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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Guests Review of Rita Gerlach's "The Rebel's Pledge" by Diana Flowers

The Rebel's Pledge by Rita Gerlach (new version)

From the pen of Rita Gerlach comes a gripping novel that sweeps us from the cliffs of England, to the colonies in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. It is a beauteous land; lush with teaming forests, crab-filled marshes, and majestic cliffs, but under the guise of beauty lies the threat of Indians, slavery, and unscrupulous plantation owners.

Matthew Hale is imprisoned for being labeled a traitor to the King of England, and expecting the hangman's noose, instead is sent to the colonies to serve as an indentured servant for seven long years. He is bought on the auction block by a Godly plantation owner, Edmund Carey, and finds favor in the man's eyes. And in so trusting Hale, Carey asks a monumental favor of him---to return to England and bring his daughter, Lara, back to Maryland that he might see her before he dies.

Lara, raised all her life in privilege and wealth by her Uncle Phillip, is eager to escape an arranged marriage to a man she doesn't love, Grey Barrington, a wealthy landowner. But is she willing to travel all the way to the colonies to meet a man who has never really been a father to her? When accosted by a highwayman, and rescued by a handsome stranger she can't forget, she finds the course of her life forever changed. For neither pirates, savage Indians, a jealous suitor bent on revenge, nor prison bars, can keep her from her destiny...and the man she loves with all of her being.

I started this book after a long day of celebrating the 4th of July (what an appropriate read), and was halfway through before I went to bed that night! It was all I could do to put it down! Once again, Rita's use of imagery (which is second to none) drew me in to another place and time, and her exciting storyline held me there! I loved the main characters, the exciting twists and turns, and oh, the romance! With a satisfying conclusion, this book is a pageturner that will keep you burning the proverbial midnight oil! Once again-bravo, Rita Gerlach!

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Rita’s books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format not as a paperback.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

These Are the Times That Try Men's Souls

A starving group of rag-a-muffin men stood, at the urging of George Washington, to listen to Thomas Paine say these words.
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of men and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
I think of the Apostle Paul who often spoke of men deserting him and the ministry.
"This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me;..." II Timothy 1:15a
Desertion occurs even today. Some claim the Scriptures are not relevant to today's culture. I wonder if these same people are at all familiar with the culture of Paul's day, for society's ills were the same.

Others claim God has not called them. My brow always furrows at this. If you held a glass of water in a desert before a person dying of thirst, would you claim that you were not called to share with him that glass? And when that person died of thirst, would you so easily claim that someone else was responsibility to give that person a drink? It seems so selfish to have hold of true salvation and not be willing to share it with another. To me, such a person is as good as a deserter.

Thomas Paine's message stirred the souls of those men. I put to you that each day we face times that try men's souls. Each moment a person dies to spend eternity in hell. Was that someone whom the Holy Spirit prompted you to share the Gospel message, only you refused because you feared man more than God?
"When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." Ezekiel 3:18
In Paine's time, the future of the freedom of the American people rested upon these starving, ill-equipped, demoralized men. Their circumstances certainly did test their character, their fortitude--their souls. Each born-again believer holds the message of freedom for those who do not know. Will you listen to the Holy Spirit's prompting and pull yourself together to cross the Delaware to reach a man, woman, or child held captive by sins bonds? Will you be willing to follow our Great General, the Lord Jesus Christ and defeat Satan's mercenaries that hold others captive?

Or will you be one that makes excuses, closes your ears to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and walks away?
"These are times that try men's souls..."

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" I Peter 1:13

Friday, July 27, 2012

Colonial Women of Edenton Rebel: Not Your Typical Tea Party

By Susan F. Craft

Mrs. Penelope Barker
On October 25, 1774, a group of women in Edenton, NC, formed an alliance to support the American cause against taxation without representation.

Following the example set by the Boston Tea Party, fifty-one women, organized by Mrs. Penelope Barker and meeting at the home of Mrs. Elizabeth King, drew up resolves declaring their intention to boycott English tea and English cloth.

The custom of tea drinking was deeply instilled in the colonists’ lives. Almost every home had a tea service, and social occasions were often defined by the amount of tea served. So, swearing off tea was no small matter.

