Stan St.Clair’s new book, The Black Widow of Hazel Green is a dark tale set in the pre-Civil War South based on an amazing true story. It will make you angry, make you laugh and make you cry.
Born in Coastal Maryland, Elizabeth Dale Gibbons Flanagan Jeffries High Brown Rout was a beautiful, power hungry woman who would do anything to build her fortune including killing those who didn’t go along with her plan.
Her father, Adam Dale, was a brave and ambitious Aristocratic Patriot who had formed a battalion of young boys to join the fight for American Independence at age 14.
He was granted 640 acres of prime land in the new state of Tennessee for his service. He went on to found the first town in what would become DeKalb County. He named it Liberty.
Later he was made captain over 100 soldiers whom he recruited to fight under Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812.
Meanwhile, back in Liberty, his teenage daughter was conning her first husband-to-be, a minister named Samuel Gibbons, who was from a wealthy family. Unfortunately his parents let him make his own way. After it was finally obvious that she was not getting rich quickly enough, she accused her husband of infidelity and took him out of the picture.
Thus began her lifelong career of building her fortune, one murdered husband at a time.
In 1829, the family moved to Columbia, Tennessee, where her sister, Sarah, married Master Builder, Nathan Vaught, who supervised the erection of the most fabulous homes and businesses in the county. Liz was very jealous of Sarah.
Next, she relocated to Madison County, Alabama. There she ended up married to Alex Jeffries, a rich cotton planter in Hazel Green, a Huntsville suburb, with numerous slaves.
She wanted a fabulous mansion built in front of the two story log cabin on the ancient Indian mound from which to run her social activities. But Jeffries wasn’t in agreement.
She had gotten to know some powerful people in high places, including President James K. Polk, whom she would have loved to catch in her web.
She would continue her killing spree until she got everything she desired. Would even Polk in some way fall prey to her witchery?