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RC Marlen's Latest Historical Novel:

UNBEKNOWNST: People of Oregon, 1845-1881

Mid-Nineteenth Century Oregon

Too young to avert danger, Mattie McAlister - an eleven-year-old runaway slave - walked alone to Oregon, hiding in daylight and walking in darkness. One rainy night, she bumped into Black Saul and feared he would abuse her like her half-brothers had. A moment later, her peril intensified as horse riders brandishing leather whips approached and stopped ten feet away. Overwhelmed with dread of a lashing, they dropped to the ground to hide. But this was only the first of her many encounters with danger. A week later, she was left with scars across her back when she lived through a bear attack with help from Robert Newell. And years later, on her trip to Celilo Falls with Joe Meek and Margaret J. Bailey, she walked away from a Cayuse kidnaper with a trophy of a feathered necklace and a digit from her attacker's finger.

Amid the historical events - the Cayuse Wars, Rogue River War, and Mexican War; the exodus of Oregonians to gold mines; the slaughter of missionaries in the Whitman Mission Massacre; and the making of Beaver Coins - Mattie fell in love with Albert Bayless. Unbeknownst to the guests at the engagement party, Mattie went to check on a sleeping baby and walked to her demise. While everyone danced the Virginia Reel -POOF - Mattie disappeared.

For decades, no one could solve the mystery of what happened to her though the solution was tucked in the back of a drawer. Then one day, Albert Bayless opened the drawer and the knowledge of Mattie's fate tumbled onto the pages of this book, Unbeknownst.


 

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Dr. John McLoughlin,
Chief Factor of Hudson's Bay Company

 

Oregon Book - Unbeknownst

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Oregon City 1850s
Painting by John Mix Stanley