- Mrs. Favors ELA

By Lois Ruby
 Dana
Shannon (main character, present)
 Mrs. Shannon (Mom)
 Dr. Shannon (Dad)
 James Weaver (main character, past)
 Millicent Weaver (Ma)
 Caleb Weaver (Pa)
 Rebecca Weaver (Sister)
 Jeep
 Ahn
 Sally
 Derek
 Mike Gruber
 Jeremy Macon
 Will Bowers
 Dr. Baxie
 Sherriff Samuel Jones
 U.S. Deputy Marshall Fain
 Present
Time: Dana’s house on Tennessee
St. in Lawrence, KS
 Past Time: James’ house (same location)
 Nonviolence
(Jeremy Macon/Beecher’s
Bibles vs. James Weaver/Quaker Beliefs)
 Parenting Skills (Shannon’s vs Weaver’s
parenting skills)
(Present Time)
 Dana & Mom are tearing down ugly
rooster wallpaper
 As they tear down the paper, they find a
secret room
 In the secret room, there is a SKELETON!
(Past Time)
 The Weavers are introduced– They are Quakers
 Millicent Weaver is helping slaves get to freedom
up north/Canada
 Her flag is up – this lets slaves know this is a safe
house ; Dad is not home
 A wagon appears with slaves hidden underneath
a blanket. She feeds them and allows them to
 She tells them not to tell her their names
• “If I don’t know thy names, why, I can’t say for sure thee’d
been here, anyone come asking”
(Present Time)
 Dana’s mom calls 911 about the skeleton
– police arrive quickly (Officer Burney
and Office Wyles) to take pictures and
collect evidence
 County Coroner (Dr. Baxi) shows up to
examine the skeleton.
 Dr. Baxi invites her to the coroner’s office
for the autopsy. (not actually viewing it
but standing outside the office)
(Present Time)
 As the officers are working, Dana sees
something drop down to the floor – a small
black book
• She decides to keep it
 Dana
hints that she has found something but
does not tell her parents (p. 18).
 Dr. Baxi believes the skeleton was a fugitive
slave who died 130-140 years ago
• Identity and death are UNKNOWN
 (Past Time)
 The Weaver’s
sit and eat breakfast with the
 They discuss how Border Ruffians from
Missouri (slave state) opposed of the Kansas
Territory becoming a free-soil state.
• Kansas Territory wanted to be Free-Soilers, but the
Border Ruffians “stuffed the ballot boxes”, making it
look like more Kansans were proslavery.
This caused border skirmishes which they
called the Wakarusa War (named after the
river that ran through Lawrence, KS)
 (Past Time)
 Jeremy
Macon tells James about the Sharp’s
Rifles, also known as “Beecher’s Bibles”
• Rifles were shipped in book boxes on barges up the
Kansas River
• Henry Ward Beecher said “a rifle’s a higher moral
power so far as these proslavers are concerned.”
 James’ Conflict: the Weavers
are Quakers
and do not believe in the use of violence
 (Past Time)
 James’ Ma
put James, Rebecca, and the
slave family to work
 His Ma tells Rebecca and James to keep
the slaves a secret – don’t tell ANYONE
including PA!
 She makes them place their hands on the
bible and swear.
(Present Time)
 Dana and her friends sit around the cafeteria
table talking about the skeleton
 Dana and Ahn name the skeleton Elvira Lincoln
 Jeep is upset because the way they are talking
about the skeleton (who was a slave)
 Later at home, Dana opens the black book and
reads the first entry.
• The book belongs to Millicent Weaver
Dana decides to tell her parents she has found
the black book and promises to give it back by
July 1
 (Past Time)
 James’ Pa
(Caleb Weaver) returns home
 Rebecca almost slips up about their guests
 Mrs. Weaver lies and says the neighbors
came over with bread n’ butter pickles
 Pa doesn’t believe this, so he takes James
outside and asks what really happened
• James’ lies and says he’s been “working on his
studies” at Jeremy's house; therefore, he doesn’t
really know
 (Past Time)
 Ma
and Pa get into a heated discussion
about slavery
• Although they both do not agree with slavery: Pa
believe in following the law while Ma believes in
doing the right thing, regardless of the law.
