Miss Susannah Kimball’s story, "A Heart So Tender", in The Backcountry Brides collection is story set in July, 1764 at Fort Niagara. This great historical landmark lies at the mouth of the Niagara River where it flows into Lake Ontario. While Susannah lives a rather unusual frontier life as the daughter of the music and literature teacher at Sir William Johnson’s Mohawk School, she is not prepared for the cultural tensions rising at what Sir William, Indian Agent for the Crown, is calling “The Great Gathering”.
|Blockhouse at Fort Niagara|
Susannah lives in the settlement of Johnstown (NY). There, Sir William has built a community of white settlers and Mohawk families. And he’s succeeding. Johnson is unusually accepting of people of all colors and faiths and has great hopes for peace along the frontier.
Susannah has the same hope.
|French Castle at Fort Niagara|
It is her dream to open her own school for girls, primarily native girls, but it’s not entirely unselfish. Her adopted brother Benjamin, an Iroquois orphan, straddles two worlds. Teaching would give him a place of respect that he might not otherwise find in the white world, nor among the Haudenosaunee. To celebrate and promote what Susannah believes in, she sings duets with her brother. The Mohawk call her Yonterennothiyo, (She who sings beautifully) or “Songbird”, and in my story, Sir William uses this gift to his advantage as well.
But Susannah has another reason to desire a life of service as a single teacher, a secret she can’t share and one that requires she never fall in love.
I hope you find yourself reading The Backcountry Brides Collection and enjoy my novella, A Heart So Tender for more of Susannah’s story!
CFP: Thanks for visiting with us, Deb! Readers, you can purchase a copy of Backcountry Brides at:
Check at your local Christian bookstores, e.g., Lifeway, to see if they have copies, too!
GIVEAWAY: Tell Deb what Native American history is found in your area for a chance to win a paperback copy!