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The Penobscot Man - Life and Death on a Maine River (Paperback)

The Penobscot Man - Life and Death on a Maine River By Tommy Carbone, Fannie Hardy Eckstorm Cover Image
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"These are strange stories, but they well up out of the hearts of men, and in them are the issues of life. Men do not perish alone, unknown, forsaken, forgotten. The constitution of the universe forbids. The truth about them must leap out some time, and be written on the skies like the flashes of the midnight Aurora; somewhere it is to be known what they were, where they failed, wherein they made their conquests, - their treachery, their faithfulness - their cowardice, their courage - their shamelessness, their honor - but most of all and longest enduring, their better parts."

Those words, written by Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, describe the essence of why she originally wrote about the river drivers she termed, The Penobscot Man. Eckstorm knew the ways of the Maine woods and the woodsmen, as individuals for their character, and how they lived their lives. She chose to document the river drivers specifically as their ways working on the river was changing.

Aside from documenting these stories, in 1891 she traveled deep into the forest, the first woman to accompany the men on a log drive. During this trip, she not only documented her experience for this book, but she was also a photographer.

Imagine what that was like. With no roads to get there, they paddled a canoe more than fifty miles. They carried their gear, more than thirty miles, including her camera and glass plates, when a camera was the size of luggage. She was not a city-dweller going to the woods for a picnic. Fannie Hardy Eckstorm was a Maine explorer of the strongest kind, and she was a wicked good writer.

When she traveled to the woods to document the log drive, it was a time before chainsaws, before even carriage roads reached the lumber operations, and before even steamers pulled logs across the upper lakes. During her time, all the work was done by hand. These stories are not a mechanical telling of the labor and methods being done. In true Eckstorm fashion she weaves interesting and memorable tales to tell the history.

During her trip there was not only the danger from the river and the wilderness. While she was there, she had to be on guard for a poacher who had threatened to shoot her.

A 1904 reviewer of the book in The Literary World wrote, "It seems to us that 'The Penobscot Man' should in twenty-five years, be a valuable 'human document, ' for the life, the men, and the deeds, ring true."

Tommy wrote, "The stories in this book represent an important part of Maine history and the people who made that history. Eckstorm knew this when she was writing, and she anticipated that documenting this way of life would be important before it was lost to obscurity. She was correct and I am pleased to release this book for lovers of history and the great storytelling. The editing of this book has been the most challenging of my projects to date for releasing a Maine classic and I am sure you will enjoy the stories as much as I have enjoyed updating them."

This annotated book now includes original writing from Maine author, Tommy Carbone. There are added stories about Jack Mann and John Ross, two of Maine's most famous rivermen. To this edition, Carbone has added an appendix that analyzes Eckstorm's journal notes, never before released, that tell more of the renegade poacher that threatened to kill her, and her father, Manly. Maine lumbermen ballads have also been included.

Tommy Carbone is a Maine author who writes mystery and non-fiction. Maine's Journal Tribune Book Corner review, stated, "Carbone is a natural story teller. His description and dialogue make the characters come alive. The reader feels they are getting to know the real people of Maine."

Product Details
ISBN: 9781954048188
ISBN-10: 1954048181
Publisher: Burnt Jacket Publishing
Publication Date: March 31st, 2022
Pages: 364
Language: English