Ruth Eliza Murray, after several weeks aboard the Telegraph traveling from Ashtabula, Ohio to the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, stands looking out to the west, anticipating her new life with her family.
The cover was the creation of Kate's husband, Don Gingold. Here is his description of his work.
I wanted to combine all the elements of their journey; to include both the voyage on the Telegraph and the continuation on conestoga wagons. Their time at Fort Dearborn seemed the natural choice.
Of course, Ruth had to stand out, but there also had to be the Lake, the ship, the wagon in the picture. And for us boys, I put Amos in there too! What better place to put Amos than pretending to drive the wagon. No adults? No, since the story is written from the kids' perspective.
There's a famous painting, at least in Naperville circles, by Les Schrader, that shows Captain Joe Naper leading, by horseback, a wagontrain of settlers away from Fort Dearborn and the lake. As I began putting the image together, I started thinking about that painting, and what I created is in homage to Les.
How did I do it? I'm more a graphic artist than a sketcher or painter. I took photos and blended them together. For instance, I took photos of the wagon and the fort at Naper Settlement; a photo of the sky, of a lake, then used a stock photo of a schooner, and blended them all together. The people? Amos is a composite of the body of a boy sitting on a barrel and the head of my nephew Zack. And Ruth is our daughter Emily several years ago in her costume as Junior Interpreter at Naper Settlement.
It was a lot of fun to make it all work, and I'm really humbled by the compliments it's received. Of course, it's only the cover. It gets much better inside!