The Garies and Their Friends was written in 1857 with a preface by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Frank Webb was a black man born in Philadelphia. Being one of the nearest free cities of any size to the slave territory, it was been a sanctuary for escaping fugitive or emancipated slaves. Mr. Garies was a slave-owning Southerner. His beloved wife was once a slave. They had two mixed-race children. To escape the racism of the South and the strict laws of Georgia prohibiting freedom for the children, the family moves to Philadelphia. They moved into a white neighborhood. Here they meet their remarkable "friends," including the middle-class and black Ellis family. They soon find out that Northern racism is different and equally dangerous. The wife next door is appalled by their new mixed-race neighbors, and her husband concocts a plot to rob the Garies of their wealth.