And there you have a brief history of early American currency. That'll be two shillings, please.
Winter Tea Party winners: Angela's book,THE SCARLET COAT, will go to: Print copy- Andrea Stephens; e-book copy - Catherine Wight!
LUCY REYNOLDS has a table topper quilt on the way, and winners of the Valentine Ebook Collection are: Deanna Stevens, Caryl Kane, Anne Payne and Winnie Thomas. With thanks to all who joined in!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
And there you have a brief history of early American currency. That'll be two shillings, please.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Interview by: Carrie Fancett Pagels
What inspired your latest colonial work?
Laura, do you have a favorite colonial recipe you enjoy? Would you care to share it with CQ readers? Readers, you can find Laura Frantz’s recipe for Kentucky Cornbread this coming Saturday on CQ.
The Colonel's Lady is available for pre-release through Amazon
Order yours now and you will also be notified when it ships! I have seven in my cart and will also be buying a Kindle copy. Laura can be counted on to write a "must read" book and I am looking forward to getting my copies in my hot little hands soon!
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Rita Gerlach shared this recipe with CQ readers.
Rita said, "Apple Tansey is yummy! I found the recipe on the Colonial Williamsburg website. It is original, from the 'The Compleat Housewife' book, published in America in 1742."
To make an Apple Tansey:
Take three pippins (apples), slice them round in thin slices, and fry them with butter; then beat four eggs, with six spoonfuls of cream, a little rosewater, nutmeg, and sugar; stir them together, and pour it over the apples; let it fry a little, and turn it with a pye-plate. Garnish with lemon and sugar strew'd over it.
Note: Rita says she uses water instead of rosewater.
Thanks, Rita, for the recipe!
Friday, June 24, 2011
What can you learn from this Bible?
• How language was used. For example, did you know that ‘ye’ was used as the subject of the sentence but ‘you’ would be used for the object?
• How verses would have been quoted by people in that time. They didn’t use the NIV or the NASB to quote a verse. Those versions did not exist at that time.
• Word choices. The King James Version used words the colonists were familiar with, and in many cases, used on a daily basis. For example, the word charity would still be understood to mean love in the 17th Century.
• Sentence structure. While readers today may not appreciate a novel written with the complex sentence structure found in Romans or Philippians in the KJV, you can get a feel for how people spoke and wrote. If you doubt this, read some of the sermons written by John Winthorp or letters by George Washington or read the account of Patrick Henry’s discourse in the courthouse at Spottsylavania when he defended the Baptist Ministers indicted there.
Most educated men were well-versed in the use of Scripture. In fact, when the Puritans arrived in America, they determined to educate both boys and girls so that they could read the Bible. For them, the Bible played a major role in forming society and the laws they sought to establish. There are many sermons or articles written by men that demonstrate how they attempted to make the colonists conform to what they understood Scripture to say.
Governors of the Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and other New England colonies were men who knew Scripture and based their decisions on their understanding of the Bible. Dr. John Clarke, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, John Hart, and many others who were instrumental in creating the liberties we presently enjoy founded their beliefs on God’s Word.
While some people did not believe in God nor abide by Biblical precepts and principles, if you read letters, diaries, and other writings from people of the time you'll discover that those most influential knew the Bible to some extent, whether they had a personal testimony of salvation or not.
Therefore, to better understand how society functioned, what people believed and valued, you should also be well-versed in the Bible, particularly the KJV, since that is what many read.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
George Whitefield makes an astonishing preacher sans hero. Born in England in 1714 , he preached from 40-60 hours a week and crossed the Atlantic thirteen times to minister to America. Huge crowds gathered to hear him speak and he was so wildly popular, even in his early 20's, that his heartfelt prayer became, "O Heavenly Father, for Thy dear Son's sake, keep me from climbing."
*The term Great Awakening (meaning conversion or salvation) refers to a religious revival in America beginning in 1734-1750
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
- 4 large egg whites at room temperature
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, or more to taste
- 1 pint vanilla ice creamInstructions:Preheat the oven to 250°F. Butter and flour a large baking sheet.In a large bowl, with an electric mixer or balloon whisk, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Gradually add the sugar, beating constantly until stiff peaks form.Transfer the meringue to a large pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe 3-inch-long, 2-inch-high ovals onto the baking sheet. Bake until firm and light tan colored, about 30 minutes. Turn the oven off for 1 hour, leaving the meringues in the oven. Turn the oven on again to 250°F and bake 30 minutes longer. Turn the oven off and leave for at least 2 hours without opening the door.Slice the strawberries and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the confectioners' sugar over. Crush about a third of the berries with a fork and let the mixture stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.To serve, arrange the meringues in individual bowls and top with a generous scoop of ice cream. Spoon or ladle the strawberries over and serve at once.
