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Thomas Satterwhite Noble's 1867 painting, The Modern Medea was based on Garner's story.
Margaret Garner (called Peggy) was an enslaved African-American woman in pre-Civil War America who was notorious - or celebrated - for killing her own daughter rather than allowing the child to be returned to slavery. She and her family had escaped in January 1856 across the frozen Ohio River to Cincinnati, but were captured by slave catchers. Margaret Garner's defense attorney moved to have her tried for murder in Ohio, in order to get a trial in a free state and to challenge the Fugitive Slave Law as well.
Her story was the inspiration for the novel Beloved (1987) by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison (that later was adapted into a film of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey), as well as for her libretto for the early 21st century opera Margaret Garner (2005), composed by Richard Danielpour.