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, October 31, 2012

American Politics: A History of Invective, Chicanery, and Mudslinging

Every presidential campaign season I ruminate on the history of American politics, and since we’re coming down to the wire in the current race, I thought this would be a timely—and lively—topic for discussion. We hear a lot of complaints about personal attack ads and dirty tricks, including from the politicians who are guilty of using them. But you don’t have to do much digging to discover that political chicanery is a time-honored American tradition that has been exercised with glee since America was still a collection of British colonies on the course toward revolution. So let’s take a quick tour of some of the more egregious examples from our nation’s history.

Political parties didn’t exist in this country until we were well on the way to revolution. At that point, the division between those who supported the British and those who opposed them spawned the Loyalists, or Tories, and the Patriots, or Whigs. There was no such thing as neutrality between the two points of view. Anyone who didn’t support one side was automatically consigned to the opposition. Where Patriots held sway, mobs often forced Loyalists out of their homes, denying them legal counsel and trial. Loyalists might be jailed, have their property confiscated, their citizenship revoked, and even be exiled. Where Loyalists held power, Patriots suffered similar treatment. At times someone of the wrong political persuasion was even tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

Mobs played a big part in colonial politics, particularly in Boston, where Dr. Joseph Warren helped to refine mob rule into an art form. But mobs were a force to be reckoned with throughout the colonies. In June 1775, one placed the home of New Hampshire’s last royal governor, John Wentworth, under siege, demanding he turn over his guest, John Fenton, who had urged acceptance of the latest British proposals to avert the crisis. When Fenton understandably refused to comply, the crowd wheeled a cannon in front of the mansion and beat on the walls with clubs until the hapless offender finally gave himself up. Fearing for his and his family’s safety, that night the governor fled with his wife and young child to the fort in Portsmouth harbor, ending decades of British rule in that colony. Nothing like the direct approach to changing your government!

From America's earliest days as a democracy, name-calling and character assassination has been a highly popular tactic, such as when Davy Crockett accused Martin Van Buren of secretly wearing women’s corsets. In 1828, when John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson vied for president, Jackson’s campaign nicknamed Adams The Pimp, based on a rumor that as the American ambassador to Russia he had forced a young woman into an affair with a Russian nobleman. Adams’ supporters responded by circulating a pamphlet claiming that Jackson's mother had been a prostitute brought to this country by British soldiers, and that Jackson was the offspring of her marriage to a mulatto!

The name-calling in the 1800 presidential election between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, however, takes the prize for no-holds-barred mudslinging. Some of the charges and counter-charges are cited in this hilarious YouTube video: Election of 1800 Attack Ads. And you thought our modern political chicanery was bad!

In 1840, American politician Thomas Elder wrote to a friend that “Passion and prejudice properly aroused and directed do about as well as principle and reason in any party contest.” Every campaign season we see the proof of that claim!

So what do you think? Has the political scene improved any today? What are your main (nonpartisan only!) gripes about American political campaigns? What, if anything, can be done to change things?

Monday, October 29, 2012

America's Oldest Brands and Businesses

Making muffins with KA Flour. Recipe below.
By Lori Benton

If you've ever used King Arthur Flour to bake a cake or a loaf of bread, then you've purchased flour from one of the oldest companies in the United States.

Founded in 1790 in Boston, Massachusetts, by Henry Wood, the company first imported its flour from England. As the business grew it changed hands and names. From Henry Wood & Company, it became Sands, Taylor & Wood Company in the 1890s. It was during this time a new brand of premium flour was introduced. One of the owners had recently attended a musical of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and left the performance inspired. The Boston Food Fair, September 10, 1896, saw the introduction of King Arthur Flour, and customers have been enjoying the flour ever since, along with other retail food products bearing the King Arthur name.

The company has since relocated to Norwich, Vermont, where its main store, The Baker's Store, is located, and changed its name to The King Arthur Flour Co., Inc., to reflect its principal brand. In addition to The Baker's Catalogue, the company has published four cookbooks, including King Arthur 200th Anniversary Cookbook and the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion.

Visit King Arthur Flour on line: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/ and don't miss the recipe for Peachy-Almond muffins at the end of the post, the ingredients for which are pictured in the photo above. 

