O Beulah Land Characters
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 at the hands of Jeremiah Catlett.
Jonathan Lacey, a provincial captain and planter. Deeply convinced that the future of his young nation depends on the settlement of its outlying areas, Jonathan successfully presides over the small community in Beulah and unsuccessfully tries to establish his family there.
Sally Lacey, his young and frivolous wife. Although she loves Jonathan, rears their children while he explores the western territory, and eventually follows him to their homestead, Sally is hurt and unhappy with life on the frontier. Her snobbish attitude angers the Beulah residents. After several incidents, she leaves Jonathan and returns to the old life that she knows and loves in the East.
(The entire section is 508 words.)