The Travels of Increase Joseph: A Historical Novel about a Pioneer Preacher

Paperback | July 11, 2010

byJerry Apps

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Plum Falls, New York, 1840s: Dismissed from Harvard Divinity School for his liberal views, Increase Joseph Link arrives home with a heavy heart. He gives up his dream of becoming a minister to settle for life on the farm, until the day he is struck by lightning and hears a voice telling him to rise and speak. Heeding that voice, Increase becomes a preacher, advocating for environmental protection and the end of slavery and war. His growing band of followers calls itself the Standalone Fellowship, and they accompany him on his move west to Wisconsin, to a place of better land and opportunity.
    Link Lake, Wisconsin, 1852: Preacher Increase Link and the Standalone Fellowship settle near a lake that they name in his honor. Increase’s gifted tongue calls people to his mission to protect the land: “Unless we take care of the land we shall all perish.” To finance the fellowship activities, Increase sells his special cure-all tonic—fifty cents per bottle!
    Inspired by actual events that took place in upstate New York and Wisconsin in the mid-nineteenth century, The Travels of Increase Joseph is the first in Jerry Apps’s series set in fictional Ames County, Wisconsin. The four novels in the series—which also includes In a Pickle, Blue Shadows Farm, and the forthcoming Cranberry Red—all take place around Link Lake at different points in history. They convey Apps’s deep knowledge of rural life and his own concern for land stewardship.

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From the Publisher

Plum Falls, New York, 1840s: Dismissed from Harvard Divinity School for his liberal views, Increase Joseph Link arrives home with a heavy heart. He gives up his dream of becoming a minister to settle for life on the farm, until the day he is struck by lightning and hears a voice telling him to rise and speak. Heeding that voice, Increa...

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His other novels are In a Pickle, Blue Shadows Farm, and the forthcoming Cranberry Red. His many nonfiction books include Every Farm Tells a Story, Old Farm, Country Wisdom, One-Room Country Schools, Cheese, Breweries of Wisco...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:July 11, 2010Publisher:University of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299247546

ISBN - 13:9780299247546

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

The Truth of the Matter
1 Tossed Out
2 Lightning Strikes
3 Preaching
4 Leaving Home
5 Buffalo
6 Onward to the West
7 Naming the Lake
8 Village of Link Lake
9 Henry and Abigail
10 Tent Preaching
11 Not Listening
12 First Winter
13 The People From Pow-Aw-Hay-Kon-Nay
14 Spiritual Challenge
15 Cheyenne Valley
16 Underground Railroad
17 Isaac and Caroline
18 Slave Catchers
19 Sandstorm
20 A Nation At War With Itself
21 War Troubles
22 Vision Quest
23 The Broadax Situation
24 Milk Cows
25 Fire at Peshtigo
26 Increase Joseph Recovers
29 World’s Fair
30 Transition
Acknowledgments

Editorial Reviews

“Jerry Apps is a born storyteller and observant historian of rural life.”—Midwest Book Review