Jacob’s Cellar is a saga of assimilation and survival, following of a clan of immigrants that makes its way from pre-Revolution North Carolina to Missouri in the years leading up to the Civil War. The cellar itself is a dark
foreboding place used for family gatherings, as a hiding place... read more
A community on German-speaking immigrants arriving in America well before the American Revolution is settled in rural communities, gradually moving from Maryland through the Shenendoah to North Carrolina. There they become involved in a disastrous uprising against colonial authorities and are... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
A community on German-speaking immigrants arriving in America well before the American Revolution is settled in rural communities, gradually moving from Maryland through the Shenendoah to North Carrolina. There they become involved in a disastrous uprising against colonial authorities and are pushed west, initially to a small place in Tennessee called Ebhart's Chapel. From there they press on to the Platte Purchase in northern Missouri where they find themselves at the start of the Civil War.
At each stage of this journey, the community loses more of its original European heritage, until at the beginning of the Civil War there is little left of their traditions. At the same time, the small size of the ommunity and its many interrelationships threaten to tear everything apart. The Cvcil War threatens to destroy everything entirely and will result in the destruction of ithe group's separate identity. At the same time, the bonds forged over decades of hardship enable individuals to survive and to make the transition to the new unified nation that will emerge after the Civil War.
The novel weaves the story of the protagonists confronting the Civil War challenge largely through their telling of, and reacting to, events and individuals in their past history. In an original fictional style, it deliberately violates the "show, don't tell" rule for those reminiscences in order to define the inner strengths and weaknesses of those enmeshed in the great conflict.
Prologue: Northwest Missouri, 1836
Chapter 1: Jacob’s Cellar
Chapter 2: Den of Discontent
Chapter 3: The Women
Chapter 4: Passing the Alamance
Chapter 5: Advice and Dissent
Chapter 6: Ebhart’s Chapel
Chapter 7: Excavations
Chapter 8: St. Louis for a Spell
Chapter 9: Goliath’s Grave
Chapter 10: The Purchase in Winter
Chapter 11: Past Embers and Present Kindling
Chapter 12: Destiny to the West
Chapter 13: Liberty in Tranquility
Chapter 14: Adelita’s Letter
Chapter 15: Price and Principle
Chapter 16: The Perfect Crime
Chapter 17: Prairie Fires
Chapter 18: Mississippi Rubicon
Chapter 19: An Unholy Conspiracy
Chapter 20: Mournful Intelligence
Chapter 21: All Flesh is Grass
Chapter 22: Spirits in the Cellar
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