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Sweetbriar Illustrated

Sweetbriar Updated and Illustrated: Chap 1

Sweetbriar Updated and Illustrated: Chap 1
by Brenda Wilbee
Louisa tried to pray, but the words came hard. She wasn’t accustomed to kneeling at her bed fully clothed, and thoughts of her plans kept interrupting. It felt even stranger to be lying in bed with her shoes on, the blankets piled high. But she couldn’t run the risk of Ma coming in and finding her dressed. The blankets would have to stay.

Fugitive Slave Law, Last Straw

Fugitive Slave Law, Last Straw
by Brenda Wilbee
I DIDN’T KNOW when I wrote Sweetbriar that the Boren, Latimer, and Denny families of Cherry Grove, IL, were part of the Underground Railroad and that passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850 was a determining factor in their decision to leave. For everyone in Cherry Grove, three miles south of the main station in Galesburg, IL, this was something of a problem. I’ve added this new information, and even though I might be a little foot loose with the dates, the truth remains...

Sweetbriar Update: Seattle Plots "Necessary" Revenge

Sweetbriar Update: Seattle Plots "Necessary" Revenge
by Brenda Wilbee

IN THE MOON OF SWAN MIGRATION, a full decade before the Borens and Dennys took the Indian trail to Oregon, destination unknown, fifty-five-year-old Chief Seattle went to visit his second wife at her village near the Duwamish River mouth. He wanted to take their mid-grown sons hunting; his intention to find an elk for Kick-i-som-lo, his twenty-one-year-old daughter who lived with her two little girls at Old Man House, his primary residence. That he was devoted to his eldest went without saying. Today, in preparation for the hunt with his boys, however, he sat on the floor of the long communal deck of Herring House village, legs swinging off the edge, double-checking his arrowheads. He preferred bow and arrow over the Hudson’s Bay Company’s muzzle-loading rifle. Faster to load and silent.

Seattle Meets Captain George Vancouver

Seattle Meets Captain George Vancouver
by Brenda Wilbee
LONG BEFORE LOUISA WAS BORN, six-year-old Seattle on the west coast of the continent felt his privilege at even so young an age. Son of Suquamish Chief Schweabe and grandson of a Duwamish chief, slaves did his bidding. . .

Seattle's Start: Cherry Grove, IL

Seattle's Start: Cherry Grove, IL
by Brenda Wilbee
SEATTLE'S ROOTS come from Cherry Grove, IL, a town you'll never find on the map. Not even Terry Hogan, who grew up a "handful of miles" away, knew it existed. Yet it does; and several years ago I was invited by the Cherry Grove community to come and sign my Seattle Sweetbriar books.

Let me walk you through Louisa Boren Denny's home town, where Seattle's "Sweetbriar Bride" grew up and Seattle began.