Prolific and distinguished author Cameron Judd (whose books tend to focus on the early frontier and Tennessee history) couldn’t pick an absolute favourite of his books (I know it’s a tough question!) but does have a particular fondness for THE OVERMOUNTAIN MEN, the first of his ‘The Tennessee Frontier Trilogy’.
JOSHUA COLTER has been trained to survive on the 18th Century Tennessee frontier by the hunter who adopted him. He enjoys his solitary life in the forests and mountains; but the troubles of the civilized world are encroaching. Conflicts escalate between settlers, Native Americans and the British government. Now Joshua will have to decide what he is willing to fight and die for, as the birth of a new nation breaks on the horizon.
THE OVERMOUNTAIN MEN brings in historical characters and events: Daniel Boone, John Sevier, Tecumseh and The Boston Tea Party.
The Boston Tea Party
DANIEL BOONE (1734-1820) is well known, of course, as the ultimate early frontiersman, the ‘long hunter’ who plunged deep into the wilderness and blazed trails for others to follow, carving ‘D. Boon cilled a bar on this tree,’ pioneering the settlement of Kentucky and risking his scalp countless times.
Fess Parker played him in a long-running TV series.
And TECUMSEH (1768-1813) is regarded as one of the greatest Native American leaders, the Shawnee chief who came closest, perhaps, to forging a mighty alliance of the tribes to stand against white invasion – a dream that ended with Tecumseh’s death at the Battle of Thames River in Ontario in 1813.
JOHN SEVIER (1745 – 1815) is perhaps less well known outside of Tennessee.
He served as a colonel in the Revolutionary Army in the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780, and commanded frontier militia in dozens of battles against the Cherokee in the 1780s and 1790s. He served as the only governor of the State of Franklin, which briefly existed as a prototype state in what is now eastern Tennessee. Sevier served six two-year terms as Tennessee's governor, between 1796 and 1809. His political career was marked by a rivalry with Andrew Jackson which nearly culminated in a duel in 1803.
Modern day Cherokees in traditional warrior dress
Publishers Weekly on CAMERON JUDD: “A keen observer of the human heart as well as a fine action writer.”
REVIEWS of THE OVERMOUNTAIN MEN:
‘A wonderful, entertaining and enlightening work’
'Amazing historical adventure... I love this book.'
‘Although I realize these are works of fiction, they are so deftly interlaced with historical facts that I now have a much clearer picture of how my ancestors must have lived in the early years of the migration "over the mountains" to Tennessee, Kentucky and points west and south.’
‘Cameron Judd's ability to present both sides of the clash between Indian and White societies on the Tennessee frontier in the mid to late 18th century is nicely balanced with his depth of description of the natural beauty of the environment and a solid insight into the growth of the human spirit.’
‘A great and believable read!’
'Excellent reading. The history appears to be very accurate, the story very gripping and believable… enjoyed the historical picture of the Cherokee people in my area.’