Two centuries ago, the promise of cheap land and abundant resources enticed Americans westward to the frontier that was Missouri. Some halted at St. Louis while others moved on to establish small farms and villages, their dreams satisfied. More restless men - risk takers, entrepreneurs, adventurers - sought greater opportunities for creating wealth in the new state.
Among the more daring was Meredith Miles Maramaduke, a Virginia-born bachelor who arrived at Franklin, Missouri in 1823 with a horse and a wagon, five slaves, and the desire to "make a fortune." His ambition soon led him down the dangerous Santa Fe Trail to trade in Mexico, fighting off perilous conditions, unsavory rivals, thieves, and Indian raids. At home in Saline County, he married into the powerful Sappington family, raised nine children , and immersed himself in farming, numerous business ventures, and land speculation. Drawn into politics, he rose to become the eighth governor of Missouri.
This is Maramaduke's story, a tale of adventure, dicey deals, and political intrigue, seasoned with the occasional duel and family scandal. His legacy - far more enduring than the vast fortune he indeed acquired - left a lasting impact on his beloved Booneslick region.
About the Author
Lee M. Cullimore studied journalism at Lincoln University and the University of Missouri, and then worked briefly as the writer and editor for a Northwest timber producer, an experience he describes as enjoyable, "but it soon convinced me that I wasn't cut out for corporate life." For 30 years he worked as a writer, editor, radio producer, and publisher of special-interest magazines, primarily in the outdoor recreation and natural history fields. In 1989 he became the executive director of the American Water Ski Association, serving until his retirement in 1994. He is the author of An Imperfect Odyssey (2010) and The Boys of Company K (2012).
Published by Friends of Arrow Rock, 2021. Hardback, 312 pages.