My writing is taking a slight detour. Much as I want to finish researching Mary Howard and tell her story, it makes much sense to start with her father. Horton’s father, Bartholomew was a wealthy plantation owner who married a Quaker woman, Ruth Stanton. Batholomew died when Horton was about 15 years old, leaving an estate that included 20 slaves. Five years later, in the 1790 census, there were 26 slaves in the entry with Horton Howard as head of house. The Quakers were increasingly uncomfortable with the institution of slavery, and not easily able to free them under the laws of North Carolina. Horton was part of a small group who explored the Northwest Territory where slavery was prohibited in the territory’s charter. The men reported that is was also a favorable place to settle in terms of agriculture; wildlife for hunting; and clean, abundant water. Horton lead the first group of Quakers to settle in a new land, and spent the next 30 years trying to recreate the wealth that he’d abandoned with this move.