 James’ Internal
Conflict: What is the right
thing to do? Get involved (Beecher’s
Bibles) or to stay to true to his Quaker
 Ahn stays the night at Dana
 They go to the secret chamber to look for clues
 They hear footsteps and hide
• It is Dana’s Parents
• Dana’s Parents hint that IF the children are in the room,
they should get out because it is ILLEGAL to be in the
They stay in the room until it’s safe.
• Dana’s Parents are hiding on the floor.
• Dana and Ahn end up stepping on them and getting
caught (they did not get into trouble)
 (Present)
 Dana
shows Ahn the black book
• She reads an entry about an old man/slave
showing up at the Weaver’s door.
• This upsets Ahn who didn’t know that such things
took place in the US
 (Past Time)
 James, Jeremy
Macon, & Will Bowers are
in town and see men on Mount Oread
(which looked over the city)
 U.S. Marshall William Fain comes down
and warns the boys that the men are
looking for “Slave Stealers”
(Present Time)
 The Shannon’s find out from the library that
Caleb Weaver, a lawyer, built their house in 1856
• No information on Mrs. Weaver was in record
Dr. Shannon guesses the family were Quakers
 They pass Edmund Wolcott’s limestone castle,
built in the 1870’s
• Edmund Wolcott was a cattle baron
The castle is going to be torn down due to its
poor condition (broken windows, missing chunks
of limestone)
 (Present
 Dana reads an entry from the black book:
• Mr. Weaver will be representing Barnaby Watts,
charged with helping slaves escape
• Mr. Weaver is torn: he is against slavery but believe
in upholding the law
• This upsets Mrs. Weaver – she believes slavery is
wrong, regardless of the law
Dana reads the next entry which appears to
be written several weeks later:
• May 21, a fire swept through the house…
 (Past Time)
 The
Border Ruffians from MO on Mount
Oread come down the mountain
• They have a canon “Old Sacramento” aimed at the
Free-State Hotel
• 30 cannonballs later, the Free-State Hotel still stands
• Eventually, it is taken down with 2 barrels of
gunpowder placed in the basement
 The Weaver’s
buried anything of personal
value in a box in the back yard
 (Past Time)
 The
me of Lawrence prepare to battle the
Border Ruffians
 Sheriff Samuel Jones, a resident of MO
but the sheriff of Douglass County,
decides to fight with the Border Ruffians
 (Present
 Sally, Derek, Ahn, Mike Gruber, and Dana
are watching Freddy (Horror movie)
• Ahn is not scared – states the bones in Dana’s house
were scarier
 They
discuss how Dana’s house was burned
down in “The Sack of Lawrence” -- most of
the town was burned down in 1856
 Dana states her house was also burnt down
again 7 years later during the Civil War by
the Confederates
 (Present
 Later, Dana stays at Ahn’s house
• They read several entries in the black book
 Congress refused to accept Caleb’s Constitution
 Rebuilding the house
 Ma asks Mr. Madison to build a “good-sized closet” in the
north bedroom where James can play his violin
 Ma and Pa are getting along better now that they’ve put
their business aside (writing constitution; helping slaves)
 EVERYTHING CHANGES! A young lady shows up at the
door while Caleb is away – even though no flag is hanging.
She says she will never make it to Canada, but she’s meant
to help others on their journey. Elvira is here!
 (Past)
 Elvira’s
name is really Miss Lizbet Charles
 Miss Lizbet is not like most slaves James has
seen – she is well-spoken
• She is helping around the house
 Ma
has agreed to teach Lizbet to read &
• Her presence makes James uncomfortable/upset –
things were just starting to get better at the house
 (Past)
 James
argues to Ma that Lizbet needs to
• Ma says she stays
 Lizbet is a great storyteller!!