Submitted by: Tiffany Amber Stockton
CFP: Thanks Tiffany! This looks yummy!
Friday, June 17, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
“No country on the face of the earth can boast of a larger proportion of inhabitants, versed in the rudiments of science, or fewer, who are not able to read and write their names, than the United States of America.”
The Columbian Phenix and Boston Review, 1800
ProLiteracy America an estimated 90 million adults have low functional literacy. This includes a person’s ability to read and write, use computers, do basic math, and skills to develop fundamental English as a new language. 30 million adults in America function at the lowest level of literacy, unable to accomplish those tasks, while an additional 60 million people function at only a slightly higher level.
It astonishes me that this day in age there are still so many adults with such low levels of literacy when at one time our country boasted of almost universal literacy. Yet contrasting the rate of literacy in the 21st century to that of the 18th century is difficult as measurements vary based on how literacy is defined, and is proportional to the population considered during these time periods.
In New England there was a population of 120,000 (1706), 250,000 (1734),500,000 (1762),1,000,000 (1790). Today the U. S. has a total population of over 310 million people. But we must keep in mind that in colonial America only the Anglo population was considered in literacy estimates, excluding Indians, African Americans, slaves and indentured servants.In Virginia, an entire 40% of the population who were slaves were disregarded. Slaves were largely illiterate and prohibited from learning to read as a means of social control.
Historical records are incomplete so the information that has been studied on literacy in our country's past is estimated, but educational historians assert that New England in the late 18th century had the highest literacy rate in the world at the time, nearly 100% in Boston. Literacy was higher in New England and the mid-Atlantic colonies than in the South. Literacy was also higher in cities than in more rural areas. In New England the literacy rate was 60% between 1650-1670, 85% between 1758- 1762, and 90% between 1787 - 1795. In Virginia it was between 54% & 60% in the late 18th century. Literacy in early New York and Pennsylvania was high, owing much to their Dutch and German immigrants. While the average literacy rate was about 70% it was higher than in England, although when taking into account the illiteracy among Indians and African Americans this would place literacy for the total population slightly lower than in England. Immigrants to the American colonies were also more literate than the general population of the countries they left, although Scotland and Wales also had high literacy levels. There were varying levels of literacy among New England women in the eighteenth century - between 45% - 67% during 1731-1800, though some estimates found female literacy to be 90% by the Revolutionary period.
There was a great emphasis on universal literacy in the early colonial era of the 17th century largely based on the puritan belief in the importance of Bible reading. To this end a 1642 New England law stated, "See that all youth under family government be taught to read perfectly in the English tongue..." By 1647 the Massachusetts General Court passed the "Old Deluder Act" calling for the establishment of grammar schools to thwart "one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men form knowledge of Scriptures." So while we may think of literacy in the most basic terms of having the ability to read and write the English language, literacy in the American Colonies held a primary importance on reading.
Students would master their horn book and then move on to the New England Primer. Boys learned to read, write, and do basic math, went on to become apprentices and perhaps obtain a higher education. Reading and writing were taught as separate skills and writing was not considered necessary for females, so she would learn more practical skills and reinforce her reading as well as embroidery skills by working on a sampler. Both the New England Primer and samplers incorporated moral themes into the text.
The ability to read the printed word didn't necessarily result in the ability to read handwriting in any "hand" (writing style). And being able to write one's name or copy phrases did not mean one could compose. Colonists were often expected to put their name to deeds, parish registers, and baptismal records in early America. While some could write, others simply mastered writing their own name, but many signed these documents with their “mark”. Writing in colonial America was predominantly a male skill and tied strongly to class and occupations such as lawyers, clerks, scolars, physicians, clergy and businessmen. But women who could read, write, and do basic arithmetic were better prepared to run their households more efficiently and correspond with friends and family through letter writing. Later in the century women had more opportunity to expand their education.
Literacy has always had the potential to free individuals to be better educated, get better jobs, participate more in their communities, guide morals, and help the next generation to be more literate - both now and in colonial times.
