New Mexico Territory

In the 1840s political boundaries were shifting in the west. With the conclusion of the Mexican-American War, Mexico Mexico ceded approximately 55 percent (525,000 square miles) of its territory, including the present-day states California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, most of Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming to the U.S.  … Read more.

Puebloan Nations***

In the mid 19th century there were still dozens of indigenous tribes fighting to retain their homelands and way of life in the far west. The different tribal nations each confronted the influx of emigrant whites in their own way.

The Puebloan Nations of this period – primarily along the Rio Grande from Mexico to Colorado — were some of the oldest tribes in the west.  … Read more.

The War of 1812

The Wilderness novels came into being in part because of my interest in the War of 1812, a conflict that is often overlooked in history classes.

The war had a tremendous impact on the development of the young U.S., to the extent that some refer to it as the Second War of Independence.… Read more.


Slavery in the U.S. is a central topic in many of the Wilderness novels.  ‘The Freeman family, headed by , manumitted slaves, along with their children and grandchildren, play pivotal roles in the entire series.

The Dutch Slave Trade in New Amsterdam

From Wikipedia:

The enslavement of African people in the United States began in New York as part of the Dutch slave trade.Read more.

Luke Scott Bonner

Luke Scott Bonner was born in 1776  to Giselle Somerville, the daughter of Lord Bainbridge, lieutenant governor of Lower Canada, at her home in Montreal.  Because she was not married, her father took the infant away to be raised by Giselle’s mother.… Read more.