In what is quite possibly the first epic poem in the English language since the 19th century, Richard Hayes Phillips has discovered and recounted the stories of kidnapped children whose survival itself was heroic. The author is a long-time songwriter and folksinger in the Scottish and Irish tradition and is a published author with three historical reference books to his credit. He has both the skills and the material for such an undertaking. The books, known informally as the White Slave Children Trilogy, identify by name more than 5,000 white children kidnapped from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Massachusetts and sold into slavery in Maryland and Virginia, c. 1660-1720. These were not indentured servants. These were children without indentures–that is, without a contract–taken against their will. They were sentenced to servitude by the County Courts. Their names and ages are on the record. The younger the child, the longer the sentence.
The books track the movements of 170 white slave ships, identify with a high degree of certainty the parents of 1,400 children, and reveal what became of 200 survivors. The author has subsequently compiled records of kidnapped children sold in Pennsylvania and has traced the migration of dozens of runaways and their descendants through the Appalachian Mountains.
The epic poem is divided into 75 passages, in lyric poetry, with rhyme and meter. Some of the passages are, or will become, folk songs. The White Slave Children Trilogy, published in paperback by Genealogical Publishing Company, is also available in a hard-bound, cloth cover, stitched page edition directly from the author.