Writing the Past: Teaching Reading in Colonial America and the United States 1640-1940
The Instructor, or American Young Man's Best Companion Containing Spelling, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetick, George Fischer, 1786
Published by Isaiah Thomas, Worcester
Every Man Able to Read - Colonial Williamsburg
How to Read 18th Century British-American Writing
Monday, June 13, 2011
The fine hairs on Elise’s arms and the back of her neck stood at attention, alerting her to the odd sensation of being watched.
She glanced around the ballroom, trying to appear nonchalant. Her breath caught in her throat when she noticed the man observing her. He was dark, she noted, handsome in a fierce sort of way. His sculpted lips turned in a half smile, but it was the long scar along his jaw that intrigued her.
She decided then to steer clear of him, for in one glance she knew his ilk: pure danger in masculine form.
Zechariah patted her hand. “Elise? Are you ill?”
She blinked and looked down into her spymaster's round face. “I’m fine. Why do you ask?”
“You’ve nearly drawn blood.”
Her gaze fell to where her fingernails dug into his linen-clad arm. She released him immediately.
Zechariah fiddled with the froth of lace at his wrist. “Get hold of yourself, girl. You'll never accomplish what you must if you're more skittish than a colt."
Elise narrowed her eyes and bit back a sharp retort. She kept her expression cheerful so as not to give away the game to onlookers, but she resented his tone. She despised his hold on her life. But he’d offered the escape she’d prayed for as part of the bargain she'd made to free her sister. For now, she could do little but accept his sharp ways. Others believed she was his ward, when in actuality he was her warden.
"I'm neither skittish nor incapable of performing my task. The man by the mantle, the dark one, he startled me is all. I turned to see him staring a hole in my back."
Zechariah observed the man covertly. "That, my dear, is Drake Amberly, the man you’re to investigate. You’d do well to encourage his interest. If he were to become besotted with you, it would make your task much easier."
Elise bristled with indignation. Her instincts warned Amberly was the one man in the Colonies she should avoid at all costs. “I have a troublesome feeling about him.”
“Perhaps meeting him will alleviate the sensation.” His tone cloaked a rod of iron. “Allow me to introduce you.”
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. The unease she’d labored under for much of the day increased. Her palms grew moist. The closer she walked toward Amberly, the faster her heart raced.
When they came abreast of the man, Zechariah extended his beefy paw in greeting. He spoke loudly, competing with the party’s din of music, dancers and conversation. “Amberly, I’m pleased to see you’ve joined us. I hope the journey from Charles Town was not too taxing."
“Not at all. The river was smooth, the boat swift. I arrived before an hour passed.”
“Excellent, I’m glad to hear it.” Zechariah rocked on his heels, his hands clamped behind his back. “I trust the maid saw you settled?”
“Most comfortably, thank you. Your hospitality is much appreciated.”
Even as he spoke with Zechariah, Amberly’s eyes returned to her face again and again. Heat rose to her cheeks for no reason at all. She hoped the powder and rouge she’d applied before the party disguised her reaction.
“We’re pleased to have you here.” Zechariah turned to her. “Amberly, I’d like you to meet my ward, Miss Elise Cooper. Elise, this is Mr. Drake Amberly, direct from London. He’ll be staying with us for the next few weeks.”
No one told her he’d be a long-term guest. She offered her hand politely, schooling her features to prevent her dismay from reflecting on her face. His large, tanned hand engulfed her much smaller one. He bowed and kissed the back of her knuckles. His scent of spice and soap teased her senses. She shivered, aware her response to him was profoundly peculiar. Only the force of her will kept her planted before him.
Intense, lushly lashed eyes caught and held hers. “The pleasure is all mine, Miss Cooper. I am most fortunate to make your acquaintance.”
His voice was deep and smooth except for a few clipped words that reminded her of the English upper class. The observation brought her halfway back to her senses. She had to remember her orders, not allow herself to be waylaid by a handsome face.
She giggled, resorting to her role as a featherbrain. Experience had taught her a man let his guard down around a woman he considered a simpleton. “I’m charmed, Mr. Amberly. A girl could lose her head with a man as handsome as you in the room.”
“Why thank you, Miss Cooper. I’m flattered.”
