Picture Books

Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence

Picture book. By Gretchen Woelfle. Illustrated by Alix Delinois. 2014. 32 pages.
Picture book about true story of Elizabeth Freeman, a woman who challenged the legality of her enslavement.

Time Periods: 1765
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Slavery and Resistance, Women's History

Mumbet_BookMumbet’s Declaration of Independence gives young readers a slavery-to-freedom narrative that is clever, honest, and age appropriate. Gretchen Woelfle’s recounting of Elizabeth Freeman’s true story of resistance and liberation is smartly written and beautifully illustrated. Readers are introduced to Mumbet, a Black woman enslaved in Massachusetts at the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Mumbet, knowing that the promise of freedom and equality should belong to her as well, successfully brings a lawsuit against her owners to be free and chooses the name Elizabeth Freeman.

Children will root for this intelligent, brave heroine who confronted the terrible nature of slavery in the United States and set the precedent for Blacks to be free in Massachusetts. [Description from Rethinking Schools.]

ISBN: 9780761365891 | Carolrhoda Books

More on Elizabeth Freeman