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Dear America Wiki

Susanna pictured on the cover

All of the characters that appear in Seeds of Hope by Kristiana Gregory.

Main characters[]

Susanna Fairchild[]

Main article: Susanna Fairchild

Susanna Fairchild (born July 9, 1834)[1] was the younger sister of Clara, and the daughter of Dr. and Julia Fairchild. Her family decided to leave Missouri to join relatives in Oregon City. On the voyage, Susanna's mother was tragically swept away and drowned. Upon arriving in San Francisco, her father decided to join the gold rush. Susanna and Clara accompanied him on what turned out to be several harsh months in a miner's camp. The Fairchilds befriended several people, including Captain Clinkingbeard and Rosita Sepúlveda. Susanna also developed feelings for a young man, Sam James, whom her father had treated.

Supporting characters[]

Clara Fairchild[]

Clara Fairchild (c. 1832[2] — c. 1933)[3] was the elder sister of Susanna, and the first daughter born to Dr. and Julia Fairchild. Like her father and sister, Clara was devastated by her mother's death. She traveled to California with her family during the gold rush. During their time in the miner's camp, Clara developed feelings for Antonio. Though sad, she remained brave when she had to leave Antonio in order to go to Oregon with her family. As an adult, Clara never married. She opened an orphanage and became a beloved figure known as "Aunt Clara." She passed away at the age of one hundred and one.

Captain Clinkingbeard[]

Captain Clinkingbeard was a former sea captain. He was descended from an English pirate, Old Clinkingbeard, and six generations of "honest" sea captains. He lost his wife and two daughter to small pox After his sailors jumped ship, Captain Clinkingbeard hung a white flag and also joined the gold rush. He became a good and trusted friend of the Fairchild family. Clara and Susanna thought of him like an uncle. Captain Clinkingbeard ended up going with the family to Oregon. There he made a living as a wood carver. Captain Clinkingbeard married a widow whose husband had died along the Oregon Trail. He adopted her two children and they had a further seven. Captain Clinkingbeard never returned to the sea.

Dr. Fairchild[]

Dr. "Doc" Fairchild ("Papa;" born June 16)[4] was a surgeon, the husband of Julia, and father of Clara and Susanna. In later 1848, the family decided to emigrate to Oregon City where family and friends had gone to a year prior. Dr. Fairchild decided to go via ship since he had always wanted to go on a voyage. Weeks into the journey, Julia was swept overboard. After learning of the gold rush, Dr. Fairchild decided to go to California in hopes of recovering his life savings. After being betrayed by Jesse Blue, he became a doctor for the miners and ultimately headed on to Oregon. There the Fairchilds lived with relatives until he was able to build their own home. Dr. Fairchild's medical practice flourished.

Jesse Blue[]

Jesse Blue was an old friend of the Fairchild family. He traveled west via the Oregon Trail with his family. Along the way, he lost two nephews and eventually he and his wife had to leave behind their wagon when their oxen died. Soon after arriving in Oregon City, Jesse decided to try his luck and went hunting for gold in California. There he reunited with Dr. Fairchild, whom asked Jesse to take his gold to the assayer's office. In exchange, Dr. Fairchild said that Jesse could keep five ounces for himself. However, he gave into temptation and kept most of the gold to himself. He fled with over four thousand dollars, which he lost when the rooming house he was staying at went up in flames. Jesse was never heard from anyone again, including his wife.

Rosita Sepúlveda[]

Rosita Sepúlveda (born c. 1829)[5] was the wife of Tomás. She, her husband, and her seven brothers boarded the SS California when it reached Peru. Rosita befriended Clara and Susanna. Their friendship continued when they reunited at Miner's Creek. Rosita and her family often faced racism in the camp, such as when some miners stole all her cooking supplies. She gave birth to her first child, Esperanza, in July 1849 with the help of Clara and Susanna. When the Fairchilds left, Rosita and her family were given their old cabins. She also agreed to take of her friend's pets, Sergeant Boots and Lilly.

Sam James[]

Samuel "Sam" James[6] (born c. 1831)[7] was the twin brother of Virgil. His family emigrated from Missouri to Oregon, before he and his brother came to California. Sam was injured badly in a mining accident, resulting in Dr. Fairchild amputating his leg. He stayed with the Fairchilds and Captain Clinkingbeard to recover. Over time, he grew to care for Susanna and eventually was granted permission to court her from her father. Sam went with the Fairchilds to Oregon City. After finishing building their home, Sam and Susanna were married. They had five daughters and a set of triplets sons whom died. He and his brother also opened a successful hotel together, called the Brothers Inn.