From the Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, January 16, 1775, came the following account of the Edenton Tea Party and the only authentic list of signers of the resolutions.

Extract of a letter from North Carolina, Oct. 27:
The Provincial Deputies of North Carolina having resolvd not to drink any more tea, nor wear any more British cloth, &c. many ladies of this Province have determined to give a memorable proof of their patriotism, and have accordingly entered into the following honourable and spirited association. I send it to you, to shew your fair countrywomen, how zealously and faithfully American ladies follow the laudable example of their husbands, and what opposition your Ministers may expect to receive from a people thus firmly united against them.

As we cannot be indifferent on any occasion that appears nearly to affect the peace and happiness of our country, and as it has thought necessary, for the public good, to enter into several particular resolves by a meeting of Members deputed from the whole Province, it is a duty which we owe, not only to our near and dear connections who have concurred in them, but to ourselves who are essentially interested in their welfare, to do everything as far as lies in our power to testify our sincere adherence to the same; and we do therefore accordingly subscribe this paper, as a witness of our fixed intention and solemn determination to do so. 
Abagail Charlton         Mary Blount
F. Johnstone                Elizabeth Creacy
Margaret Cathcart       Elizabeth Patterson
Anne Johnstone          Jane Wellwood
Margaret Pearson        Mary Woolard
Penelope Dawson       Sarah Beasley
Jean Blair                    Susannah Vail
Grace Clayton             Elizabeth Vail
Frances Hall                Elizabeth Vail
Mary Jones                  Mary Creacy
Anne Hall                    Mary Creacy
Rebecca Bondfield     Ruth Benbury
Sarah Littlejohn          Sarah Howcott
Penelope Barker          Sarah Hoskins
Elizabeth P. Ormond Mary Littledle
M. Payne                     Sarah Valentine
Elizabeth Johnston      Elizabeth Crickett
Mary Bonner               Elizabeth Green
Lydia Bonner             Mary Ramsay
Sarah Howe                Anne Horniblow
Lydia Bennet             Mary Hunter
Marion Wells               Tresia Cunningham
Anne Anderson           Elizabeth Roberts
Sarah Mathews           Elizabeth Roberts
Anne Haughton          Elizabeth Roberts
Elizabeth Beasly          

The Edenton Tea Party shocked the Western world, and when news of it reached Britain, because it was a political effort by women, it was met with ridicule and sarcasm.
British newspaper caricature of the
Edenton Tea Party

For example, in January 1775, Arthur Iredell wrote the following to his brother, James Iredell:

Is there a female congress at Edenton, too? I hope not, for we Englishmen are afraid of the male congress, but if the ladies, who have ever since the Amazonian era been esteemed the most formidable enemies: if they, I say, should attack us, the most fatal consequence is to be dreaded. So dextrous in the handling of a dart, each wound they give is mortal: whilst we, so unhappily formed by nature, the more we strive to conquer them, the more we are conquered. The Edenton ladies, conscious, I suppose, of this superiority on their side, by a former experience, are willing, I imagine, to crush us into atoms by their omnipotency: the only security on our side to prevent the impending ruin, that I can perceive, is the probability that there are but few places in America which possess so much female artillery as Edenton.

Although political resistance was common in the 1770s, an organized women’s movement was not. Until Mrs. Barker and her friends took their action, women simply did not engage in political discourse in the US or abroad. Their actions were even more extraordinary, for where the men of the Boston Tea Party wore costumes and face paint to hide their identity, these Edenton wives and mothers wanted to send the king a clear and strong message, so they courageously signed their names to their petition, knowing that they were committing an act of treason against British rule.

There was one unexpected consequence brought about by the Edenton Tea Party. Mrs. Barker’s husband Thomas was stationed in London as North Carolina’s appointed agent to Parliament. When word came that his wife had organized a rebellion at home, he was forced to flee to France and did not return to North Carolina until 1778.