More early American companies, businesses, and brands still in use or operation (with links for further exploring):

~ Oldest plantation: Shirley Plantation, Charles City, Virginia. Original land grant given in 1613. Eleven generations of the same family have lived and worked this plantation, still in operation today.
~ 1667 Seaside Inn & Cottages Kennebunk Beach, Maine
~ 1673 White Horse Tavern Newport, Rhode Island
~ 1742 (or earlier) Towle Silversmiths
~ 1780 Baker's Chocolate
~ 1784  D. Landreth Seed Co of Pennsylvania
~ 1787 Hayes Coffee
~ The Old Farmer's Almanac, the longest continuously published periodical in the US, was first published 1792, during George Washington's first term as President.
~ Crane & Co. making fine paper since 1801
~ 1806 Colgate: soap, starch, and candles first. Then came the toothpaste!
~ 1818 Remington America's oldest gun maker 

Just Peachy-Almond Muffins 
(muffins pictured were made with King Arthur Flour)

Just Peachy-Almond Muffins, by Lori Benton
1 16 oz can sliced peaches, drained
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Chop peaches; drain, and set aside. Combine flour, salt, soda, and sugar in a mixing bowl; make a well in center of dry ingredients. Add eggs and oil; stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Add peaches and remaining ingredients; stir until blended.

Spoon batter evenly into greased or paper-lined muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes for 6 jumbo muffins, 20-25 minutes for 12 regular-sized muffins, or 18 minutes for 36 miniature muffins.

Enjoy these muffins with a nice cup of tea! Make it historical and try some of these blends.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Janet Grunst

“I exhort you therefore, that, first of all, 
supplications, prayers, intercessions,
and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority;
that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life 
in all godliness and honesty.”
1 Timothy 2:1-2

At various times throughout our nation’s history, our leaders have called for days or periods of fasting, humiliation and prayer. Even before the American Revolution, the men who served in the Continental Congress were men of faith and understood that the prosperity of a nation depended on its religious vitality.

A “Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer” was called for June 1st, 1774 in Boston. On March 16th, 1776 a broadside was distributed by Congress calling for a “Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer”, for citizens throughput the colonies to “confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his (God’s) righteous displeasure and through merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness.”

Congress continued to call for days of fasting and thanksgiving at least twice a year throughout the Revolutionary War.  They understood that the prosperity of our new nation was dependent on God’s mercy. Congress appointed chaplains for itself as well as for the various branches of the military to provide for the spiritual support these bodies required.  

Since then there have been numerous occasions during turbulent times over the centuries when national leaders and clergy would petition Americans to humble themselves, repent, and seek God’s mercy to preserve and prosper our nation.

As we approach our national election during this critical time in our country, please pray for the following:

~ That all Americans will become informed about the candidates and issues.
~ That all eligible American voters will exercise their right and responsibility to vote.
~ That nothing will impede the rights of the military and other Americans abroad to have
      their votes counted.
~ That the media will be honest, and unbiased in their reporting.
~ That the integrity of our electoral system will be preserved.
~ For God to grant wisdom, discernment, integrity, and courage for our elected                

“If my people, which are called by my name, 
shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face, 
and turn from their wicked ways;
then I will hear from heaven, 
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14

Friday, October 26, 2012

Janet Grunst Posts on A Case of Spiritual Warfare in the Eighteenth Century

The earth we inhabit not only has a physical dimension that we see, but also an unseen spiritual one, where warfare is waged daily. This awareness of the spiritual battle going on around us has helped me to better understand the world and the part we play, or are played, in it. Looking at historical or current events, and studying human behavior from a spiritual perspective can be very “enlightening”― my segue to the eighteenth century.

I believe it’s no accident or coincidence that two competing worldviews, “The Age of Enlightenment” and “The Great Awakening”, the unseen spiritual conflict, took place during the same period.

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”                                         1 Corinthians 2:5 KJV

Spiritual battles are waged in the mind and in the heart.
The Intellectual Battle:
The Age of Enlightenment, or The Age of Reason, was a philosophical and cultural movement of intellectuals in the eighteenth century stressing the importance of human reasoning over blind faith and obedience to prevailing religious beliefs. It promoted a critical reappraisal of existing ideas and social institutions.

The Enlightenment exalted human reason and celebrated science, advanced logic over absolute truth, challenged orthodox Christianity, and extolled cultural relativism. Its champions were Voltaire, Rousseau, John Locke and even Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were somewhat influenced by the movement. The Enlightenment brought about many changes, some good, others debatable.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
1 Corinthians 1:18-26 KJV

The Spiritual Battle:
The Great Awakening refers to several periods of religious revival in the eighteenth century. These eras brought about increased interest in faith and religious freedom, repentance and redemption, revival and evangelism. Some who influenced these movements were John and Charles Wesley, George Whitfield, and Jonathan Edwards.

This period saw the initiation of new religious movements as well as denominations, advocacy for a free press, and the development of democratic concepts that eventually led to our American Revolution.

Many people of faith discovered that religion was more than in intellectual pursuit, but one that was changing hearts and attitudes. While the Enlightenment advocated stratified social orders, the Bible taught that the value of mankind is God given and not determined by class.

