O Beulah Land (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Hannah Bridewell, a transported felon and escaped Indian captive. Wiry and resilient, Hannah is able to adapt readily to the frequent violent changes in her life. As a young prostitute in London, she befriends “Squire” Josiah Devotion Raglan, saving him from many unpleasant incidents during their incarceration. After she is transported, sold to a settler, and captured by Indians, Hannah uses her instincts to survive for weeks in the wilderness. After her marriage to Jeremiah Catlett, she uses her natural cunning to establish a successful farm and family in Beulah.
Jeremiah Catlett, a solitary squatter in western Virginia. Although he abjures human company before Hannah’s arrival, her presence and, later, the needs of their children convince Jeremiah to coexist with the other settlers in Beulah. His actions are all pointed toward the protection of his family and land, however, rather than toward the interests of the community.
“Squire” Josiah Devotion Raglan
“Squire” Josiah Devotion Raglan, Hannah’s fellow prisoner in England, who is transported and purchased by a young dandy, Peregrine Cockburn. After the untimely death of his master at the hands of Indians, Raglan, in the guise of a lawyer, turns to fleecing ignorant settlers of their land rights and money. He eventually receives his just deserts...
(The entire section is 508 words.)
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