A Historical non-fiction story of the ancestors of Mary Jane Brown Ketchum and how they survived the first voyage with Col. Donelson to establish Nashville, Tennessee!
"River Passage" is the true story of the journey of the Donelson party in 1779-1780 when Col. Donelson founded Fort Nashborough which became Nashville, Tennessee.
Along with Col. Donelson on the flatboats from Fort Patrick Henry in Virginia was the family of Margaret Neely and her 10 children. Margaret's husband, William, left four months before the flatboats and traveled over land from Fort Patrick Henry with Col. Robertson driving cattle and livestock to Fort Nashborough. The flatboats arrived four months later than was expected.
The connection of the family of William and Margaret Neely to our family is they are the 3rd-great-grandparents of Mary Jane Brown Ketchum, wife of James Alexander Ketchum. Grandma Mary Jane descends from their son, Isaac who is called Ike in the book. (Spoiler alert - Ike gets shot!)
The author does an exceptional job of writing their story following all documentation that is available. Col. Donelson wrote a diary detailing the journey and Isaac Neely is mentioned on page 4. You may find all the documentation available on this website for William and Margaret by clicking here: William Isaac's story is here: Isaac
This book is one that you can't stop reading until you see what happens. It is full of Indian attacks, white water rafting, food shortages, sickness, and everything imaginable in an inhospitable country. It is a story about how a woman away from her husband with 10 children copes with all of the dangers from every side without her husband. Through it all she keeps her faith and family in tact.
You may purchase this book along with P. M. Terrell's other books from Amazon in paperback or for Kindle. Other books by this author about the Neely family can be found on the Storytelling page, link below.
You may also see the documentation and other interesting facts by clicking on the links below the historical marker.
Links to the Neely family on my website, Click on word or copy and paste the URL in your browser:
General link: GENERAL https://www.seibelfamily.net/the-neely-family.html
Neely Family Genealogy: GENEALOGY https://www.seibelfamily.net/neely-family-genealogy.html
Stories of Family Members: STORIES https://www.seibelfamily.net/neely-storytelling.html
Mary Jane Brown Ketchum: MARY JANE https://www.seibelfamily.net/ketchum-james-alexander.html
My name is Vicky, and after researching my family history since 1999, I have found amazing stories that need to be told. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!