Historians will find valid reasons for each movement, and both of these events had an enduring and powerful impact on our culture. Studying history from an intellectual perspective is fascinating and important, if for no other reason, history tends to repeat itself, and we would be wise to learn from those who have gone before us. Evaluating history from a spiritual vantage point is equally interesting, and I believe increases our awareness of the presence, power, and provision of God.

Lenell  Stevenson
A Prayer Warrior ~ now with the Lord
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
Ephesians 6:10-18 KJV

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Forbidden Dance

Roseanna White here to introduce a good friend and new member of Colonial American Christian Writers, Dina Sleiman. Dina's first American historical romance just released yesterday (huzzah!), and we are excited to introduce it and its early American setting. As one may be able to tell from the title, Love in Three-Quarter Time, a certain dance is featured in Dina's novel. And she's here to tell us a little bit about it. Take it away, Dina!


The Forbidden Dance

No, I’m not talking about the tango. In the late 1700s and early 1800s the waltz was considered quite a scandalous dance. It gained popularity on the European continent by around 1780, but was still scorned in respectable circles in England and the United States. It wasn’t until the Prince Regent introduced the waltz at a ball in 1816 that it was accepted in England. As for the newly formed US, all we can say for certain is that it was a standard dance by 1830. 
For my new novel, Love in Three-Quarter Time, I assumed that as in all things fashionable, Americans would have followed close on the heels of their British cousins. I showed the waltz being introduced to Charlottesville, Virginia, by a trend-setting plantation matron in 1817. But the waltz of the Regency (or in this case late Federalist) era was quite different than the waltz we know today. It was closely related to the cotillion, and it incorporated a variety of handholds that could, in fact, turn a bit risqué in the wrong company.

Here are just a few lines from a very lengthy poem called “The Waltz,” written by Lord Byron in 1813.
Endearing Waltz! -- to thy more melting tune
Bow Irish jig and ancient rigadoon.
Scotch reels, avaunt! and country-dance, forego
Your future claims to each fantastic toe!
Waltz -- Waltz alone -- both legs and arms demands,
Liberal of feet, and lavish of her hands;
Hands which may freely range in public sight
Where ne'er before --- but --- pray "put out the light."
Methinks the glare of yonder chandelier
Shines much too far --- or I am much too near;
And true, though strange --- Waltz whispers this remark,
"My slippery steps are safest in the dark!"

 The waltz of that time was not the gliding Viennese Waltz or the boxy American Waltz we might be familiar with from dance shows today. It began with a side-by-side promenade called “The March,” but then moved into “The Pirouette” section which involved a variety of holds, some of them quite intimate and hip to hip, with hands linked overhead. The dance then moved into the quicker, hopping "Sauteuse" and "Jetté" portions, but always returned to the sensuous pirouettes. Unlike other dances of its time such as cotillions, minuets, reels, gavottes, and country dances which allowed only fleeting contact, the waltz allowed for extended body and eye contact between the partners. These holds allowed ample time for gazing into the partner’s eyes and…shall we say, conversation?

As in Colonial days, dance in the Federalist Era was an essential part of high society life. One’s ability to dance played an essential role in one’s good standing in the community. Little wonder my Mrs. Beaumont was in such a tizzy that her twin daughters were about to be launched into society and she couldn’t secure the best dance instructor in Virginia. And once she did find a suitable teacher, enter my heroine Constance Cavendish, little wonder that Mrs. Beaumont desired to wow her peers by being the first to thpresent the waltz in her area.

Thomas Jefferson, who makes a cameo appearance in my novel as a retired president and resident of Albemarle County, once wrote that dance “is a healthy exercise, elegant and very attractive for young people.” And as Jefferson spent much time in France, I surmise he would have enjoyed a good waltz himself.

I had tons of fun playing with the idea of introducing this “scandalous” dance into the polite society of the planter elite class in Albemarle County, Virginia. I hope you have fun reading about it as well. If you’d like to get a peek at the Regency Era waltz, check out this video. The filming quality is poor, but it’s the only one I could find that shows one of the more questionable holds. 


GIVEAWAY: A copy of this ebook will be given away to one of our commenters. Please leave your email address for notification.

In the style of Deeanne Gist, Dina Sleiman explores the world of 1817 Virginia in her novel Love in Three-Quarter Time. When the belle of the ball falls into genteel poverty, the fiery Constance Cavendish must teach the dances she once loved in order to help her family survive. The opportunity of a lifetime might await her in the frontier town of Charlottesville, but the position will require her to instruct the sisters of the plantation owner who jilted her when she needed him most. As Robert Montgomery and Constance make discoveries about one another, will their renewed faith in God help them to face their past and the guilt that threatens to destroy them in time to waltz to a fresh start? http://dinasleiman.com

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review of Love in Three-Quarter Time

by Dina L. Sleiman

Guest Review by Christine Lindsay

Love in Three-Quarter Time had me laughing and tearing up, and at many times simultaneously.

