CONGRATULATIONS

Carrie Fancett Pagels' "The Substitute Bride" in O' Little Town of Christmas collection is a 2016 Published MAGGIE AWARD FINALIST in Romance Novellas!!!


Tea Party winners: Roseanna M. White's winner is Debbie Wilder, Denise Weimer's print copy of Widow goes to Andrea Stephens, Debra E. Marvin's winners for Ebook collection are Cheryl Baranski and Rachel Koppendrayer, Carrie Fancett Pagels' ebook collection goes to Joan Arning and paperback to Connie, Gina Welborn's winner is Regina Fujitani, Gabrielle Meyer's paperback copy of A Mother in the Making is Teri Geist DiVincenzo

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A History of Buttons by Susan F. Craft


fancy gold-braided buttons
Buttons have been around for 3,000 years. Made from bone, horn, wood, metal, and seashells, they didn't fasten anything, but were worn for decoration.
The first buttons to be used as fasteners were connected through a loop of thread. The button and buttonhole arrived in Europe in 1200, brought back by the Crusaders.
The French, who called the button a bouton for bud or bouter to push, established the Button Makers Guild in 1250. Still used for adornment, the buttons they produced were beautiful works of art.
By the mid-1300s, tailors fashioned garments with rows of buttons with matching buttonholes. Some outfits were adorned with thousands of buttons, making it necessary for people to hire professional dressers. Buttons became such a craze that the Church denounced them as the devil's snare, referring to the ladies in their button-fronted dresses.
In 1520 for a meeting between King Francis I of France and King Henry VIII of England, King Francis’ clothing was bedecked with over 13,000 buttons, and King Henry’s clothing was similarly weighed down with buttons.
In the 16th century, the Puritans condemned the over-adornment of buttons as sinful, and soon the number of buttons required to be fashionable diminished, though they were make from gold, ivory, and diamonds.
By the mid-1600s, button makers used silver, ceramics, and silk and often hand painted buttons with portraits or scenery.
thread buttons
The late 17th century saw the beginning of the production by French tailors of thread buttons, little balls of thread. This angered the button artisans so much that they pressured the government to pass a law fining tailors for making thread buttons. The button makers even wanted homes and wardrobes searched and suggested that fines be levied against anyone wearing thread buttons. But in la Guerre des Boutons, it’s not clear that their demands went beyond fining of tailors.
sleeve buttons
Towards the end of the 1700s in Europe, big metallic buttons came into fashion. At this time, Napoleon introduced the use of sleeve buttons on tunics. This time period saw the development of the double-breasted jacket. When the outside of the jacket was soiled, the wearer would unbutton it, turn the soiled surface to the inside, and re-button.
death head buttons, thread
star buttons, thread
basket buttons, thread





Thread buttons were used on men's shirts and other undergarments from the late 17th into the early 19th century. Cheaper, they wouldn't break when laundresses scrubbed and beat the material. They were also used on shifts and undergarments because they were soft and comfortable. Other types of thread buttons were death head buttons, star buttons, basket buttons, and Dorset buttons.  Some said that death head buttons were called that because they resembled a skull and crossbones, memento mori, a reminder that life is short and should be lived as well as possible.  Dorset buttons originated in Dorset in southern England where they became a cottage industry. Families, prison inmates, and orphans were employed in the manufacture of thousands of Dorset buttons each year, which were used throughout the UK and exported all over the world.
wooden button molds
Bone button molds, slightly domed on one side and flat on the other, were common in the mid to late 18th century. Button molds were used to make both cloth and thread (passementerie) covered buttons.
Horn buttons were used mostly for spatterdashes and gaitered trousers. These strong durable buttons were competitive in price with other types but available in limited numbers in the 18th century since the making of them was slow.
I discovered these buttons that an artisan made from walnuts
at the Spartanburg, SC, Grove Plantation reenactment
Many colonial American buttons were made from seashells, wood, wax, and animal bones.  The bones were boiled for 12 hours, cut into small pieces, shaved around the edges and had a hole punched through them with an awl. The shape was up to the maker -- round, oval, square, rectangular, or octagonal.
Brass buttons, functional and ornamental, were also popular in colonial America. In 1750 in Philadelphia, a German immigrant, Caspar Wistar, made brass buttons guaranteed for seven years. He later opened the first successful glass making factory in the colonies.  In 1790, Henry Silas and Samuel Grilley, metalworkers in Waterbury, CT, manufactured tin and pewter buttons from sheet brass imported from England. Handmade glass buttons became popular during the second half of the nineteenth century.
The earliest known machine covered button was made by B. Sanders of Birmingham, England, in 1802. That same year, Abel Porter and Company of New England made metal buttons, as imported ones were scarce and expensive. The firm later became Scovil Manufacturing Company, which became famous for making a set of solid gold buttons bearing the profile of George Washington in relief presented to the Marquis de Lafayette during his American visit in 1824.

