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Two slaves Joe Cudjo and his wife Janie run away from a Georgia plantation taking a small boat down the river into Florida There on the riverbank was the Negro Fort a stronghold of runaway slaves and renegade Indians At the fort Joe becomes a soldier in its army He and Janie begin a new life in a prosperous community of a thousand free blacks But when an American invasion is mounted to destroy the fort Joe and the others must fight to save their dream Based upon fact NEGRO FORT is a story that has never been told

10 thoughts on “Negro Fort

  1. says:

    This thrilling action adventure historical novel 'Negro Fort' authored by Paul Allen takes place in the Florida Everglades in the early 1800's and recounts a spellbinding tale of the injustice and inhumanity of slavery the battle for freedom in combination with the horror and ravages of warThe Negro FortProspect Bluff was left to the local population by British Military Forces after they returned to England A thriving prosperous post both the native Indians Red Sticks and thousand free black men who resided up and down the Apalachicola depended on the post for protection and trade The story is rich in detail of the Maroon Creek Seminole tribes customs and way of life belief in the Breath giver spirit who led and guided in the ways of the promised land The Negro Fort was greatly feared by the Spanish in Pensacola who wisely refused to enter the area Fiercely guarded and protected by Indian and the free blacks who united in scalping andor killing the white Slave Catchers who sought the generous bounty paid for the safe return of a slave to his masterWhen Joe Cudjo and his beautiful wife Janie arrive in Florida after escaping their Georgia plantation by boat they were fearful of the Indians and grateful for their newfound freedom Joe sought the refuge of the Negro Fort after he decided to become a soldier Janie was skeptical immediately something wasn't right with the leadership that demanded absolute control and obedience Further the customs were unusual men had multiple wives and many children After an ambush against the Slavecatchers Joe was appointed a sergeant his victory was hollow as his conscience didn't allow him to be at peace with killing With US Army Military Forces led by General Jackson Old Hickory advancing by land and sea Joe had to decide to continue the battle for freedom and defend the Negro Fort or leave in a new direction'Negro Fort' is the fifth novel by Paul Allen I've read and as customary his books are practically impossible to put down once the story begins to unfold There are some sweet tender love scenes between Joe and Janie and on the other hand the brutality of violence bloodshed and war The scenes can be extreme and leave a searing imprint of emotional range and impression Paul Allen is a notable celebrated commercial author with his debut novel Apeland released in 1977 He holds multiple degrees including a MFA in Cinema and Film Studies from the University of Southern California and lives in rural Southern New England with his wife

  2. says:

    Negro Fort is an Excellent Historical ReadIn “Negro Fort” author Paul Allen has created a small masterwork that not only illustrates a writer of considerable talent but also shines light on a little known period in American history The timeframe is roughly 1800 1820 a period when the fate of the very young United States of America was still very much in doubt Britain was still trying to foment trouble along the frontier trying to keep America contained within its original borders and Spain still controlled Florida and much of what would be the Southwest and CaliforniaAt the same time America was – and still is in many ways – a work in progress There was nowhere near universal agreement on anything and within the borders of the country There were factions and subgroups that stood out some of whom wanted just to get away and live life not as slaves but as free men That was all the Joe Cudjo and his wife Janie wanted Joe and Janie escaped from a Southern slaveholder and traveled south into the “Spanish” land FloridaWith an assist they made it to the “Negro Fort” a mixed African American Native American community in Nothern Florida At first supported by the British as part of its border shenanigans the Fort was later abandoned to its fate The Brits left Commander Garcon in charge A large community grew up around the “Negro Fort” as it offered protection to runaways and others It was where Joe decided to soldier for Commander GarconThe couple’s flight to freedom occurred at a time when historical currents were conspiring to work against them It played out on a stage dominated by larger developments that led to Gen Andrew Jackson waging war against Native American tribes first the Cherokee and then the Seminole The hostilities drew “Old Hickory” south to Florida where he also forced the Spanish out It was a horrendous war where uarter was rarely given It was an all out war that ground people up The only certainty was that the US soldiers were out to protect the “property” of white folks slaves Anyone else well was just in the way Were Joe and Janie were luckier than most? You’ll have to read the “Negro Fort” to find outIf you do take the time to read this historical fiction tale you will be rewarded with a well written exploration of a little known era in US history Paul Allen is a gifted talent Not only is he the author of five well written novels he is also the author of some well received tele and screenplays His mastery of writing is very evident in the way he draws you into the novel and keeps you there Allen has created a very haunting elegy His characters are real three dimensional You can easily empathize with them yet be revolted by their actions Their actions are a natural result of the times in which they live and the stresses that they feel Allen has created an almost lyrical tableau on which the characters play out their partsThat than anything else is the hallmark of Paul Allen’s writing He constructs his scenes with an eye toward the visual all the while keeping the novel moving forward There are so many areas where he could have become sidetracked losing the thread of the story as well But he did not Allen’s excellence as a writer shows throughPaul Allen has done it again in “Negro Fort” If read it you will be rewarded with an experience that will keep you reading until you reach “The End”

