The Road to Lattimer

Four couples—Stefan and Anna, Cyril and Adriana, Jan and Katarina, and Emil and Edita—fled their European homes, desperate to escape the poverty, war and tyranny of kings and emperors. Seeking a better life, they embarked for America, relocating to coal towns in eastern Pennsylvania. But in these company-owned towns, dreams faded. They lived in squalor, faced discrimination and endured danger in the mines. In the summer of 1897, unrest erupted among miners in the coal towns and spread to their villages.

Growing activism among Slavic and other immigrant groups, with their call to join the United Mine Workers of America, compelled them to react. Anna feared for her family but understood the need for the strike. Stefan, still haunted by images of a war that never left him, was cautious, worried the consequences would be too dire. Adriana and Cyril, angry at the working and living conditions in Lattimer, were ready to shut down the mine, no matter the methods. Jan and Katarina were forced to make a painful decision. Emil, with wife Edita and a young family to support, joined the union and was among the strikers who marched to Lattimer on September 10, 1897.

On that fateful day, the local sheriff and his deputies met the oncoming protesters, confronting and then murdering nineteen and wounding thirty-nine more. Emil survived and agreed to be a witness at the trial of Sheriff Martin and his deputies. The Road to Lattimer chronicles their stories.

About the Author:

Virginia Rafferty is a writer of historical fiction focusing on immigration from Eastern Europe in the nineteenth century. Traveling to Slovakia and Hungary to trace her ancestry while working with a Slovak genealogist gave her perspective on the lives of Slovak and Hungarian peasants living in the Austro-Hungarian empire. Her genealogy research culminated in two novels that chronicle her ancestors’ struggles as they leave their homes and settle in America.

Virginia is a retired middle school science teacher with a BA degree from Merrimack College in North Andover, MA. In 2003, she was awarded a Master of Education degree from Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, NH. She is a member of the South Carolina Writers Association and the Appalachian Writers Association.

She is currently living in Aiken, SC, and is volunteer coordinator for McGrath Computer Learning Center, a volunteer organization that offers computer instruction to seniors.

by Virginia Rafferty
Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .5
238 Pages
FICTION / Cultural Heritage
FICTION / Historical / General
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Price $16.95
Availability In-Stock

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