History Press made this title available recently as an ebook. Back last summer, they said they would be “experimenting” with ebooks and I let them know I hoped my book would be one of the titles they tried. I don’t know if that request reached the right ears or not, but in any case, it’s now available (including the photos!) as a digital book.
I haven’t quite put my finger on it—I’d say it’s irony, but not quite—in having a book that focuses so much on regional history now available in a digital format. So much of the research involved looking through long-out-of-print books and old newspapers and the like. Dusty, musty work. Or simply listening to stories handed down through old local families. And now it’s all available in nice, bright pixels.
For the record, I really enjoyed working on this book because I learned about so much “legends and lore” on the Delmarva Peninsula that was new to me … even as a lifelong Marylander. I’ve given several talks about the book up and down Delmarva (that unique land between the Chesapeake and Delaware bays), and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that others are just as delighted to learn these amazing bits of legend that have been overlooked through the years.
One of my favorite legends had to do with Charles Dickinson, the member of the landed gentry from Caroline County who set himself up as a planter in early 1800s Tennessee—what was the frontier at that time. It was a life filled with whiskey, plantations, horse racing … and duels.
Dickinson was a notorious duelist who killed as many as 20 men … but he met his match in none other than Andrew Jackson. Jackson nearly died (Dickinson was a crack shot) but not before delivering a mortal shot to the Marylander.
It’s just one of the many amazing stories from Delmarva’s past that we’ve somehow forgotten, but which have now been brought to light to share in the “digital era.”