Lula Morgan, also known as Auntie Lula, is an older woman and fictive kin to Addy Walker and her family.
Personality and Traits
Auntie Lula is old enough to be Addy's grandmother, and serves as such to her. She has light skin, rusty red hair streaked with gray, and a soft open face with sharp green eyes. While she and Solomon are not related by blood to the Walkers they consider each other family, a term called fictive kin. She gives the Walkers advice, comfort, and friendship and Addy looks to her as a grandmother--given that it is unlikely she knows any of her direct grandparents.
Auntie Lula serves as the the cook on the plantation. She is quick minded and a healer, giving Addy and the Walkers medicine when sick and rock candy one Christmas. She is skilled in folk healing arts, same as her husband Solomon. She is also a quilter, and made Addy's quilt that she was forced to leave back on the plantation, one of only three she ever made (a plot point in Shadows on Society Hill).
In The Books
Meet Addy: An American Girl
Auntie Lula sometimes sneaks food away from the kitchen for the Walkers to eat. When Addy learns that Sam and Poppa will be sold, Auntie Lula offers the plan for her sneak out and offer water to them out in the field so that she can warn Sam and Poppa.
Auntie Lula keeps Esther for Momma since she can't be brought on the run to freedom.
Changes for Addy: A Winter Story
Since the end of the war, the family has been searching to locate Esther, Auntie Lula, and Uncle Solomon. Sam has returned as of Addy Saves the Day, leaving the three of them the last missing members.
The letter Addy receives from Bertha Gilbert tells the Walkers that Lula, Solomon, and Esther were last seen in a freedman's camp outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. Esther had a bad cold and Lula cared for her until she was better, staying up with her all night even though she wasn't feeling well herself. As soon as Esther was better, they left--a week before Addy's letter arrived.
One evening a few days before Christmas, as Addy is headed home from a unplanned visit to City Hospital, she decides to stop by First Baptist Church so that she and Sam do not have to stop there the next day. She then spots an elderly woman making her way slowly down the steps, and as Addy gets closer she sees the woman bent over helping a small child. The light from inside the church shines on their faces, and Addy recognizes both of them immediately. She calls Esther's name, then Lula's, and Lula looks up and recognizes Addy, calling her "my Addy." Addy hugs them both tight--they are both so thin that her arms can go around both of them. Lula pulls back to examine Addy's face, then turns towards and prompts Esther to be friendly to Addy and reminds her that she and Uncle Solomon always told her about Addy, and gets Esther to speak to her. She says she'll explain about Solomon in good time, but that it's time to get her and Esther home.
Momma, Poppa, and Sam look worried until they see who Addy has with her and hug Lula tightly. Esther reaches out for her when Ruth is kissing her--since she knows Lula better--and this hurts Momma. Lula tries to coax Esther to interact with her family and when she doesn't, explains that she's probably tired.
When Sam asks after Uncle Solomon, Lula sighs and then explains that he died at the last freemen's camp they were at and was buried there. She talks about the last days on the plantation before the war ended: they had a time of it, as the plantation became nothing but dry dirt, everyone knew the North would be victorious, and that other enslaved people were running off from both the Stevens and Gifford plantations so often that they could not be caught. Eventually only a few enslaved people were left, mostly old folks. Solomon had been sick, but not wanting to die where he'd been enslaved--along with the two of them being determined to return Esther to the Walkers--they headed for the freemen's camps, and Esther got ill at a camp in Virginia. She says that many kind people helped them along the way, and they got to a camp close to Philadelphia when Solomon, who had been sick some time, passed. When Addy cries, Lula strokes her hair to comfort her as she explains that Solomon set out what he wanted to do--to die a free man, away from the plantation where he had been enslaved. After his passing she and Esther kept going, and Lula had felt like she could make it another step, that was when Addy found them. After Ruth suggests Lula rest, Lula asks Addy to get Esther's doll out; at their dual exclamation of recognizing Janie, she then prompts Esther to say who gave her the doll--Addy.
Lula takes Addy's bed that night with Esther with her, and she and Esther are still asleep when Addy leaves for school; she kisses them lightly enough to not wake them.
At suppertime, Lula is too weak to come down to eat, so Addy brings her a tray. Lula only picks at the food and when Addy asks if she's hungry, she admits she's not and pats the bed, telling Addy to sit next to her so they can talk. She takes one of Addy's hands and says that she was worried when Addy and Ruth left the plantation--Solomon wasn't though. When Addy speaks to Auntie Lula about it being unfair Solomon wasn't free for long, she tells Addy about how Solomon celebrated being free back when he heard of the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation. She coughs, and Addy gives her water. She then tells Addy not to be sad about Solomon's dying--or when she does. Addy protests about her dying, and Lula tells her that there's a time for each of them to die and that she--like Solomon won't have much time in freedom; not everyone makes it where they want to go in life, and that sometimes other people have to carry a person's hopes and dreams where they can't. She then leans back on the pillows, closing her eyes, and saying she should rest now. Addy kisses her on the forehead, then sits by her until she falls asleep.
Lula dies two days before Christmas on the 23rd of December, 1865. Her death puts a pallor over the holiday and makes Christmas a quiet affair for the Walkers, and Addy feels that her death (along with Solomon's) means that her whole family can never truly be together in freedom as she wanted. Addy is almost too despondent to participate in the Emancipation Celebration at church because of it, until Ruth reminds her that Lula and Solomon will always live in their hearts and memory.
Addy remembers Lula and Solomon when she is about to read the Emancipation Proclamation, and this helps her speak.
While Lula has died, she has a major effect on the events occurring. She and Solomon's niece, Elizabeth Cope, has one of his protection stones, a healing arts sack, and one of the only three quilts Lula ever made. It is these marks that help Addy realize why Elizabeth turned so suddenly on the Walkers upon realizing who they were: she is passing as white.
Aunt Lula is played by the multi-character actress who also plays Miss Dunn and Sarah Moore's mother. (Because of the framing of the story, the characters never overlap.) She takes Esther to care for at the start and returns with her at the end, and the story ends before her death occurs so it is never mentioned as happening.
- Addy's letter, Addy Saves the Day: Solomon and Lula Morgan. They caring for our dear baby Esther Walker.
- Two days before Christmas, after her return.