Unlike his wife, who had always conflated and confused the ideas of family and slavery, Hector Moreau understood slavery all too well. And he also understood that Jonathan and Susan Grenville had no idea how evil slavery really was.
When Jonathan called himself his friend, Hector might say, "Yes, Massa," but he knew that a true friend would never deprive a man of his freedom. When Jonathan actually gave Hector his freedom, he refused to accept it, knowing that the rest of the world would always see him as a slave because of the color of his skin. And when the war was over and slavery was abolished, Hector understood that the real fight had only just begun. Among the steps he took to distance himself from the stigma of slavery, the first thing he did was change his name from Gresham (the name of a former owner) to Moreau (a French surname to commemorate his birthplace in the Caribbean.)
Hector Moreau was a man of principle, a man with great courage, a man with an abiding love for his fellow freedmen. He did whatever he knew was right, even if it put his own life -- and the lives of his family -- in danger. And danger was all around him during Reconstruction.