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IHS Press Releases Young Adult Historical Fiction Book Targeting Middle School Social Studies Classes

December 13, 2023

In the latest book from the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) Press, “Families of Two Fires: Forging America’s Frontier, 1776-1832,” author Randall Wisehart tells a fictional version of the true tale of Richard Rue and George Holman, whose families came to Kentucky in 1776.

As part of George Rogers Clark’s militia, the young men fought the British and their Native allies in several battles, including at Vincennes, thus helping win the Revolutionary War. However, Indigenous warriors in the Ohio River Valley continued attacks on American settlements. Richard and George joined retaliatory excursions, helping burn down Native towns. On their last assignment, they were captured and adopted by Shawnee and “Mingo” bands. Here, they finally realized their adoptive tribes were fighting for their families, homes and cultures.

Years after escaping captivity, Richard and George reunited with their Native families when the Shawnee and Mingo were hunting on land near their Richmond, Ind., homesteads. The two sets of families enjoyed annual reunions until the Indigenous families were forcibly removed to the West “forever.”

“Families of Two Fires: Forging America’s Frontier, 1776-1832” is available through IHS’s Basile History Market and other places books are sold. For more information about the book or the IHS Press, call (317) 232-1882 or visit

About the Author

Randall Wisehart lives in Richmond, Ind., with his wife, Tammy Rhoades, and their retired racing greyhounds. Randall taught middle school language arts and high school English for 25 years. He was also Director of Graduate Programs in Education at Earlham College. He has previously written two historical fiction novels, “Luke’s Summer Secret” and “A Winding Road to Freedom,” about the Underground Railroad in Indiana and Ohio. He is also the author of “A Greyt Greyhound Rescue.”


Title:                            Families of Two Fires: Forging America’s Frontier, 1776-1832

Publisher:                   Indiana Historical Society Press

Pages:                         216

Size:                            6 x 9

Cover:                         Paperback

Publication Date:      November 2023

Cost:                            $14.95

Print ISBN:                  978-0-87195-477-0

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