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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

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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 soa 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.


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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 soa 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.

19 review for 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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary Morris

    The War of American Independence has ended. By October 1786, The Kentucky Cornfield Laws demanded settlers improve their acreage – “clear timber, put in crops, put up cabins and put up fences. With improvements the government would add 400 acres, and John Flynne is determined to add those acres to his own. Nancy Tyrell captures Kentuckians in the years after the war. John Flynne and his family, Elizabeth his wife, Nancy, Polly, Chloe and John, the Native American Indians and the white children th The War of American Independence has ended. By October 1786, The Kentucky Cornfield Laws demanded settlers improve their acreage – “clear timber, put in crops, put up cabins and put up fences. With improvements the government would add 400 acres, and John Flynne is determined to add those acres to his own. Nancy Tyrell captures Kentuckians in the years after the war. John Flynne and his family, Elizabeth his wife, Nancy, Polly, Chloe and John, the Native American Indians and the white children they adopted and integrated into their tribes, soldiers and mercenaries, the Dutch settlers, voyageurs and many others. With immense skill she weaves her characters into a colourful tapestry. Before Fallen Timbers begins when the close-knit, happy Flynne family ride through the woods to their farm where supper is soon cooking. “Nancy’s stomach grumbled at the smells from the smoky hearth – corncakes along with stew. The hot meal would be ready soon. A shot rang out. Red men filled the room. At that moment life changed forever for the Flynne family. The author of Before Fallen Timbers is to be congratulated on her research and understanding of the politics and military history, about which I knew little This novel is very well-written with many word pictures. “Above the river there was a chain of tall oak trees towering over it in the south and west. Hazel brush bloomed along the banks in bright October colours. There were a few cabins with pelts and bundles of other goods stacked alongside. Wings of smoke rose from outdoor cook fires and some cabin chimney.” The Flynne family’s fate tore at my heart. I agonised for Molly when, already traumatised by her father’s death she woke up in the morning in a Native American Indian Settlement and searched for her mother, younger sister and brother. “Mam, Johnny, Chloe were gone as were the Indians, who had travelled with them this far. She was truly alone with no one left to her, the thought made her sick and wild.” Polly’s hope that her sister Nancy escaped and reached the fort comes true and in due course of time, Nancy meets a Dutch family, Again the author’s descriptions excel. “Nancy was surrounded by warmth in the comforting room, large but still cosy with its decorated hatches, its ornate Frakturs and the colourful cabinets and Haussegen. The women led her around and explained. “House what?” Polly paused before some fancy script painted over the doorway. “Haussegen. That means house blessing.” Elisabetta read to her. “Der Segen Gottes Kron dies Haus. That means the blessing of God crown this house.” This is a novel in its own way as important at the much acclaimed memoirs of Laura Ingalls-Wilder, the first of which is the Little House on the Prairie, and with its depiction of a by gone age as interesting as Gone With The Wind. The reader’s five senses will be engaged as she reads this tale of the godly and ungodly, love and hate, honour and dishonour, happiness and distress besides much more.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    Ms. Jarrell has done an excellent job creating a book of historical fiction based on the history of her ancestral family. I really became attached to her characters, and was eager to learn what would happen to each of them as time passed. She painted an authentic picture, too, of the disparity of life in the late 1700's. Economic circumstances made a huge difference in the way families experienced daily life in Kentucky in that era. I am in awe of the amount of research Jarrell must have done to Ms. Jarrell has done an excellent job creating a book of historical fiction based on the history of her ancestral family. I really became attached to her characters, and was eager to learn what would happen to each of them as time passed. She painted an authentic picture, too, of the disparity of life in the late 1700's. Economic circumstances made a huge difference in the way families experienced daily life in Kentucky in that era. I am in awe of the amount of research Jarrell must have done to create this work. It was obvious in reading that many of the events depicted actually happened. Details of the forts, the battles, the customs, and the dress of the day were well-documented. As with many self-published books, this one could have benefited from more careful proofreading. Another thing that bothered me was that the writing style seemed inconsistent throughout the book. I suspect Jarrell may have been trying to use a different voice with each character, but, if so, it didn't really work as well as it could have.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mirella

    Author NM Jarrell has captured her ancestry in a well researched novel that takes place during the 18th century in the aftermath of the American War of Independence. With his wife and children, John Flynne is a farmer, working hard so that he can be rewarded with an extra 400 acres in a grant by the Kentucky government. Their lives are drastically altered when a band of native people massacre the town and capture several others as slaves. What follows is a heart-wrenching tale of survival, perse Author NM Jarrell has captured her ancestry in a well researched novel that takes place during the 18th century in the aftermath of the American War of Independence. With his wife and children, John Flynne is a farmer, working hard so that he can be rewarded with an extra 400 acres in a grant by the Kentucky government. Their lives are drastically altered when a band of native people massacre the town and capture several others as slaves. What follows is a heart-wrenching tale of survival, perseverance, and the search to rescue the stolen family members. The author has delved deep into her research, garnering a strong understanding of the native people, and life in the early settlements. Steeped in historical accuracy, it is a raw tale of the hardships our pioneer forefathers endured in the creation of America. Nicely done! Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Cooperband

    The frontier era immediately following US independence was a historical black hole to me before reading this book, particularly the interactions among Indians, white settlers, the nascent American Army (and for that matter, the tenuous situation of the new nation itself), and the continuing involvement of the British and French in America. The author makes this period live authentically and personally, with sympathetic and realistic characterizations of all parties. The descriptions of the many The frontier era immediately following US independence was a historical black hole to me before reading this book, particularly the interactions among Indians, white settlers, the nascent American Army (and for that matter, the tenuous situation of the new nation itself), and the continuing involvement of the British and French in America. The author makes this period live authentically and personally, with sympathetic and realistic characterizations of all parties. The descriptions of the many characters and event are enhanced by the occasional use of the vernacular in the narrative itself. This technique serves to draw the reader into that time and place even more completely. You will appreciate the effort involved in researching what must have been obscure and disjunct sources to create parallel and intersecting plot lines, and ultimately create coherent and compelling stories. Check it out!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Paulin

    I found this to be an excellent read. The book is written so it can be appreciated by young adults on up. The story is engaging and the characters well developed and I found myself caring about what happened to them. Ms. Jarrell's book explores many aspects of a period of history seldom studied while weaving in interesting stories and characters that keep you wanting to turn the page to discover what happens next. It is evident that Ms. Jarrell is proud of her ancestry and did extensive research I found this to be an excellent read. The book is written so it can be appreciated by young adults on up. The story is engaging and the characters well developed and I found myself caring about what happened to them. Ms. Jarrell's book explores many aspects of a period of history seldom studied while weaving in interesting stories and characters that keep you wanting to turn the page to discover what happens next. It is evident that Ms. Jarrell is proud of her ancestry and did extensive research on her family and their place in that time. She is apt at interjecting believable fiction into the historical and ancestral facts she found through her extensive research. If I were a high school history teacher, I would not hesitate to assign this book as a reading assignment to introduce students to this period of history. I look forward to additional work by Ms. Jarrell.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joanoverholser

    This was fun and fascinating American historical fiction, I found myself caring about the characters and rejoicing and grieving with them. I loved the rich language used by the settlers which the author uses so welI. I found myself thinking about the general inhumanity and chaos of war- then and now. I definitely changed the way I understand frontier life. ..less romanticized perhaps.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kishore

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Hanke

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gina Fristoe

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jaye Marie

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hillary Moldovan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Greg Seneff

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hillary Moldovan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ron Jarrell

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sue

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