Tea Party Winners: Debra E. Marvin's winner is: Kathleen, Jennifer Hudson Taylor's winner of her MacGregor Legacy series is Chris Granville and second winner is Britney Adams for the plaque and For Love or Country novel:, Angela K. Couch's winner is: , Carrie Fancett Pagels's winner per random.org is Beverly Duell-Moore for a copy of BCB and second winner for colonial goodies is: Carrie Moore Gould, Denise Weimer's winner: Janet Marie Dowell, Shannon McNear's winner is: Adriann Harris, Pegg Thomas's winner is: Susan C

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

40 Carriage Terms Defined

1727 Berlin Coupe - Luray Caverns Museum

By Susan F. Craft

In Pride and Prejudice, what was Lady Catherine offering Lizzie when she said, “And if you will stay another month complete, it will be in my power to take one of you as far as London, for I am going there early in June for a week; and as Dawson does not object to the barouche-box, there will be very good room for one of you. . .” ?

Dawson is a servant, but if there were enough room inside the carriage, she would ride inside. What Lady Catherine is doing is offering Dawson's inside place to Lizzie.

In Mansfield Park there is a complicated discussion of how everyone is going to be transported to a party --in the Miss Bertrans’ brother’s barouche or Edmund’s mother’s chaise. Julia cries, “…go boxed up three in a post chaise in this weather, when we may have seats in a barouche. No, my dear Edmund, that will not quite do.”So how do we picture a barouche or a chaise or post chaise in our minds?

I have compiled a short list of terms and some pictures that might help and, in a future post, I'll talk more about the different kinds of carriages

Dictionary of Carriage Terms
barouche: four-wheeled, shallow vehicle with two double seats inside, arranged so that the sitters on the front seat faced those on the back seat. It had a soft collapsible half-hood folding like a bellows over the back seat and a high outside box seat in front for the driver. The entire carriage was suspended on C springs. It was drawn by a pair of high-quality horses and was used principally for leisure driving in the summerbraces or thoroughbraces: in some carriages, leather straps that serve as springs for the body

box or perch: small, elevated box on which a carriage driver sits on a box or perch. (When at the front it is known as a dickey box, a term also used for a seat at the back for servants.)

break or brake: bodiless carriage frame used to break in horses

carriage boot: boot that was fur-trimmed for winter wear, usually of fabric with a fur or felt lining. A knee boot protected the knees from rain or splatter.
carriage dog or coach dog: dog bred for running beside a carriage

carriage folk or carriage trade: upper-class people of wealth and social position, those wealthy enough to keep carriages

carriage horse: horse especially bred for carriage use by appearance and stylish action; one for road horse: horse for use on a road. One such breed is the Cleveland Bay, uniformly bay in color, of good conformation and strong constitution.

coach house: outbuilding for a carriage, which was often combined with accommodation for a groom or other servants.

carriage porch or porte cochere: roofed structure that extends from the entrance of a building over an adjacent driveway and that shelters callers as they get in or out of their vehicle

carriage starter: directed the flow of vehicles taking on passengers at the curbside

cavalcade: procession of carriages
coachman: man whose business was to drive a carriage

dashboard: screen of wood or leather on the forepart of an open carriage intercepts water, mud or snow thrown up by the heels of the horses.

equipage: elegant horse-drawn carriage with its retinue of servants

foot iron or footplate: may serve as a carriage step
footman or piquer: servant in livery in attendance upon a rider or was required to run before his master's carriage to clear the way

glass coach: windows in sides of coach and windows in doors

groom: male servant employed to care for horses; at times accompanying an owner’s carriage

hackneyman: hired out horses and carriages

head or hood: top cover for the body of a carriage; is often flexible and designed to be folded back when desired. Such a folding top is called a bellows top or calash

Holdback: consists of an iron catch on the shaft with a looped strap; enabled a horse to back or hold back the vehicle

hoopstick: forms a light framing member a folding hood

imperial: top, roof or second-story compartment of a closed carriage, especially a diligence, A quarter lights: side windows of a closed carriage

jump seat: a moveable seat

lap robe: blanket or covering that carriage passengers often used for their lap, legs, and feet (buffalo robe, made from the hide of an American bison dressed with the hair on, was sometimes used as a carriage robe; it was commonly trimmed to rectangular shape and lined on the skin side with fabric)

lazyback: attached backrest

livery: distinctive dress or uniform worn by an official, retainer, or servant (and given to him or her by the employer) [term from c1290 in Old French] – a footman’s livery of two suits would cost about £20, as much as his year’s wages

limbers: shafts of a carriage. (Lancewood, a tough elastic wood of various trees, was often used especially for carriage shafts.)

livery stable: kept horses and usually carriages for hire

mews: range of stables, usually with carriage houses (remises) and living quarters built around a yard, court or street

moons: lights for dress carriages: the simplest were wax candles in tin tubes in a circular casing; for traveling coaches, lamps with oil in square casings were used (In the country, social engagements were dependent upon the moon, traveling at night unsafe: for example in Sense and Sensibilities, Sir John Middleton has asked other neighbors to join their party, but “it was moonlight and everybody was full of engagements.”

