Books

David P. Bridges is the author of four books and has one on the way. Each is an example of the literary historical genre he teaches at Woodmont Writers Enclave.

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Eden’s Clan

The Thomases, a large and prosperous pioneering and agrarian clan, settled in Southwest, Virginia in 1761. Two generations after settlement the family patriarch, John Lafayette Thomas, and his family migrated from Smyth County, Virginia, to Burke's Garden, a garden of "Eden" located in adjacent Tazewell County. A deeply faithful man, John and his wife, Elizabeth, raised their eight children with a God-fearing Lutheran faith. However, this was no assurance that life itself would treat the clan well.

The seven sons were raised to be hunters, farmers and protectors of the clan in a harmonious community of neighbors who were friendly and always available to lend a hand in this utopian world. They all found romance and adventure in their remote mountainous homeland and, occasionally, encounters with death that they had not bargained for.

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Evan Shelby Jr.: Settler, Soldier and Trader A Novel

On October 23, 1720, Evan Shelby, Jr., the son of Evan, Sr., was baptized at Tregaron,
Cardiganshire, Wales. In 1734, Evan Shelby, Sr. and his wife, Catherine Morgan, came to the
Colonies and settled on a large Land Grant in Clear Spring, west of Hagerstown, Maryland.
Evan, Jr. grew up a rough and tumble outdoorsman and woodsman who knew how to hunt,
kill and survive in a frontier world. He enlisted in General Braddock’s 1755 Campaign of the
French and Indian War and served valiantly. In 1774, he commanded the Fincastle Company
of Virginians in Lord Dunmore’s War, and he fought the Cherokee Indians with Daniel Boone
at the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774.

Upon the opening of the American Revolutionary War for Independence, Virginia Governor
Patrick Henry, appointed him major and on December 21, 1776, he was appointed colonel of
the newly created Washington County, Virginia, Militia. In 1779, he led an expedition
against the Chickamauga Indian towns on the lower Tennessee River. On October 7, 1780,
Shelby and his volunteer militia joined a thousand frontiersmen in the march on the British
commander Colonel Patrick Ferguson. The Battle of King’s Mountain, in South Carolina,
resulted in the loss of British Colonel Patrick Ferguson from the small mountaintop. He and
his son, Colonel Issac Shelby, who became the first governor of Kentucky, were among the
Colonials who fought gallantly. Historians have reported this monumental battle against
the British turned the course of the War in the Southern region, which ultimately led to the
surrender of British General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.

In 1781, Shelby was elected a member of the North Carolina Senate, and by 1786 the North
Carolina Assembly appointed him Brigadier General of Militia of the Washington District of
North Carolina. On October 29, 1787, he resigned as brigadier general, and this was the last of
his public service. He died in 1793 and was buried in Bristol, Tennessee.

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ROBERT BRIDGES ‘DROCH’ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF EXTRAODINAIRE WITH CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS 1887-1939 The Dean of American Letters

In 1815, John Bridges, Robert Bridges’ father, was born in Fife County, Scotland. In 1838, at the age of twenty-three, he immigrated to America from the Port of Kirkcaldy, Scotland. This small seaside town was home to the Lowlander Bridges Clan. One of the offspring of John and Mary was going to decidedly fall on the side of the pendulum of genius and he was destined to become a part of the intelligentsia of the American elite establishment.

On July 13, 1858, Robert Bridges was born to John and Mary in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. In 1875, Bridges enrolled at the prestigious Princeton University. At a young age it was noted that games of the mind were Bridges’ forte. The pursuit of the intellect and the development of his mind to genius was determined to be in the future of Robert’ life. Bridges first work as an editor and reporter was for the New York Evening Post and he did an excellent job. In February 1887, Bridges accepted a call to become Assistant Editor of Scribner’s Sons Magazine in New York City.
Bridges remained close to both Roosevelt and his classmate Wilson in his early years at Charles Scribner’s Sons. A historian recalled “Bridges loyalties were remarkable and sometimes conflicting. How, for instance he continued an equal devotion toward Theodore Roosevelt and his old Princeton roommate Woodrow Wilson was incredible.” His political instincts and his ability to establish contacts with multiple White House administrations, including Taft’s, was remarkable. Bridges was invited to the White House many times during his tenure at Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Bridges lived at the University Club of New York City and by 1914 the Editor-in-Chief, Edward Burlingame, retired from Scribner’s Magazine, the most important literary magazine in the country. Bridges was promoted to Editor-in-Chief of Scribner’s Magazine. A historian stated, “The standard, under Robert Bridges, his successor, had not lapsed. The circulation has not dropped.” Bridges reviewed F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce among many authors of the “Lost Generation,” and even rejected one of Hemingway’s works because it was so depressing and dark, according to Bridges’ own critique. He serially published chapters of these great authors in the Magazine, which set a high bar for excellence; Bridges virtually selected who would be included in the pantheon of the great American cannon of literature.

