Present at the Creation

While writing itself is a work of solitude, what goes into it is always the expression of many minds and hearts. I want to identify here some of the people who made this labor possible.
My wife Sylvia, whose ancestors set this story in motion and who traveled many miles visiting monuments, graves, buildings, and fields of battle and harvest.
Nan Watkins, whose critical eye and enthusiasm for the project first encouraged me, and who introduced me to the rich resources of Hunter Library at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC.
George Frizzell, with his capacious memory of Cherokee history, who helped me take advantage of Hunter Library’s extensive archives.
Sara Jenkins, whose combination of editor’s eye and warm encouragement sustained and guided me in the middle passages of composition.
Anita Oser, cartographer at WCU, who generously contributed the maps to guide readers.
Marietjie Conradie, who read the first draft with an eye to South African, especially Afrikaner, culture, and to Ernst Conradie, for his extensive explorations of the deeper meaning of our ecological crisis.
Elinor Sisulu, for her early help with Xhosa and Zulu names and her enthusiastic support for this audacious project.
Robert Conley, whose writings inspired and instructed me and whose wonderful humor gave zest to my research into Cherokee history and culture.
Margaret Osondu, who supported this project with critique, advice, and encouragement, from middle draft to the arcane world of book publishing and marketing.
My daughter Aneliese Parker, who not only read and critiqued my writing but helped prepare the graphics for the cover and advised me on all matters of the electronic media in which we swim.
This brief list only touches the many members of my family, members of writers’ groups such as Mountain Writers Alive, librarians, archivists, genealogists, folklorists, and researchers who contributed to this work. May these unnamed also be remembered, for they have my deepest thanks.

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