ostler: groom or stable boy employed at an Inn to take care of guest’s horses

outrider: attendant on horseback who often rode ahead of or next to a carriage

postilion or post boy: person who rides the leading nearside horse of a team or pair drawing a coach or carriage, when there is no coachman

public passenger vehicle: would not usually be called a carriage – terms for such include stagecoach, charabanc and omnibus

springs: It was not until the 17th century that innovations with steel springs and glazing took place, and only in the 18th century, with better road surfaces, was there a major innovation with the introduction of the steel C-spring

tiger: boy or small man employed as a groom on the back of a curricle or other small carriage. (Name derived from the yellow and black striped waist coat worm by the groom [OED: A smartly-liveried boy acting as groom or footman; formerly often provided with standing-room on a small platform behind the carriage, and a strap to hold on by; less strictly, an outdoor boy-servant)

trap, pony trap or horse trap: light, often sporty, two-wheeled or sometimes four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage, accommodating usually two to four persons in various seating arrangements, such as face-to-face or back-to-back

turnout or setout: carriage together with the horses, harness and attendants

wing: a projecting sidepiece on the dashboard or carriage top

yoke: the end of the tongue of a carriage is suspended from the collars of the harness by a bar called the yoke.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review of Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania

Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania by Melanie Dobson

Summerside (2011)

Reviewed by Diana L. Flowers
4-1/2 stars~

Enthralling Read!

Melanie Dobson sweeps us away on a spellbinding journey into the New World; a half untamed land fraught with strife and dangers on every hand, and pervaded with hidden, forbidden passions. Two couples in a Moravian community in Germany, are chosen by lot to marry, Christian and Susanna Boehler, and Catherine and Elias Schmidt. Although Susanna does not know Christian personally she accepts her lot, wanting only to travel to the colonies in America and share their faith in God with the Indians. The beautiful Catherine was raised into wealth and is not ready for the hardships that await her in this savage new land of Nazareth; and the separation from her new husband that is required by their religious sect.
Susanna and Christian's marriage is never consummated, for she becomes ill and he must travel to minister to the Indians without her, along with Catharine and Elias. Unbeknownst to all, Christian is in love with his friend's beautiful wife, and suffers torment day and night over her, and the fact that that his lot was chosen to marry Susanna, a woman he does not love. Even in his passion in ministering to the Indians, he cannot control his passion towards the beautiful Catherine, and falls into a web of deceit and betrayal. 

What happens when Elias discovers Christian's and Catharine's secret, and will Susanna's love for this stranger, her husband, ever be returned? Will their dedication to the Indians' salvation be rewarded, or end up in tragedy?

This was not your typical, lighthearted Love Finds You read, but was filled with complex relationships, and an intense plot that will keep the reader turning those pages well into the night. Melanie Dobson's research was impeccable and therefore lends to the realism of her characters and storyline (and some of it wasn't at all pretty), but she stays true to the times and the many dangers that were ever present. 

Some of this book will leave the reader heartbroken, and definitely more appreciative of what our ancestors went through for their faith and love of this great country we call home. The forbidden passions were handled with discretion and does not cross over the boundaries of Christian fiction. 

Great writing, Melanie Dobson! 

Bio: Guest Reviewer Diana Flowers is Senior Review on Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help. Diana loves reading historical Christian fiction and is a favorite reviewer for many authors.

GIVEAWAY:  Melanie is giving away a paperback copy of this book to someone who leaves a comment on this post.  Please leave your email address.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Since the founding of our nation, Americans have been called to pray for our country, its leaders, and those who serve in the military. During wartime, attacks, and natural disasters, that motivation intensifies dramatically. Even though we are a pluralistic country, we still observe a National Day of Prayer early each May. Many churches and para-church ministries call for fasting and prayer on various occasions.

Those who serve in our military, as well as contractors who provide support, often spend long periods of time away from their families, even when they are not directly involved in a theatre of war. Too often their service, and the sacrifice of their loved ones, has not been acknowledged.

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
And I have been saved from my enemies.”

Psalm 18:2-3

That maxim, “Those who wait also serve” has long been associated with photographs, paintings, and sculptures of military wives and families waiting for the return of their loved ones serving far from home. Growing up in a Navy family I was familiar with the expression, but I was more fortunate than most because we accompanied my father to his duty stations. It became much more meaningful to me during the sixties, when I learned first hand the loneliness and anxiety that war and military service demanded of loved ones. In more recent years I’ve again experienced the waiting, wondering, and praying for my sons, their wives and children until they return.

