Hysterical Fiction

By Bonnie L. Schermer

Martha of the Clinch Valley, Virginia

1756 - 1821

Martha knows better than to move her family from the rugged mountains of Southwest Virginia to the rolling fields of east-central Kentucky in 1779. The American Revolution is far from over, the Indians are wreaking havoc up and down the frontier, and Kentucky is known as "that dark and bloody ground." Nevertheless, Martha's husband, Solomon Litton and her brother, John Dunkin, insist on being among the first to settle near Ruddles and Martins Stations (later Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky). As a result, Martha and her entire family are captured by the British and Indians in June of 1780, becoming prisoners of war. Along with four hundred other pioneers, they are forced to canoe and walk across Ohio to Detroit. Carrying her two-month-old infant, leading several other children, and separated from her husband, Martha found a way to survive.

Those interested in the history of the Clinch River Valley, history of Russell County, Virginia, and history of Bourbon County, Kentucky, or prisoners of war during the American Revolution will find this an absorbing account. This story is built around the genealogy of the Litton family and the Dunkin/Duncan family. Care has been taken to use available historical facts as the basis for this fiction story; long-dead historic characters from the 18th century American frontier have returned to interact within its pages.

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