Constance “Gingersnap” Cavendish has been in love with Robbie Montgomery since she first saw him at his plantation in Virginia. At one time she thought he loved her too. After all, they were practically engaged. 

Then, after her father swindles half the country and dies with a shadow over his name, no one of good society will have anything to do with the Cavendish family, especially not Robbie Montgomery. Now the Cavendish women, and Constance as the eldest sister, must work for a living. 

This doesn’t bother Constance. She’s proud to work. She’ll do whatever it takes to cleanse her family name of her father’s former sins. 

When a need for a dance instructor comes up, Constance is easily convinced to put her ‘Belle of the ball’ talents to good use. She finagles a way to become the instructor to the young ladies of the Beaumont family, only to discover that this Mrs. Beaumont used to be Mrs. Montgomery, Robbie’s mother. 

Constance goes off to the Beaumonts with a pray on her lips that she will not run into the man who broke her heart. But Robbie discovers Constance in the bosom of his family, teaching his sisters how to dance, and all with a fake English accent. He’d been right all along to not trust anyone from the Cavendish family. In his mind, Constance is just as much a swindler as her father had been.

Through this passionate, lighthearted, laughter-filled, romance with a strong spiritual thread, the characters learn to dance the shockingly risqué waltz newly arrived from Europe. Set against the backdrop of the relatively young United States, we watch Constance and Robbie fighting at odds over the same desires. 

Secretly, they are both abolitionists and want more than anything to free the slaves that worked their parents’ land. 

Filled with characters that strut or dance off the page, I was entertained for several days with the likes of a buckskin-wearing preacher, called Lorimer, a host of Canvendish sisters, Patience and Felictiy, and the Virginia countryside filled with a mosaic of African/Americans, First Nation Indians, and an assortment of immigrants from Europe. This is the melting pot of the United States with all its fine, expansive, and inclusive, culture. And all based on the founding structure of the Christian faith.

If you enjoyed Lasting Impressions by Tamera Alexander, Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist, or Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna White you will love Love in Three-Quarter Time by Dina L. Sleiman. 

Christine Lindsay is the author of the multi-award-winning novel Shadowed in Silk. The second book in this Twilight of the British Raj series will be released by WhiteFire Publishing Feb. 2013, and Christine is hard at work writing the third and final book to this series. Drop by her website www.christinelindsay.com to get to know Christine.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rev. Isaac Backus: A Matter between God and Individuals

"...nothing is more evident, both in reason and the Holy Scriptures, than that religion is ever a matter between God and individuals; and, therefore no man or men can impose any religious test, without invading the essential prerogatives of our Lord Jesus." 
Rev. Isaac Backus, 1787, Constitution Debates

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." Galatians 2:16

When mere men impose upon other men works to be tests of their faith and of their religion, they demonstrate their own faith is in works and not in the grace of God given to us through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.

During the formation of our country many stood on the side of religious freedom. Even so, others worked to oppress the fundamental right to worship God according to their own conscience.

Paul warned the Galatians to not let others lead them to believe they must follow the traditions of the Judaisers. Jesus preached against the Pharisees who placed heavy religious burdens on the Jews. Christ desired followers to be people who loved him and chose to lay down their lives for Him.

God calls us individually to Him. No person can come to God except through faith, and true faith comes forth from the inner man not from another person imposing his views on an individual.

Faith that saves forms at the seat of one's affections, his inner most thoughts, his passions, the very essence of who he is--the very place no other can touch except God. From this place, faith, having been sparked by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, hears the Word of God, and comes to fruition when the individual, believing, calls upon the name of the Lord. This is the faith (or religion) Rev. Backus spoke of when he said, "religion is ever a matter between God and individuals; and, therefore no man or men can impose any religious test,..." 

Religion is man's attempt to reach God. When religion forces and tests it does so contrary to the very words of Jesus, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6b) This is Christ's essential prerogative, that all man should come to God through Him, not through a priest, not through a religious leader, not through the faith of another man, but as an individual coming through faith in Jesus Christ who paid for that individual's sins.

What are the essential prerogatives of God, and how can we avoid invading them?

Jesus is God, the Son. He, as God, created all. He is our Holy, Righteous, and Just King, Ruler of All. As such, He has all authority to call individuals to Him and into what service He deems to place them. He lifts one up while bringing another down. He alone has the exclusive right to save the souls of men and to give them a measure of faith and grace. By His Divine Will He determines how a man shall serve Him. And in His Holy Word He lays out His plan for all mankind.

