The Seashell Press
Island Wilderness

Chapter One

Vineyard Map 1671

Fact and Fiction

Struggling for Freedom in the New World

In the summer of 1671, at the age of seventy-eight, Governor Thomas Mayhew, founder and sole proprietor of Martha’s Vineyard, sailed under escort to Fort James at the tip of Manhattan to explain why he had ignored all taxes, military direction and royal inquiries for twenty-five years. During the week-long interrogation that followed, Mayhew defended the utopian ways of his settlement, the difficult alliance with his evangelical son, his risky collaboration with the Indians and the constant danger of war. Island Wilderness is the account he might have given of those years. Based on original records and extensive historical research, here is the story of a village balancing the authority of kings against the idea of democracy, families caught between English and Indian cultures, and one old man’s struggle to reconcile his official duties with the wild beauty of the new world.

IPPY Honorable Mention, Best Fiction of the Year