Seasoned Rum - the mistaken slave girl

D.M. Taylor

Book Cover



    Core Theme



    18th Century,19th Century











    A young woman is born a free woman in the early days of New Orleans and has to fight for freedom after the Louisiana purchase in 1804.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54,55+,18-34,13-17

    Target Gender: Universal


    Haiti, New Orleans, LA, Madisonville, LA, Curacao

    Based on a True Story


    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Brighton Publishing

    Year Published: 2014

    Starting Description

    Bertrand d’Ogeron, a Dutch merchant, felt confident his granddaughters, Scholastique and her sister Beauchance, could know a better life in Orleans territories of New France. His granddaughters were taught to speak Dutch, French, Spanish, and English. Bertrand would later pay for their safe passage.

    Ending Description

    “As soon as Glad explained to me what was going on, I hoisted sails and sped to New Orleans as fast as the wind would carry me. My poor Scholastique, I am so sorry you were caught up in such a terrible and frightening ordeal. I pray you forgive me.” “Of course I do, Captain Evans.”

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available




    Mature Audience Themes

    Sexual Abuse,Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Rags to Riches,Internal Journey/Rebirth

    Main Character Details

    Name: Frederick Evans

    Age: 45

    Gender: Male

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Charming,Obedient,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Faithful,Educated,Underdog,Unapologetic,Masculine,Selfless,Strong Moral Code

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Scholastique Bigonesse

    Age: 18

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Underdog,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Desperate,Educated,Honorable,Naive,Romantic,Selfless,Religious,Modest

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Willem Kikkert

    Age: 32

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Confident,Criminal,Desperate,Greedy,Insecure,Villainous,Narcisstic,Blunt,Power Hungry

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Beauchance Bigonesse

    Age: 20

    Gender: Female

    Role: mentor

    Key Traits: Underdog,Desperate,Empathetic




    Scholastique finds herself sold into slavery on a ship after her grandfather dies. She was raised free in Curacao but was kidnapped. She is almost raped and killed by William Kikkert, a ship captain. Scholastique must escape William again to return to her sister and her soon to be fiance, John.

    Overall Rating


    Point of View


    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, the book profile accurately reflects the book.

    Draw of Story

    The story establishes the plot very early on. It shows Scholastique on the slave ship, describing the horrible conditions and explaining the terrible predicament she finds herself in. The story also gives a good history lesson to what is happening in the world at the time, specifically the slave trade and abolishing of it in some parts of the world.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Some of the events that happen to Scholastique are realistic but happen in an unrealistic way. She gets kidnapped and almost raped multiple times, she has people sacrificing themselves for her with little reason. It is idyllic but feels forced to create sympathy and drama.

    Use of Special Effects


    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is that Scholastique was raised a free Black women but when her grandfather dies, she is kidnapped and put on a slave ship for the Dominican Republic's sugar plantations. I would watch this movie to see the side of the "roon" women who were Black but grew up free in the South. There is experience is unique and one not normally explored.

    Fanbase Potential

    This could have a decent fanbase but the story needs more development. While many of the events surrounding Scholastique are horrible and dramatic, they lack plausibility. The tone feels kitschy at some moments. She narrowly escapes horrible situations while those she encounters succumb to them. It happens with so much frequency that it becomes unrealistic.

    Awards Potential

    This does have the potential to garner awards notice because of the subject matter. This is a drama that deep dives into the experience of free Black women in the South without male protection. The story could deliver better on tone and character development.

    Envisioned Budget


    Similar Films/TV Series


    What’s New About the Story

    The story is original because it follows a biracial woman during slavery in America. She lived a life of luxury until her grandfather dies when she is kidnapped to be sent to the Dominican Republic. Many movies about enslaved people in America center around plantations but this is another perspective from someone who was free and finds herself in dire consequences.

    Lead Characters

    The lead character is a strong female character that fights against her predicament. These are learned through her actions instead of understanding through her inner voice. More focus on her emotions and personality would add depth to the story as opposed to only seeing her reactions to the circumstances.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This is a different perspective on an often told story. The main character is a Free Black woman who inevitably has a very unique experience at this time in America. The emotional aspect of the story is only surface. With such a serious topic, there should be more of a psychological exploration.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Streaming, Studio, Indie, TV Series: Limited Run / Mini-Series

    Analyst Recommendation



    This story is a consider because it shows another perspective on being Black in America. It gives a varying view of what life could be like for a woman who was biracial in the 1800's. There is a call for stories like this. It needs to be developed more with focus on character development. It is lacking a depth of emotion instead, it uses dramatic situations to set the tone and create shock and awe.


    Scholastique is a Haitian free young woman from the 19th century kidnapped and sent to New Orleans as a slave. In this new country, she fights back for freedom while being persecuted by the man who kidnapped her in a country where her origins matter, but in a different way.

    What We Liked

    Protagonized by a female character, this is a story with an interesting background showing how the still very present slavery of the early 19th century had different facets across the world. From revolutionary Haiti to the still very complicated New Orleans soon after the Louisiana purchase in 1804. Scholastique is also a determined and interesting character, a young girl of color from a good family who is kidnapped and treated as a slave when arrives in a new country where her origins matter in a different way.

    Film: Seasoned Rum can be made into a very impactful period film about Scholatique's journey to her freedom. There are few stories about the Haitian Revolution and its immediate consequences, or about how foreign free people of color were treated in America. Here we have both themes and a roster of good characters and a truly despicable antagonist.

