Timeless Tuesday: History of My Setting

In my upcoming novel, the story begins in St. Louis, Missouri in 1860. The city of St. Louis was founded by Pierre Laclede Liguest on February 15, 1764.

St. Joseph, Missouri is where my main character moves in Chapter two. At this time, St. Joseph was already a fairly busy town with the California Gold Rush bringing people east to west in 1848 and the railroad having been established in St. Joseph in 1859. 1860 saw the beginning of the Pony Express in St. Joseph which was the eastern end of the Pony Express route. As a matter of fact, on April 3, 1860, the day the Pony Express made its first delivery, the first rider left from St. Joseph.

Because of St. Joseph’s location near the Missouri River, St. Joseph would continue to grow in the following years.

In my novel, you will note that I took some “creative liberties” since I write “historical fiction”, and when my character arrives in St. Joseph, it is not yet a large, busy town, but that begins to change about halfway through the novel.

Timeless Tuesday: History Related to my Novel

MISSOURI — 1860

My first Historical Romance story is set in Missouri in 1860. I have completed my first draft and am currently working on revisions.

In the beginning of my novel, my main character has been living in St. Louis, Missouri for several years. The above map is an 1860 map of Missouri with the railroad running through the middle of it. St. Louis is near the bottom right corner of the above map.

My MC (main character) gets a job that requires him to go to Hannibal, Missouri to get on a train that will take him to St. Joseph, Missouri, which will be his new home. Hannibal is on the right end of the railroad line and St. Joseph is on the left end of the railroad line.

My MC will also spend time in Seneca, Kansas, which is not on this map, although you can see Kansas here.

1860 is during the time of the Old West. There are cowboys, towns are just being established and settled, there’s the Pony Express, and the start of the telegraph lines. There are Indian uprisings as well. Most of the land is still untamed. In just one year the Civil War will begin.

All of these things will have an impact on the characters in my novel.