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James Seals Jr and Sarah (Brown) Seals: Struggles of a Pennsylvania Pioneer Family

“It’s usual to see some undaunted men boldly encounter the most frightful of deaths, both in battles and in dangerous voyages…Yet it’s to be acknowledg’d [sic] that if they took a serious view before hand, of the perils they’re about to encounter, and consider’d [sic] ’em in cold blood, they would perhaps find difficulty to persuade themselves into such resolute thoughts; at least, they would not form their designs after such a daring and fearless manner.” Written by Louis Hennepin,...

George James Conlin: “Gorgeous George”

Great-grandpa Conlin always had a twinkle in his eye and a handful of candy or fig newtons. Once, I asked Great-grandma Conlin why she kept a giant bowl of butterscotch candies on the table and she responded: “I need the candies to keep Grandpa sweet.” George James Conlin, who the family playfully referred to as “Gorgeous George”, was born, on April 24, 1892,in Belle Plaine, Minnesota. When his parents sold the family farm in Todd County, Minnesota in September of l912,...

The Eby Migration: A Quest for Religious Freedom

We ask you Holy Father, to show your grace and mercy to us all, throughout the whole wide world. Graciously draw us together with your blessing, care, and protection. Do not let division and disunity come among us. -Excerpt from Die Ernst­hafte Christien­pflicht (Prayer Book for Earnest Christians), translated by Leonard Gross Theodorus “Durst” eby Durst Eby sat in prayerful contemplation. The year was 1704 and he was mourning the recent death of his lovely wife, Margaret. A peaceful man, Durst’s only desire was...

Jennie Powell Sequichie: Surviving the Trail of Tears

“We walk across the frozen earth. Nothing seems right anymore. The cold seeps through my clothes. I wish I had my blanket. I remember last winter I had a blanket when I was warm. I don’t feel like I’ll ever be warm again. I remember my father’s smile. It seems like so long ago.” – Samuel Cloud (9 years old on the Trail of Tears) as told by his great-great grandson, Michael Rutledge, in his paper “Forgiveness in the Age...

Alfred Samuel Shull: Kansas Jayhawker

Alfred Shull stared at the newspaper headline, which detailed the nearby Lawrence Massacre, in horror, “Lawrence Burned! 134 Citizens Murdered. Those Missouri Bushwhackers have crossed the line!”, he fumed to wife, Elizabeth. It had been difficult establishing his farm in Linn County, Kansas while the feud over the upcoming popular sovereignty vote warred between the anti-slavery “Free Staters” and pro-slavery “Bushwhackers”. Alfred moved his family from Ohio to Linn County, Kansas in the mid-1850’s when the territory opened to new...

Siste Lavoy: Les Rébel

In the late hours of October 12th, 1837, Siste Lavoy lay hiding in the woods near the western shore of Lake Champlain, New York, in fear for his life. Just hours before he had taken up arms as a Patriote in the Canadian Rebellion and was now wanted by English soldiers. How had this simple farmer with a wife and three children come to this? Siste’s path to becoming one of Les Rébels of the Patriote movement began years earlier...