An American Story, bringing together the work of Pulitzer Prize finalist Mary Beth Norton and the world of much-loved novelist Jane Austen. Created & written by Dean Conrad
When former-slave Martha and white heiress Josephine each discover that their constitutional rights have been denied, they take on the white, male Establishment and its New Republic.
When The Constitution of the United States promises "We the People" a "perfect Union" of "justice", "domestic tranquility", "general welfare" and "liberty", it makes no suggestion that those "People" should be rich, white men only. And yet, across two centuries and more, these privileges have been retained by them and denied to many others. The Constitution was hijacked.
Changes have been made in order to grant freedoms that should already have been protected, but even these reinforcements did not eliminate race discrimination, remove gender prejudice or ensure economic equality. Despite a declaration, a constitution, twenty-seven amendments and countless laws, tolerance, parity and indeed union are still not guaranteed.
Deep divisions remain, and the fight to create one nation "indivisible, with liberty and justice for
all" continues. This was a fight that began on
Day One of the Republic...
Liberty's Daughters follows 25 year-old sisters, black Martha and white Josephine, and first generation African-American Mother Mary, as they navigate life in Upstate New York and British Canada in the first decades of the 19th century.
We expose the impact of the founding documents on the daily lives of people struggling through the early years of the American Republic. And these people – whatever their backgrounds – turn out to be remarkably similar to us: they laugh, they cry, they love, they hate; they're noble, bigoted, brave and unjust. Just like us.
With Martha, Josephine and Mother Mary as our guides, Liberty's Daughters examines 21st century issues through 19th century lenses, amplifying echoes from the past to discover the seeds of today as they were sown yesterday. Recurring themes, modern parallels and rich
metaphors reveal how history is shaped, often
unnoticed, by those living through it...
Pilot + 12 episodes
Pilot - "An Imperfect Union"
A brutal attack reminds Martha and Josephine that their idyllic existence is vulnerable.
Ep.1 - "Sisters in Arms"
Josephine and Martha join forces for the fight, but can't agree on the weapon: book or gun?
Ep.2 - "A Union Divided"
With Josephine away tackling the Washington 'swamp', Martha tries her hand at local politics with her new women's army, the "Daughters of the Union".
Ep.3 - "Life & Liberty"
Josephine tackles corruption in Washington D.C., while, back home, the devastating consequences of Martha's attack create a desperate dilemma for
Ep.4 - "A Woman's Work..."
~ An all-female episode.
While Mother Mary tries to discover what Martha is up to in New York, Josephine is introduced to party and personal politics in New Jersey.
Ep.5 - "An Englishman in New York"
While Mary must confront her god and her conscience to defend a white friend who has offended both, Mr. Darcy arrives in New York City to be confronted with a shocking family secret.
Ep.6 - "Family Matters"
Sibling rivals Josephine and Darcy embark on the arduous journey upstate to St. Lawrence County - where Martha and Mary greet them with another shocking family secret.
Ep.7 - "State of the Reunion"
Josephine begins to fear her brother's intentions for the New York estate, prompting her sister to say, "I told you so" - until, that is, Martha
makes a painful discovery of her own.
Ep.8 - "Pursuit of Happiness"
The arrival in town of a "dangerous" fugitive slave from the South soon forces everybody to rethink their positions and their values.
Ep.9 - "Sisters & Brothers"
Brutal fugitive-slave hunters are not welcome in the "free" North; however, even Judge Jay's hands are tied by a constitution that protects the rights of these visitors from the South.
Ep.10 - "Manumission"
Josephine and Martha are reunited by a shared fear for Mother Mary's health.
Ep.11 - "Yakonkwe"
Famine-struck Americans are forced to ask the Native Haudenosaunee for food - and forgiveness.
Ep.12 - "Embargo"
President Jefferson's new Act creates tensions,
as Martha prepares to take family matters into
her own hands...
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