The descendant of Montana homesteaders, Miantae Metcalf McConnell, born and raised in California, spent childhood summers in Montana on her grandparents’ farm. She rode horseback, fished for trout and listened to her grandparents when they took momentary respites from continual hard work—leaned back at local grain elevators, quilting bees, cattle auctions or county fairs—conversed with friends and neighbors regarding politics and people who were different, not like them.
Presently residing in Montana, the author became aware of Mary Fields in 2002. Believing that the actual history of this regional legend had to be more remarkable than residual embellished and fabricated accounts, she decided to investigate.
The endeavor led her to research throughout the United States for over a decade. McConnell wove inherent knowledge of Montana with her historical discoveries into Deliverance Mary Fields, a chronicle of Montana pioneers and the personal story of Mary Fields.
1885. Emancipated slave, Mary Fields, rushes to the Montana wilderness, saves her friend’s life and remains, surviving inclement weather, peril and plots against her while helping Ursuline nuns and native american girls to survive. Employing strategy, grit and goodwill toward her community for thirty years, Mary Fields manifests a personal vision of rightful independence before her death in 1914.