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Sometime In the mid-1820s, on a plantation in southern Virginia, a teenaged boy named Absalom Hendrick rode home to find that the white overseer had his beloved black mammy stripped to the waist and tied to a tree, and was whipping her violently.  Incensed, the young man snatched up an ax handle and struck the overseer on the head. The man went down, and, fearing he had killed him, Absalom released his mammy, then ran for his life.

Where he went, the family history does not record.  But by the end of 1826 he got word that the overseer had not died and Absalom returned home long enough to marry his sweetheart Sarah Trent in January 1827.  They were both nineteen. Disgusted with the institution of chattel slavery and everything connected to it, they immediately moved north to Ohio, then to Illinois, and settled at last in northeastern Kansas. There they were known as staunch abolitionists and Jayhawkers, they and their four children standing their ground through the assaults and privations of the Missouri-Kansas Border War and the American Civil War that followed, to the hazard of their property, their livelihood, and sometimes, their lives.  In a work of divine irony, God used an event that began with the torture of an innocent woman and the near-murder of a guilty man to instill in Absalom and all his children a conviction of the dignity of all mankind, the sacredness of human life, and the providence of God in the affairs of this world. 

Absalom Hendrick was my third great-grandfather and I stand in that tradition. Hendrick Hill Books is named in his memory, to acknowledge that although his act of rage against his father's overseer was wrong in the sight of God, yet the Lord's sovereign hand ordered it and all Absalom's subsequent life, good and bad, to work His righteous will.

He works this way with all of us, and that is the truth proclaimed in the fiction, poetry, and non-fiction published by Hendrick Hill Books. Although life "under the sun" can be dark, difficult, and often evil, the Lord of heaven and earth ordains, redeems, and guides all things to His glory and to the good of His people.

In Christ,
Katherine Horstman,
Owner and Creative Director
Hendrick Hill Books

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