Whither thou Goest

The True Story of Two Long-Lost Pioneers Whose Dream Wouldn’t Die, and How Their Family Found Them More Than a Century Later

by Patrick Simpson



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 5/29/2001

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 672
ISBN : 9780595175055

About the Book

Whither Thou Goest is the first nonfiction book to focus on this little-known period in American history of 1878, when the world was in the depths of depression like none before. In two parallel journeys that take place in the past and the present, Whither Thou Goest attempts to make people long gone to come back alive. It examines who we are, where we’ve been, and has everything to do with where we are going.

The first journey started in 1878. The author’s great-grandaunt and uncle—pioneers Mary Jane and “Theo” Beardsley—left their small-town home in upstate New York with their two young daughters, Eva and Frankie, and followed their dream of a new life in the American West. Swallowed up by time, they became forgotten by all they knew back East. All—that is—but one.

The second journey started in 1996. By chance, the author learned that Frankie’s family home was now an Oregon museum. He discovered a small diary kept by Eva—a bare-boned chronicle of their journey west. The inspired author and his wife decided to follow their trail across America and learn all they could about 1878 America and his relatives, living and dead.

About the Author

Patrick Simpson grew up in Sidney, New York and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. His two previous nonfiction books – Wheelchair Around the World (1997), and Wheelchair Down Under (1999) – are the first books ever written about a wheelchair-bound woman (his wife, Anne) who traveled the world with him for a year. His recently published historical novel, Desert Angels (2011), is based on Whither Thou Goest, winner of the Jada Press 2004 Nonfiction Book of the Year award.