Coopoly - Logo
Coopoly - Logo
The Great Absquatulator
Preview this ebook
The Great Absquatulator
Member Price: $18.99 (what is it?)
Regular Price: $18.99
   (Quantity: 1)
Ebook in EPUB format. Available for immediate download after we receive your order
Baraka Books
Publication Year:
ISBN-13: 9781771862868
One hundred years before the Hollywood film The Great Impostor, Alfred Thomas Wood roved through the momentous mid-19th century events, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to New England, Liberia, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Canada, the U.S. Mid-West and the South. He is the great “absquatulator.”

Posing as an Oxford-educated preacher in Maine and Boston, he claimed to be a Cambridge-educated doctor of divinity in Liberia. He spent 18 months in an English prison, then in Hamburg in 1854, he published a history of Liberia in German.

Speaking in Montreal, he claimed to have been Superintendent of Public Works in Sierra Leone. Wood served the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois as an Oxford-educated Doctor of Divinity, then toiled in post-Civil War Tennessee during Reconstruction as a Cambridge-trained MD.

Perusing the life of a resourceful but dubious “absquatulator,” Frank Mackey wittily casts new light on vital mid-19th century events.

Frank Mackey is a Montreal writer whose recent books include Black Then: Blacks and Montreal 1780s-1880s and Done with Slavery: The Black Fact in Montreal, 1760-1840. He has worked as a journalist throughout Canada and in England and taught journalism at Concordia University.

Webster (Aly Ndiaye) is a Senegalo-Québécois rap artist who has pioneered hip-hop in Quebec. He speaks widely on the history of Africans and slaves in Quebec. He lives in Montreal.

Praise for The Great Absquatulator

“Frank Mackey has a knack of digging up and dusting off stories that, were it not for him, would very likely have been swallowed up by time. Or to put it more metaphorically, he has forced time to cough up its children who have been buried for centuries. That’s what he did with Alexander Grant, and now it’s Alfred Thomas Wood’s turn.” Webster

“The latest fruit of Frank Mackey’s research into Black history is both startling and absorbing. A.T. Wood defied the stereotypes and conventions of his age: a great traveller and a master of deceit, he worked by turns as a carpenter, a preacher, an author, a teacher, a public speaker, a doctor and a political activist. Mackey fears that Wood “is trapped in the pages of this book” but for once he is wrong – his words release a grand impostor into the public eye.” Mark Abley

“A foremost authority on African-Canadian history pertaining to all things Montréalais and/or Québécois, Frank Mackey drafts a portrait of Alfred Thomas Wood that claims the hitherto unknown “Great Absquatulator” was a practitioner of outrageous frauds, serial seductions (perhaps even fringing on incest), and also a master plagiarizer of other people’s titles, attainments, and prestige. Indeed, Mackey recovers—via obsessive research—a scoundrel, a scamp, a scalawag, who plied his deceptions on three continents and in at least five countries, and who may have been born George Andrew Smith in Nova Scotia. However, whatever or whoever “Wood” or “Smith” really was, he was an author, and the translation from German and reprinting of his History of the Republic of Liberia renders the mysterious deceiver a possible, early African-Canadian scribe who now may take his place in our bibliographies—even if always with an asterisk.” George Elliott Clarke, 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada (2016-2017), Author, Where Beauty Survived: An Africadian Memoir (Knopf, 2021)
Ebook Preview
   (Quantity: 1)