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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical / Civil War Era
  • Language:English
  • Pages:562
  • eBook ISBN:9798350938265
  • Paperback ISBN:9798350938258

High Forest

by John D. Russell

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High Forest is a work of historical fiction relating the story of one family's migration into Minnesota Territory in the 1850s. It is set among the backdrop of such historical events as the Mormon immigration to Salt Lake, the Civil War, the Dakota Wars, the influx of European migration, and the power of the railroads in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The family must persevere despite the normal difficulties of pioneer life, as well as their country being torn apart by civil war, and the threat of their very annihilation by those whose land had been taken from them to provide the very land these pioneers had settled on. They must contend as well with their own flaws as well, which include unbridled passion, ambition, intrigue, deception, and treachery. Follow the story of the town of High Forest from the high hopes at its first settlement in the mid1850s through its rise and ultimate decline into a ghost town within seventy years. Among those making cameos in this drama are Laura Ingles Wilder, Ulyssis S. Grant, the Drs. Mayo, founders of the world-famous Mayo Clinic, and Richard Sears, the founder of mercantile giant Sears Roebuck.
If one were to be asked which states played the most prominent role in our nation's history in the middle of the 19th century most people would reply California or Utah or Texas, or states involved in the conflict over slavery. Few would probably suggest including Minnesota on such a list, but an argument can be made for its inclusion. For starters, the Dread Scott decision which helped lead to the Civil War came about when an enslaved man sued for his freedom based upon his having been moved from a slave state to Minnesota which being part of the Louisiana Purchase slavery was banned there. The Panic of 1857, which plunged the nation into a depression had much to do with land speculation in Minnesota. When the Civil War broke out, Minnesota was the first state to pledge volunteers to President Lincoln, and its regiments played a prominent role throughout the war in such battles and campaigns as Shilo, Gettysburg, and Sherman's March to the Sea. These events, as well as the Sioux Uprising of 1862, in which over 800 Minnesota settlers were slaughtered sets the backdrop for this tale of one family of pioneers who migrated into the state at this time. In addition to these challenges, the family had to deal with the more personal issues of adultery, incest, insanity, murder, deception, treachery, and intrigue. The cast of characters include a girl forced into marriage against her will at age 13, a Mississippi riverboat gambler, the founders of one of the world's most prestigious medical clinics, a secret bigamist, a mariticide, soldiers fighting in the Civil War, as well as the victims and perpetrators of the Sioux Uprising. Among those making cameos in this drama are Laura Ingles Wilder, Ulyssis S. Grant, the Drs. Mayo, founders of the world-famous Mayo Clinic, and Richard Sears, founder of Mercantile giant Sears Roebuck.
About the author
John D. Russell is a retired school teacher living in Southern California. Though primarily a short story writer, he has written this work of historical fiction based on stories told to him of his pioneer Minnesota ancestors when he was young. Once he grew up, he began to research into these stories to test their veracity. Not only did he find that most of the stories were true, but he uncovered many more fascinating details about the lives of these pioneer ancestors that made their stories even more compelling, making American history come alive and more personal in the telling.