In 1775, Richard Henderson, a land speculator from Charleston, South Carolina, signed the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals near present-day Elizabethton, Tennessee, to purchase most of Tennessee and Kentucky from the Cherokees. Dragging Canoe spoke out, unsuccessfully, against the sale which went through despite his opposition. He left with his supporters to establish the five lower towns of the Chickamaugas along the Tennessee River west of present-day Chattanooga. This novel begins in July of 1776 when Hope O’Connor is fifteen, and Dragging Canoe’s forces attack the settlement where she lives and the militia retaliates by destroying one of the lower towns. She flees on her horse, Isiah, unaware that a seventeen-year-old Chickamauga Indian, Maska, is also fleeing his burned-out village on foot. The author, Patricia Ann Ledford, grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee, and enjoyed a career in a variety of marketing activities. She has been living in Chattanooga since 2012. This is her first novel. It is set in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina where she has a cabin near Hot Springs.
Chattanooga, Tennessee: self-published, 2019. 314 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.