We cannnot force another to give his heart to God. The Holy Spirit does the convicting. The Holy Spirit reveals to each individual the glorious grace of God. Yes, we are to tell others. Yes, we are to disciple, but only the Holy Spirit can work in the heart of each person.

Jesus wants people who are willing to die to themselves and live for Him. Such sacrifice and commitment can only come when a person loves Him. A person's will must be passionately and wholly involved to make such a commitment. Another person cannot, by force or by fear, cause you to make such a commitment.

Jesus said that those who believed in Him would be saved. This is a personal belief. No man can impose it upon another. The essential prerogatives of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit--the triune God:
  • He is creator and thus has all authority over creation. He alone has exclusive rights to do with creation what He will.
  • His is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He alone has exclusive rights to raise up a ruler or take down a ruler. By virtue of His rank He gives another authority.
  • He gave to all men the freedom to chose to believe then to leave their old lives behind to follow Him. He provided a way of salvation for all men, that none should perish, and by His Holy Spirit, He calls them unto Him, drawing them into the grace He so richly extends to all, desiring that none should perish. And as the all knowing God, who knows whose heart will be His, He pursues with the intent to win.
  • He, as creator, formed each of us in the womb, and determined a purpose for our lives, some for greatness and others for a more humble service. He alone determines this. 
At the time our country was formed, the livelihood and faith of the citizens of other nations were determined by the goverment and religious rulers. Grave consequences would come to those who opposed these rulers.

Rev. Backus stood for freedom of slaves, not only those forced to work for their masters, but also for those who were enslaved to a religion imposed upon them by church leaders and government. He spoke, knowing of those who were nearly drowned by church leaders who opposed adult baptism. He spoke, knowing of those who had suffered beatings for preaching the true Gospel: that faith alone in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ can save us and not by any works or righteousness we have done.

Today, we have the 'politically correct' telling us how to behave. While the desire to not offend another is honorable, it is flawed when it invades the 'essential prerogatives of our Lord Jesus.' We have the environmentalists testing our loyalties to Mother Nature by our efforts to minimize our carbon footprint. They neglect to acknowledge the Creator and His plan for the earth. While we are to be good stewards of what God has given us, we must never forget that we have no power over Him and His plans.

Today, we have as great a challenge as those who participated in the constitutional debates to remember the rights of the individual.

Jesus told His disciples, "...Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:46b-47).

Rev. Backus determined to ensure our country would all for this message to be preached, unhindered by the government. Who today will stand to ensure that freedom remains, unhindered by the government and by those who wish to destroy true Christianity?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Yorktown Day, 2012

Yorktown Victory Monument from a distance.

Every year, near where I live, the Yorktown Battlefield & Yorktown Victory Center celebrates the anniversary of the last great American Revolution victory.  This year it is 231 years since the defeat of the British at Yorktown.  I sure wish the local schools allowed our children out for the parade tomorrow.  There is also a ceremony this Friday, October 19, for Yorktown Day.  As usual, there are also programs and tours on Saturday and Sunday, October 20 and 21, at Yorktown Battlefield and the Yorktown Victory Center.

Liberty atop the Yorktown Victory monument.
The American and French armies were victorious in 1781, after a pounding nine-day ordeal.   Cornwallis surrendered the British army of over 8,000 soldiers and sailor. Lord Charles Cornwallis's defeat was the last major event for the military during the the American Revolution.
Yorktown day events.

We have a wreath-laying memorial which has continued since 1922.  A parade steps at 10:30 a.m. down Main Street past the Victory Monument.  
This wreath is from nearby Yorktown National Cemetary

Read more (click here) about this wonderful annual even recognizing our patriot's.  At least one of my Rousch ancestors witnessed the surrender at Yorktown, which is pretty neat. (I sometimes wonder if any of my British ancestors might have been fighting on the other side!)

Here is the weekend schedule of events and don’t miss having some of the Brunswick stew that is offered annually.   http://www.historyisfun.org/Yorktown-Victory-Weekend-Schedule.htm
They have great demonstrations.

The Victory Center at Yorktown has some really interesting artifacts, e.g., George Washington's canopy tent and a re-created French ship interior.  (I love their store at the national park!)  They have a movie theater inside and a nice American Revolution movie about the Yorktown siege.

Question:  Have you been to the Yorktown National Park?  Did you know it was listed in the National Parks Best of book as one of the top American Revolution parks to visit? 

