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The Bard

1703 or 1704???

The long march

Who/What? Is Andrew?

The Raid

Old Deerfield Road

Now available in Print and Kindle on

St. Clair Flats


Father Gabriel Richard

Woodward's plan for new Detroit

Seal of Detroit

Sacagawea's Child

Toussaint Charbonneau

Route of Lewis and Clark

Statue of Antoine Cadillac, Detroit

Lewis and Clark Journal

Book Five


Hamtramck takes control of Detroit for America

Anthony Wayne

Battle of Saratoga

Brown's Tavern on Harsens Island

Chief Pontiac

The St. Clair Flats, Lake St. Clair

Voyageurs route west

Old Detroit seen from across the Detroit River

Niagara Falls

Detroit Public Library home of Burton Collection

Old Detroit seen from across the Detroit River

The Maroon Bells

The walk to Longshot

The stack from hell

Sleeping Ariadne

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The most expensive route



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Old Citadel of Quebec

General Braddock

Forks of the Ohio River

Michigan Habitant Heritage

Vérendrye monument

Pierre Roy


Book Three: Peace and War

Detroit today

LaSalle's Boat: The Griffin

Replica of old Fort Michillimackinac today. Mackinac Bridge came later.

Antoine Cadillac

Charlesbourg, Quebec St. Charles de Bromee Cemetery Today

Book Five: The City in the Wilderness

Relations of the Jesuits

Jesuits in Quebec


The Allards Book Two: The Hunter

Opiates can ruin lives

Coming Next The Pain Doc

An old home near the Cass Corridor that gave me the inspiration for the Tower Light Mission.

Detroit Public Library, Main Branch

Department of Justice

Hilberry Theater on Wayne State University campus

A treasure on the Cass Corridor

From the Cass Corridor

The Corridor

Book Seven: The Witch

Book Eight: The Chief

Francois* Allard

Quebec City

Detroit Public Library, Main Branch

Driving force of New France - The beaver

Winter in Quebec

Madeleine de Roybon with the Filles de Roi

Les Filles de Roi

Artanne sur Indre: Church and Abbey

Artannes sur Indre

Filles de Roi in 1667

Here is an idealized painting of Les Filles du Roi arriving in Quebec.

Cliffs of Etretat, last view of France as Francois sails to the New World.

Charnel house and old plague cemetery, Rouen, Normandie, France.

Researching in Blacqueville


Reverend John Williams II

July 27, 2015

Tags: Fearful Passage North, John Williams

More about Reverend John Williams:
Williams graduated from Harvard College in 1683, was ordained and went to Deerfield in 1688, eight years before the arrival of the Price family. This location at the end of the frontier was odd for a man of his stature, but he felt it was his calling. It seems he tended his flock with discipline as a good Puritan minister would while allowing for the peculiarities of the setting. I tried to reflect this in FEARFUL PASSAGE NORTH.
He lived at home with his wife, two daughters, and five sons. During the raid his home was burned, and two of his children were killed. The remainder of the family was taken hostage. His wife, Eunice, had just given birth a few weeks before the raid and could not keep up with the march. Early in the ordeal, she was killed with a Mohawk ax for falling while crossing a river.

Reverend John Williams

July 25, 2015

Tags: Fearful Passage North, Reverend John Williams

Reverend John Williams
Was the Deerfield raid really about capturing the minister?

History seems to think so. Indian raids on the towns of the New England Frontier were quite common. Their purpose was to keep the English from advancing on the western lands, taking captives for profit or revenge, and keeping the English off balance enough to prevent an invasion of Quebec. Even though he ministered at the ends of civilization, Reverend John Williams was somewhat renowned if for nothing more than his family. His wife, Eunice, was a niece of the Reverends Increase and Cotton Mather and John’s nephew was Jonathan Edwards.
During this period, both French and English used privateers, independent ship captains who would raid the other side’s ships and keep the military at bay. This was especially important for the French to protect access to the St. Lawrence River. The most famous and feared French Privateer was Pierre Maisonnat dit Baptiste. In 1704 he was held prisoner by the English on Castle Rock near Boston. The French needed him and his pirating skills desperately, and conceived the capture of this famous clergyman as a means of negotiating Baptiste’s release in an exchange.

Winter in Montreal

July 16, 2015

Tags: Fearful Passage North, Questions, winter

Winter in the city
Are winters really that bad in Montreal?
An interesting question on a 90 degree day in Port Huron.
Quebec winters are often worse but Montreal, as well as Vermont, can be bad. Lows of 5 degrees Fahrenheit are common as well as daily snowfalls as great as 45 cm. The average annual snow fall is 82.5 inches with the greatest recorded year 150 inches (almost 12 feet!)
The all-time low recorded temperature was -36 degrees Fahrenheit (Brrr).

Robert Price

July 11, 2015

Tags: Fearful Passage North, Robert Price

More Questions: Was Robert Price really a drunk?