Edenton, NC Tea Party Commemorative Monument

Sometimes called the Edenton Rebellion, the event later became known as the Edenton Tea Party and was one of the earliest organized women’s political actions in United States history. It was a valiant representation by American women of the frustrations with English rule and the need for separation and independence.
Historical Marker

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Living Link to the Revolution: South Carolina's Marsh Tacky Horses

In June 2010, the Marsh Tacky horse, a breed now on the verge of extinction, became the official State Heritage Horse of South Carolina. If you’ve never heard of Marsh Tacky horses, you’re in good company. Most people haven’t, including me. What’s so important about this breed that they were designated an official State horse? you may ask. Turns out there’s a lot.

Marsh Tacky horses are descendants of the horses Spanish explorers left behind on the south Atlantic coast in the 1500s, which bred with the stock Spanish settlers later brought to the New World. From these breeds developed several distinct strains of horses, including the Marsh Tacky, North Carolina’s Banker Ponies, and Florida’s Cracker Horses. They are direct descendants of the horses common during the Golden Age of Spain, which are now almost completely extinct in Spain.

Marsh Tackies got their name from the fact that they live in marshy areas, and the term tacky, which means common. Feral herds adapted to the conditions of America’s southeastern coastal regions. Sturdy and smaller than many common breeds at only 13 to 15 hands high, Marsh Tackies adapted to swamps and wooded wetlands, surviving on marsh grass and other available forage that couldn’t sustain most breeds. Their distinctive gait provides a greater stability in the terrain, and when stuck in quagmires, they learned to lie down on their sides, pull their feet free, and get up, instead of panicking as most horses would.
These horses are also a link to the American Revolution. General Francis Marion’s soldiers relied on these horses for their hardiness and their ability to navigate the coastal regions with ease, and in fact, their gait is now called the Swamp Fox Trot. With many of his horses lost at sea, British Colonel Banastre Tarleton also made use of these horses during his capture of Charleston. And the breed saw service during the Civil War as well as during World War II, when they served in the Coast Guard’s Mounted Beach Patrol.

Marsh Tackies’ habitat originally ranged from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. They were widely used in the Gullah community for transportation, farming, and hunting until cars and trucks became prevalent. But by the mid twentieth century they could be found only on outlying islands. Fewer than 300 Marsh Tackies remain today, none in the wild, and efforts are being made to save the breed from extinction.

The links below provide more information on the Marsh Tacky breed and conservation efforts.

Information for this article was taken from “Living Links to the Revolution: South Carolina’s Marsh Tacky Horses,” American Spirit, May/June 2012.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lisa Norato Reviews Veil of Pearls by MaryLu Tyndall

Veil of Pearls by MaryLu Tyndall

Veil of Pearls
by MaryLu Tyndall
(Barbour, 2012)

Review by Lisa Norato

A Masterpiece!  5 out 5 stars.

By land or by sea, MaryLu Tyndall never fails to deliver an exceptional love story full of romance, danger and adventure.  Veil of Pearls has all this and more!  This Cinderella story set in early nineteenth-century Charleston, South Carolina, whisks readers off to high society balls and horse races, brings them inside a southern plantation and sails them away on a merchant ship under attack.

As a long-time fan of Ms. Tyndall, I love her settings, but it is her unique characters who give heart and soul to her stories, and I found Veils of Pearls’ brave heroine her most admirable of all.  Adalia Winston has endured many hardships in her young life, the most horrifying being forced into slavery by a licentious, evil man.  She manages to escape and find a new life in Charleston as an assistant to the local doctor.  Yet she hides a dangerous secret among this prejudiced, southern community—her one-quarter Negro ancestry is undetectable in her light skin.

Adalia soon catches the eye of handsome aristocrat, Morgan Rutledge.  Though born with every advantage, Morgan is enslaved in a different way.  Trapped by the expectations of his position and wealth, second son to an overbearing, disapproving father, he escapes to the only place he feels a sense of belonging—the sea.  Yet life as a mariner is as much of an impossible dream for Morgan as being accepted into Charleston society is for Adalia when Morgan brings her into his world.