Giveaway: A Little Colonial Girl Paper Doll Dover activity book and postcards and note cards from Yorktown, Virginia. For CQ Followers from USA only. Put CQ on your comment.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Trampled! Loading Oxen on a Barge

Welcome dear friends. Come sit in the shade of this old oak tree by the milk cow field. Have I told you about a time we loaded ten oxen on a barge to be transported to across the bay? No? Well, settle down and me brother-in-law, Davis Owen, will share ye his experience.

Thank ye, Nathaniel. I chuckle for I know you, brother, ye seek to show me a fool, but ye are as much a one as I.

We were both anxious about the rumors of piracy and the accusations made against our own ships being used for such crimes. Yeah, it seemed even God was angry with us for the weather was wet and the footing slick. I’m sure our anxiety transferred to the oxen, making them all the more nervous.

Beach along Narragansett Bay
We’d made a v-shaped pen down the rocky beach to where the flat-bottomed freight boat was beached. As the oxen drew close to the barge, Nathaniel would slide a post behind two or three to keep them from turning around and rushing away from the barge. I drove them into the narrow part of the pen with a cane on their backs and plenty of shouting.

Now Nathaniel knows a thing or two about cattle, but sailors don’t. The tide was coming in and the waves rolled under the barge causing it to rock.

I heard the bawl of an oxen and the shout of a man and looked up to see a sailor slip down behind an animal that balked at the movement of the barge. His actions spooked the ones next in line. One reared up and spun around, his front legs landing on the head of one behind him.

At that moment the oxen in front of me backed up. “Whoa,” I yelled, but feeling me falter, the ox rushed back.

I waved my cane to no avail. My foot slipped, and I landed on my back, mud and sand splashing all around me.

The bullock, now free of the narrow aisle, turned and leapt over me.

I heard a crack like the breaking of wood and pulled myself into a ball. The air moved over me while another ox sailed above me. Hooves drummed around me and mud, rocks, and sand slid to and away from me like grapes under the feet of a crusher.

When the last oxen flew over me, I jumped to my feet. I had no thought for myself but that the frightened beasts would push the weak gate at the end of the pen and get away.

I began to work my way around the herd when I heard men roaring in laughter. I looked up and there was Nathaniel and two sailors holding their jiggling bellies.

Nathaniel waved his hand at me and said, “We thought you were a dead man.” He jumped over the fence and jogged to my side. “Always knew you were tougher than you looked.”

Aye, ‘tis true, Davis. Few would have known your noble background when you were covered from head to toe in mud and manure.

Me? I should remind you of the time…

Save it for another day, brother. These gentle people need to be one their way. Good day to you all and Godspeed.

Aye, Godspeed to you all.


A Word from Lynn Squire

Perhaps you find the story hard to believe, but it comes from personal experience. I’ve been trampled at least four times in my life from what I remember. One, very similar to Davis’s experience. We were loading calves onto a truck to take to market and something spooked the ones at the front of the shoot. They turned, knocked me down and jumped over me. Worried about lost time and the blame being put on me, I jumped to my feet and began chasing them back up the shoot. Then I heard my dad and sister laughing. They thought for sure I’d have been hurt.

Another time we were bringing in the horses, about sixty head. It was winter, and the ground was frozen, and I was bundled up so tight I could barely move. While closing the gate on the last horse, I stumbled and fell. Something had spooked the herd, and I had a good fifteen head leap over me in a rush to get out of the catch pen. Then too I jumped to my feet, knowing my clumsiness just cost a lot of time.

Why did I not get hurt in either situation? Because horses and cows would rather leap over a danger than run on top of it.

However, the third time I was not so lucky. I was leading a three year old thoroughbred filly when an electric fence sparked. She spooked, knocked me over and used me for a launching pad. I ended up with several broken ribs and a punctured lung. Had that happened to Davis Owen, he would not have lived to tell the story. I did, and we all have a good chuckle for there are so many stories to go along with that punctured lung (just a hint, I was no more than three weeks a newlywed).

Monday, October 15, 2012

Red Griffin Inn Tea Party for Carla Olson Gade

Colonial Courtships

Carla Olson Gade is the author of Carving a Future, featured in Colonial CourtshipsPublished by: Barbour Books, October 1, 2012. Carla is also the author of The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter.  Her website is http://carlagade.com

Nathaniel's mother operates the Red Griffin Inn, the family's home, in Carla's novella.  Constance stays with the family and assumes work as an indentured servant after being kidnapped in London.

We are celebrating Carla's release with a Tea Party right here at the Red Griffin Inn! To see more of the inn, go to this post at Romancing America! (click here)

Welcome to our Tea Party for Carla Olson Gade.  Carrie Fancett Pagels is your morning hostess, serving food to break your fasts and Rebecca DeMarino for the afternoon with luncheon fare for you to sup on! On the menu is authentic Muster Day Gingerbread, a recipe found in Carla's novella.