There are many worthy organizations that provide encouragement and assistance, and we can join in their efforts to help. However there is one thing all of us can do that is of great value and that is to pray ― for those who serve and for those who wait. We can pray for God’s protection, provision, presence, power, and peace.  We can pray for their wisdom, discernment, endurance, and courage.  We should also pray for the challenges they face upon their return professionally and personally.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
 that if we ask anything according to his will,
he hears us. And if we know that he hears us― whatever we ask―
we know that we have what we asked of him.”

1 John 5:14-15

“They also serve who only stand and wait.”

The phrase probably originated from a line in the sonnet
‘On His Blindness’,
by John Milton, noted English poet and scholar.

Post by Janet Grunst

Friday, February 24, 2012

Did you know the first real democracy in the New World wasn't in America. . .

It was on board a pirate ship!  Yes indeed. A hundred years before the French Revolution, pirates ships were run on the principles in which liberty, equality, and brotherhood were the rule, rather than the exception.  I’m sure that surprises you as much as it did me, but it’s true. These treasure-craving  roving thieves actually lived and breathed under a democracy.

Here’s how it worked. The captain was elected by a majority vote. Which also meant it was easy for him to be “unelected” by a majority mob! AKA Mutiny or “Walk the plank, Captain!”   Major decisions such as the destination of each voyage or whether to attack a particular ship or raid a port were made by the crew.  The only time the captain was in complete control was during battle, or when “fighting, chasing, or being chased”. During battle, the crew swore obedience to the captain in all things. Which made sense. I mean even pirates know you have to have a leader during the tough times! 

In addition, before the voyage set sail, a set of articles were drawn up by crew and captain which every pirate was required to sign. These articles regulated certain behaviors on board, listed punishments for crimes, stated the distribution of plunder as well as a scale of compensation for injuries received during battle. Some regulations were even so specific as to state a daily food allowance for each crewmen. It may be surprising to note that often the allowance for the captain was no more than that of the humblest sailor.

Pirate articles worked on the principle of “No prey. No pay”   Everyone worked hard to capture ships and plunder ports or nobody got paid!  Only officers received a normal salary. The captain received the largest amount (determined by the sailors) plus usually five or six shares of the booty.  One of the really surprising and humane aspects of these articles is their provision for injuries and the value they placed on certain body parts.

One particular account lists the following:
  • Right arm: 600 pieces of eight
  • Left arm: 500 pieces of eight
  • Right leg: 500 pieces of eight
  • Left leg: 400 pieces of eight
  • Loss of eye or finger: 100 pieces of eight 
Once the injured were paid, the remainder of the plunder was divvied out with the master’s mate receiving two shares and the rest of the crew receiving one share. Young boys received ½ a share. Pirates were very strict about everyone getting their fair share and if anyone was caught hiding treasure or keeping extra for himself, well… does the term Keelhaul mean anything to you?

And just in case you’re interested , here’s an actual list of articles drawn up by the crew of Pirate Captain Bartholomew Roberts (1720).

Every man has a vote in the affairs of the moment; has equal title to the fresh provisions, or strong liquors, at any time seized and may use them at pleasure, unless a scarcity makes it necessary, for the good of all, to vote a retrenchment.

Every man to be called fairly in turn, by list, on board of prizes because over and above their proper share they were on these occasions allowed a shift of clothes; but if they defrauded the company to the value of a dollar in plate, jewels, or money, marooning was their punishment.

No person to game at cards or dice for money

The lights and candles to be put out at eight o’clock at night if any of the crew, after that hour still remained included for drinking they were to do it on the open deck.

To keep piece, pistols, and cutlass clean and fit for service.

No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man were to be found seducing any of the latter sex, and carried her to sea, disguised, he was to suffer death.

To desert the ship or their quarters in battle, was punished with death or marooning

No striking one another on board, but every man’s quarrels to be ended on shore, at sword and pistol

No man to talk of breaking up their way of living, till each had shared 1000 pound. If in order to this, any man should lose a limb or become cripple in their service, he was to have 800 dollars, out of the public stock, and for lesser hurts, proportionately.

The Captain and quartermaster to receive two shares of a prize, the master, boatswain, and gunner, one share and a half, and other officers one and a quarter.

The musicians to have rest on the Sabbath Day, but the other six days and nights, none without special favour.

So, what say you? Want to sign up?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In Ye Olden Days: Life in Argyll Colony

Between 1707-1775 over 145,000 Scots emigrated to North Carolina. When you think of how far the state's population lagged behind other colonies, this is a staggering number. They chose North Carolina because Gabriel Johnston, a native of Scotland and graduate of St. Andrews University, served as Governor between 1734-1752. He wrote all his friends and invited them to emigrate to North Carolina where they would receive two crops each year, free land grants, and possible exemption from taxation for a period of time.

The temptation must have been compelling when most people had to be born into wealth and nobility in order to own land in Scotland. It was a time when their rents were being raised significantly high, reducing peasants to destitute poverty and starvation. Governor Johnston's offer was better than a pot of gold. Most sailed to the New England states or Virginia and traveled south on the Great Wagon Road. They settled in the Piedmont region, the center of the state. If they were lucky, whole communities traveled under the authority and protection of their Presbyterian pastors. Others were sold or sold themselves as indentured servants for 4 to 7 years.

