Before Fallen Timbers: A Tale of the Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs of the Captive Flynn Children of Old Kentucke in the Bloody Years Following the War of Independence by Nm Jarrell (Paperback / softback, 2015)
1786 October A crisp autumn day. The river of hawks flows above a sunlit field Lazy smudges of smoke rise from the stone chimney of a small cabin where three young children play while their parents lay fence. The eldest sister stacks rails in the woods. She wishes she was spending the lovely day anywhere else. The cabin lies just off The War Path, an ancient trail soaked with the blood of Shawnee and Iroquois who once both lay claim to this land. The Iroquois are long gone, but Shawnee are plentiful, and they continue to wage the late war of their British Fathers. They raid the homes of those who encroach on their territory, or lure them to watery deaths on the Ohio River. More than 3000 settlers in the Ohio River Valley have been carried into captivity since 1783, when the war officially ended with The Treaty of Paris. The Shawnee are left on the side of the losers. For safety s sake, the Flynn family and others have been staying at a nearby fort. But they must return to their land to build a fence, to make an improvement desired by the young US government through provisions of the Northwest Ordinance. This improvement makes the Flynns eligible for hundreds of additional acres. They race against the approach of winter. And Shawnee raiders. At the gobbling of wild turkeys, the Flynns halt in their tasks. A moment later, blasts from Indian rifles blow their world apart. Nothing will ever be the same.
The author grew up hearing stories of The Ancestors told by her grandparents from the Ozarks. These tales lay dormant until years later while visiting a genealogy site, she stumbled upon a reference to The Draper Papers compiled by historian Lyman Draper, containing amazing fragments of the Flynns' stories. The manuscripts lead to other happy discoveries, and the rest of the story. The author lives with her husband, Mark and various four-legged critters in the beautiful Willamette valley of Oregon. The author grew up hearing stories of The Ancestors told by her grandparents from the Ozarks. One tale especially captured her imagination: among the ancestors was a pair of sisters who were kidnapped and adopted by Indians. One married a chief and became a princess, (!) and was eventually rescued by Daniel Boone. (Who would want to be rescued from being an Indian princess, she wondered?) (And what happened to her clothes?) Sadly, details were scant and the story lay dormant until years later, when a distant family member on a genealogy site pointed to The Draper Papers, compiled by historian Lyman Draper, which contained amazing fragments of the Flynn s story. Then she began to fill in the blanks.