Civil War-Era Vigilante Violence Highlighted in New Historical Novel

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T. Gerald Delaney brings the violent nature of the 1800s criminal punishment to the forefront in his new book.

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Sixteen-year-old Billy Mayfair, kicked out of his home in Illinois by his father, sets out to pan for gold in a remote mining camp in the Civil War-era novel by author T. Gerald Delaney, “Where Have You Gone, Billy Mayfair?: A Novel of the Vigilante West” (published by iUniverse).

“Where Have You Gone, Billy Mayfair?” is a story of adventure and self-discovery set in the time of the American Civil War and vigilante violence. Billy travels across the country with dreams of making it rich in gold mining. When he reaches St. Louis, he loses his money and virginity, gets in a fight, and lands himself in jail.

Upon his release, he works at a Union hospital and saves up enough money to book passage on a steamer headed for Montana. There he pans for gold in the wild, hard-drinking town of Bannack, where he befriends a sheriff bound to become the most notorious outlaw in Montana’s history. What Billy doesn’t know is the nation’s worst anti-vigilante campaign is close at hand and he is in the thick of it – 21 men are hanged in less than a month’s time.

“I was moved to write the book because I saw both a false historical record which lionized the vigilantes and I recognized an opportunity to show how the official record was distorted,” Delaney says. “It was a clear example of how the victors twisted history to their advantage.”

Where Have You Gone, Billy Mayfair?
By T. Gerald Delaney
Hardcover | 5.5 x 8.5 in | 228 pages | ISBN 9781440187742
Softcover | 5.5 x 8.5 in | 228 pages | ISBN 9781440187728
E-Book | 228 pages | ISBN 9781440187735
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

T. Gerald Delaney grew up in Polson, Montana. After discovering through extensive research that the official record of the Montana vigilantes was based on a lie, he created his own version of what happened at that time. He previously adapted a book by Albert Camus to the stage and has been an editor, teacher, freelancer, and essayist throughout his career. He now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his companion Deon Hilger.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, LLC self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

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