How can these lovers from two vastly different worlds ever find a way to be together?  Especially when there are those who conspire to tear them apart?  And how long can Adalia hide her secret?  The answers will keep you turning the pages.  I agonized with Morgan and Adalia in their challenges and emotional struggles and sympathized with their fears.  I loved their journeys of discovery in getting to know a loving God.  Veil of Pearls is an engrossing, heart-wrenching and inspiring read.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

One place MaryLu Tyndall's books can be found is on CBD, who continues to offer Veil of Pearls on sale.  

Giveaway:  One commenter this week will receive a copy of Veil of Pearls.  Be sure to leave your email address.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

John Wesley "He hath reconciled me"

Mr. Spangenberg, one of the German (Moravian) pastors to greet John Wesley on the shores of Georgia asked the then Church of England preacher:
"Have you the witness within yourself? Does the Spirit of God witness with your spirit that you are a child of God?" February 1736

John Wesley did not know how to answer this question. He had not yet learned the true power of the Gospel. He had not yet learned for himself the Gospel salvation for sinners. Do you?

During this time, men were required to run the race of "Christian holiness with a load of guilt upon their consciences, and with the corruption of their nature unsubdued by renewing grace." John Wesley - Evangelist, Richard Green, Edgbaston, 1905.

Prior to his conversion, John Wesley states (in a document entitled, "Mr. Wesley's Conversion, Nettleton Court, off Aldersgate Street") that he believed that he "had not sinned away" that washing of the Holy Ghost believed to be given to him when he was baptized as an infant. He had been taught that he could only be saved "by universal obedience, by keeping all the commandments of God."

But his spirit was not at peace. He could not reconcile in his mind the words of the Moravian pastors. When he returned to England, January 1738, he "was strongly convinced that the cause of that uneasiness was unbelief, and that the gaining a true, living faith was the on thing needful" for him.

Wesley struggled with the Gospel he heard from Peter Bohler, a man God put in Wesley's way. But finally he determined to consult the Scripture and "set aside the glosses of men, and simply considered the words of God, comparing them together, endeavoring to illustrate the obscure by the plainer passages...." By God's Word and the salvation testimonies of saved men, the Holy Spirit spoke truth to Wesley's heart. He absolutely renounced all dependence upon his own works or righteousness and gave full reliance on the shed blood of Christ to be his sole justification, sanctification, and redemption--his salvation.

In 1748, when John Wesley published one of his earlier sermons, he wrote:

"but likewise the revelation of Christ in our hearts; a divine evidence or conviction of His love, His free, unmerited love to me a sinner; a sure confidence in His pardoning mercy, wrought in us by the Holy Ghost; a confidence whereby every true believer is enabled to hear witness. I know that my redeemer liveth; that I have an Advocate with the Father, and that Jesus Christ the righteous is my Lord, and the propitiation for MY sins. I know He hath loved. He hath reconciled me, even me to God; and I have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins." John Wesley - Evangelist, Richard Green, Edgbaston, 1905.

In a meeting on May 24, 1738 at Nettleton Court, off Aldersgate Street, John Wesley's perception of salvation changed. He finally grasped Christ's atonement. Do you grasp Christ's atonement for you, personally? Or are you relying on the traditions of your church (such as baptism or sacraments) or your family or on various good works?

If someone asked you, "Does the Spirit of God witness with your spirit that you are a child of God?" How would you answer?

About 40 years ago I read a similar question in a Vacation Bible School take-home paper, and like Wesley, I did not know how to answer it. A few years earlier I had sat on my bed and prayed that Jesus would take me to heaven when I died, but I did not know for sure that He would. A sense of urgency filled me. I needed to know the answer.

The next morning I could hardly contain myself while I listened to the Bible story. I was anxiously awaiting the invitation so I could go forward and settle the question. When the invitation came, I spoke to my teacher, telling her that I wanted to be saved.

Using a book with colored pages and no words, and by quoting Scripture, she showed me that I was a sinner in need of salvation, that Jesus paid for my sins and is preparing a place for me in Heaven, should I accept His free gift of eternal life. I didn't need to be baptized to be saved. I didn't need to take communion. I didn't need to join the church. I didn't need to regularly confess to any man. I didn't need to do endless amounts of good works. I simply needed to acknowledge that I was a sinner in need of God's grace and confess with my mouth my faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the payment of my sins.

