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This Violent Land by Robert Johnson
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This Violent Land (2007)

by Robert Johnson

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Epigraph
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865
Dedication
To Sue, my guiding light and love of my life.
Johnson, Sue
First words
Late on a Sunday afternoon in February 1858, a fifteen-year-old boy sat down at the kitchen table in a modest farmhouse in central Massachusetts, lit a candle against the gathering winter darkness, dipped his pen into a bottle of ink, proudly opened a new notebook to its first page, and wrote, "Very pleasant and quite warm.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0914875450, Paperback)

Often called the Second Civil War, Reconstruction was a painful period of civil unrest, violence, and bloodshed. At the center were the agents of the Freedmen's Bureau, Northerners dedicated to the education and uplifting of former slaves.

This Violent Land tells the story of South Carolina Freedmen's Bureau agent Major William Stone, a Civil War veteran struggling to uphold new civil rights legislation for freed slaves amidst pressures for a return to the antebellum South. Many, including the Ku Klux Klan, are determined to keep blacks from voting or educating their children. Quaker teacher Mary Taylor is equally determined to teach black children and to marry William Stone, while also shaping his political future.

Johnson's story is based on William Stone's Civil War and Freedmen's Bureau journals, possessed by the family of Robert Johnson's wife, Suzanne, herself a descendant of Stone. Johnson weaves together these journals with other exhaustive research and his own narrative fiction, inferring and adding what might have happened, to create a vivid, colorful drama about people trying to carry on during those violent years.

Many of the themes in this story are familiar in our world today disputed elections, military-enforced democracy, local violence, and social instability. Though the setting is over a hundred years old, This Violent Land is more timely than it might at first appear.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:38 -0400)

"Historical fiction based on journals and correspondence of William Stone, Union veteran and head of the Freedmen's Bureau in Aiken, South Carolina, during Reconstruction. Major Stone's story involves violence, prejudice, politics, compassion, justice, and romance. The Ku Klux Klan, freed blacks, Edgefield plantation owners, and Quaker educators all play roles"--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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