One exception was the Argyll Colony. In July 1739, at least 350 people sailed The Thisle from Campbeltown of Argyll, Scotland and arrived on the shores of North Carolina, most likely the port of Brunswick, in September. They traveled up the Cape Fear River about 90 miles and settled what is present-day, Fayetteville. Due to the success of Argyll Colony, soon more Scottish families joined them.

The photo above is of Davaar Island, at the mouth of Campbeltown Loch off the eastcoast of Kintyre in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

The area is filled with pine trees and sand. They farmed corn, rye, peas, sweet potatoes, flax and cotton. They hunted deer, turkey, quail, rabbit, and fished. They raised horses, cattle, sheep and chickens. These Scots set up black smith forges, built tanneries, grist mills on the streams, and saw mills for timber. From the deep pine forests, they produced turpentine, resin, tar (as we're known as the 'Ole Tarheel State), and charcoal.

They spoke and read Gaelic and brought Gaelic Bibles with them. This was the language of choice in the Upper Cape Fear area from the arrival of the Argyll Colony in 1739 until the Civil War in the 1860's. Most families were bilingual, but Gaelic was mostly spoken at home and at church. They had a Gaelic printing press of which many of their publications are now house in the Presbyterian Historical Foundation in Montreat, NC.

Some of this research was used in creating the premise for Highland Crossings, a novella collection by Pamela Griffin, Laurie Alice Eakes, Gina Welborn, and Jennifer Hudson Taylor.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tea Party for Washington's Birthday & Book Launch - Before the Scarlet Dawn

In honor of Rita Gerlach's new release, Before the Scarlet Dawn we are having a book launch. And we are doing it at George Washington's 280th birthday tea party, served by his wife, Martha.

Pull up a chair, specify your tea preference, and have a slice of Martha's cherry pye, George's favorite, and we'll introduce ourselves.  You do the same!

GIVEAWAYS: For the young or the young-at-heat we have a large bag of revolutionary war soldiers!  A copy of Rita's new book.  And a few other colonial goodies, one being a finger vase from Berkeley Plantation that looks quite similar to the one below.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Colonial Recipes: Cherry Pie

 In Honor of George Washington's 280th Birthday!

A Cherry Pye

Lay sugar at the bottom of your dish, put in your fruit, and sugar on the top.  Always allow plenty of sugar to all fruit pyes. Cover your pye with good puff-paste, and bake it.

A few red currants with the cherries are a good addition.  In the same manner make a pye of currants and rasp-berries.  Observe to pick your rasp-berries well, as there is
often an insect in them.

Plumb, damson, cranberry and gooseberry pyes are made in the same manner as a cherry pye.

From The Lady's, Housewife's and Cookmaid's Assistant: Of the Art of Cookery (1769) by E. Taylor

Submitted by: Carla Gade

Friday, February 17, 2012


By Janet Grunst

As we celebrate George Washington’s 280th birthday, what better opportunity to explore the place he was born. Wakefield is located in Westmoreland County, part of the Northern Neck of Virginia, just 38 miles east of Fredericksburg. It is situated on the Potomac River, between Mattox Creek and Popes Creek.

In 1657 John Washington came to Virginia from England aboard the merchant ship Seahorse of London as its second officer. When the ship attempted to sail away with its full cargo of tobacco into the Potomac, it ran aground on a shoal in Mattox Creek. While waiting for the ship being readied to sail, John Washington formed a friendship with a local planter, Colonial Nathaniel Pope, and more particularly an attachment with his daughter Anne. A 700 acre parcel of land was Colonel Pope’s wedding gift in 1658 when John Washington married Anne Pope. John became a planter and increased his land holdings to 10,000 acres. In 1664 he moved his family into a new home on Bridges Creek, 4 miles east of Mattox Creek. His son, John later received the Bridges Creek property.

Pope’s Creek 
John and Anne Washington had three children; Lawrence, John and Anne.  Their son, Lawrence, who was born at Bridges Creek, married Mildred Warner of Warner Hall in Gloucester in 1686 and their family settled west of Bridges Creek.  Lawrence and Mildred Washington also had three children; John, Augustine and Mildred.                              

Augustine married Jane Butler in 1715. He inherited some of his father’s property, and in 1717 & 1718 also purchased 200 acres on the west side of Popes Creek. Between 1722 & 1726 Augustine completed the home on Popes Creek that he and his family would live in until 1735.  Augustine and Jane had four children, before she died in 1729.

In 1731 Augustine married Mary Ball. They had six children. George, their oldest, was born in 1732 in their Popes Creek home (later known as Wakefield). With additional purchases and trades Augustine Washington combined the Bridges Creek property with that of Popes Creek, including the family graveyard.