• A slave gets in a box and ships himself to
Philadelphia – traveled 26 hours
 Lizbet
states, “Black folks find all different
ways of following the drinking gourd”
• The Big Dipper (NORTH STAR at handle)
 Slaves follow the north star to know they’re heading north
for freedom.
 (Present
 The kids are returning from a dance – had a
live band
 Derick asks Mrs. Shannon, “How’s the dead
• “Still dead,” she replies
 Dana
shares that Elvira’s real name is Lizbet
Charles, and she was a conductor on the
Underground Railroad (making 8-10 trips)
• Conductor lead slaves to the north
 (Past)
 Lizbet
and Mrs. Weaver are arguing
about bringing “pilgrims” into Mrs.
Weaver’s home
• Mr. Weaver will be home soon, so Mrs. Weaver
needs Lizbet to leave
• They agree as long as Mr. Weaver is home, Lizbet
will stay in the small room upstairs (secret
 (Past)
 Lizbet
begins telling a story about Ms.
Ellen Craft, a slave who’s father was white
• Ms. Craft disguised herself as a male plantation
owner, and her husband, Mr. Craft, as her
• They escaped for freedom by traveling on the
train system
• 3 boats and 5 trains later, they reach
 (Past)
 President
Millard Fillmore sent 600
troops to capture Ellen and William Craft
 They flee by boat to England
 James asks Lizbet if she had any children
• Lizbeth shares she was married once but lost her
husband before they could have any children
• She begins telling the Weavers about her
husband, Matthew Luke Charles (a man with 3
first names)
 (Present)
 Dana, Jeep, and
her friends are at the mall
 Jeep is reading the black journal
• Lizbet remains hidden while Mr. Weaver is home
• Lizbet tells stories:
 Bog who fakes a seizure and is sent to jail but escapes for
Canada and is now living free
 Uncle Mose sells for a mere $200 but is rescued by 25 Free
Soilers on horse
 Mrs. Weaver collects these stories to share with Caleb one
day in hopes he will understand her actions.
 (Present)
 Jeep
is upset about what he read
 Dana asks Jeep what would he had done
if he was alive then?
• Jeep states he wouldn’t have been a Martin
Luther King
Mrs. Weaver fixes a picnic, and suggest that
the family go out for the day, but the real
reason is so Lizbet can get out.
 Ma says Pa’s incorrigible.
• Mrs. Weaver starts to bring up the “Negros”, but Mr.
Weaver stops, and she lets it go.
The family goes to visit the Olneys, friends
from Boston who recently moved to Kansas.
o Dr. Olney has a hired hand named Solomon Jefferson
who is a free black man, who cools off Thunder.
 A slave hunter shows up and to take Solomon
back to Macon, GA.
o There is a confrontation and Solomon almost used an
ax on the Slave Hunter, but his Quaker background
stops him from doing it.
o Mr. Weaver tells Solomon, “I’ll do everything I can to
get thee out again.”
o Mr. Weaver gives Solomon Thunder so he doesn’t
have to walk.
 (Present)
 Dana,
Ahn and Jeep go into the tiny
room were Lizbet’s bones were found.
• Jeep wants to go into the closet that was
Lizbet’s room to “feel it pumping”, like the
Heart at the Museum of Science & Industry in
• He investigates every inch of the small room,
and lies on the cot as well as under it.
 Jeep
declares, “She died in this room.”
 (Present)
 The boys
talk about what they want to do
when they get older
• James realizes his dream to become an architect.
• James pictures how he would design the front
door to the New Hotel/
 Back
in town James and Jeremy witness a
bony old bull staggering down the street
looking delirious.
• Bethany’s father comes out and shoots the bull
• James is left wondering if he would have the
courage to do the same thing.
 (Past)
 Mr. Weaver is gone to Missouri to try and get Solomon
• Rebecca is done with the fever
• James spots a prairie wolf with a dead rabbits carcass in
it’s mouth.
