Video: A Presentation on “The Promise” – Adapting a True Story

Video: A Presentation on

Dawn Comer Jefferson (L) and Dr. Rosanne Welch (R) present on their book, The Promise


On Friday March 21st my co-author, Dawn Comer Jefferson and I had the pleasure of making a presentation on “Slavery and the Oregon Trail” based on our book The Promise to the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades of Carpenter Avenue Elementary School as the guests of the non-profit Parents For Carpenter.


In doing an adaptation, we always make sure the research is most important. The story is important. Sometimes we change things when you adapt it to make it work, so one of the things in The Promise that we changed was the part of the slave being able to read and write, actually came from my great, great, grandfather who coud read and write. He was a slave on the Comer plantation in Alabama which was owned by Governor Comer. And he was able to read and write and because he grew up with the master’s son. And that allowed him, and his family after that, to be able to do a little better in life because they were able to read and write.

So, e put that in the story in our adaptation. The other thing was a Quaker family. I knew a Quaker family growing up and I realized there were a lot of Quakers that traveled on the trail and their influence made people more accepting on the trail. That was also something that we pulled from my life to put into the story.

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