Till We Have Built Jerusalem

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Pub Date 7 May 2019 | Archive Date 15 May 2019
Sunbury Press, Inc., Milford House Press

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Description

The opening of the Kansas Territory to settlement in 1854 created the most violent place in America: “Bleeding Kansas” the newspapers of the day called it. Proslavery Missourians called Border Ruffians attacked settlers who demanded that the Territory enter the Union as a Free State: knifings, the burning of barns and houses, shootings, and guerilla raids became commonplace. Ezra Middleton, a newspaper reporter and arrival from slave-holding Missouri, finds himself at the center of the conflict, crossing paths with violent abolitionist John Brown; James Butler (Wild Bill) Hickok, Union sharpshooter and spy; William Quantrill, Confederate guerilla, who massacred 200 unarmed and boys and burned Lawrence to the ground; and William (Buffalo Bill) Cody, Pony Express rider, Indian fighter, and Union trooper; and the bitter rivals for power, Charles Robinson and U.S. Senator James Lane. Middleton’s war ends when, at the Battle of Westport, the citizen-soldiers of the Kansas militia and the Union cavalry turn back a desperate Confederate invasion and end the Civil War in the West. Over time, Middleton changes as persons and events transform him from indifferent observer, to Free-State advocate, to staunch abolitionist, and finally to militiaman, as he and his compatriots struggle to preserve the Union and build on the Kansas prairie a just and peaceful society.

The opening of the Kansas Territory to settlement in 1854 created the most violent place in America: “Bleeding Kansas” the newspapers of the day called it. Proslavery Missourians called Border...


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ISBN 9781620061862
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Featured Reviews

This was a very moving portrayal of events that are little-known in American history. I saw in the transformation of the character from neutral reporter to active participant in righting the injustices of that time a parallel to many of today's events and people. The characters were very believable and well-developed and the writing style made me forget, at times, that I was not reading a real first-person account of the events portrayed. The only complaint I have is that some of the battle scenes come across a little flat.

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Ten years of bloody upheaval between 1856 and the end of the Civil War over the fate of Kansas was captured in Tell We Have Built Jerusalem. The book captures the struggle along the Kansas-Missouri border from the perspective of a young lawyer caught up in the events of that time. It follows not only the battles and political upheaval but delves into the lives of people struggling to get along with normal, daily existence. The characterizations of some of the principal historical figures, such as John Brown, are well done.
The overall flow of historical action was somewhat confusing for readers who are not familiar with the geography and long timeline encompassed by the book.
This is a good read!

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