From: “Andrea Doremus Cuetara” <>
To: webmaster
Subject: postage stamp
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 23:28:54 -0400

Oh, I just love the idea of an Elizabeth Freeman postage stamp and will follow Will Garrison’s suggestions for action!! Hope everyone does. That’s great that he already got the MHS permission to use the painting.

Thanks for all your continued work.
Andrea Doremus Cuetara

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