To Save a Kinsman was inspired by an incident, a page and a half in Ida B. Wells autobiography. An African American man who is accused of killing his landlord in Arkansas, escapes to Chicago, knowing he would be lynched, no questions asked, if he stayed behind.
Shortly after he arrives in Chicago, he is falsely accused of stealing ties in an open market
and put in Cook County jail. When the authorities learn he is “wanted” in
Arkansas, they plan on summarily sending him back there. Ida B. Wells attempts to save him from extradition until a trial can been arranged.
Excerpts from To Save a Kinsman
Scene I – Green and his daughter, Rachael appraising dead rabbit. Landlord arrives; accuses Green of poaching.
Scene II – Green begs landlord for food; landlord threatens his life.
Scene III – Landlord’s wife talking to the sheriff.
Scene IV – Green and Rachael on the run from authorities. They decide to separate.
Scene IV – Ida B. Wells meets Judge Tuthill for the first time