Tranquilla Taylor McRaven, widowed twice, educated and freed her inherited slaves, amid censure and condemnation in 1800s Mississippi. She bore eleven children, held her family together through loss, conflict, tragedy, with head held high. She talked often with God, argued with Him, but never left Him. Her first husband was axe-murdered in bed beside her by a tormented slave, her second killed in aiding runaways. She lost two infant sons, then her closest daughter before the Civil War, then her poet son at Gettysburg. She was a fearless rider, hunter, even a blacksmith, and she worked in the fields along with her children and the hired hands. She was well-educated at a time women had few rights or had their opinions sought or listened to, and she spoke out on everything from politics to race relations.