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OK I am seeking all opinions ~ In writing historical fiction is it ok to go with a myth of a story even if it doesn't match up with the historical facts? I am stuck in my research and just want to st…

OK I am seeking all opinions ~

In writing historical fiction is it ok to go with a myth of a story even if it doesn't match up with the historical facts? I am stuck in my research and just want to start the story.   The problem is that this story I have heard does not line up with the facts I have heard.

I know that my several great grand mother was full blood cherokee.  The story is that she was adopted off of the trail of tears.  Problem: Dorcus Tabitha "Morning Star" Atterbury is shown in all records to have been born 1798-died in 1808.  Then there is record of this same person marrying Caleb Briggs in 1830 and children born after.  The Trail of tears happened in 1831 - 1839.  Dorcas "Morning Star's" father James Atterbury was rumored to have been in the army, all accounts point to militia as there is no formal record of his service.

I am thinking that a child died at the age of 12 named Dorcas and was replaced by a cherokee child of the same age?  I am so totally confused!  But the trail of tears must have been a mistake by those passing down the story?  

I have also found a record of a Dorcas "Morning star" in a different ancestry record who was adopted by a white family.  This story goes that the mother escaped from the trail of tears and was cared for by a missionary couple.  The mother was ill and when she passed away the couple raised the child as white.  this account is about the same timeline and the birth/death of this girl does not line up with the trail of tears.  I question if this could be the same story or just a similar one?? 

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Comment by Daniel Peterson on February 16, 2014 at 9:52pm

The key word is "fiction".  I suggest you pick whatever chain of evidence you need to write the most compelling story you can.  Historians don't always get it right.  Tell a good story and, who knows, it might turn out to be what really happened.

Dan

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