The biography will ally Bridges with these literary greats as they become friends and share their lives stories; the author’s extraordinary lives and personalities will be developed through the perspective of their friend and Editor-In-Chief of a Magazine that was a trailblazer in literary excellence and critique.

Robert Bridges retired in 1930 from active editorship at Charles Scribner’s Sons and became Literary Advisor until 1939. He then moved back to his boyhood home in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. In his elder statesman years, he reflected on the Confederate Cavalrymen he saw who rode through the town square and the guns of Picket’s Charge which he heard in his ninth year in Shippensburg. In 1941, he died in his home having given his life to the development of the American intelligentsia elite culture.

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The Broken Circle

Against the backdrop of the Civil War, Dr./Major James Breathed chooses the Cause of the Confederacy over medicine. But will that decision cost him the love of his life? James is swept away into a tragic American war created by divisions between the northern states and the southern states. He was born in Virginia but now living in the border state of Maryland, and he is forced to choose sides in the war.

The novel tragically sets up the paradoxical inner conflict of his relating to saving life as a doctor versus destroying life as a soldier. He re-channels his genius from medical to master warrior of death and destruction. The novel is explosively full of historically accurate battle scenes and all the characters are real historical people. Mollie Macgill, his female equivalent, utilizes her espionage talents as the two fall in love throughout the course of the war. She struggles to maintain her way of life and preserve her family, as the war tears her emotionally apart, she despairs and becomes disheartened.

"Thank you! What an interesting, educated and dynamic man!! I know our viewers appreciated having him on as much as we did. Many thanks!"     Kelly Jones, WPMI Local 15 News

Fighting With JEB Stuart: Major James Breathed and the Confederate Horse Artillery

James Breathed was a Maryland physician who signed up for the Confederate Army at age 22. He fought under J.E.B. Stuart in the Horse Artillery in 15 battles.

Scrupulously researched, including diaries, paintings, documents and first-hand accounts elevates this biography to the first rank.

The Bridges of Washington County: Spanning Work and Nature

Robert Bridges, a second generation Scottish immigrant to western Maryland, made a fortune mining silica glass sand. His son, Henry Bridges, continued in the family business but his real love was the wild turkey. The Woodmont Rod and Gun Club was host to six American presidents, Babe Ruth, and Amos & Andy.

Since it was founded in 1870 Woodmont Club has entertained and provided a top hunting and fishing experience for all the dignitaries, Congressmen, and industrialists in America who have visited the friendly confines which Henry Bridges built and maintained.

The Best Coal Company In All Chicago, And How It Got That Way

Here is history from the bottom up.

Jacob Best emigrated from Prussia in 1869 to settle in Chicago. He carved out a life for himself and his family as a saloonkeeper in the Lake View neighborhood. By 1887 he had a well-established business, only to die and leave his four children destitute, thanks to a conniving stepmother. His two youngest children — a son, the second Jacob in this story, and a daughter — were even sent to an orphanage.

Though he had little formal education, Jacob in 1909 founded what would become one of the largest wholesale/retail coal businesses in the United States. Along the way, he established himself as a civic leader and philanthropist; Jacob also found true love that began with a chance encounter one day at Marshall Field & Company. This rags-to-riches story is must reading for anyone interested in some fascinating Chicago history.

The Woodmont Story

Here is a story of the founding of the finest hunting and fishing club in the country. The Woodmont Story is a complete history of the Woodmont Rod and Gun Club of Hancock, Maryland, written by Henry P. Bridges.

Henry P. Bridges was active in the operation of the club from 1908 through 1957. Bridges tells of the celebrities who visited the club, including six presidents of the United States and others high in Washington life. He also tells anecdotes connected with many of the long-time members of the club which are entertaining and reveal much about the club's origin and history. Woodmont has made a specialty of breeding wild turkeys, and Bridges tells much about how turkeys were bred and hunted, for he raised 60,000 wild turkeys during his life. This book will be of interest to the many conservationist of wild game, and they will get to know the patriarch of the man who brought the wild turkey back from extinction in North America. Woodmont is a shining example of the good times that a hunting and fishing club can bring to its members, their families, and their friends.

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