Tracie Peterson

Hello to all on this beautiful day.

Somewhere along the way, autumn slipped in and with that comes my third and final book in the Willamette Brides series from Bethany House Publishers.    

Forever by Your Side tells a story of conflict with the native people of Oregon and some fictional folks who were striving against them. 

One of the characters I mentioned in this series is a woman who was quite real—a heroine for that time period (1880’s).  Her name was Helen Hunt Jackson.

Mrs. Jackson was the daughter of an Amherst College professor and was encouraged to learn mathematics, science and philosophy. She was longtime friends with Emily Dickenson and throughout her life enjoyed the company of poets, novelists, and historians.  She married an army man and had two sons, but within a few years lost all three.  In her sorrow she sought solace in writing.

Later, she remarried and during this time her writing began to take off. She enjoyed traveling for research, as well as going to see her publishers. While back east on just such a trip, she attended a lecture by Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca, who described what the government had done to his people in forcing them onto reservations in Oklahoma.  This started Mrs. Jackson’s passion for the cause of Indian rights. She even wrote a book titled, A Century of Dishonor and gave a copy to each and every congressman and senator in 1881. This book led to the creation of the Indian Rights Association.  She became a great advocate for the Native American people, lecturing and writing until her death in 1885.

During this same time, the Bureau of Ethnology (later changed to the Bureau of American Ethnology) was formed by the government to catalogue and record the culture, speech, songs, and beliefs of all Indian tribes in America.  Thankfully, this bureau was able to retain many priceless bits of information that might have been lost—especially from tribes who are no longer with us.

Although the Fifteenth Amendment, passed in 1870, and granted all U.S. citizens the right to vote regardless of race, many states refused that privilege to Native Americans. The Snyder Act (passed in 1924) admitted Native Americans born in the U.S. to full U.S. citizenship. However, the Constitution left it up to individual states as to who had the right to vote.  It took over forty years for all fifty states to allow Native Americans the right to vote. Utah was the last state to legalize voting for the Native American in 1962.

We see all the problems and pain that racism has caused in the past, as well as what is being experienced even now.  It seems somewhere along the way many have forgotten God called us to love one another—to treat others as better than ourselves.  As I researched this book and saw some of the horrific things that were done to the native people it saddened me to think that the larger part of the population back then considered this just and right.  I’d like to think we are smarter now—that we’ve learned from past mistakes.  I hope we have.

Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for one, 3-book set of the Willamette Brides series

Often called the “Queen of Historical Christian fiction”Tracie Peterson is an ECPA, CBA and USA Today best-selling author of over 120 books, most of those historical.  Her work in historical fiction earned her the Best Western Romance Author of 2013 by True West Magazine and USA “Best Books 2011” Award for best Religious Fiction for Embers of Love. She was given the Life Time Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers in 2011 and the Career Achievement Award in 2007 from Romantic Times, as well as multiple best book awards. She won the Centennial Award from RWA in 2018 for having written over 100 novels. Tracie, a Kansas native, now makes her home in the mountains of Montana with her husband of 40 plus years.


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56 thoughts on “Tracie Peterson”

  1. As a history teacher, I have pointed out prejudices and injustices toward minority groups. I would love to read your book.

  2. I lived through racism in the 60’s. So sad my Grandsons have to do it now. Why can’t everyone just get along? love your books! Have read most of them…..but not the Willamette Brides series.

  3. Has racism really stopped? I don’t think so and I wonder if it ever will. Because that is what the riots are about today. Why can’t people understand that we are all the same no matter what the color of the skin is.

  4. Good morning Tracie. Your post is thought provoking to say the least. Thank you for sharing your new book ending the series with us. Sometimes I wonder if authors miss their characters they’ve written about in series. I know I do. Beautiful book cover.

  5. Sometimes I think we are smarter, then someone does something that reminds us that some things might not have changed as much as we thought. Thank you for teaching me some new information that I was unaware of, which is Native Americans and voting. We have to learn from our history and grow from there. If we don’t teach that history, we will make the same mistakes, and treatment of some people won’t change.

