Books for Collectors

Historical novel frames Kansas statehood milieu

by Leigh Elmore

In a blizzard on Jan. 29, 1861 Daniel Read Anthony tore out of Leavenworth on horseback for Lawrence, KS, jubilant with the news that Kansas had become a free (non-slavery) state. At the Eldridge Hotel he proudly circulated his newly minted newspaper bearing the glad tidings. To celebrate his ride, Verbal Images Press has published a book on the controversial Kansas pioneer titled The Truth About Daniel by Jeanne Gehret.

Anthony, who lived in Rochester, NY, first traveled to Kansas in 1854 in the inaugural contingent of the Emigrant Aid Company, founded to promote the abolition of slavery along the Kansas-Missouri border. Journeying by train and steamboat he walked the final 40 miles under blistering heat, took in the view from Mount Oread, and helped to lay out the town. How horrified he must have been to see that same town in ashes following Quantrill's Raid.


"Anthony was a man of great fervor and patriotism," says Jeanne Gehret, author of the historical novel about the pioneer.

"He was not only a Jayhawker but a Civil War colonel, newspaper publisher, postmaster, mayor, and a founder of the Kansas Historical Society. I could think of no better way to portray his love for his adopted state than to show him grieving over Lawrence in the aftermath of that massacre. On the other hand, he killed a civilian in cold blood and stole enough horses to start a stock farm."

The Truth About Daniel is the fruit of four years of research that included combing the archives of the Spencer Library at the University of Kansas, as well as time spent in Osawatomie, Leavenworth, and Huron, and numerous places in the Northeast. The author was born in Kansas City, KS and now lives near Rochester, NY, where she served as a docent at the Susan B. Anthony House Museum.

Daniel Read Anthony was the younger brother of the famous suffragist and shared the same devotion to human rights as his nationally known sister. This book is the first in The Dauntless Series, which will explore in future volumes how differently the two Anthonys lived out their quest for reform. It also delves into the mystery of how and why he married Anna Osborn, a woman half his age from Martha's Vineyard.

Mary Ann Sachse Brown of the Leavenworth County Historical Society says of the book: "The author revisits the 'Bleeding Kansas' days that led up to and included the Civil War. Gehret offers an intriguing perception of the trials and tribulations experienced not only by the Anthony and Osborn families, but also by many New Englanders and other emigrants who chose to start a new life in recently opened U.S. territories."

The author became interested in Daniel Read Anthony in 2012 while touring the Leavenworth area portraying Susan B. Anthony in schools and historical societies. She has blogged extensively about her research at: SusanBAnthonyFamily.com

The Truth About Daniel retails at $14.95 online at www.amazon.com/dp/188428101X 

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Contact Leigh Elmore at editor@discoverypub.com