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Local author releases third historical fiction novel

Jul 16, 2014 01:11PM, Published by A Kitchen Drawer Writer , Categories: Arts+Entertainment, Community, Today

Image titleAuthor Sidney A. Brown continues to be drawn to the mysteries of the old town of Campbellton, Georgia.  Contributions slowly trickle in about the former 1828 town, as it is reconstructed on paper.  Several street names have been discovered from land records and tagged on a copy of the 1848 scaled survey of the town. The hotel was recently located by a contributor in the Atlanta Intelligencer, August 1855. The lien placed on the hotel in the Sheriff’s notice indicated the property as being on Lot No. 29. This is in the vicinity between the much later and present day Baptist church and the 1848 (still standing) Masonic Lodge.  Brown’s first novel, “Duncan’s Posse”, sparked an interest not only in his historical based story line and characters, but for people interested in local history on both sides of the great Chattahoochee to renew their research into local history and their own genealogy. Readers ranged as far west as the foothills of Cold Creek, Nevada to Italy. Interest in Campbellton has led to creation of a Facebook Group:  “Memories of Old Campbell/Douglas County”. Please visit and join in.

The second novel in Sidney A. Brown’s trilogy, “Duncan’s Yankee”, was released recently on and Marshal Mathew Duncan set a legendary high watermark for himself when he took on the Atlanta bank robbers in the bend of the river. Few could have done what he did with trained, seasoned gunmen, let alone with a young boy, a woman, a drunk, and a one-eyed old Mexican War veteran. Marshal Duncan enforced the law with equality to all, keeping the Federal troops at bay in Campbellton, while they patrolled and remained active in the surrounding towns during the Reconstruction Era of the South.

In his alone time, his love and thoughts of Maybell still linger, as he continues to grieve for her. Young Jody is away at boarding school in Newnan, where he will hopefully heal from the bloody defense of the murdered Constable Ruben Bullard. Duncan misses his son terribly. Margaret Selman shares the marshal’s life, in good times and bad. A failed appointment, a missed train, and a telegraph runner change the marshal’s life.

The exploits of the Campbellton Marshal reach the telegraph wires of the New York Associated Press and are published in many newspapers. Bartholomew Wallace Hopkins of the Harper’s Weekly Journal of Civilization discovers the stories and hopes to advance his newspaper career by covering this Southern marshal. The energetic reporter gets his chance. Hopkins learns that Southern folks are not as backward as many believe. He shares their hospitality and experiences life-changing adventures. The assignment makes him a local celebrity on the streets of New York.

“In his second book about Mathew Duncan, Mr. Brown continues to hold our interest with drama, humor, and real life situations of mid-1870’s Campbellton, Georgia. Once one begins to read, one wants to help Mathew fight the bad guys. Yet at the same time, the reader realizes that Mathew and Margaret find contentment in the quiet times of slower paced living.” – Sylvia Vick, Retired Educator and Member of the Douglas County Genealogical Society.

“Marshal Mathew Duncan’s dedication to fair and equal law enforcement of post-Civil War law and order leads him on a series of new adventures, including relating his stories to a journalist from New York. His depth of character continues to reveal itself as he meets and deals with new challenges involving work, family, and even an escaped panther. The action is exciting. The story is at times touching, sometimes thought provoking, and it is all tempered with enough humor to make it a very real and entertaining journey.” Betty Hartzog, Editor, Retired.

Brown is drawn to writing about Campbellton and the surrounding settlements to keep the old town alive in the imaginations of his readers. The storylines are believable and will capture the imagination of readers young and old.  His attitude toward local history is, “Times were as hard here (in the East) as they were in any of the Old West towns. Crime and violence were just as real and prevalent in the East, where history says our great nation was founded, Georgia being one of the original colonies.” The final volume of the trilogy, “Duncan’s Justice”, is in the editing and proofing stage.

About the author- Sidney A. Brown is a native of East Point, Georgia. He lays claim to the rural South Fulton County community of Stonewall where he spent the most cherished days of his childhood.  Stonewall was originally in Campbell County, until 1931 when it merged into Fulton County.  The community was also known much earlier as Monk. He was influenced greatly by his grandparents, who were settlers of the once thriving community.  These multi-talented people -- layman lawyer, photographer, farmer, carpenters, auto-mechanic; homemakers who baked, canned, and quilted – were vivid storytellers who nourished the author’s creativity. Brown was well traveled in youth, covering most of the fifty states and their historical sites.

His grandfather, a home based auto mechanic at the time, slipped young Brown out behind the small garage where the lad was assisted in firing an octagon barreled 1873 Winchester. At that time a lingering metallic cartridge loaded with black powder bellowed a rolling cloud of smoke, as the only shot struck high in the dead pine beyond the chicken pen. Suddenly, the days of the Lone Ranger, Hoppy, The Cisco Kid and Gunsmoke became regular TV events for the boy.

The excitement of the nearby railroads drew him into hours of wondering and waiting on the steam locomotives to make their run.  The now vanished Campbellton Ferry transported his Grandfather’s 1932 Ford pick-up truck and the author across the Chattahoochee River many times.  The author’s first manuscript was submitted to a major TV and movie company in the early 1970’s, only to be rejected on the basis of being “too episodic”.  This was a term he would grow to live his life by, one adventure after another. 

Sidney Brown has a vast background in historical related fields.  He was a curator in an 1850 living history museum village, where he performed blacksmithing, as a cobbler, woodworking, open hearth cooking demonstrations, and conducted muzzle loading weapon exhibitions. He is a past commander of a chapter of the national organization, Sons of Confederate Veterans, a member since 1978. The author was a living history impressionist as a Southeastern Colonial Frontiersman, an active participant in Civil War re-enactments for many years, and finally a cowboy action shooter.  In all these living history fields, his specific interest was in the civilian impression.  His professional occupations were as a mechanical designer for twenty-five years and retired from law enforcement after fifteen years.  

books mathew duncan trilogy sidney a brown

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