Wieland is the first, and most famous, American Gothic novel. Set sometime between the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War, Wieland details the horrible events that befall Clara Wieland and her brother Theodore's family. Clara and Theodore's father was a German immigrant who came to America with the conviction to spread his religion to the indigenous people. One night, as he worships in his bare, reclusive temple, he seems to spontaneously combust, after which his health rapidly deteriorates and he dies. His children inherit his property, which is divided equally between them. Soon, Theodore begins to hear voices and his wife's brother begins to hear them, too. Though at first doubtful of the voices that the men claim to hear, Clara also begins to hear a strange voice, which is followed by several mysterious deaths.