Daring Pioneers Tame the Frontier
The Generation that Built America
About the Book
History, Romance, & Destiny... Daring Pioneers Tame the Frontier is an exquisite saga of Dr. Jean (John) Baptiste Elzèar Burel’s lifelong desire to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the beckoning new America. With his naval surgeon license in one hand and his medical chest in the other, he followed Marquis de Lafayette to Colonial America during the Revolutionary War. During the war he fell passionately in love and married a beautiful Acadian French woman in Philadelphia. After the war they made plans to return to his home at Ollioules, France. Homeward bound, the bourgeois doctor boarded the ship in Philadelphia with his new bride and their few belongings. There on deck he was unexpectedly forced to choose between his beloved homeland and family in France and his wife with child. Disembarking the ship with grave disappointment, John knowingly forfeited his inheritance as sole heir. Struggling to survive in Philadelphia, oftentimes John sat quietly admiring the beautiful woman who owned his heart as he secretly yearned for his prominent family and lifestyle on the Mediterranean Coast of France. Standing on the threshold of the newly independent America, the young doctor decided to take his wife and infant son and pioneer down the Great Wagon Road into the raw frontier of South Carolina. Believing he would build a new and prosperous life, he settled at Goshen Hill between the Tyger and Enoree Rivers within the lawless backcountry of South Carolina. Fighting the dangers and hardships of the frontier, and the recurring restlessness to return to France, John and his family carved out a simple life. Although disappointed at times, within the walls of his log home the enduring love and warmth of his wife and six children transcended adversity and hardships of the outside world. The heartwarming story is filled with humanity as John faced his inevitable destiny. The first novel in the trilogy closes with Dr. Burel’s widow standing helplessly in her front yard watching the wagon train take her spirited children and grandchildren west in search of richer land and prosperity. It was déjà vu!
About the Author
Bettye Burrell Burkhalter is a Vice President, Associate Provost, and Professor Emerita at Auburn University. Academic research and fellowships with Auburn University, the International Academy of Astronautics, and the British Interplanetary Society sent her around the world. Upon retirement she teamed with her eighty-nine-year-old father, Cecil A. Burrell, to capture a way of life they both loved and valued quickly fading into the pages of time: country style living. Spanning four centuries, the saga is a testament to the author’s uncompromising vision to recapture the life and times of one man and his family in search of the American Dream. Bringing to life the colorful characters who blazed trails into the raw frontier, some critics compared her meticulously researched writing and techniques of creative nonfiction to the writings of Kenneth Roberts and Bernard DeVoto. Although Dr. Burkhalter worked and visited in over a dozen countries, she prefers the quiet countryside at her rustic log home retreat. There in the peace and quiet of nature she does most of her writing. “There is no substitute for awakening to a sunrise with singing birds, hearing a whippoorwill’s lonesome call to his mate at dusk, or watching lightning bugs flash by on a warm summer night,” she explains. Bettye and her husband, Boyd, also live in Auburn, Alabama.