A Land Remembered bookThe word “pioneer” often conjures up visions of covered wagons, the Gold Rush and the West. But Florida had its pioneers, too – and Patrick D. Smith has made sure that their story has been told.

Smith spent two years interviewing families of Florida’s cattle ranchers – fondly called Crackers in reference to the “crack” of the whip they used to herd cattle in the wild palmetto forests.

That research became the heart of his fictional but realistic story, A Land Remembered, which was published in 1984. It quickly gained acclaim in the state and beyond for its engaging story and historical accuracy.

“It realistically captured a period of time now long gone,” says Rick Smith about his father’s work. “Many families tell me ‘Your dad must have known my family’ because the story rings so true for so many.”

A Land Remembered tells the tale of the MacIvey family from 1858 to 1968 – from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. The memorable characters of the three generations and their adventures appeal to readers of all ages.

In fact, the response that teachers received when reading it to their classes was so positive that student editions were created and are now used in many fourth-grade classrooms across the state.

“For native Floridians, it tells their story,” Rick Smith says. “For new residents, tourists or history buffs, it shows them a Florida that they didn’t know existed. Most people can’t imagine that this land was wilderness and cattle rustlers. Plus, Dad tells it in such a compelling way, complete with
hurricanes, snakes, cowboys and Indians, that many people can’t put it down.”

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The elder Smith, who died in early 2014, received numerous accolades for his writing, which included seven novels. His lifetime work was nominated for the 1985 Nobel Prize for Literature.

For more information, visit alandremembered.com.

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