My new book Promise: The Moving Frontier has been written. This morning I sent the final piece of it (the Bibliography, of course) to my wonderful expert on formatting, Meredith Bond at Anessa Books (http://anessabooks.com/). Frontier is very close to being published! I’m really excited and also a bit disoriented. After decades of research and three years of writing, I’m suddenly released from this book. That’s an odd feeling, sort of like what we all feel when we put our kid on the school bus for the first time–at loose ends, and hoping we did a good job. Here’s the gist of the book:
In 1821 in southwest Virginia, Mattie (Martha Poage Moore) married a complex man who was both a Methodist preacher and a doctor. Abram (Abraham Still) was intelligent, restless, determined, deeply religious, and a firm Southern abolitionist. Over the forty years that followed, Mattie made homes in seven different houses—mostly log cabins—in four states She raised nine children and moved continually westward, meeting the demands of Abram’s church. The Moving Frontier is Mattie’s story.
It is a lively story. During fifteen of those years, from age about forty to fifty-five, Abram returned to the hazardous practice of circuit riding on a huge, difficult, and dangerous circuit in the northern Missouri wilderness. He was away from home for three-month stretches at a time. Alone while Abram served frontier communities, Mattie and her children faced hazards from both wilderness and humans, especially from the conflicts over slavery and secession that devastated Missouri and Kansas. Mattie learned, grew, and became an inspiration to her own family and in time to many other frontier families.
This book takes you from the woods of Southwest Virginia to camp meetings, the great wilderness of northern Missouri, Civil War battlefields, and Kansas prairies. You’ll meet Freedmen, runaway slaves, Jayhawkers, feminists, churchmen, Border Ruffians, plantation owners, Shawnees, militiamen, and spies. You’ll experience frontier life, religious revivals, the personal family heritage of a massacre, and the passion that drove the legendary circuit riders of the early 1800s to risk their life and health to spread the Word of God on the American frontier.
The story of Martha Poage Moore Still and Abraham Still and their children is an inspiring saga of faith, courage, and personal growth during America’s strife-filled 1800s. It’s a real-life love story that goes far beyond romance.
The Moving Frontier is Volume IV of the five-book Helena’s Stores series, which brings personal perspectives to documented history. Volume V, the Golden Hills, will complete the series.