“Kevin Olson fell in love with Manhattan history at a young age. But he didn’t know that his encounter with Chief Tatarrax would lead him to write his first book. ‘My spark of history happened …as a small child at an Arts in the Park event, and I wandered off to find a monument of Chief Tatarrax,’ said Olson, now a lawyer in New York City. ‘That’s when I became interested in the history of the area.’ The project started six years ago when Olson was back in Manhattan to visit family during the sesquicentannial.” Hutchnews.com
In Frontier Manhattan, Olson covers the first four decades of Manhattan as it grew from tent to town. When Isaac Goodnow and five fellow New Englanders arrived, they pitched a tent and launched a town. Despite illness, harassment and homesickness, they established an anti-slavery and educational stronghold. His account of Kansa Indian Settlement Blue Earth Village shines a light on pre-history that has been little covered. Spared much of the Bleeding Kansas violence, Manhattan saw its share of shootout and lynchings in its Wild West days. He relates the story of the emigration of New England settlers, the antebellum era and the 1860s in great detail.