Turner Family Stories: From Enslavement in Virginia to Freedom in Vermont

Presented with the Vermont Folklife Center
Thursday, February 3, 2022 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Phoenix Zoom Channel


Join us for a discussion with the editors and contributors to Turner Family Stories: From Enslavement in Virginia to Freedom in Vermont.

Featuring the work of six New England cartoonists and drawing on the rich personal and family stories of the remarkable Daisy Turner (1883-1988) of Grafton, Vermont, Turner Family Stories presents two of Daisy's accounts of the life of her father, Alec Turner, by Marek Bennett and Joel Christian Gill, and two stories from Daisy's own life by Francis Bordeleau and Lilllie Harris. The comics are linked together through a story by Grafton native Ezra Veitch, based on a childhood encounter he and a friend had with Daisy one afternoon. Center for Cartoon Studies graduate Robyn Smith drew the volume's cover. The book also features a Foreword by Gretchen Gerzina, Introduction by Julian Chambliss and a Preface by Jane Beck.

About Daisy Turner:

Daisy Turner, born in Grafton, Vermont in 1883, was the daughter of formerly enslaved Alec and Sally Turner, who settled there in the years following the Civil War. In 1983 Vermont Folklife Center founder Jane Beck met then 100-year-old Daisy and worked with her to record approximately 60 hours of interviews through which Daisy recounted the saga of several generations of her family.

Beginning on the West African coast, Daisy's epic account follows the abduction of her grandfather Alessi and his enslavement on a Virginia plantation; her father Alexander's experiences growing up enslaved; his escape during the Civil War, joining up with the First NJ Cavalry; his post-war experiences in the south and New England; his eventual arrival in Grafton, and purchase of the family homestead, "Journey's End."

In addition to stories of her father's family, Daisy shared with Jane rich accounts of her own long life, from her childhood in Grafton, her adult years living and working in Boston, and her eventual return to Grafton after her mother's death in 1933. Beginning in her childhood, Daisy continually-and successfully-challenged the limits placed on her as a Black woman in New England during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, loudly asserting (even in court) her rights and the rights of her family members.

How to register

Registration is free, but book purchases are welcomed and appreciated--thank you for supporting our authors! You must register on this page to attend the event. The event will stream on Zoom. You will receive an email with the Zoom link prior to the event. If you don't receive a confirmation email after registering today, contact us right away so we can check for problems.

Purchase a copy of Turner Family Stories  from our website HERE.   Copies will be available a few days after event.  If you ordered a book for store pick up, we will contact you as soon as it's ready.  If you ordered a book with shipping, please allow an additional 7-10 days for delivery via USPS Media Mail.

If you have signed up for the event and are having difficulty accessing it via Zoom, please contact us via email at tickets@phoenixbooks.biz throughout the event & will do our best to provide technical support as needed.