Colonial Courtships -

Set during the years 1753-1762, Colonial  Courtships features the four Ingersoll brothers who reside in Glassenbury with their widowed mother at their family hostelry, The Red Griffin Inn.  Will the unexpected end in four courtships?

Carving a Future - Connecticut, 1752:  Ship figurehead carver Nathaniel Ingersoll has apprenticed for many years under his Uncle Phineas and hopes to become a master ship carver in his own right. Constance Starling was spirited away from England to the Connecticut coast as an indentured servant, arriving too ill for anyone to accept her. When Nathaniel takes pity on her, he purchases her contract. Has he jeopardized the future he has worked so hard to achieve for the welfare of a weakly servant?

See Carrie's review of Carving a Future.

Giveaway:  Carla is offering a colonial gift basket with a signed paperback copy of Colonial Courtships to one fortunate winner! (The winner may opt for an ebook copy from Carrie. International winners will receive an ebook copy in lieu of the gift basket.)  We also have a lovely tea cup, saucer, strainer and cover set that will go out to one of our Tea Party visitors--this winner will be selected from those respondents who come "in character" and contribute to the colonial atmosphere!

Colonial gift basket included Colonial Courtships,
gingerbread scented taper candles, wood spoon,
fall napkins, and gingerbread cookies.

Conversation starter:  Carla would like to know about your character's vocations. Or about an interesting trade in your family history.

You can also find Carla this week at Barbour's Romancing America blog.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

John Adams: A Moral and Religious People

"Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
John Adams

"And the LORD commanded us to do all these statues, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us."
Deuteronomy 6:24-25
If righteousness does not reign in the hearts of a country's citizens, justice will not be maintained. But man cannot be righteous of his own merit. Mankind cannot execute perfect justice because each individual is consumed with the needs and desires of his own flesh.

Ideologies rise up in opposition to each other, neither looking to the absolute truth found in God's Word, the Bible. Division follows leading to the abandonment of the remarkable fundamental principles upon which our Founding Fathers intended for us to govern. Reduced to mere words, the constitution becomes open to personal interpretation. Personal interpretation generally follows the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
"Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
James 4:1-3

We cannot resolve our differences, because we examine our situations from our finite minds and our finite lives. In the end, our focus centers upon our own human comforts in this present time, and not to our children's and grandchildren's comfort, nor do we anticipate eternity. In essence, we can't see past the end of our noses.

The United States of America strayed away from God (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) by removing Him from its schools, its courts, its government, and its culture. We are no longer a moral and religious people in the sense meant by John Adams, and we are beginning to experience the consequences.

So where does this leave us?

Benjamin Franklin said:
"Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety."
For those of us who are born again believers, our liberty is in Christ. Our faith is our righteousness and our actions are our religion, both of which reflect our morality. Have we given up our liberty in Christ for fear of persecution? For fear that someone (determined to be enslaved by the lusts of his own flesh and eyes and by his pride of life) might call us hateful bigots, religious zealots, and racists because we are standing on Biblical truths--not on man's interpretation of those truths but God's interpretation?

Have we given up our liberty because we are reluctant to suffer as Christ did for our faith? Or will we stand like Peter and John who stood before the religious leaders and said:
"...Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." Acts 4:19-20
Or do we shrink away from the freedom of speech our ancestors fought for?

I put to you, our country will continue to shrink in power and greatness if we continue to shrink away from our Christian faith in the Almighty God, Lord and Saviour of our lives, and the precepts and principles taught from Scripture.

For those of you who know God's Word, let me ask you, where is North America mentioned in the prophecies of what is yet to come? I would much rather North America be diminished because so many are raptured by Christ than because we've experienced judgement for our sins.

What should we do? There is still hope. The people of Nineveh were told they would be destroyed by God. The people repented and pleaded for God's mercy. God saw that they turned from their evil way, and He turned from destroying them.

We may or may not be able to save our country, but we can bring God glory by proclaiming His good works, His Gospel to each person willing to listen. We can bring God glory by standing on God's Word and on the Blood of Jesus Christ shed for our sins, and when we no longer shrink from those who wish to malign us and tread upon our faith. We do not need to be antagonistic nor do we need to cower. We stand by peacefully proclaiming God's truth and not fearing what man will do to us.

