“Particularly interesting is how the past and the present are woven together to bring history to life and to make the story complete.”
To that reviewer and others who said similar things, I say, “Thank you, very much. I do try to be a good weaver.” The Disclaimer inside the front cover of Every Hill and Mountain says this:
This is a work of fiction. Any references to real people, events, institutions, or locales are intended solely to give a sense of authenticity. While every effort was made to be historically accurate, it should be remembered that these references are used fictionally.
I learned a lot while doing the research for the book. (In some areas, more than I ever wanted to know!) And I did try to weave as much actual history as I could into the story. Perhaps, after reading the book you’re wondering how much of the story was true. Take the quiz below to find out how good you are at teasing out the facts from the fiction.
The Every Hill and Mountain Quiz
Warning: Plot Spoilers! Take this quiz after you finish reading Every Hill and Mountain.
Which of the following are true, false, or… maybe?
- Mr. Granger, the owner of the Hickory Hill mansion, kept slaves on the third floor.
- He used a man named Ned as stud to breed more slaves.
- A diary telling of events at Hickory Hill written by a daughter was discovered.
- Descendants of the family scooped up the diary before its contents could be made public.
- The owner of Hickory Hill kidnapped and sold free black families in a reverse Underground Railroad.
- Outright slavery was practiced in the free state of Illinois.
- Actually, only indentured servants worked in the free state of Illinois.
- Slavery has always been illegal in Illinois.
- The owner of the Half Moon salt mine secretly used slave labor to make salt.
- Chains and a whipping post are still in place on the third floor of the Hickory Hill Mansion.
- Liberty Baptist Church, Friends of Humanity was a real church in Equality.
- Slaves from Hickory Hill were members of it.
- Thomas Jefferson wanted to secure the rights to Half Moon Salt Mine at any cost.
- Salt was the most important export from Illinois for many years.
- Shawneetown bankers turned down representatives from the fledgling town of Chicago who came asking for a loan.
- The original Red Onion was a disreputable speak-easy.
- Coal companies actually do blow the tops off mountains as the worried man explained at his booth.
- Rev. Dwight L. Moody helped runaway slaves in his Illinois Street Church.
- Charlotte Miles harbored runaway slaves in the attic of her house.
- The Old Slave House on Hickory Hill is a state historic site and open for tourists to see.
- Ned made safely it to Chicago.
- Shawneetown has always been the seat for Gallatin County.
- Do coal companies really blow the tops off mountains?
- The area newspapers often ran ads offering rewards for the whereabouts of missing people and whole families.
- Mr. Granger treated his personal slaves differently than he did the salt mine slaves.
- Did Abraham Lincoln really stay at Hickory Hill?
It would be so nice of you to share!