The Free Man


Henry Free, they called him now, or Frey in the dialect; and they knew him well in all the Pennsylvania land and his own Palatine fellow countrymen had settled. They had even sent him to Washington. Captain Free, they said, when they thought how he had fought for the freedom of the colonies a year before the Declaration of Independence. But few of them remembered that he had been Henner Dellicker in the old country, where he was born beside the Neckar; or the tale of his voyage to the new land in the crowded and starved emigrant ship; or his indentured service in the rich Bayley house in Philadelphia; or of the cruel dicipline that Miss Amity visited upon him; or how he fled the King's jailers to the wild frontier, and returned later to settle his accounts with Miss Amity in a way he had not expected.

In The Free Man, Conrad Richter has written of those early Americans who were among his own forbears - the sturdy, courageous, hard-working, liberty-loving Palatine Germans who with the Alsatians and Swiss came to farm Pennsylvania and stayed to win their collective freedom on the battlefields of the Revolution.

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