Mrs. Weaver has James, from Lizbet’s instructions, go
out and pick indigo plants to use as a medicine for
o Lizbet sees James looking in the mirror at his freckles, and
tells him he could get rid of them by smearing manure on
his face, James cried “Oh,” and ran out of the house.
o James has to drink the indigo tea before Rebecca will.
 James and has friends Jeremy and Will are
talking about the cattle drive of Texas Long
Horns passing through town on their way to
Kansas City Stock Yards.
 They talk about the cattle caring ticks that
cause “Texas Fever”, and how their cows will
become infected.
 James and has friends Jeremy and Will are
talking about the cattle drive of Texas Long
Horns passing through town on their way to
Kansas City Stock Yards.
 They talk about the cattle caring ticks that
cause “Texas Fever”, and how their cows will
become infected.
 (Present)
Dana is at
home alone when a big
storm is happening.
She thinks of the song “Ding Dong
the Witch is dead” as the rain
pounds on the roof.
The tornado siren sounds and Dana
heads for the, with a flashlight and
M&M’s, basement.
 (Present)
The storm
passes and Dana, very
relieved, scurries out of the
basement and views the aftermath
of the storm.
Ahn calls and tell Dana how scared
she was during the storm. Dana
says, “Oh you get used to it.”, while
not admitting to her own fear
 (Present)
Ahn said
that maybe Lizbet could
have died of fright during a storm
like this while she was up in the attic.
Dana disagrees, and tells Ahn after
all she went through she hardly
thinks that the noise from a tornado
would even bother her.
The chapter ends with both girls still
puzzled about how Lizbet died.
 (Past)
 August 1856, Seems like everyone is sick in Lawrence.
o Rebecca is getting better
o Dr. Olney believes that “Quinine” is the cure, but the
Weaver’s know it was the Indigo Root that saved Rebecca
Mrs. Weaver is making soap from ashes
o James remembers the sweet smelling soap they used to buy
in Boston
Although a storm moving in, Miz Lizbet says she needs
to leave for Missouri to pick up more runaway slaves.
 A wagon train of settlers going to Oregon on
the “Oregon Trail” comes into Lawrence.
• James helps a woman from the Wagon Train, who
is having a baby by getting Dr. Olney.
• The Maxwell’s joining the wagons and going to
Oregon, and Bethany gives James her cat,
Trembles, to take care of for her.
• A wagon pulls up to the Weaver’s caring
runaways, Mrs. Weaver tells them they can’t stay
 Dana and her friends are just sitting around
in the hot summer heat complaining about
nothing to do to, and really not wanting to
do anything in the heat anyway.
• Jeep gets dropped off and joins the group,
complaining about having to babysit.
• Jeep has been hanging out with the brothers,
friends from his church, and spending a lot of
time at KU library. He tells them he has a lot to
tell them from his investigating.
 (Present)
 The group heads to Long John Silvers to eat,
where Jeep tells them about Theron Trowbridge,
a deacon from Iowa, from a long time ago.
• Theron would help the runaway slaves by feeding
the dogs the slave hunters used to chase down the
slaves balls of fried cornmeal laced with strychnine
to hush the dogs – “Hush Puppies.”
Jeep tells the group about the typhoid fever
epidemic in Lawrence in 1856 -1857 -- he was
sure that is what killed Miz Lizbet.
 They make a pact not to talk about the diary or
anything in it again until the 4th of July.
(Past) September 1856
Will comes up to James wearing Levies, red leggings, and a
gun (Jayhawker).
• He is going to fight with John Brown in Osawatomie, city in Kansas that
John Brown used for his Headcounters.
• James is upset with this and finds it hard to see his friend off.
James talks with his Pa about John Brown and violence.
• Mr. Weaver tries to convince James that John Brown has it all wrong,
and that violence won’t solve anything.
• Mrs. Weaver gets drawn into the conversation and they both try to
convince James that the violence is a bad thing.
