Self-sufficient father trying to settle down
Steve became involved in town Politics not long after The Arrival of the Casino when he found himself one day in the General Store having breakfast as other locals discussed the increasing tension between Cillian Obannan‘s heavies and those who’d arrived with Alicia Moreau. His allegiences split between needing to keep his homestead afloat, keep up payments to Obannan, but keep a good trading relationship with Wallace Hubbard put him in a difficult situation, and he tried to remain neutral. Read more about those events in Keeping the Peace.
Steve lives in one of the first crop of real homestead’s in The Town, about ten minutes from the The Well on horseback. He lives in a pretty sturdy sod hut with his ten year old son, Birch.
One of the type occasionally referred to as an “Exoduster”, Steve was born in Washington but quickly headed West, and found himself heading out towards California via Kansas, with a few companions. His background isn’t fully known in The Town – that’s the point of moving across the country, isn’t it? – but his unwillingness to soliloquise on the subject tells most folk he’s here for a fresh start, like so many others. He and Birch arrived in the Spring of 1877, having spent much of the last year travelling – he left his erstwhile home of Washington, D.C., after hearing Frederick Douglass speak at the Emancipation Memorial in 1876. His companions would tell you that he did not share Douglass’ opinions on President Lincoln, and took the speech as a political whitewash strongly disfavouring his own experiences of slavery and its consequences – hence his decision to start a new life in a less entrenched atmosphere. But his companions may not have known the whole story, anyhow.
At the current time, life is a bit of a struggle for Steve. He’s not much to his name and is learning to be a farmer, hunter and father all at once. He got set up – like so many others – with some help from Cillian Obannan, allowing him to buy those 160 Acres afforded to those who could civilise them. Since then, every day has been a struggle to keep afloat and keep his boy fed – though you wouldn’t know it to look at him, as neither of the Washingtons are prone to complaining or moping.