J.A. McPhail

Dawn of Day

eBook, Hardcover, Softcover
Rated 4.91 out of 5 based on 11 customer ratings
(11 customer reviews)

A historical fiction book based on actual people, places, and events in Kansas’ history. The book tells the story of Wabaunsee County and its ties to bleeding Kansas and the Underground Railroad, featuring the Mitchell family in particular. It covers the time from 1856 to 1932. Dawn of Day includes discussion questions and activities related to the book and for further study.

Book is also available through Amazon and BN or ask for it wherever books are sold. The ebook version of this book can be ordered through Amazon. Look Inside

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Description

Henrietta never liked history. But on a late summer day in 1932, she and her sometimes annoying little sister Irma Jean, hear an exciting true story from their artist friend, Maude Mitchell—a story that takes them back in time 75 years.

In 1856, Maude’s father, William Mitchell, came from Connecticut to support the Free State cause in Kansas. William and his sister Agnes hid runaway slaves in their cabin, including Jesse and Abby, two slave children who’d been cruelly separated from their mother.

Henrietta had learned about the Underground Railroad at school, but she never realized how dangerous it was for everyone involved. But what has slavery got to do with the family secret and Aunt Jo being mad at her parents?

As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, Henrietta discovers a surprise from the past that nobody dreamed was possible.

Featured in the Books Section of the August 2012 edition of Kansas Country Living Magazine. Here is the link to read the entire book review: Kansas Country Living, August 2012.

Book is also available through Amazon and BN or ask for it wherever books are sold. The ebook version of this book can be ordered through Amazon.


Praise for Dawn of Day

“Set in a time when children still rode horses to school, Dawn of Day is an enchanting story about family history being passed on from one generation to the next. Based on historic events during the turbulent period of our nation’s history known as ‘Bleeding Kansas’, this is a book that is interesting, entertaining, and educational. It’s not often that one book successfully combines all three.” —Michael Stubbs, Kansas Historian

Dawn of Day is an engaging introduction to a little-known part of Kansas history—the pre-Civil War immigration of abolitionists into the Territory to help ‘Bleeding Kansas’ join the Union as a free state. The book offers a fictional but realistic glimpse into the lives of the Mitchells and other families who settled in Wabaunsee, who were involved in the fight for freedom and the secret activities of the Underground Railroad. —Kathryn Mitchell Buster, great-niece of Maude Mitchell

“While doused with fiction, Dawn of Day also provides a solid history lesson about ‘Bleeding Kansas’. For instance, the famed Beecher Bible and Rifle Church which still stands a few miles southwest of Wamego [Kansas], played a key role in the historic Free vs. Slave debate. It seems only natural for McPhail, a Kansas native, to tackle this literary project. John Willig, her great-great-grandfather, was a charter member of the Beecher Bible and Rifle Church.” —Larry Freeze, Kansas Country Living Magazine [Excerpted from Books Section of Kansas Country Living, August 2012.]


About Author

J.A. McPhail, (aka Jeanne Ann, aka Jeannie,) a native of the Sunflower State, possesses a rich fifth generation Kansas heritage. Her great-great-grandfather, John Willig, was a charter member of the Wabaunsee Beecher Bible Rifle Church, featured in Dawn of Day.Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, the author grew up attending many BBRC Old Settlers Homecomings. As children, she and her brother sang a duet at one of the annual gatherings. Years later, after marrying her high school sweetheart and raising a daughter, the McPhails returned to the church several times, singing with the Messengers Quartet.

During the seven years as her full-time care giver, McPhail listened to her mother, Irma Jean, tell stories about her childhood growing up in the Wabaunsee area. History and family memories, combined with inheriting two Maude Mitchell paintings of her grandparents’ homesteads, inspired the unique blend of fact and fiction used to create Dawn of Day.

As a former editor, columnist, and library director, McPhail has written hundreds of articles and columns for various newsletters, magazines, and newspapers. She currently writes devotions and maintains a reading/writing page on her family’s website, www.jamcphail.com, as well as being a guest writer for her local newspaper.

J.A. McPhail now lives and writes in beautiful western North Carolina. She and her husband, Dennis are also a Southern Gospel songwriting team. But Kansas will always hold a special place in her heart.

Author’s web site: jamcphail.com

About the Illustrator

Gwen Battis’ love of art began in childhood when she regularly exchanged picture-laden correspondence with her equally artistic cousin. She is mostly self-taught, working with graphite pencil. As an adult, she began to incorporate colored pencils, watercolor and pastels.

Gwen worked as Assistant and Director of the very same Silver Lake Library where J.A. McPhail was director.  After 10 years in Kansas and with their two sons in college, Gwen and her photographer husband, Rick, embarked on “The Great Adventure” of freelancing on the road, beginning with a fishing resort off the coast of Alaska and continuing to places they could hardly imagine.

