Friday, April 1, 2011

The Challenge of Tom Cutter

Here is a short story I have been working on at I have a couple others there and will likely have more as time goes by. Go to, and go to authors, or fill the author space with  j_darling as that is my name there. Here is a preview, but go and read it. It is only a few pages long at this point, but complete.


My name is Tom Cutter. I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1829, 25 years ago. I later moved to Detroit, where I lived for several years.  I entered an Apprenticeship with George Cunningham, a cousin to my Mother, as a Wheelwright.  One thing I must admit: I had a family relationship with Cousin George.  He treated me like I was his own son.  My cousin beat me, worked me like a slave from dawn to dusk and then stole my money just like my own dear old father.

My cousin also taught me how to solve a problem, and I have one. I haven’t the tools I need to open shop in a livery. I had planned on my fee for serving my cousin for an extra two years. It could take another two years to save enough for the start of our Homestead. Captain Townsend the steamboat Captain told me He had taken 2,000 immigrants to St. Joseph and Grand Rapids himself last year Sweeney at the Port Authority told me: If I don’t go now for the land, with 12,000 immigrants coming  this year alone, the pickings were going to be slim.  I knew I had to put first things first and get my property, but I really didn’t know what I was going to do afterwards.

It started six months ago, in early spring. I knew it was time to leave George’s shop; I had been a Journeyman for two years.  I worked some jobs on the side so I had a little money put away in a place where George wouldn’t find it. I also had a fee coming from George for staying two years extra after completing my Journeyman card.  I had decided to start in a new place, and Brownsville, outside Grand Rapids, seemed like a good choice.  I went to the Land Office in Kalamazoo and looked the offering (Over 5oo tracts) over well. I found three tracts of land I thought might be nice, according to surveyor's notes, then I went to have a look.

I went to Brownsville prepared. I had a wagon, which I would leave with a friend of mine from Pennsylvania. I had left most of the pots and pans and household things I would need back in Detroit with Molly, the girl I planned to wed. I had been close with Molly Duffy since I came to Michigan.
I got a room at the Oak Grove House, owned By Mr. Asahel Kent, right next to the Battle Creek Trail, at 100th.  I could almost travel a straight line to anywhere and not get lost once.

The hotel where Tom might have stayed

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