Minor characters[]

  • Antonio (born c. 1829)[8] was one of Rosita Sepúlveda's seven brothers. He and Clara Fairchild developed mutual feelings for each other. They were separated when Clara left for Oregon.
  • Augusta and Charles Campbell were the aunt and uncle of Susanna. They emigrated with their children to Oregon City the previous year. The Fairchilds stayed with them for some time after they reached Oregon.
  • Sergeant Boots was a gray kitten with white paws. Dr. Fairchild gave the kitten to his daughters as a pet. They left Sergeant Boots with Rosita when they left Miner's Creek.
  • Mrs. Blue was the wife of Jesse. She was a dear friend of Julia Fairchild. Mrs. Blue remained unaware that her husband stole from their friends. She also never heard from him again.
  • Esperanza Sepúlveda (born July 3, 1849)[9] was the daughter of and Tomás.
  • Captain Forbes was the captain of the SS California. Due to "gold fever," his entire crew jumped ship upon arriving in San Francisco.
  • Hattie Campbell (born 1834)[10] was the favorite cousin of Susanna whom was also the same age as her. As adults, they lived next door to each other.
  • Mrs. James was the mother of Sam and Virgil. Sam described her as "very kind," comparing her to Susanna.
  • James Polk (died June 15, 1849)[11] was the President of the United States whom announced that gold had been found in California. He later died of cholera.
  • Jenny Winslow (died July 20, 1849),[12] referred to as "Dance hall lady," was a woman who danced in the saloons for a living. She was forced to take this job after the death of her husband. Jenny hoped to raise enough money to return to her family in Deer Isle, Maine. Unfortunately, she was hanged for murdering a man whom she said was a thief.
  • Julia Fairchild ("Mother;" née Campbell;[13] died fall 1848)[14] was the mother of Clara and Susanna, and the wife of Dr. Fairchild. She was the sister of Charles Campbell and her family planned to join his in Oregon City. Julia, whom was pregnant at the time, was swept off the ship and drowned.
  • Lilly was a burro adopted by Susanna and Clara. After finding her starving, the two girls decided to keep her as a pet. When they left Miner's Creek, Rosita agreed to take care of Lilly.
  • Captain Sutter, whom established Sutter's Fort, was the owner of the sawmill where gold was discovered.
  • Tomás Sepúlveda was the husband of Rosita. He became a father when Rosita gave birth to their daughter, Esperanza.
  • Virgil James (born c. 1831)[7] was the twin brother of Sam. His family emigrated from Missouri to Oregon, but he and Sam decided to go on to California in search of gold. Virgil lost three fingers when children playing with a gun shot them off. He later returned to Oregon, and he and Sam went into business together. Their hotel, Brothers Inn, was extremely sucessful.
  • Zachary Taylor, the new President of the United States whom was sworn in on March 4.

Epilogue characters[]


See also[]

Dear America characters
Main characters

Remember "Mem" Whipple | Deliverance Trembley | Lozette Moreau | Catharine Logan | Prudence Emerson
Abigail Stewart | Lucinda Lawrence | María Rosalia de Milagros | Hattie Campbell | Mary Driscoll
Florence "Florrie" Mack Ryder | Susanna Fairchild | Clotee Henley | Amelia Martin | Emma Simpson
Sarah Nita | Phillis "Patsy" Frederick | Libby West | Priscilla "Pringle" Rose | Mary "Polly" Rodgers
Nannie Little Rose | Angeline Reddy | Sarah Jane Price | Teresa Viscardi | Anetka Kaminska
Zipporah Feldman | Minette "Minnie" Bonner | Angela Denoto | Margaret Ann Brady | Kathleen Bowen
Simone Spencer | Lydia Pierce | Nell "Nellie Lee" Love | Bess Brennan | Minerva "Minnie" Swift | Grace Edwards
Julie Weiss | Madeline Beck | Amber Billows | Piper Davis | Dawn "Dawnie Rae" Johnson | Molly Flaherty

Supporting characters

Antoinetta Viscardi | Leon Nasevich | Daniel Pierce | Erma Jean Love | Patrick Flaherty

Lists of characters by book

A Journey to the New World | I Walk in Dread | Look to the Hills | Standing in the Light
Love Thy Neighbor | The Winter of Red Snow | Cannons at Dawn | A Line in the Sand
Valley of the Moon | Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | All the Stars in the Sky
Seeds of Hope | A Picture of Freedom | A Light in the Storm | When Will This Cruel War Be Over?
The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly | The Great Railroad Race
Down the Rabbit Hole | Land of the Buffalo Bones | My Heart Is on the Ground | Behind the Masks
My Face to the Wind | West to a Land of Plenty | A Coal Miner's Bride | Dreams in the Golden Country
A City Tossed and Broken | Hear My Sorrow | Voyage on the Great Titanic | A Time for Courage
When Christmas Comes Again | Like the Willow Tree | Color Me Dark | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Christmas After All | Survival in the Storm | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
My Secret War | Early Sunday Morning | The Fences Between Us | With the Might of Angels
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?