  6. Always good to read about strong women and the brave actions they take. Helen Hunt Jackson sounds like quite a woman. I hope we are making progress today but most of the time it feels like a step forward and several steps back. I just don’t understand how people can be so hateful. Thanks for the chance to win, sounds so interesting.

    • It’s true, it often feels like one step forward and two back, but better than no steps forward at all. Jesus told us to love God and love others. We can do neither when we are hurting His children.

  7. Captivating and interesting post. Thanks for your great books. It is sad when we have to confront this again and again.

  8. Thanks for the wonderful post. Helen Hunt Jackson sounds like a very interesting lady. I’d like to learn more about her. I wish we could all just get along together, but I know that won’t happen in this fallen, sinful world. I love your books and have many in my collection. This series is on my want to read list. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to start it soon.

  9. I did not know Native Americans didn’t fully have the right to vote until 1962! Yet, they fought for this nation during WW2. Amazing. That just proves that the IDEAS this country were founded on cross boundaries. Thanks for sharing all this. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while!

  10. Hey Tracie! Thank you for sharing this fascinating post on Helen Hunt Jackson. I’m looking forward to reading more about her.

  11. It seems like there is more hate in our country based on race or ethnicity today than there was in the 1970’s and ’80’s. It is truly sad to see. Helen Hunt Jackson sounds like an interesting person. Time for me to do some research and find out more about her.

  12. I was just thinking of that the other day, how it almost seems worse now than in the 1960’s. Maybe because since we’ve had our eyes opened to it once before, it’s worse that we have to be reminded again.

  13. Welcome Tracie. I think you are so right about this: “somewhere along the way many have forgotten God called us to love one another—to treat others as better than ourselves.” This is what God tells us to do. We need to constantly look up at Him and obey. I love your writing style. Sadly I have not read any of this series and would love to. This cover is so pretty.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  14. Hi Tracie, you are a new to me author, nice to meet you. I Love the sound of your book. Yes racism is so not right. Unfortunately racism has pretty much been around for a long time and now it doesn’t seem like it has gotten any better. It is so very sad that there is racism, and yes I agree alot of people have forgotten that God created us and that he loves us all equally and we are all created equal. Some people just don’t make any sense and that is so sad and hurtful to God especially and to our own selves. I will never understand why some people think that they are better than others. Your book cover is Beautiful. Have a Great weekend and stay safe. God bless you and your family. Thank you for writing a book that sounds very inspirational and will help some people better people.

  15. Really interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

    Seems like the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Your books sound really good and I have added your name to my TBR list. Always looking for new authors to read.

  16. So much that is wrong has been done, and continues to be done against the native peoples of our country. Even those who adopted the ways of the whites were not safe from losing what they had and being persecuted. After the discovery of gold in California, the next 20 years saw over 8,000 Native people were murdered by civilians and the army. A bounty offered for each one killed led to the cold blooded murder of men, women, and children. Can you imagine your children playing in the yard being shot and killed, and having the local government reward the murderers? All over the country, children were taken from families, tribes were moved from their homelands, and they were denied basic rights. It is a good thing there were people like Helen Hunt Jackson to fight for their rights and preserve their cultures. I wasn’t aware of the Bureau of American Ethnology. It is a good thing they were able to save so much. I am sure the information helped those of tribes had surviving members rebuild their culture.
    Thank you so much for the information in your post. There is so much in our nations history that we know little about and so much to be ashamed of. Have an enjoyable Autumn. Stay safe and healthy.

  17. Good morning. I’m behind on blogs and this was an awesome one!! I’d like to think that we’ve learned from our past mistakes but when 2020 hit us like a brick to the face I’ve begun to think that we haven’t learned near what we should have. I worried that with all that is going on with the riots, looting, anti-police officer rhetoric etc. that racism is taking a head in the wrong direction. As is true in history, we are even forgetting that some of the worst treated in our country has been the American Indians.

    I’ve never read any of your books yet and this sounds like an awesome series! I’d love the opportunity to read it! A giveaway is an awesome way to find a new author to add to my go to authors list! Stay safe in these uncertain times.

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