This is a 2-for-1 week with Lori Benton joining us today. She’s going to share the story behind her new release, Many Sparrows. Here’s a little bit about the book.
In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.
When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son . . . especially when her second child is moments away from being born.
Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?
Sounds like a great read, Lori. What inspired you to write the book?
The scene in the opening of my new release, Many Sparrows, is one I lifted from the history books and set down in the pages of my novel to be the inciting incident—that event from which all other events of the story flow.
Read any history concerning the Virginia frontier of 1774 and the relatively little known pre-Revolutionary conflict, Lord Dunmore’s War, and you’ll likely find at least mention of a Native American man most often called Chief Logan. Logan was a Mingo who lived with his people on the western bank of the Ohio River. He was known widely as a friend to the white man. Until April 30, 1774, when in his absence the members of his family and some of his warriors were lured across the river by white men promising liquor. These Mingos had visited the tavern and trading post there many times in peace and friendship, but these men had a darker purpose in mind. All the Mingos were cruelly murdered, save for one little girl—Logan’s niece—whose life was spared. This tragedy is known to history as the Yellow Creek Massacre.
During the fall of 2016 I journeyed along the Ohio River, visiting the settings of the novel I was still writing at the time. I spent a night in the hotel that now occupies the land where the trading post and tavern once stood. I lay awake that night thinking about what happened there and knew there was one question Many Sparrows wouldn’t answer: who led that group of white men who murdered Logan’s family and the warriors who crossed the Ohio that fateful April morning? Frontiersman Michael Cresap was initially blamed due to previous threats of violence he’d made against the Ohio Indians, but Cresap was innocent of these murders, as later came to light. The true culprit, leader of the gang of frontiersmen who lured in and murdered these men and women was a man named Daniel Greathouse.
I’d long known of Logan’s story, and the letter of lament he wrote later that year explaining the subsequent vengeance he took for the deaths of nearly his entire family. When the idea for Many Sparrows first came to me, I knew it was the right story in which to include Logan’s tragic tale. Alas, no matter how much I’d have liked to, I couldn’t rewrite his story, but I could give Logan room in the pages of my novel to live and breathe again. To tell his tale. To let it remind us all of our shared humanity; in God’s eyes we are of equal and priceless value—far more than many sparrows, each and every one.
Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring and photographing the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of “Burning Sky,” recipient of three Christy Awards, “The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn,” Christy-nominee “The Wood’s Edge,” and “A Flight of Arrows.”
Find out more about Lori at http://loribenton.blogspot.com.
Wow, it sounds like a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing! Lori is giving away a copy of the book. Follow the directions below to enter.