Ship of Blood

Mutiny and Slaughter Aboard the Harry A. Berwind, and the Quest for Justice

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Pub Date 01 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 21 Mar 2022

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Description

North Carolina native and lawyer Charles Oldham brings the incredible and unpredictable tale of the Harry A. Berwind fully to life for the first time.

In October 1905, North Carolina and much of the nation was captivated by the mass murder found aboard the Harry A. Berwind as it sailed the coast of Cape Fear. All four of the ship’s officers had been shot and tossed overboard, one crewman lay dead on the deck, another was chained hand and foot, and the three survivors all had different stories.

The most inflammatory factor that captured the nation: all the murdered officers were white, and the survivors Black.

With North Carolina still reeling from a brutal white supremacist insurrection years before and with Jim Crow laws were firmly in place, all three survivors were found guilty and sentenced to hang. Yet the legal drama went on, defying all other predictions, reaching the Supreme Court and even two presidents. In the end, so many participants—from jurors to lawyers to politicians—acted against the norm to create a bright spot in a long sordid history of race-related stories that was all but forgotten.

North Carolina native and lawyer Charles Oldham brings the incredible and unpredictable tale of the Harry A. Berwind fully to life for the first time.

In October 1905, North Carolina and much of...


A Note From the Publisher

TALKING POINTS:
This and other North Carolina history that has been forgotten and buried
A message of hope that justice can prevail, even in the worst circumstances
A bright spot in the tragic aftermath of the Wilmington Insurrection
First time the Harry A. Berwind incident has been meticulously researched and reviewed
The Decks Ran Red—a 1958 big-budget Hollywood retelling that fictionalized everything
Parallels between the darkest days of white supremacy in the early 1900s and the BLM movement of today
How the present continues to learn from the past

TIMELY TIE-INS:
February is Black History Month
February 1 is National Freedom Day
February 20 is World Day of Social Justice
March 1 is Zero Discrimination Day
March 14 is International Ask a Question Day
March 16 is Freedom of Information Day

TALKING POINTS:
This and other North Carolina history that has been forgotten and buried
A message of hope that justice can prevail, even in the worst circumstances
A bright spot in the tragic...


Advance Praise

“An engaging thriller with a surprise ending, . . . Ship of Blood explores racism and justice in a Southern port with a bloody past.” —David Zucchino, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Wilmington's Lie

“Charles Oldham unspools the complex mystery of guilt or innocence with a deft hand, artfully embedding the events of the crime within the rich history of a region fraught with conflict in an era of deadly social upheaval. A terrific read.” —Philip Gerard, author of Cape Fear Rising and winner of the North Carolina Award for Literature


“An engaging thriller with a surprise ending, . . . Ship of Blood explores racism and justice in a Southern port with a bloody past.” —David Zucchino, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Wilmington's...


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Regional and National Press

Virtual Book Tour

Regional and National Press


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781736132142
PRICE $28.00 (USD)

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