Augustine also increased his land holdings to include an iron furnace near Fredericksburg and another property further up the Potomac in Little Hunting Creek. These two locations would later become George Washington’s homes.
George lived he first three and a half years at the Popes Creek Plantation until the family moved to the Hunting Creek Plantation (later known as Mount Vernon). The Popes Creek plantation, a vibrant farm was inherited by George’s half brother, Augustine Jr.

Reproduction of Wakefield Mansion
On Christmas day 1799, the home accidentally caught fire and burned. The owner at that time was General Washington’s nephew William Augustine Washington, who then moved his family several miles away.

It is uncertain when the house was named Wakefield but it is believed that it was called that around 1773. The property was also sometimes referred to as Burnt House Plantation. The house was never rebuilt though the land continued to be farmed. The State of Virginia eventually acquired the land to preserve the site of the birthplace. In 1923, Mrs. Josephine Wheelwright Rust, a distant relative of the former President, organized the Wakefield National Memorial Association to rebuild a replica of the first home of George Washington.

If you visit Wakefield you will find it a lovely setting, complete with main house, outbuildings, cemetery, herb and flower garden, walking trail and picnic area. The George Washington Birthplace National Park is administered by the National Park Service.

In future posts I’ll share something of George Washington’s other early homes. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nathaniel Griffith on the Recruitment of Horses

Greetings, friends. Let me turn my mare loose here before we visit.

For those who don’t know me, I’m Nathaniel Griffith. I have worked hard since 1652 to build this farm, and I’m pleased you dropped by for some good fellowship.

What’s that ye say? That’s a goodly mare? Yes, it is. I bought her last week from Mr. Bradford. Ye know, I look far for good stock, and this mare shows some fine breeding.

Take a look at her hooves. That’s where I begin. If a horse doesn’t have a good foot it isn’t worth having. Good sized, round hooves that are healthy. No cracks. No ripples. Smooth, and my preference, black.

Now, this mare not only has good hooves, she’s healthy as well. Her breathing is clear, and she has a wide chest. A wide chest coupled with wide nostrils gives her plenty of room to take deep breaths. She’ll have endurance, and that I like, as do my buyers.

She’s a nice weight and her coat is healthy looking, nice and shiny with no sign of disease, as is often the case in this wet country.

Of course, I never buy a horse without first looking at its teeth. Mostly that tells me whether the seller be honest or not. If the man says the mare is eight, and I look at her teeth and they are long and the groove on the animal’s incisors is long, then I know she be older than eight. I can then reach in like this and grab the mare’s tongue, pull it to the side so I can see the teeth. The black mark here is called a dental star. If it shows in all the incisors then I am definitely certain this mare is older than eight.

Best I buy a mare of three or more for breeding. At least that be my preference. My uncle says a bred mare is settled, less likely to be high strung. Not sure I quite agree, but he’s been at this far longer than I. For riding, I’d like a bit more experience and would prefer a horse of five or more, especially if choosing one for my goodwife.

‘Tis been my experience that a boss mare is not a wise buy. See, each herd has a pecking order. The mare highest on the pecking order often is more aggressive to more timid people. Since I never know when my children will be around my animals, I don’t want to risk an aggressive one. It’s a tenet of mine, that is all.

You see that gelding over there? He’s a fine one. He’s my wife’s favorite mount and fine with the children as well.

Now, just last week a lad from the other side of the bay came with his father to purchase an animal. Had it in his head he’d by a stallion. Such a foolish thought.

See that sweet horse in the pen behind the barn, away from the other horses? That’s my personal mount, though I rarely take him out where other horses are, except to race. He’ll be used for breeding when he’s retired from racing. He’s as quiet and well-mannered as they come, but he’s not a child’s mount nor for any inexperienced rider, and certainly not for a woman. Stallions, by nature, are more high-strung and difficult to manage. God created them to breed and that’s their focus, no matter how well trained. Yes, I can take this stallion around mares and have him behave…as long as I’m keeping my eye on him, but he’s a wise one. He knows when he can take advantage of an inexperience person and about the time ye’re not looking, he’ll attempt to mount a mare. Nay, I fear these who think a stallion is a good mount need think twice what they are about. They’d best be knowing what they are doing.

I wouldn’t sell my stallion to that boy’s father, even if he was capable of handling him. He’s too valuable. I pray his good disposition and speed will be passed to his offspring. He has a name for himself now, and I’ll expect many a good return when I put him up for stud.

Ah, there is my good brother-in-law, Davis Owen. He’s here to watch me work on that young gelding tied to the fence. That animal is two and beginning his training. First, he’ll learn to pull a cart then when he’s three I’ll mount him. He’s a goodly type, not just in the way he is put together, but also in his mind. That’s what you want, a horse that is tractable. I weed from my herd any that show signs of willfulness.

