"Last Legal Slave in America" chronicles the life of Thomas Wiggens Bethune also known as Blind Tom. A musical prodigy often compared to Mozart, Tom was blind, a slave and despite these limitations began composing and performing music at the age of 5.
Separated from his family, Tom traveled throughout the United States and Europe and during the Civil War gave benefit concerts to help raise money for the Confederacy. By the end of the war, and with the help of the courts, General Bethune, a confederate and owner of Tom's family, was awarded legal custody of Tom securing the Bethune family's financial future despite the South's collapse.
Even as years past and guardianship of Tom changed hands he continued to play sold out shows until his death in 1908. Tom is considered by some to be the last legal slave in America.
This documentary was produced by Andre Regan and Edward Caban in conjunction with New Millennium Studios and Tim Reid Productions. It debuted on the program, “Legacy of a People” on the ABC Television Network.