The instant that I did I had peace. Despite my sister ragging me for making others wait, I walked out of the church knowing that the question was settled. I was a child of God. I will be with Jesus in Heaven when I die.

How about you? Are you saved? Can you share with us the moment that you knew you were a child of God?

Friday, July 20, 2012



A visit to Berkeley Plantation in Virginia will take you on a journey back to one of the earliest English settlements in America; however its fascinating story doesn’t end in the seventeenth century. In fact, so much took place at Berkeley plantation I’ll cover it over two blog posts, so come back next month for Part Two.

Berkeley Plantation is twenty-nine miles from the first English settlement at Jamestown that was established in 1607. It is one of many plantations situated along the James River in southeastern Virginia. Traveling by land, it is located twenty-three miles southeast of Richmond along historic Rte 5 where one will see farmland, some modest commercial ventures, and exits to many other plantations.

There were a variety of reasons people emigrated from England to the colonies in the 1600’s. Some came for religious freedom, others to escape poverty, over population, and failing industries. Some immigrants were pursuing financial opportunities. Profit was the motive in 1618 when four English gentlemen met in London to establish a company to start the “Berkeley Hundred and Plantation” on the 8,000 acres and three miles of waterfront granted them by King James I.  Their expedition sailed on the “Good Ship Margaret” in August of 1619 from Bristol, England to settle, grow crops, and establish commercial ventures. One of the men, John Smyth of Nibley, was the historian of the Berkeley family and Berkeley castle in England. He also chronicled the “Berkeley expedition” and settlement of Virginia from 1609-1622.

The First Official Thanksgiving in America

Shrine at the location of the first Thanksgiving  1619
Most of us associate the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. Actually, the first official Thanksgiving occurred 590 miles south of Plymouth and almost two years before the Pilgrims and Indians shared a harvest feast. The “Margaret” dropped anchor at the Berkeley site December 4, 1619, and upon going ashore the Captain John Woodlief and the company of men dropped to their knees and prayed:

“We ordaine that this day of our ships arrival,
at the place assigned for plantacon (plantation) in the land of Virginia,
shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy
as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Plaque commemorating the First Thanksgiving
Where the Massachusetts celebration was primarily a social occasion with the Indians, the Berkeley event was strictly a religious one. The London Company gave specific instructions that this religious ceremony was to be repeated annually, and it was . . . for a time. The Virginia settlers and the Indians initially enjoyed friendly relations; however on March 22, 1622, in a calculated plan, Chief Opechancanough led a massive attack at many of the settlements for 140 miles on either side of the James River and Berkeley was among those that perished. Jamestown prepared for the attack as they were warned of the intended massacre by an Indian named Chanco, so were able to defend themselves. The Massacre of 1622 ended the settlement of Berkeley and the annual celebration of Thanksgiving until 1958 when it was reinstated.

Another distinction Berkeley Plantation holds is that it is the site where the first bourbon whisky in America was distilled 1621-1622.

Benjamin Harrison V
The Harrison family acquired the Berkeley Plantation when Benjamin Harrison III received a charter from the King to build ships at Harrison’s Landing in the early eighteenth century. Years later, Benjamin Harrison IV married Anne Carter, daughter of Robert King Carter, another prominent Virginia family and set about to build a home. He sought out Rob Wilson, a builder and shipbuilder of some repute. However, he learned Wilson was in debtor’s prison in England. Harrison paid off the debts in exchange for Wilson’s indenture to come to Virginia and build the mansion. Only materials from the property were used, loblolly pine for lumber and bricks that came from the clay and were fired on the site. The Georgian mansion, the oldest three story brick house in Virginia, was completed in 1726. The initials of its owners Benjamin & Anne Harrison appear in a datestone on the side of the house. Their son, Benjamin V, attended nearby William & Mary, but returned to manage the plantation when his father and two sisters were killed in a lightening strike. He would go on to be a Delegate to the Continental Congress and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the fifth Governor of Virginia.
1726 Datestone on side of mansion

There is much more to tell about Berkeley Plantation, and it will require me to escape the boundaries of the colonial period, but it is far too interesting to depart without telling. . . “the rest of the story”.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Glimpse into the Life of a Fur Trader by Lynn Squire

Ah, welcome dear friends. Please come into my house. The rain is cold and 'tis warm by the fire.