  3. says:

    `This here's Negro places'American writer and filmmaker Paul Allen has written five novels APELAND NEVER A SOLDIER MASTER OF BREATH ASKING FOR IT and MR BLACK AND WHITE each one reflecting his fascination and passion for nature as well as demonstrating the polished gifts as a writer well trained for his profession His studies in English and psychology were capped By an MFA in Cinema from the University of Southern California and he polished his skills writing short stories and journalism appearing in a wide sweep of publications as The Smith The St Petersburg Times The Tampa Tribune The Florida Handbook and The uarterly Journal of Military History A member of Writers Guild he has taught classical and modern literature writing and film at USC and Rhode Island School of design Now from his home in the woods of New England he turns our screenplays and novels that have a characteristic sense of enticing the reader to connect with the characters and the messages of his worksNow this impressive author turns to `historical fiction' only in that the true events that initiated the writing of this book have been enhanced by character development to bring the story into a cinematic range One of Paul's many gifts as a writer is in his take off his landing formation is eually well oiled but most authors can get climax whereas few can grab you around the neck in the first paragraph In NEGRO FORT the subject is slavery and Paul suggests that demarcation early 'It was hot The sun was high The July sky was bleached white over Joe and Janie in the rose garden A breeze from time to time made their sweat feel cool under the nr cloth Master Bruce had them come from the slave cabins at light to trim the rose bushes before the field work The rusted riddled roses had overgrown the white trellis and they had cut their hands on the thorns hacking with knives Blood glistened on their light callused palms Master Bruce stuck his head topped with thinning red ringlets out the window of the house Don't tear'em up I told you to prune'em was all Using time and story appropriate language Paul unveils a true story that has lay dormant for yearsThe plot synopsis shares the outline of this true story `Two slaves Joe Cudjo and his wife Janie run away from a Georgia plantation taking a small boat down the river into Florida There on the riverbank was the Negro Fort a stronghold of runaway slaves and renegade Seminole Indians At the fort Joe becomes a soldier in its army He and Janie begin a new life in a prosperous community of a thousand free blacks But when an American invasion is mounted to destroy the fort Joe and the others must fight to save their dream'This is a book begging to be a film so important is the story and so richly related The territory covered and the manner in which naturalistjournalist Allen relates with energy a nod to tenderness and a terrific sense of compassion Highly Recommended

  4. says:

    Love and humanity in harsh cruel timesFor me this was a fascinating and enthralling novel skillfully written Paul Allen is a master of setting the scene and the book is rich with description and images of the environment in which it takes place – the wild beauty of flowers and trees the birds and wild animals the river and dense forest – truly beautiful but also dangerous and threatening though nothing compared to the threats from the soldiers hunting down the slaves Life is harsh even brutal for the runaways slaves Joe and Janie who dream of a time when they can build a life together free and raise a family This belief sustains them makes them wary and helps them through the hard times they face Negro Fort is based on a true assault on a large group of escaped slaves living together at an old British Fort with tragic conseuences for the freedmen and women Despite this which is narrated in realistic and shocking detail – it is a harsh and brutal world with little mercy on either side – hope still prevails as some manage to escape move further to the free territories and pick up where they left off though now with nothing but each other There is love and compassion amidst the hardship and this is subtly managed by Mr Allen The relationship between Joe and Janie was for me beautifully handled and very tender and a high point midst the intimidating characters of Garcon and King Payne a clear line running through the story This is a wonderful piece of work not for those who can’t stomach being confronted by the harshness of human brutality but it’s part of the reality of the time and cannot be omitted but there’s still joy and love even in this world and being able to combine the two so skillfully is what makes Paul Allen a brilliant writer

  5. says:

    This novel is both gritty and beautiful A story of both hope and despairA chapter in our US History that has never been toldVery powerful reading

  6. says:

    Joe and Janie are a rather amazing couple and watching them move through the plot of this complex and at times convoluted novel was a whole lot of fun I knew this would be intense subject matter and some of the tension and thrills of the story were truly well crafted Allen set up a story that needed to be told about a group of intrepid rebels who refused to kneel to injustice The side characters that take in Joe and Janie help them get settled in the fort and become their friends and allies could have possibly been fleshed out a bit as some of the ancillary players seemed pointless but generally the book was done well It can be hard reading a book about your own country's history and feeling so divided and ashamed that this is how life used to be but it can also function as a modern reminder about similar issues that are still so clearly pervasive in our culture I don't think Allen was trying to do anything but tell an important story from the past but that doesn't mean it can't have an impact on the present I would give it a read definitely

  7. says:

    Hated it