    TV: This can be a premium one-shot TV show about Scholatique's journey from the safety of her family through the cruel and complicated slave politics from the early 19th century New Orleans. She is a captivating and smart protagonist involved against her will in a dramatic story where she will see herself in the situation of trying to solve this problem by herself against all odds. The story can be condensed to fit in a 10 episode season with the same chronological jumps as the book.

    Key points:
    1. The setting.
    2. The protagonist.
    3. Good female characters.
    4. The good wins.
    5. A thrilling story.


    SCHOLASTIQUE and BEAUCHANCE are young women of color from Haiti. They are granddaughters of BERTRAND, a merchant, daughters of his deceased son JAMES with a mulato woman who died of enteric fever in 1800. Knowing they are everything he has and wanting to ensure the best future possible for the girls, BERTRAND negotiates a Placage (or Plaçage) contract with a man in New Orleans called THOMAS. In the Plaçage, young women of color are sent to an American as slaves with guaranteed freedom after an established time. BERTRAND believes that with THOMAS, the girls will have a good education and access to America's high society.

    BERTRAND moves with his granddaughters from Haiti to Curacao after the Haitian Revolution. From there he establishes and administers a rum business with New Orleans as a focal point. SCHOLASTIQUE and BEAUCHANCE's education starts in Curacao, with a particular teacher who dies from yellow fever in 1812. They are then sent to complete their studies in local schools. This helps them merge into the local community and also makes BEAUCHANCE more responsible for her younger sister - especially when BERTRAND is away sailing to trade goods.

    The girls make themselves comfortable in the local community, taking part in social events and meeting the local people, like WILLEM, known as the son of Cucacao Governor, ALBERT. BEAUCHANCE has an interest in WILLEM, who only has eyes for SCHOLASTIQUE, who doesn't care for him. But BEAUCHANCE still gets jealous when WILLEM tries to court her sister and believes she is actually trying to seduce him. But the sisters' romantic problems become less important when BERTRAND reveals he is dying from cancer. This is the moment he opens up about the Plaçage to the girls.

    WILLEM is taking advantage of his position in the community by hosting parties and attracting girls like BEAUCHAMP, who goes to one of his social events without calling SCHOLASTIQUE, exactly what he doesn't want. Happy for being invited, BEAUCHAMP let herself go into the party vibe and drink so much that she starts to talk a lot more than she should, starting to speak about her grandfather's fortune. WILLEM takes advantage of her condition and, frustrated for SCHOLASTIQUE not going to the party, rapes BEAUCHANCE and starts to plan the stealing of BERTRAND's fortune.

    SCHOLASTIQUE is kidnapped and sent to a slave ship called Vengador after being subjugated and drugged by WILLEM. Meanwhile, BERTRAND gets back from travel after almost dying in a privateer attack. Is this moment when they discover the disappearance of SCHOLASTIQUE and the items inside the box with the sisters' guarantees for inheritance and their Plaçage contracts. BERTRAND dies not much time later, and CAPTAIN EVANS is the only thing that BEAUCHAMP thinks she has in the world.

    When acknowledges she is going to New Orleans SCHOLASTIQUE decides to try finding THOMAS there, along with the documents proving she is not a slave. Once in New Orleans, everyone seems obsessed with SCHOLASTIQUE because she does not show any enslaved girl characteristics and for speaking many languages. Her group is attacked during the travel, with her and the other slaves seeing themselves caged again on the way to the New Orleans market.

    Meanwhile, BEAUCHANCE arrives in New Orleans accompanied by CAPTAIN EVANS, her protector. She doesn't need much time before meeting Thomas. She believes SCHOLASTIQUE is still alive, not only, but also in New Orleans.

    In the market, SCHOLASTIQUE is sold again to the BOWIE'S, the same family who owned her until the attack on the road to the market. MAGDALENA, the only other slave who the BOWIE'S were able to buy again, tries a desperate escape, stabbing STEPHEN. SCHOLASTIQUE can escape. A man called JOHN finds SCHOLASTIQUE and is the first person to believe in her story, wanting to help her find THOMAS who he knows where lives. It's BEAUCHANCE who first meets SCHOLASTIQUE at THOMAS home's door. They both fall in tears.

    In this new life, SCHOLASTIQUE sees herself growing fonder of JOHN, who helped her find Thomas Eastland. They exchange letters, share their intimate thoughts, and chat often. JOHN asks SCHOLASTIQUE to marry him, and she says she will think about it. He also tries to take control over SCHOLASTIQUE's heritage, saying that these businesses are not fit for women. While this happens, WILLEM is eager to take BERTRAND's fortune.

    SCHOLASTIQUE is kidnapped again by WILLEM, who wants both BERTRAND's gold and revenge against her. PIERRE, WILLEM's accomplice, makes him change his mind about this crazy idea of murdering a free woman. WILLEM tortured SCHOLASTIQUE anyway. JOHN chases PIERRE and WILLEM fearing for the murder of SCHOLASTIQUE. CAPTAIN EVANS also is searching for her. She and WILLEM fight until EVANS and JOHN arrive to save her. SCHOLASTIQUE and her sister BEAUCHAMP assume control over their grandfather's business and fortune in the end.

    About The Author

    Daniel Mabrey Taylor was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and grew up in Covington, Louisiana. His expertise in genealogical research coupled with his wife’s family history and handwritten correspondence preserved by the family since 1843, Dan decided to combine his talents and complete a series of semi-biographical works he named Grey-Blue Water, which was published in 2013.