Statia Button Dougherty grew up in Southern California and lives today in Eastern Arizona with her husband and four dogs. Statia has always nurtured an affinity for the old west. She enjoys taking road trips and exploring and photographing ghost towns and mining camps. In preparation for this book, she and her husband embarked on a journey from San Diego California, to Santa Fe New Mexico along what use to be the Gila Trail.
SAMPLE FROM THE BOOK
Michael stared at the buildings of New York as the ship slowly pulled into the harbor. It had been a long, and trying journey from Ireland by sea, and he was more than ready to test his land legs again. Although he was excited to finally reach his destination, he was also apprehensive. Some of his friends from Limerick had already completed the journey, but he had no idea how, or where to begin his search for them. He had almost no money in his pockets, and his possessions were meager. It seemed as though hours had passed before the passengers were called to disembark. The line of people leaving the ship, seemed to progress as slowly as the past few months had.
The year he set sail was 1863. The New Year had come and gone on the Escort without the least bit of circumstance, or celebration. Finally, it was Michael's turn to descend the gangplank. He turned and shook hands with the friends that he had made on the journey. They exchanged well wishes before Michael drew a deep breath, and said one final prayer of farewell to his motherland. He stepped out into the new world not knowing what his future held. He was greeted by noise, there were unfamiliar smells, and much commotion in the streets. So many people went bustling about, pushing and shoving their way through the crowds. Clutching his satchel a bit tighter, and drawing it a bit closer to his body, the young emigrant proceeded through the vociferous crowd of people. He had been warned of the pickpockets, and swindlers in New York. Now, he was to begin his new life, in a new country, with an emotional jumble of excitement, and cynical distrust.
"Here son! Over here! Come on over here for the chance of a lifetime! Today is your lucky day."
Michael glanced around, then back at the uniformed man. He put a finger to his own chest in a manner of a question.
"Yes lad, I'm talking to you! Come over here. You're from Ireland aren't you?"
"Aye, that I am," he replied, remembering his mother's last words to him. "Always remember where you come from, Michael. Never forget that you are Irish, and be proud of it!" she told him. "And never forget that you are a Malone"
The uniformed man spoke again. "Where are you going lad? Do you have family here? Do you have money? Are you hungry?"
The questions came so fast, that Michael hardly had a chance to consider the answers before another set of inquiries were hurled toward him. "How would you like forty dollars, and new pair of boots? How would you like to become an American citizen? It will only take you five minutes to sign these papers, and then you will be off to a nice dinner of bacon and beans. This is your lucky day son. You can become a citizen, and a soldier all at the same time. You are in America now; you should become an American right and legal. Join the army, and you can even be in the Irish brigade. Maybe you will find some of your friends from back home. Lord knows there are plenty of you Irish coming here. You people really know how to procreate, and populate the earth, don't you? You take the bible quite seriously, you Irish. Say, are you Catholic, or Protestant?"
In 1864 a young Irish immigrant disembarks at the harbor in New York. Broke and hungry, Michael is easily and immediately coerced into enlisting with the Union Army. The war is soon over and he finds himself still broke in a foreign country, and with no home to return to. He travels to Santa Fe where he meets a wealthy and prominent merchant who influences a change in Michaels plans. He remains in Santa Fe, and with his good looks and affable personality, Michael readily assimilates into the culturally diversified society of Santa Fe.
While traveling on a mission along the Gila Trail with a wagon train, Michael shares the hardships and deprivations of his fellow emigrants. It is here that he redeems a promise that had been made to him in Santa Fe. Available as a Kindle E-book!