The Legend of Chocorua in New Hampshire Folklore:
“In several versions, the legends sequence relates to the mysterious death of Chocorua’s son while in the care of a settler named Campbell. Suspicious of the cause, the Pequawket chieftain took revenge on the settler’s family. Then, in retaliation, Campbell killed Chocorua on the peak of the mountain now bearing his name.”
–The State of New Hampshire Historical Marker Sign on Rte.16
The historical novel Carved in Granite: Cornelius Campbell and the Legend of Chocorua delves into the haunting depths of New England's frontier, drawing inspiration from the Native American legend of Chocorua. Set in a foreboding era preceding the French and Indian War, the story unravels against the backdrop of an untamed wilderness after two centuries of warfare and pestilence.
The year is 1722 in the young Province of New Hampshire. Scottish pioneer Cornelius Campbell fulfills his vow to settle his family on the contested New England frontier. Haunted by the sacrifice of his brother at the battle of Sherrifmuir, he forges ahead, carving a life from the unforgiving wilderness that has broken so many before them.
Despite conflicts between the English and Abenakis, Cornelius builds trust with Chocorua, a Pequawket, whose family isolates themselves from hostilities yet remain tormented by the suffering their loved ones have endured. As Cornelius settles into this new reality, his strong-willed daughter, Grace, defies societal norms and develops an unbreakable bond with Chocorua’s son, Towamba. But, as their relationship blossoms, tensions rise when the Boston Assembly enacts the Scalp Act, setting off a chain reaction of violence across the region.
Unbeknownst to the two families, the outlaw Puddle brothers from Portsmouth are headed toward them, looking for scalps, on a misguided path to redemption. As violence engulfs the frontier, grievous losses and treacherous acts sow despair and confusion, pitting Cornelius against Chocorua in a race against time to save their families. The clues they unravel along the way lead them deeper into a web of secrets and deception, where the fates of their loved ones hang in the balance.
Based on the legend of Chocorua in New Hampshire folklore, Carved in Granite weaves a tale of hope forged from friendship, of the binding promise of young love and of sacrifice – the only currency with which death and time will barter.
“In writing a fictional account of the Chocorua story Jeremy Osgood has tackled the unknowable. Taking on the challenge of providing mythical “documentation” where there is none by utilizing the rich history of folklore and myth surrounding the Chocorua story as a tapestry into which he weaves his own version of the myth. Plausible, historically true to the realities of the period and sensitive to the cultural differences that made the outcome doomed to a tragic end. It’s a great read, especially for those who love NH folk tales, very sensitively written and quite believable as one possible through-line in a dangerous and savage time.” – Wayne D. King, NH Secrets, Legend and Lore published on InDepthNH.org -The NH Center for Public Interest Journalism.