I was probably a bit harsh with Robert’s character, but what little history we have is not particularly laudatory. There is no information on Robert’s parents or his origin so I assume he emigrated alone from somewhere on the British Isles. The only existing record about Robert pre-Deerfield is from 1734, thirty years after the raid. It is a list of men who fought in the Battle of Turner’s Falls and offers him or any surviving sons the opportunity to claim land in Deerfield which was again growing. This would have applied to Samuel, but neither he nor Robert ever made a claim.
The Battle of Turner’s Falls in 1676 was a one-day debacle when a group of New England militia and volunteers raided a group of Indians camping near the falls. Many were killed on each side and nothing more came of the raid. It is unknown if these natives were in anyway involved in any previous hostilities in Deerfield. It is from this document that some historians suggested Robert may have been a soldier, but he was more likely a temporary member of a militia.
Robert is next seen in history when he shows up in Northampton to marry the widowed Sarah Field in 1677. Their first child was stillborn followed by successful births of Mary, Elizabeth and Samuel. There is no record that Robert owned land in Northampton before he moved his family to the poorer town of Deerfield between 1692 and 1700. I suspect it was closer to the earlier date.
The records of Deerfield show Robert owning a small, low value farm and a woodlot. The church records record him as Episcopalian rather than Independent (Puritan). This would reflect badly on his position in the community. There is no record of Robert after the raid of 1704 other than he survived. He is never again found in the records of Deerfield or anywhere else in New England including burial ground records. The next census of Deerfield in 1715 does not include him. Most importantly, he is one of the only, if not the only, survivor of the raid who made no attempt to contact or redeem his lost family members.
His son, Samuel, chose to return to New England in 1714, but instead of Deerfield, went to Connecticut where his half-brothers, Ebenezer and John Field had settled. He apparently made no effort to contact his father or respond to the offer of land from the Battle of Turner’s Falls.

Fictional Characters

July 4, 2015

Tags: Fearful Passage North, Questions, fictional characters

The Raid
More questions: If this is a true story, were all the characters real people?

It is a true story and almost everyone in the book is based on an actual person using their real name. Fictitious characters and those based on people whose names are unknown include Potter, the tavern owner, his sister Lenore, Moses Gunn, Willard Otis, Sister Marie-Angelique, Sister Marie-Clare, LeDuc and LeMieux.
There was a tavern in Deerfield and I only have the name of the first owner, Potter is my invention. His wayward sister, Lenore, is a fabrication who helped me develop the character of Robert Price. (I have had lots of questions about Robert and will deal them in a future blog). There was a shop/trading post as well as a Moses Gunn, but I don’t think he was in Deerfield at this time. The names of the two nuns are my invention although it is likely such people existed. Sister Marguerite Roi is real and did work with the Indian missions. Her mother and family, including her outrageous brother, Pierre, are real. I have used Pierre in two of the Allard books and portrayed him as a larger-than-life stereotypical voyager. He was possibly among the first men in Detroit before Cadillac, and did have an Indian wife. I have taken some liberties in developing his wonderful personality. He is ancestor to a number of Canadians and Americans and I hope they enjoy him as much as I do. Two historically unnamed Frenchmen accompanied Jacques de Noyon to Deerfield and were taken hostage to Montréal. I have given them the names LeDuc and LeMieux as well as their wonderful characters.

Selected Works

French-Canadian-Detroit history
Here it comes: Philomene’s Doll Six years after the American Civil War ended, six-year-old Philomene sees her mother die horribly in childbirth. Soon she is sent from her home near Detroit to Belle-River, Canada, where, following a series of moves to various families and convents, she ultimately finds a stable home near the place of her birth and marries a young man. Together they build a successful farm and begin a family. We follow her through Prohibition, the Great Depression, and two World Wars, raising a large and varied family through the best and the worst of times. All along, she is comforted and stimulated by a simple rag doll that was the single great gift of her childhood. Based on a true story, it’s a tale of the highest and lowest points of a long life. You will not want to miss it! If you enjoyed 1634-Return to the New World, The Beaver Wars, Fearful Passage North, The Allard Series, or other novels by Dr. Kreis, you will love this one.
Historical Fiction Novel
Gravely wounded at the end of 1634-Return to the New World, Françoise Langlois must fight for her life while the fledgling French colony of Québec must fight for its as the Indian nations enlarge their wars with each other along their new European neighbors. Follow Françoise along with her French-Canadian compatriots as they struggle against all odds to retain and grow their place in the New World.
Historical fiction novel.
An enigmatic young woman emerges from a life of bad circumstances and worse luck, finding herself with a small group of French families traveling to the New world where they will prosper as the early prominent families of Canada.
Historical fiction
1704, the Puritan Massachusetts frontier: The small village of newly wed Elizabeth Price is raided by Indians. She is taken along with 100 of her neighbors and marched through the brutal snows of winter to Montreal where she must begin a new life.
Fiction, Medical intrigue
Convinced they are receiving the finest of care, seniors are being trapped in an inescapable maze while Medicare is being bilked for billions.
Greed and lust breed outrageous healthcare fraud in the rich suburbs of The Motor City.
Fast-paced thriller of outrageous healthcare fraud set in Detroit's inner city.
A young man leaves his home in France for the unknown wilderness of Quebec.
Historical Fiction
Jean-Baptiste Allard follows Antoine Cadillac to the frontiers of New France.
The Allard family battles in vain to save Quebec from the British.
Young Jacques Allard leaves Quebec forever to follow the wilderness ultimately making his family home in the outpost of Detroit.
Jacques Allard and his son follow Lewis and Clark to the sea, returning to find Detroit in ashes.
Young widow, Therese Allard, finds romance and adventure while helping to build Detroit's famous Underground Railroad.
Detroit's young men march off to join the Civil War, returning to began the Industrial Revolution
Detroit during Prohibition, the Great Depression and two World Wars becomes the Motor City.

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