From the Ashes (Bon Marche, Vol 2)
Author: Chet Hagan
- slavery stud farm
Publisher: Tor Books
Details: When Charles Dewey came to Nashville he began building Bon Marche. As his plantation grew, so did the city. By 1846, Nashville was a commercial center, and Bon Marche was one of America's most important stud farms. Even though Charles was dead, the management of the plantation continued in his tradition, guided by the iron hand of his daughter Alma May, shrewd and demanding, Alma May saw to it that the Dewey dream was fulfilled, while at the same time fulfilling dreams of her own, much to the joy of the gossip-mongers who watched her affairs. Talk of her lovers was soon forgotten, as the country talked of something else, something which affected them all, the right of the states to decide what was best for them, and the right to hold slaves. With talk of war there came other problems for members of the family are beginning to seek other directions, to look for other avenues to increase the clan's fortunes. With her approval, Bon Marche becomes bigger, with farms in Kentucky and on Long Island. Tempering the joy is tragedy: violence and a fire that destroys the mansion begin to take their toll on Alma May, and with the outbreak of the war, she begins to see things crumble as family members follow conscience rather than her dictates. They are, first and foremost, all part of the Dewey clan, and from the ashes of war, Bon Marche will build again. For the nation could be likened to a runaway wagon plunging down a steep hill, the horse having bolted from the shaft, the brake pad burned away, facing a certain grinding crash among the boulders at the bottom of the precipice. Like it or not, favored or not, the Deweys could not halt the plunging wagon.