Well now, I hope ye have come away with some good knowledge. And if ye may lend me ye’re ear, dear writer, I suggest ye keep the stallions in the stories to breeding and not to mounts. ‘Tis a rare man in these parts that would risk his breeding animal to ride, especially into battle. Geldings are by far more reliable and more generally used. ‘Tis my opinion, of course, but I think I have wisdom in it.

I wish you Godspeed.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Highland Crossings Book Review and Launch Party with Debut Author Gina Wellborn Book Launch Party!!!

Colonial American Christian Writers members Pamela Griffin, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, and Gina Welborn are teamed with Carol-award nominee Laurie Alice Eakes in this four novella collection published by Barbour in 2012.
Laurie Alice Eakes, Gina Welborn, and Nick at Colonial Williamsburg

Member Gina Welborn has her DEBUT in this North Carolina based colonial collection.

Highland Crossings
Laurie Alice Eakes, Pamela Griffin, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, and Gina Welborn
(Barbour, 2012)
Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Highland Crossing is a four-novella collection of Scottish immigrants, centered around an heirloom brooch.

1739 - Healer of My Heart, By Pamela Griffin
To keep from being killed, Seona sneaks aboard a ship sailing to America. A healer, on the crossing she saves Colin’s brother. When they reach the colony of North Carolina, Colin brings her under his wing, placing her in a home near his in an isolated settlement. I love this novella and felt like Pamela took me right to the backwoods of colonial North Carolina.  Wonderful love story by a fabulous story-teller!

1758 - Printed on My Heart, By Laurie Alice Eakes
The really fun part of reading this novella was that I took Laurie Alice around Colonial Williamsburg, with Gina, last year when she interviewed the printer there. Laurie Alice is blind but the reader would never know that reading her work. This novella is yet another example of this author’s ability to pack a shorter book (novella) with unbelievable details without sacrificing the integrity of the story.  Laurie Alice has you loving poor Fiona and her hero Owain before you can say “I do”!!! 
Gina Welborn and Laurie Alice Eakes visit Colonial Williamsburg for research

 1789 – Sugarplum Hearts, By Gina Welborn
Seren Cardew is a candy maker. Finley Sinclair, a new immigrant from Scotland, aspires to become a broker. Except that he has no clients! These two were made for each other! This is Gina Welborn’s debut.  Well done, Gina!

1815 - Heart’s Inheritance, By Jennifer Hudson Taylor
 Brynna Sinclair aspires to bring a museum to her town and cherishes history. She likes things to stay as they are. When Niall Cameron, a new Scottish immigrant, takes over at her workplace, she is sure his changes will bring ruin to the community. When he buys a building that Brynna has coveted for a museum, sparks fly.
Jennifer Hudson Taylor has two other Scottish trade length books under her belt and it shows in her knowledge. She also lives in North Carolina, where the story is set!

GIVEAWAYS:  Copies of the book will be given away to three commenters this week.  Leave your email address.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thomas Jefferson, From Whence Our Liberty Comes

“God who gave us life gave us liberty...” Thomas Jefferson

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1

While Thomas Jefferson was referring to our civil liberties, he spoke the truth that God gave us life and gave us liberty.

God created mankind, and mankind enslaved himself to sin. Praise be to God that He again determined to give us life everlasting. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross, be buried, and rise again, conquering death (the wages of our sin). Through Jesus Christ we obtain liberty from the bondage of our sin.

When we yield ourselves to sin, we become its servant. Because of our propensity to sin, laws are established. For example, we have laws against murder because some in society seek to murder. Those laws enable a judge to assign an appropriate penalty to those who break the law.

The penalty for our sins--every lie we’ve told, every angry retort we’ve made, every time we have doubted God--is death (see Romans 6:23 and Revelations 20-22). We are doomed, and we know the law will decree our punishment. However, Jesus fulfilled the law, meeting the requirements of its punishment, by taking our place on the cross. He, the perfect lamb, the Son of God, God Himself, took our sin and paid the debt we owe. Now, for those who believe, liberty is offered. Liberty to do what is right without fear of punishment, even if we fail.

Yes, Thomas Jefferson, God gave us life and He gave us liberty.

“For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

I put to you that our nation would be truly free if everyone accepted the free gift of Christ’s payment for our failure in obeying the law, and then having received that liberty, lived by love to serve each other.

I believe some of our nation's fathers knew this and sought, in their ways, to bring this freedom to our country. I, for one, am praying that our nation will turn back to God and seek the liberty He offers us.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bay Leaves and Valentines

By Susan F. Craft

Valentine’s Day Eve, 1755

Two young women, clad in their night shifts, stood barefooted in their loft bedroom. A stubby candle anchored in a pile of wax on the corner of the nightstand illumined their golden hair plaited into long ropes draped across their shoulders.

“Do be quiet, you will give us away!” Heather admonished her twin sister.
Hannah pressed her fingers to her lips to stifle the giggles that threatened to wake their ever-vigilant father.

