In 1848 an English physician, Nathaniel Trennant, accepts an offer to serve as doctor on a ship carrying immigrants to America. When arriving in Baltimore, Trennant stumbles onto its slave market and witnesses the horrors of human bondage. One night in a boardinghouse he discovers under his bed a runaway slave. Disturbed and angered by the selling of human lives, he offers to help the young man escape, a criminal action that will put the fugitive slave and physician into flight from both the law and opportunistic slave hunters.
Traveling by foot, horse, stage, canal boat, and steamer, Nathaniel and Nicodemus explore the backcountry and forge a deep friendship as they encounter a host of memorable characters who reveal the nature of the American experiment, one still in its early stages but already under the stress of social injustices and economic inequities.
About the Author
William Least Heat-Moon, pen name of William Trogdon, is of English, Irish, and Osage ancestry. He lives in Missouri on an old tobacco farm he's returning to forest.
His first book, Blue Highways, tells of a 13,000-mile journey around America on back roads. His second work, PrairyErth, is a narrative exploration into a corner of the great tallgrass prairie in eastern Kansas. River-Horse gives an account of his four-month sea-to-sea voyage across the United States on rivers, lakes, and canals. In Roads to Quoz, Heat-Moon sets out for a half-dozen peculiar American destinations that have long intrigued him. Here, There, Elsewhere brings together a collection of his short-form reportage about places around the world. These six major books have never been out of print. His first work of fiction, Celestial Mechanics appeared in 2017.
Published by University of Missouri, February 2020, Hardcover, 338 pages.