I am thankful for those senators and congressmen who stand up for our faith at cost to themselves. And I will pray for them as I also pray for our country. I will pray that we will once again become a moral and religious people.
"And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart." 
Jeremiah 24:7

(Note, the above verse was written for Judah, but it shows the heart of God. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and calls for even the Gentiles to repent, call upon the name of Jesus, and follow Him)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Early Christmas Gift Coming Soon--A Serialized Forted Frontier American Christmas Collection

By: Carrie Fancett Pagels

A handful of our Colonial Quills writers will be contributing to a serialized collection of linked stories--set in colonial America.  We are offering this series as a gift to our readers as a lead up to the big event of Christmas.  

Here are some questions for our readers:

When you think of colonial forts, what images come to mind?

If you were to pick a place for the story to be set, would you have it in New York, Virginia, or Pennsylvania?

Do you have an ancestor's name you'd love for us to include in the stories?  What did your ancestor do? Note: The person would have to be portrayed in a positive light.  

Is there a specific craft from colonial America that you enjoy?

What extra special activities do you  believe colonists would have to do leading up to the Christmas evening?

How might persons of your denomination celebrated Christmas?

Would you like to see  broad range of persons from various countries (which is what I am hoping for!) or would you prefer a focus on a specific group?

Finally--Will you be coming by to read the stories once we start them? 

Hoping to hear a rousing HUZZAH!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Colonial Cats and Mice

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper

There is a Colonial American proverb: “You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats.”

Perhaps it was a popular saying because that friendship could help quell the numerous mice the colonists were forced to contend with. Not only did the scavengers threaten the colonials’ meager supply of food, the rodents even ate any supply of candles. The tallow (animal fat) that was used to make this precious commodity was apparently appreciated by the little creatures—much to the house owners’ consternation.

To shield the candles from destruction, the colonists built special wooden boxes and set them on the wall to keep their source of light safe from the hungry creatures.

But an early American household also kept that ultimate mice killer—a cat.

Until I visited Storrowton Village Museum in West Springfield, Massachusetts last fall, I was unaware that some colonial homes had openings to the outdoors for their cats to go in and out. I actually thought that cat doors were a 20th century invention. It certainly made more sense in the 18th century since they likely did not tolerate cat boxes in the house.

If you look closely at this 18th century home, which is situated at the museum in West Springfield, you will see the cat door in the lower right near the door.

A close-up will reveal it even more clearly.

Ah, the life of a happy colonial cat. Since we have no photos of a colonial kitty, my own feline, Julius, has graciously offered to model.

Julius has no such luxury to come and go as he pleases. His outdoor ventures to my front porch are closely monitored by humans. He is an indoor, city cat—but a great mouser indoors. With the cooler, fall weather descending, I am grateful for his hunting skills since the little rodents are notorious for finding the tiniest entrance into a home.

Mice were not indigenous to America. They were stowaways on board ships from Europe. As uninvited guests, they quickly made their home quite comfortably in the New World. Along with these little varmints on the boats were other pests: gray rats, black flies and (gulp) cockroaches.

The only reference to mice being in any way useful was in a volume called Taxation in Colonial America by Alvin Robushka: “Specific export duties were imposed on skins of beaver, raccoon, mink, otter, bear, wolf, muskrat, mice, and deer…”

Shiver. Mice skins? They actually skinned them and used them for something? 

 I don’t even want to think about it. But there must have been a lot of mice…

This author has opted to include no photos of rodents. :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Review of Carla Olson Gade's "Carving a Future" Novella

Colonial Courtships

Carving a Future, by Carla Olson Gade
Romancing America collection
(Barbour 2012)

Nathaniel Ingersoll is determined to become a master craftsman, carving ship’s figureheads. He and his brother are Mrs. Ingersoll’s two grown sons.  She runs the Red Griffin Inn.  Nathaniel apprentices under his elderly arthritic uncle, a bachelor.  Heroic Nathaniel intervenes when Constance, abducted by a wicked ship captain, protests that she was kidnapped. Hearing her plight, he offers to purchase her indenture contract.  

With his father deceased, money is tight but Mrs. Ingersoll welcomes Constance into their inn, where the young woman has her first experiences in performing domestic duties.  Pitifully, in fact, considering that she was a young woman of higher social standing until her parents died and she became a lady’s companion. 

This was a delightful novella with lots of colonial details that history lovers will enjoy.  Readers who enjoy colonial era Christian romance will be THRILLED with the authenticity of the information included and the lovely heroine and strong hero.  Carla has created compelling characters and a lovely tight storyline for this novella.  Wouldn’t be at all surprised if it is nominated for an ACFW Carol award next year.

Colonial Courtships is available at CBD and on Amazon and through other book sellers.

Disclaimer: I read this novella on my Kindle as a download through NetGalley in return for my honest review.  My opinions are my own.

Giveaway: Winner receives a copy of this book in either paperback or ebook (international winner ebook only.)