Have a seat on the bench by the hearth and let me introduce my good friend, Charles Temple, he was one of the soldiers Robert Sedgewick took with him to fight the Acadians in 1654. Charles was just about to share with us some of his life after those battles as a fur trader. Please Charles, continue.

Aye, thank ye, Nathaniel. I did not much like that stint in the militia. But I praise God nonetheless for it opened to me a new world. Injured was I, and Sedgewick agreed to accept my resignation.'Twas then I joined a little band of fur traders, which met at the Hôtel-Dieu, a hospital in Montreal. Myself and five boatmen in two birch canoes commenced our adventurous voyage up the St. Lawrence River. We'd be gone for two years gathering furs and learning from our mistakes. I thought we were muddle-headed to take such small vessels up that mighty river, but when our journey took us into streams and smaller rivers I saw the wisdom. We'd winter near streams and lakes in order to hunt the animals, like beaver, that lived on them or those which came to drink.

We took with us Indian corn and jerked meat, but mainly we lived upon what food we could obtain along the way. And there was much game to hunt and plenty of fish. We did not long for food as did our families when first they came to New England.

On average we were able to travel thirty miles a day in our canoes, much slower of course in the winter when we walked. In the evening we could set up camp quite comfortably. With our axes ,we'd quickly construct a hut to protect us from the weather. Since furs were in abundance, we'd spread them upon the floor of the hut, piling them to make couches.

Along our journey we'd meet many Indians. Most were friendly and would tell us of what lay ahead. In truth, we found their descriptions more fantastic the deeper we went into the wilds. Some would tell of fierce warriors who would make us slaves. Others would tell of enormous birds with wings that darkened the sky and would swallow a man and his canoe in one mouthful.

At times the rapids on some of these rivers would be so fierce we would have to carry our canoes, wading over rough rocks and sharp stones, dragging them, at times, against swift currents. My injured shoulder often inhibited me from carrying my fair share of the burden, and as you can see, I no longer have use of my left hand. When at last we accumulated all the furs we could carry, we determined to return to Montreal in hopes of trading them. I fear our inexperience showed in the quality of furs we obtained.

Alas the winter weather of our second year impeded our travels. One night, we constructed our hut, built a blazing fire, and built a rawhide canopy over it.We thought to weather the storm that night as we had done many nights. The wind blew like that of a hurricane and with it blew snow. The temperature dropped lower than any winter I'd ever experienced in Boston. Icicles would form on our beards and eyelashes whenever we'd venture from our shelter to the woodpile we'd built just behind our hut. Though the fire would keep our hut warm and pleasant, we'd be three days waiting out the storm. Our jerk ran out by the end of the first day and our corn by the end of the second. Our guide would not let us leave the hut, terrifying us with stories of men who'd gotten lost in such storms.

By March we made it to Montreal weary and wiser for the adventure. The snow still lay like a heavy blanket on the ground, though we welcomed the warmer weather that came at the end of the month. By then, though, I'd lost complete use of my arm. 'Tis why I've returned to New England and to visit my dear friend Nathaniel. With my write hand I can still write, and I hope to make a living with that.

Ah, I see the storm has subsided, and you must be on your way. May God bless you in your travels, and thank ye for listening to my tales.

A word from Lynn Squire:

When I read of the huts the fur traders built, it reminded me of a survival trip I took one year in January. The temperature was -40 F with a light snow. We found our way through the woods using compasses and some homemade instruments (made of hack saws, twine, and twigs). At night we built a lean-to for shelter, using bows from Jack Pine and Spruce trees to form roof and walls and floor. How much more comfortable we would have been had we furs! I don't believe I've ever been as cold as those two nights. While our fire provided warmth, it needed to be maintained through the night and so we got little sleep. The last night we all fell asleep and woke up to no fire and fingers so stiff we couldn't move them. But wow, what a great experience that was.