Heather’s eyes danced in spite of herself. “Hold out your hand,” she instructed, opening a handkerchief stuffed with bay leaves. “One, two, three, four, five,” she counted as she placed each leaf in her sister’s hand. “Five for you and five for me.”

Hannah placed her leaves on the nightstand and took a cloth-covered parcel from on top of the cornhusk mattress and unwrapped it to reveal two boiled eggs. “I removed the yolks, but I was not able to get much salt. Precious as it is. That won’t matter, will it?”

“I would not think such.” Heather took one of the eggs and ate it in two bites, then washed it down with water from a tin cup.

Hannah followed suit, and when they were finished, they sat on the side of the bed and grabbed their pillows.

“Sally said to pin one leaf at each corner of the pillow and one in the center. Then we should sprinkle the pillow with a little rose water.”

Hannah took a quick glance at the attic stairs and frowned. “This seems very pagan. Papa would be angry if he found us out.”

“But, dear sister, don’t you want to find out who you will marry?”

Hannah bobbed her head. “I-I. Well, yes.”

When they had finished pinning the leaves to their pillows and sprinkling the rose water, they placed them atop the bed. They slid underneath the covers, and after wiggling around to get comfortable, they held hands to complete the ritual.

"Good valentine, be kind to me. In dreams, let me my true love see," they repeated the words together.

Heather yawned. “Sweet dreams, Hannah.”

Willing herself to drift off to sleep, Hannah whispered, “I hope my dreams are of Edward.”

“We will know on the morrow.”

St. Valentine’s Day customs can trace their roots to the conventional belief of the Middle Ages that on February 14, halfway through the second month of the year, birds begin to choose their mates and songbirds warble the end of winter.

Chaucer penned a poem to honor the wedding of Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in January 1382. Their marriage is generally regarded as one of the most successful and loving royal marriages of the Middle Ages.

“For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day
When every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”
Chaucer (1340/45-1400)

Other poets commemorating Valentine’s Day were Drayton and Herrick --

“Each little bird this tide
Doth chose her beloved peer,
Which constantly abide
In wedlock all the year.”
--Michael Drayton (1563-1631)--

“Oft have I heard both youth and virgin say
Birds choose their mates, and couples too, this day;
But by their flight I never can divine,
When I shall couple with my Valentine.”
--Robert Herrick (1591-1674)--

February 14 eventually became regarded as a day especially consecrated to lovers and deemed a proper occasion for the writing of romantic letters and the sending of love tokens. The literature of both France and England in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries commonly contain references to such practices, with the earliest probably found in the 34th and 35th Ballades, a work written in French by the bilingual poet named John Gower (1327/30-1408), an English poet who may also have been in the merchant trade.

One of the most ancient of Valentine's Days rituals (dating from at least the Middle Ages and possibly earlier) was the practice of writing the names of young ladies on slips of paper and placing them within a bowl. The lady whose name was drawn by an eligible bachelor became his valentine, and he wore the name on his sleeve for one week. It is believed that the saying "to wear one's heart on one's sleeve” (meaning that it is easy for others to know the romantic inclination of an individual) may have originated from this custom.

It was once believed that if a woman noticed a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If the woman saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man, but be very happy. If she spied a goldfinch, it was said that her husband would be a man of great wealth.

During the 1700s, a poplar custom was the one followed by Hannah and Heather.

Another 18th century custom was for a woman to write the names of sweethearts or men in the village on small scraps of paper which would be rolled into clay balls. The balls were dropped into a container of water. It was believed that the first clay piece to rise to the top was the young woman's true valentine.

Early Dutch settlers in the American colonies also celebrated a few Valentine's Day customs. The most popular tradition was the belief that the first man a girl laid eyes upon on Valentine's Day was to be her future spouse. As a result, many young women would arise in the morning, keeping their eyes shut until a friend or family member advised them. It was usually planned by the family to have a pleasing male awaiting the young woman's first gaze. One can only imagine how much fun it would have been to play a practical joke on these helpless girls!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Colonial Schooling

For many parents, the moment that their child goes off on that first day of school can be heartbreaking. It’s a realization that their child is slowly stepping out into the world—and away from home. Eventually, perhaps, for good.

This life-changing event is described with poignancy in the autobiography of renowned author and politician, William Allen White. (As quoted by Eric Sloane in The Little Red Schoolhouse):
“Ma was in the doorway,” he wrote, “and I left her full of tears, for she knew, having taught school, that I would never come back her baby. She knew that I was gone out of her life as a child and would return that noon a middle-aged person, out in the world for good and all.”

That was in the 1870’s. But not much has changed today. No doubt, many parents today feel as William White’s mother felt so long ago.

Bu this American tradition of going to school began early. In 1647, the colony of Massachusetts passed the Old Deluder Satan Act, requiring any town with 50 or more households to hire a teacher for reading and writing. If there were 100 households, that upped the requirement to operating a grammar school for older students. This law was passed because parents became lax in teaching the basics of reading and writing, and the concern was that the colonists be able to read their Bibles. Hence the name of the law, so “that old deluder, Satan,” could not “keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures.”

