United by Covenant

United by Covenant: Ben's AmericaAs a young Connecticut minister raised in the South, Benjamin LaBarre is upright in bearing, driven by purpose, but burdened by circumstances of his mixed race.

Abducted by ruthless slave owner Rufus Cameron through unscrupulous use of a controversial runaway slave law, Ben vindicates himself and plans principled reforms for America to hold it together against divisive sectionalists like Cameron. Yet, at the same time, Ben slides into self-doubt. His closest associate, Peter, a U.S. Marshal, helps Ben expose instances of national policy oppressing blacks and Native Americans, but his personal relationship with Peter further complicates his sense of identity.

Ben eventually marries Peter’s sister and starts a family. He also begins a new vocation in New York City as editor of a crusading magazine called The American Covenant. It applies values enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and other fundamental political documents to define pragmatic solutions to social, political, and economic problems. His crusade for an America united according to the covenant brings him national political acclaim but also leads him into conflict as he creates two additional magazines to reach larger audiences. His magazines bring readers into contact with the most important contemporary figures defining America’s values and promise for the future. But even though he has public success, Ben will find himself facing unimaginable personal loss and sacrifice.

Readers of this rich historical novel will find themselves rooting for good to conquer evil as they visit highlights of the American experience. And later in the story, at the dawn of a new century, a second generation of protagonists and antagonists come forward, adding new dimensions to the story’s conflicts.


“United by Covenant is a very satisfying experience. Fitchen uses his extensive historical knowledge to inform us; his stimulating conversations, many on important subjects, to educate us; and his lively characters and unexpected turns to entertain us.”

—Gerasimos Santas, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, UC Irvine

Read an Excerpt

Download the first three chapters of United by Covenant: Ben’s America.