Solomon Morgan, also known as Uncle Solomon, is an older man and fictive kin to Addy Walker and her family.
Personality and Traits
Uncle Solomon is said to know the "ways of the road," including many people and information about the world and moving through it. While he and Lula are not related by blood to the Walkers, they consider each other family, a term called fictive kin (as plantation families were often separated forcibly and had to make new connections). They relate to the Walkers much like children and grandchildren.
He knew Miss Caroline as a child, as they grew up on nearby farms. He is skilled in healing arts, same as his wife Lula.
He often told Addy that freedom's got its cost before she ran, a statement that stays with her and her family. He is full of wise sayings, such as not to bargain with God, as a person has nothing to offer God. He made up songs and marked things he made and gifted with a personal mark, such as leather bags and protection stones (which are major plot points in Shadows on Society Hill); Addy recalls that Solomon is the kind of man who would no more have made a healing sack or protection stone for a enslaver than he would have sold his soul to the devil.
In The Books
Meet Addy: An American Girl
Uncle Solomon and Auntie Lula keep Esther with them on the Stevens plantation, since she can't be brought safely on the run to freedom. Uncle Solomon tries to make Addy perk up by saying there's magic in her hat, pulling a half-dime from behind her ear and claiming she forgot to wash. He tells Addy to hold on to that half dime, as "Freedom's got its cost." He advises Addy and Momma before they leave: to move quickly at night and hide during the day; walk through any water they see, even as small as a puddle, to leave little scent for dogs to track; and to watch out for confederate soldiers who will be in grey uniforms and will bring them back if they're caught.
Changes for Addy: A Winter Story
A letter from Bertha Gilbert replies to the letter Addy sent in Addy Saves the Day. lets the Walkers know that Solomon, Lula, and Esther are on the way to Philadelphia; she last saw them at a freedman's camp she was working at in Raleigh, North Carolina. Uncle Solomon appeared frail and thin, and they had left the camp about a week before Addy's inquiry had arrived determined to get to Philadelphia.
Auntie Lula tells the Walkers upon her arrival that Uncle Solomon died in one of the freedman camps just outside Philadelphia. He had been sick at the end of the war, but hadn't wanted to die on the plantation and he and Lula wanted to get Esther back to her family--but he'd just worn out. Addy is greatly saddened by this, and Auntie Lula tells her that it was all right as he died a free man (something he'd hoped for his whole life) and got as close to Philadelphia as he could before dying, so he did what he set out to do in life.
Lula lets Addy know, as a story, that Solomon celebrated his freedom long before he left the plantation, when he heard about the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Solomon strutted into their cabin proudly and happily before kneeling and thanking the Lord.
While Solomon is dead, he has a major effect on the story and major plot points. Sam gifts Addy a protection stone that Solomon gave him for saving a boy from drowning, saying that if Uncle Solomon were here, he'd want Addy to have it.
His 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 clues that help Addy realize why Elizabeth turned so suddenly on the Walkers and that she ultimately is passing as white.
Uncle Solomon is not cast in the play. Reasons for this may have been to cut down on then number of actors (as it would have required another black male actor to play his role) or, since Solomon dies before getting to Philadelphia, it would have put a damper on what is made to be a happy ending when Auntie Lula returns.
- Addy's letter, Addy Saves the Day: Solomon and Lula Morgan. They caring for our dear baby Esther Walker.