While schools today fight to keep Christianity out of the curriculum, the education of young colonials was filled with prayers and the Bible. The usual tablet for teaching was called a hornbook, a wooden paddle with a parchment inscribed with upper and lower case letters as well as the Lord’s Prayer. The written document was affixed to the wood with a thin layer of processed cow’s horn—the colonial version of lamination.

Some youngsters began their schooling in a “Dame School” which was held in someone’s home where the children learned the basics of reading by the woman of the household. These dame schools were often the sole education for young girls.

If there was a schoolhouse in the community, it was one room and the schoolmaster that was hired was usually a young, unmarried man, who took the job before settling on a trade. Boys went to school in the winter for several weeks when there were no crops to tend. Girls (if they were lucky) went to school in the summer.

New England schools were numerous and paid for by local taxes. Farther west and south, these one-room places of learning became more scarce. The two colonies with the greatest numbers of formal schools were Virginia and Massachusetts—the first two colonies founded on American soil.

One of the more famous schoolmasters in colonial Connecticut started out teaching in the small community of East Haddam in the winter of 1773-74. The eighteen-year-old Yale grad was described as handsome, athletic and kind. Author Eric Sloan wrote that this teacher was so well liked that his students gave him a send-off party when he took a position in the larger town of New London.

“I’ll miss you,” the departing teacher said. “And I wish that part of me could stay back in East Haddam with you. I do regret there is only one of me.”

As this schoolmaster headed for his new teaching position, the rumbles of the Revolution were being felt. He joined the Continental Army while still a teacher in New London. But his other profession was as an American spy. When the British discovered secret military plans written in Latin and Greek and hidden in his shoe, Nathan Hale was arrested and then hung.

His famous last words embodied the spirit of the Patriot cause: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Nathan Hale, beloved schoolmaster, was hung on September 22, 1776.

His schoolhouse in East Haddam is now a museum overlooking the Connecticut River.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review of Heart's Inheritance by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Heart’s Inheritance

Reviewed by Teresa Mathews

Jennifer’s story “Heart’s Inheritance” tells the story of Brynna Sinclair, younger daughter of Finley and Seren Cardew Sinclair. Brynna is a young lady who loves history and antiques, and abhors change.  Brynna, accompanied by her brother Rob and friend Jean are on a trip to Charleston to learn as much as possible about museums. Brynna’s dream is to see a museum built in Fayetteville.

On the return trip home Rob is approached by a stranger from Scotland that would like to accompany them back to Charleston. From the moment they meet Brynna is determined not to like him. She is very cynical of the man whom she imagines looks the part of a handsome rogue. But this handsome rogue is Brynna’s new boss, the nephew of her very much loved now deceased boss, Edward Cameron. The more he talks about changing things in his newly inherited business, the angrier Brynna becomes. She is determined to fight him all the way, even if it means she must spread misconstrued stories about him to everyone in town. What will it take for Brynna to realize that he is not the monster she thinks he is?

Niall Cameron, the heir of Edward Cameron, beloved member of Fayetteville’s community, is anxious to begin his new life in America. When he meets Rob Sinclair, his sister Brynna and her friend Jean, he hopes they won’t mind if he rides along with them. Brynna is a beautiful, spirited young woman who for some reason cannot stand Niall. Rob tells Niall he needs to stop the talk of change and try to gain a love of history if he ever wants Brynna to change her mind about him.

On his first day in Fayetteville, Niall is shown around town by an unhappy Brynna, and it seems he can’t do anything without making her angry. He doesn’t understand her opposition to change, he knows change comes even when we don’t want it; his uncle’s death is proof of that. Niall is hoping he can change Brynna’s bitterness toward him but when he unknowingly undermines her plans for the museum by buying the building she wants; it seems there is no hope for that. Will Niall be able to mend the rift between Brynna and himself? When Niall comes to Brynna’s rescue when someone steals the treasures (including the broach) people have donated for her museum, will he survive, or will Brynna lose the greatest treasure of all, Niall? 

I was first introduced to Jennifer Hudson Taylor’s books when I read “Highland Blessings”; it was so well written that I couldn’t wait to read “Highland Sanctuary”. After reading this novella, I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter the length of the story, Jennifer knows how to pull you in and keep you there unto the very last printed word!

Teresa is a reviewer on Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help.  When she is not busy with her boys she is looking out for her  Mama in South Carolina.  Teresa loves to read Christian historical fiction and share her reviews with others.

Highland Crossings (Barbour, 2012) follows the story of four young ladies linked through time by a beautiful broach handed down through several generations. This is the second review of four reviews on Colonial Quills. Click here for MaryLu Tyndall's review of Laurie Alice Eakes's novella.

Highland Crossings is available through CBD as well as Amazon and other book stores.  It is available in both paperback and ebook/Kindle editions.

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