Chinese Yankee

Hong Kong born Thomas Sylvanus (Ah Yee Way), was an orphan brought to America for schooling in the mid-1850s, but enslaved in Baltimore. Only sixteen at the outbreak of war, Thomas ran north, joined the Freedom Army, and was blinded in the first major campaign. He failed to fully recover his sight and, deemed incapable of performing the duties of a soldier, was discharged. Yet he reenlisted twice, saved his regiment’s colors during the bloodbath of Spotsylvania, was lamed at Cold Harbor, and survived 9 months imprisonment in the dreaded Andersonville stockade. His health broken, but his spirit intact, he battled for survival and justice for his family and himself until his death in 1891. He was, as the New York Times noted, “singular.”

Local author Ruthanne Lum McCunn, author of the award-winning “Thousand Pieces of Gold: A Biographical Novel,” will talk about Thomas Sylvanus and how she came to write this historical novel on Saturday, February 7, 2015, from 2:00 – 3:30 PM in the Dublin Library Program Room, 200 Civic Plaza, Dublin, CA. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

For more information, call 510-608-1117 or email emarangoni@aclibrary.org.

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