He seemed more amused than complimented. She tapped him playfully with her fan and gifted him with a flirtatious grin. “Surely not. I’ve seen the other ladies swarming you tonight. Most likely you’ve grown weary of praise.” She motioned toward the dancers behind her. “Forgive my boldness, but would you be so kind, sir? I truly love to dance. Since my escort is the guest of honor, he’s obliged to take a turn with the other ladies tonight. I fear I’ll be left to sit with the matrons if one of you fine gentlemen doesn’t take pity on me.”
“It would be my honor, Miss Cooper. However, I never acquired the skill of dancing. May I interest you in some refreshment instead?”
“You never learned to dance? How unusual,” she remarked, her eyes as wide and innocent as a babe’s.
“Dancing isn’t a sport in large demand on a ship.”
Amberly grinned. “A superb idea, Miss Cooper. To the garden it is.”
For a chance to win a copy of The Duke's Redemption, please leave a comment with your email address. Winner will be drawn next Monday.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
APPLEJACKS (no, not the cereal)
1 Cup light brown sugar
1 Cup chopped, unpeeled apples
½ Cup shortening
1-1/3 Cup sifted flour
1 Tsp nutmeg
½ Tsp baking soda
½ Tsp salt
In a mixing bowl, combine together shortening and sugar. Then, add beaten egg. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the mixture. Beat it, until mixed well. Then add chopped apples to this mixture. Shape the mixture in small balls and drop these balls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake them for about 12-15 minutes at 375°F.
Submitted by: Tiffany Amber Stockton
Friday, June 10, 2011
For historical researchers, I think this advanced search feature of Google Books is one of the most grossly under-used resources on the Web. People don’t find it on Google, and stop there. Go a couple more steps, and you will find everything from when doctors started to perform caesarians for difficult births (something I read a lot about for When the Snow Flies), to save the mother and baby, too, to details about specific times, to when a term was first used in proper context.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Wealthier women’s additions of panniers (French for basket), a wide dome-like structure that tied around the waist and covered the hips to minimize the size of the waist, caused the petticoats worn over them to flare out, sometimes as wide as an arm’s length on either side. This was considered the woman’s compass, and it took great skill to dance within the restricted area allowed by her clothing—or her partner to dance around it!
For those living in the aristocratic southern colonies of America, balls provided a means of socializing for families who lived on estates separated by long distances. Guests found pleasure in attending all day and through most of the night, and many celebrations continued three to four days.
A favorite dance called the minuet, first performed as a court dance in France, then in England, became popular with the wealthy after 1700 in the colonies. Dancers followed the French court models using English translations of Feuillet’s Treatise on Dancing, frequently used by dancing masters after 1706.
For those of modest means in the northern and southern colonies, dancers preferred Scottish reels and other country dances. These dances appeared to deftly avoid the code of status by grouping several people together in order to carry them out. During the Commonwealth period (1649-1660 under the rule of Oliver Cromwell), court dances were forbidden. Puritan John Playford’s popular English Dancing Master (1651), published through the eighteenth century, contained almost one thousand country dances.
Note from the Federalist/Regency period: Mr. Darcy’s (Pride and Prejudice) refusal to dance did cause a flurry among the guests, but as the wealthiest man there, he’d hardly have to worry about banishment. Not so easily managed by those of lower economic status in the room however, even though they might be born to the peerage.
Another Note: In 1789, the first inaugural ball was held in New York City for George Washington and his wife Martha.
Below is a video of dances favored during colonial times; the first six or seven are country dances (note the simpler homespun clothing). Further along, a minuet is performed by a solo couple. Enjoy!
Monday, June 6, 2011
See our Fiction Sampler of Promises, Promises
Tell readers where you live and what colonial places you have in your state or your home state if different.
Her writing career began in high school with the publication of her first children’s book, but she didn’t pursue adult fiction until she wrote her first novel in 1999. She joined ACFW in 2002 and attended their annual conferences each year, receiving a request for a proposal in September 2004. Two years later, in December 2006, the request resulted in her first sale. And in January 2008, her debut novel released.
She has since sold eleven books to Barbour Publishing with more on the horizon. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards and in 2009, she was voted #1 favorite new author for the Heartsong Presents book club. Read more about her at her web site: www.amberstockton.com.
Thanks so much, Tiffany for this interview!
(CFP) Readers: You can find Tiffany’s recipe for Applejacks this coming Saturday on CQ! It looks delicious and Noooooo……….., it is NOT the cereal!!!
Don't miss our Fiction Sampler of Promises, Promises