|Mendenhall Plantation (used by permission of Historic Jamestown Society)|
Welcome, all, to Colonial Quills’ virtual Tea Party, being held today at the historic Mendenhall Plantation in Jamestown, North Carolina. Elaine Marie Cooper hostessing here, along with Kathleen Maher. The very special event we are celebrating today is the release of Jennifer Hudson Taylor’s newest historic romance, Path of Freedom, which is set in this very locale in the year 1858.
Jennifer’s exciting new missive journeys with the brave men and women of the pre-Civil War era who, at the risk of their own lives, attempted to help the African American slaves escape to the north through the Underground Railroad. Her novel involves a young Quaker man and woman who decide to put their personal differences aside to save the life of a pregnant slave couple. With only a quilt as their secret guide, the foursome follows the stitches through unknown treachery. It is a novel of love, faith, and forgiveness.
Here at the Mendenhall Plantation in North Carolina, there is no official documentation of it being a station for the Underground Railroad. But according to Shirley Haworth, President of Historic Jamestown (NC) Society, “we knew that the activity was all around our area.” Ms. Haworth explains that the likely reason there were no official records was the danger: Smuggling slaves was illegal and you were either fined, imprisoned or both.
Jennifer Hudson Taylor is pictured here at the plantation doing her research for this wonderful novel published by Abingdon Press. She is photographed in front of one of the specially designed wagons that were fitted to hide slaves in a special compartment. This wagon is just one of the many museum artifacts at the beautiful Mendenhall Plantation. (All photos used by permission of Historic Jamestown Society)
Jennifer, Kathleen and I would be honored to have you as our guest today. On the menu is the food fare of the Underground Railroad travelers who needed to eat late in the day or early in the morning, resting all day while they journeyed by night. The food is hearty and simple: Homemade biscuits, ham, bacon and eggs. And don’t forget a generous dollop of strawberry jam on those mouth-watering biscuits. Fresh coffee, anyone? Or how about some hot tea with a bit of sugar to sweeten?
Speaking of tea, we have another release to celebrate at out Colonial Quills Tea Party today: A romance anthology entitled I Choose You, published by OakTara publishers, featuring 38 short romance stories, both contemporary and historical. My particular chapter is entitled, “The Tea Set.” It is set in New York City in World War I, involving a young widow, a soldier, and a lonely four-year-old. Somehow the tea set brings it all together. I hope you enjoy.
Be sure to leave comments on our post today with your e-mail address. You will be entered in a drawing to win either a copy of Path of Freedom or I Choose You.
In the meantime, pull up a chair and enjoy your tea!
For more information on the plantation, visit: http://www.mendenhallplantation.org
All photos of plantation used by permission of Historic Jamestown Society