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"A window into our history. Though the story is surely the history of the founding of Bridgton, Maine, it is in a larger sense a story of the founding of our country. A story of the struggles to perhaps not tame, but to at least learn to live with its challenges and heartaches. To conquer the hardships and to move forward against all odds. Strong men and women raising strong families to carry on their legacy of serving a larger cause.

Michael Heemer

Young Enoch Perley grows to manhood at a pivotal time in the nation’s history. He listens by the fireside to stories of war and adventure told by his swashbuckling uncle, General Israel Putnam. As he comes of age, the British regulars clash with local militia at Lexington and Concord. Enoch realizes that change is in the air. And that change brings opportunities for a young man not afraid of hard work and sacrifice. He is charged with carrying out a special mission by the proprietors of a new land grant in the wilds of the province of Maine.

Anna Flint grew up in comfort and security, learning the domestic arts at her mother’s side. Young Enoch Perley takes a fancy to her, but she wonders if he will ever settle down. When he decides to go to the wilderness of Maine, she must make a decision. Will she leave behind the comforts of home and family to join him in the wilderness?

Kumba, a young African girl, is stolen from her family by slavers. She finds herself on a treacherous journey in the dank and disgusting hold of a slave ship, bound for a land she’s never heard of. Tossed about on the sea, fearing she will never see her beloved family again, she feels her spirit leaving her. Can she survive the journey? What will become of her?

Based on a true story.

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From the Author

It was a cold December morning when my friend Carrye and I visited the old Perley cabin in Bridgton, Maine. It had changed quite a bit since the Old Squire built it back in 1776. It was moved at least twice during its long life. The first time, as far as we know, it was moved to the back of the Squire’s son’s house, where it was used as a tool shed. The other journey took it from South Bridgton on a five mile journey where it rests today on a little peninsula on Highland Lake.

The owners’ of the property added on to the old cabin. A front porch room on one gable end, and a kitchen on the other. The windows had been replaced, as had the fireplace. But there on the beams were the adze marks from the young Enoch Perley. There, too, the latch and the evidence of the hard work in the building of it.

He built it for his bride back home in Massachusetts. When it was finished, he went home to fetch her. The young couple brought back with them the new Mrs. Perley’s slave girl, purchased as a dowry by her father, Deacon John Flint.

The slave girl’s name was Cloe. She became a lifelong member of the Perley family, staying on with them when Massachusetts freed the slaves.

As Carrye and I stood in the cabin talking about Cloe and how amazing her story was, the door behind us suddenly and slowly swung open. We turned to see who had entered, and no one was there. But, we turned to each other, wide-eyed, and we both knew who had made her presence felt. Cloe was letting us know it was time that her story was told.

This one’s for you, Cloe Perley. May your spirit rest easy.

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