Mrs. Weaver tells the story of the slave Hunter in Worcester,
Massachusetts, and how they used nonviolent tactics to run the
guy out of town.
• He told them how the surrounded the guy, but never laid a hand on
him, and followed him all day and never stopped asking him to leave.
 (Past) September 1856
 James is awakened by a bright light in the
middle of the night. It’s a prairie fire!
• The family works hard to stop the fire. They talked
about “fighting fire with fire.”
When it’s over and James collapses into bed,
Rebecca asks him if “Thee was a hero out there?”
 As he is falling asleep he hears her ask “Was
thee scared out there?” to this he replies
“Rebecca, thee must learn to fight fire with fire?”
Dana’s quest to get inside Walcott Castle seems to be going
o Her father refuses to let her inside the building because it is unsafe.
Dana is forced to go to California to visit her cousins there.
o Her cousin Tonia plays the melting “Wicked Witch of the West” from
the Wizard of Oz, while in line for a ride at Disney World
o Dana’s mother said that she would rather travel to the Black Hole of
Calcutta or the Bermuda Triangle, before returning to visit the relatives
in California.
Dana reads the Mrs. Weaver’s journal some more on the plane ride
o She reads about Solomon’s return from Missouri
o Dana gives the journal to her father for him to read, which he does right
up to the last blank 20 pages.
o Dana laments she will turn the journal over to Dr. Baxi
(Past) November 1856
Mr. Weaver returns home while both Solomon are staying at
the house.
Marshal Fain makes another visit.
o The Marshal questions them about Solomon and says he has
heard reports of another black women making repeated visits to
the Weaver’s house
o Mr. Weaver argues the morality of the law that requires runaway
slaves to be returned to their slave masters (Fugitive Slave Act)
o The Marshal threatens the Weavers by telling them if they are
hiding runaways he will catch them
Before the Marshal he gives a letter to Mrs. Weaver from
her mother in Boston, which tells of her father’s stroke.
o Mrs. Weaver and Rebecca return to Boston
o Miz Lizbet leaves for Kentucky
(Past) November & December 1856
James and his Father are left to fend for themselves while Mrs. Weaver is
off to Boston.
James has to help his friend Jeremy and his father slaughter hogs so they
will have meat for the winter.
o James dreams of the Christmas Ham
o James gets sick after witnessing the slaughter of a hog
o He thinks back to the Hindu man he knew in Boston who was a vegetarian and
thinks maybe he should become one.
James and Pa have dinner at Dr. Olney’s
o They discuss how the typhoid fever goes around
o James teases Solomon about Miz Lizbet
o It is decided, because he is sick from typhoid fever, will stay with Pa and
James, and they will take care of him.
o This concerns James; he just can’t see how he and Pa alone can tend to sick
Solomon on their own.
Miz Lizbet returns to the Weavers while Mr. Weaver is gone
o She also is sick from the typhoid fever
o Even though she is sick she tends to Solomon along with James and the house
It is the wettest summer in Kansas since the 1850’s
o Dr. Baxi comes to Dana’s house to report to Dana on the “remains”, of Miz
Dana laments to think that Miz Lizbet is reduced to the status of remains
They talk about the technology used to check the bones, and reports that the
victim was not poisoned or died of any drug ingestion. Dana’s mother
comments “Aren’t we relieved to know that she wasn’t a junkie, 135 years
Dr. Baxi reports that her death happened somewhere between 1855 and 1860,
and that she died during an intensely cold winter and a very dry spring.
Finally he gives his hypothesis that she died of typhoid fever
Dana calls her friends and tells them “I’m cancelling the pact,” she
tells each of them “Miz Charles is back, and we are putting her to
o Dana and her friends hold a candle light virgule in the little room where her
remains were discovered, as a funeral for Miz Lizbet.
