Newson Publishing's young adult book Uncle T and the Uppity Spy, is about Jackson's relationship with Jim Lewis, his slave, right-hand-man, and confidante. Stonewall Jackson defended the Virginian Southern lifestyle and state sovereignty; yet he was a pioneering educator and helper of blacks–facts which are little known when we think of the Confederate war hero.
The manipulation of the dynamics of race relations in America in order to advance political agendas is a tired and never-ending game that may well be one of the most enduring legacies of the Civil War and its aftermath.
This book might be misinterpreted by some in much the same way that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was considered by the South to be Northern propaganda–an effort to bamboozle people about the truth about slavery. It might even be considered an effort to glorify an “Uncle Tom” rather than an attempt to recognize a man of character who made his mark in history at a time when history was trying to repress him in every possible way.
In fact this book is an attempt to look at things beyond black and white into human responses to the situations they find themselves in. The depiction of Stonewall Jackson is an attempt to see this man as the complex, many-faceted person he was. He was not only the great hero of the Southern cause and a thorn in the side of the North. He was a man capable of very human feelings toward his slave Jim Lewis and toward slaves and blacks in the South in general. He was something of a “Johnny Appleseed” of an educated black ministry in the South, a Christian who took all of God’s children into consideration, and he should be remembered for this as much or more than for his battlefield prowess.
“You may eliminate me from your circle, but I will draw a bigger circle and include you!”