Email the illustrator at: gfbattis@gmail.com

Additional information

Writer

J.A. McPhail

Illustrator

Gwen Battis

ISBN

978-0-9851196-1-4
(softcover)

978-0-9851196-2-1
(hardcover)

Trim size

5″ x 8″

Page count

200

BISAC

Juvenile Fiction
• Action & Adventure – General
• Historical – United States – General
• Religious – Christian – Historical

Books by author

• Dawn of Day
• I Will Not Fear: A Chosen Life
• Trinity Tales of Tresia:
• A Most Remarkable Hat (Book I)
• Trinity Tales of Tresia: A Quite Extraordinary Umbrella (Book II)
• A Glimpse: A Truly Excellent Scepter (a short story for Trinity Tales of Tresia series)

Format

eBook, Hardcover, Softcover

11 reviews for Dawn of Day

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Green

    I have loved this book and wanting to purchase my second copy. I attended the Beecher Bible Church in the 50’s and 60’s and return to their annual homecoming. For me, It has been great to read this book and Jeanne MacPhail has written facts and information as I remembered it, well done. I’m purchasing this book to share with a Library series on Bleeding Kansas.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Vikki Stewart

    Looking for a book that reflects love? I loved every page! McPhail is a gifted writer.

  3. Rated 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Dreibelbis

    This book is based on true incidents. The incidents are true history from accounts written by my own great and great-great grandfathers. I wish she had included more historical detail so that young people would be more sure to understand the context.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Larry Freeze, Kansas Country Living Magazine

    Editorial Review – While doused with fiction, Dawn of Day also provides a solid history lesson about Bleeding Kansas. For instance, the famed Beecher Bible and Rifle Church which still stands a few miles southwest of Wamego [Kansas], played a key role in the historic Free vs. Slave debate.

    It seems only natural for McPhail, a Kansas native, to tackle this literary project. John Willig, her great-great-grandfather, was a charter member of the Beecher Bible and Rifle Church.

    This fascinating chapter of Kansas history is further brought to life by the pencil illustrations of Gwen Battis.

    Featured in the Books Section of the August 2012 edition of Kansas Country Living Magazine. Here is the link to read the entire book review: Kansas Country Living, August 2012.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Barri Cae Mallin

    A great read – This was a wonderful book. I learned a lot about the Underground railroad. I encourage any one to take the time, lay back and enjoy this GREAT read. Nicely done, inspiring too!

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    AB

    What a delightful and inspiring story. An excellent read for any book loving child or adult. The story is historical and brings you right into the events taking place. Educating on the history of our nation and the goodness of our citizens who proved willing and able to meet the need of those escaping slavery. You could almost taste those cookies.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Georgia Wilson

    Choices Create History – Threads of innocence, humor, prejudice, compassion and strife are woven into a vibrant tapestry of historical fiction designed to enlighten the reader about the Kansas underground railroad of human cargo before the Civil War. A compelling story is well told by the great-great granddaughter of a charter member of the Wabaunsee Beech Bible Rifle Church.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Gwen Veazey

    Nice job on violent history for middle-schoolers – This simply illustrated tale designed for middle grade students offers “Bleeding Kansas” history of 1856-57 interwoven with a 75th anniversary celebration at the Beecher Bible Rifle Church in Wabaunsee, Kansas in 1932. The author paints lively scenes of escaped slave children making a stop on the Underground Railroad and New England abolitionists living their principles by moving a thousand miles west to Kansas. Historical figures appear such as Henry Ward Beecher, William Mitchell, Charles B. Lines, and Benjamin Stringfellow, with mentions of John Brown and Harriet Beecher Stowe. While the Christian author has written a faith-oriented story, it has no agenda beyond historical accuracy and a positive presentation of the faith of its characters. (Note: a few lines of enslaved people’s dialect occur.)

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Maggie J McKinney

    I Can’t Get Abby Out of my MindDawn of Day taught me much that I never knew about the history of Kansas and its “slave” history. But it is the slave child Abby, wrenched from her mother and sent North with her slightly older brother, who gave me an unforgettable insight into the heartbreak and fear of those who traveled on the Underground Railroad. Her story made me realize that it wasn’t just adults who traveled the terrifying Underground Railroad. When we meet Abby many years later, the “old” Abby is as memorable and wonderful as we want her to be.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Mitchell Buster, great-niece of Maude Mitchell

    Editorial ReviewDawn of Day is an engaging introduction to a little-known part of Kansas history—the pre-Civil War immigration of abolitionists into the Territory to help “Bleeding Kansas” join the Union as a free state. The book offers a fictional but realistic glimpse into the lives of the Mitchells and other families who settled in Wabaunsee, who were involved in the fight for freedom and the secret activities of the Underground Railroad.

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Michael Stubbs, Kansas Historian

    Editorial Review — Set in a time when children still rode horses to school, Dawn of Day is an enchanting story about family history being passed on from one generation to the next. Based on historic events during the turbulent period of our nation’s history known as “Bleeding Kansas,” this is a book that is interesting, entertaining, and educational. It’s not often that one book successfully combines all three.

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