(Past) December 1856
James was holed up in the house with Miz Lizbet and Solomon during the winter
storm Pa was gone
o Pa returns home to find Miz Lizbet at the house, and he welcomes her.
o Miz Lizbet explains it was not James’s fault she was there, but rather she just
kept coming back
o James tries to tell his father he didn’t mean to lie to him
o Pa tells James not to fret, he knows it was Mrs. Weavers wishes. He states “Thy
mother is a resolute woman. The day we married, she promised to love and
honor, but not to obey.”
On the 10th of December Marshal Fain returns with a group of Border ruffians.
o He says he knows there has been a Nigra woman who came to the house, but
no one has seen her leave.
o The Marshal is suspicious because of the way the house looks, and say “looks
like a woman’s touch.
o He threatens Mr. Weaver, and so he is asked to leave following a brief
exchange of words between the two.
o The Marshal leaves behind several Border ruffians outside the door to keep an
eye on the house.
James thinks to himself, “These are the kind of Men Will Bowers was out hunting
With Lizbet Charles officially dead, Dana devises a plan to break
into the Walcott Castle with Ahn and Jeep.
o Dr. Baxi class Dana and thanks her for giving him the journal. He also
tells her that he gave it to the Douglas County Historical Society to
display in their museum.
o Dana, Ahn, and Jeep break into the Walcott Castle by climbing up the
huge Elm tree next to the castle and Ahn, because she’s the smallest
crawls through a broken window and opens it to let the others in.
o The climb the stairs to the tower and discover the red brick walls have
gold stars painted on them and an ancient telescope pointed out the
window. Ahn says, “That’s to find the North Star.”
They go back down the stairway of the tower to investigate Mr.
Walcott’s bedroom.
o Jeep falls through a trap door on the balcony of the bedroom and into a
deep hole beneath it, but catches the floor boards to keep him from
falling into the dark pit.
o Dan rescues Jeep and they leave the castle.
(Past) December 12, 1856
Jeremy Macon brings a letter to the Weaver’s from Mrs.
Weaver telling them that Grandpa Baylor has passed.
She tells them they will be coming home after the
o James remembers his Grandpa Baylor, and thinks about the
sketch of his grandfather’s dog he drew for him when he
was still back in Boston.
o He remembers his grandfather telling him what a great
piece of work it was and how he should never think it’s not.
o Grandpa Baylor then shows him the pictures from the book
in his library, of Michelangelo’s painted ceiling in the
Sistine Chapel in Rome to inspire James.
o Grandpa Baylor said he would take the sketch to his grave,
and James thought he would never know if he did or not.
A day or so later Pa leaves to go town to see if there is any more news from
Mrs. Weaver, and to get another cot so Solomon could sleep next to Miz
Lizbet up in the little room.
o He has a little confrontation with the Border ruffians watching the house.
o He tells them “Pity thee can’t come in and have a hot cup of sider next to the
fire. Marshal Fain would not like that.”
Miz Lizbet is sick and it appears she is dyeing
o James and his father struggle over what to do. Do they send her out to die or do
they let her stay, and rick being discover.
o Miz Lizbet tries to give James the journal Mrs. Weaver had given to her, but
James says his mother would want her to have it.
James contemplates going over to the Macon’s and get a gun and shoot the
Miz Lizbet dies and they build a wall to close off the little room with her
body still in it.
o The journal is left in there as well, and that is answers the mystery of why the
last 20 pages are blank.
On the Fourth of July they had a celebration commemorating the
restoration of the Walcott Castle, on the grounds outside the front of the
Castle. 600 people who paid $100 t0 $1000 were on hand, along with the
While the ceremonies were going on Jeep sits down on the ground leaning
up against the big Elm tree.
o He sits on something hard, and when they clear the grass and the dirt away they
find that it is a stone memorial commemorating Miz Lizbet Charles and her
husband Matthew.
The inscription on the stone said:
Buildings Crumble,
But leaves and grass are eternal.
I plant this tree in memory of
MATTHEW Luke Charles
April 20, 1877
J. B. W./amen

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