Perhaps the next coldest experience I ever head was driving a team of horses pulling a hay sleigh along the bank of Lake Winnipeg. The wind whipping off the lake gave the already -40 F quite a bite. The difference between that cold and the survival trip was in how well dressed I was. I had thick fur-lined mitts, heavy mukluks and a coat made to insulate from that kind of weather. I wore a toque and a scarf and the only thing you could see were my eyes. Boy, were my eyes cold. Frost would form on my scarf in front of my mouth and every time I'd blink a cascade of tiny icicles would fall from my eyelashes.

Frost lay on the backs and crests of the Percherons while steam rose from them. Icicles hung from their nostrils, forelocks, eyelashes, manes, fetlocks, and tails. We'd have to stop once in a while to knock off the balls of ice that would form on their hooves.

My mother tells me when she was a child they always kept buffalo furs in the sleigh to keep them warm, and well I knew why on that day. Driving that team and the many adventures I had with them is something I wouldn't trade for all the world.

Monday, July 16, 2012

MaryLu Tyndall Veil of Pearls Launch Soiree - A Charleston "Event"

1812 Charleston

A Charleston "event" with the cream of society.

Welcome to the Shaftesbury soiree!  There shall be dinner and dancing and plenty of refreshments as well as good conversation with the Charleston elite.  Of course the event is by invitation only and only the best of Charleston have been invited. For instance, I hear the handsome Rutledge brothers are coming all the way from their plantation. I do hear that the younger son, Morgan, is bringing a surprise guest tonight, a lady who has only recently arrived in Charleston. Oh, I do hope her family is well placed and she has good connections. I would hate to have a mere commoner among us. But then again, Morgan has impeccable taste so I'm quite sure the lady measures up. Even so, I have heard rumors there will be those who do not belong to our society trying to sneak into the party. Interlopers!  So, let's do be on the lookout.

So, do come in and join the festivities!  Have some strawberry cake and basil lemonade!


Pinned Image
Hot ham biscuits!

One must have shrimp when in Charleston!

And wear your favorite gown!!
Regency gown c. 1810 that you will see Gwyneth Fairchild in! Inspired by the styles of the Orient

This is the gown Lilyan Cameron wore for her wedding to the dashing Captain Nicholas Xanthakos.  It and the mantilla were loaned to her by the other camp followers of General Francis Marion's partisans. I'm wearing it in honor of the lovely Lilyan, a true patriot and courageous backcountry South Carolina woman. (SFC)

pearls pearls pearls
Muslin Dress with Leaf-Pattern Embroidery, 1805-1810.
The gown above belongs to Mariah Wenham of Summerville, South Carolina.  It is a tad old fashioned but quite cool for today's stifling weather. (CFP) The pearls are lovely and subtle.  And of course, they don't clash with Adelia's gorgeous black pearls!

Book giveaway:  Leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win either a paperback or an ebook copy of Veil of Pearls.  Pat Iaccuzzi has a lovely doll with a tiny black "pearl" necklace as a giveaway!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

God's Pleasure

"There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God." 
Jonathan Edwards, July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut

"Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"
Ezekiel 33:11

Our Holy God, the righteous and just Creator, pleaded with a people who had turned their back on Him. When Israel moved into the Promised Land, God told them not to marry into the nations around them because those nations would turn their hearts from God. Like a husband, God wanted to keep Israel, His bride, pure and separated unto Him only. But Israel flirted with the other nations. She incorporated the religions of those nations into her worship of God, and soon, like an adulterous woman, turned from God, her husband. Indeed, Israel was wicked.

God told His prophet Ezekiel that He took no pleasure in the death of the wicked. What did He want Israel to do? Turn their hearts to Him. What does that entail? The heart refers to the innermost person, the seat of a person's affections and desires. It includes a person's will, thoughts, aspirations. 

To turn your heart to God means your affections are for Him. You desire Him. You submit your will, your thoughts, your philosophies, your aspirations to Him. Not Allah. Not Mohammed. Not Buddha. Not spirits. Not the Devil. Not science. Not creation. Not philosophers or religious leaders, nor any man. You surrender your will, your desires, you affections, your thoughts and ideologies to God and God alone. 

