Satchel: A Cherokee Girl Tells All by Martha Gunsalus Chamberlain
This historical fiction set in nineteenth century Salem is written by Martha Gunsalus Chamberlain, just in time for the 250th anniversary of the founding of Salem, NC.
Throughout her lifetime of tragedy and triumph, the indigenous American girl Madaya carries treasured relics in her satchel that represent both her own story and those of her companions, from the Trail of Tears, back to Cherokee, and to the Moravians with whom she lived in Salem.
The story of the hunt always glorifies the hunter until the lioness tells her tale [African Proverb]. In Satchel, Madaya the lioness tells all. She reveals hidden secrets, forbidden sex, extraordinary discoveries, and lost stories of Cherokee Chief Junaluska and Squire, an enslaved African who lived among the Moravians.
Chamberlain reminds us that telling one’s story bridges the gap from past to present, connecting us not only to one another, but also to those yet unborn, lest we forget, lest we die like the endangered species we are.
“If you don’t tell it, who will?” she asks.
Martha Gunsalus Chamberlain moved from Virginia to Old Salem with her husband four years ago to research Cherokee Chief Junaluska. Finding so much more, they bought the Van Vleck house in Old Salem, built in 1831. They grasp the significance of walking "on common ground" among departed spirits and ancient bones of early settlers in this Moravian community.
A graduate of Sacred Heart School of Nursing, United Wesleyan College, and George Mason University, her other books include: A Love Affair with India and The Ultimate Flight. She nurtures the seed of telling one's own story, not only for connection to one another, but also to link past through present to those yet unborn for survival of us all.