Fannie Mae Starks, a strong, dynamic, religious slave, always willing to try new ideas, is given the papers that give her her freedom. The slave owners gather their important papers, family, and all valuables one day, leaving in a hurry. They tell her to keep the land and do what she sees fit with it, because she's paid enough. They wish her luck and leave five other women behind with her.
Fannie, taking charge, says, "We will only take what we can use and work together to turn this place into a town, where people will come to live and raise families. We will only use some of the land. To use all of it will kill us." So they use only the richest part of the soil, were the least work will have to be done, until they get some men on the land to help it prosper and grow.