God is our Creator. Because He is our Creator, He has a right to ownership over us, but we sold ourselves into the bondage of sin. That lie you told--that is a work of sin, a work contrary to God's will. And sin pays you the wages of death. God, you see, takes no pleasure in seeing His creation (you) receiving the wages of sin, death and eternity in hell.

We sold ourselves into the bondage of sin, but God bought us back when He  surrendered Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son, to die on the cross. Jesus died, was buried, and rose again, conquering death. His shed blood paid the price so that we would not need to shed our own blood, or the blood of animals, for our sins.

How much pleasure does it bring God to keep us out of hell? So great a pleasure that He willingly paid the highest price possible to attain it. He sacrificed Himself. What a phenomenal act.

"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."  
Romans 10:10

Friday, July 13, 2012

Superstitions upon the Sea!!

The Age of Sail was not only a time of great exploration and adventure, it was also a time of deep superstition. So much about our world was yet unknown and most people were deeply religious. And I don't mean that in a good way, either. The Christianity Christ preached had long since been twisted and convoluted with Pagan practices, good luck charms, idols, amulets and other ungodly beliefs.  And since sailing was a large and prominent profession fraught with many dangers, it was inevitable that many superstitions rose regarding the sea. Here are just a few of the more interesting ones!

Rats! Every ship had rats and most sailors believed that these rodents who inhabited the dankest, darkest parts of the ship knew when misfortune was about to strike. If rats scurried off a ship at dock before it set sail, the voyage was sure to be doomed.

If a Shark followed in the wake of a ship, someone on board would soon die

It was bad luck to kill a turtle and not eat it, but good luck to carry its bones around in your pocket 

Storm Petrels, also known as the Birds of our Lady, by the French were believed to be sent by the Virgin Mary to warn ships of coming storms.

Sailors believed Manta Rays could attach themselves to anchors and drag a ship down to Davy Jones' Locker.

The Albatross could bring both good luck and bad. Good luck in its appearing, and bad luck if it was shot and killed because it was believed to be the restless soul of a dead sailor, as we see in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner

‘God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!--
Why look’st thou so?’--With my cross-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS.
And I had done an hellish thing,
And it would work ’em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.

In fact, if a storm arose after the bird was shot, the bird's carcass was strung around the neck of the sailor responsible and he was lashed to the mainmast where he had to stay until the tempest passed.  

The figurehead at the bow prevented the ship from sinking in a storm, and since it was also believed that if a woman bared her breasts during a storm, it would abate, many figureheads are of bare-breasted women.

It was bad luck to set sail on a Friday because according to Norse myths, Friday was the day when witches gathered. It was also the day Jesus was crucified. Friday the 13th was particularly bad luck.  

Saint Erasmus, also known as St. Elmo died in a terrible storm at sea. Right before he died, he promised the crew he would come back and give them a sign if they were to survive. Not long after, the sailors saw a weird bright light in the sky. They believed it was St. Elmo's sign and every time that electrical charge was seen thereafter, if it remained high on the masts, the ship would survive. If it shown on the deck, the ship was doomed. It is known still today as St. Elmo's fire.

In order to prevent a departed sailor from following a ship, his body was rolled up in his hammock and 13 stitches were used to sew him up, the last stitch going through his nose to ensure he was dead and keep him from appearing on the ship as a ghost. Then two cannonballs were attached to his feet so he couldn't follow them. 

And my personal favorite, mermaids! Mermaids were greatly feared because they were known to lure a man to his death. In 1608 Henry Hudson wrote that two of his sailors had spotted one of the seductive creatures. 

This morning one of our companie looking over boord saw a mermaid, and calling up some of the companie to see her, one more came up and by that time she was come close to the ships side, looking earnestly on the men. A little after the sea came and overturned her. From the navill upward her backe and breasts were like a womans, as they say that saw her, but her body as big as one of us. Her skin very white, and long haire hanging downe behinde of colour blacke. In her going doune they saw her tayle, which was like the tayle of a porposse, and speckld like a macrell.

Pretty Fascinating, huh?