(I want to thank the William Booth Drapers of Racine, WI, for some of the information provided in this post as well as many of the photographs.  Please visit their website at  www.wmboothdraper.com where you’ll find a treasure trove of books about 17th and 18th century fashion -- shoes, slippers, hats, bonnets, buttons and trimmings, etc., and Packet books about sewing. Fantastic resource.  Thank you, William Booth Drapers.)


Monday, January 28, 2013

Colonial Backwoods Slang by Susan F. Craft

The bantling rode the bayard of ten toes to fetch a dram from the beetle-browed beggar maker.    
Say what? Translate, please.
The young child walked to get a drink from the ale-house keeper who has very bushy eyebrows.

Vocabulary fascinates me, especially learning the origins of phrases that have become a part of our everyday conversations.
I recently came across  the 1785 edition of “The Vulgar Tongue: Buckish Slang and Pickpocket Eloquence,” a dictionary of 18th century colonial backwoods slang words and phrases.  Please note that in colonial American times vulgar meant “ordinary” or “common.”
This book has been published in many editions since its first edition in 1785 under many titles such as “A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue,” “Lexicon Balatronicum,” “Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue”, etc.
Francis Grose
The author was Francis Grose (1731-91) a Swiss antiquary and lexicographer. He also published Antiquities of England and Wales (1773-87) and in 1789, set out on an antiquarian tour through Scotland, after which he wrote Antiquity of Scotland (1789- 91).
Searching through the dictionary,  I found the following words (a’s through g’s) that interested me and some that made me laugh.
Adam’s Ale - Water.
altitudes - The man is in his altitudes, i.e., he is drunk.
angling for farthings - Begging out of a prison window with a cap, or box, let down at the end of a long string.
apple-pye-bed - A bed made apple-pye fashion, like what is called a turnover apple-pye, where the sheets are so doubled as to prevent anyone from getting at his length between them; a common trick played by frolicsome country lasses on their sweethearts, male relations, or visitors.  (short-sheeting)
apron string hold - An estate held by a man during his wife’s life.
arsy varsey - To fall head over heels.
babes in the wood - Criminals in the stocks or pillory.
baker-knee’d - One whose knees knock together in walking, as if kneading dough.
baker’s dozen - Fourteen; that number of rolls being allowed to the purchasers of a dozen.
balderdash - Adulterated wine.
bandog - A baliff or his follower; also a very fierce mastiff.          
bantling - A young child.
banyan day - A sea term for those days on which no meat is allowed to the sailors: the term is borrowed from the Banyans in the East Indies, a cast that eat nothing that had life.
barking irons - Pistols, from their explosion resembling the bow-wow or barking of a dog. Irish.
barrel fever - “He died of the barrel fever”; he killed himself by drinking.
batchelor’s fare - Bread and cheese and kisses.
Bayard of ten toes - To “ride bayard of ten toes”, is to walk on foot. Bayard was a horse famous in old romances.
beau trap - A loose stone in a pavement, under which water lodges, and, on being trod upon, squirts it up, to the great damage of white stockings.
beetle-browed - One having thick projecting eyebrows.
beetle-headed - Dull, stupid.
beggar maker - A publican, or ale-house keeper.
bellows - The lungs.
Bethlehemites
Bethlehemites - Christmas carol singers.
bingo - Brandy or other spirituous liquor.
black art - The art of picking a lock.
bluffer - An inn-keeper.
blunt - money.
to bluster - To talk big, to hector or bully.
bog house - The necessary house.
bolus - A nick name for an apothecary.
bone box - The mouth. “Shut your bone-box”: Shut your mouth.
boots - The youngest officer in a regimental mess, whose duty it is to skink, that is, to stir the fire, snuff the candles, and ring the bell.
boughs - “He is up in the boughs;” he is in a passion.
bracket-faced - Ugly, hard-featured.
bran-faced - Freckled. “He was christened by a baker, he carries the bran in his face.”
break-teeth words - Hard words, difficult to pronounce.
brother of the blade - A soldier.
brother of the buskin - A player.
brother of the bung - A brewer.
brother of the coif - A serjeant [sic] at law.
brother of the quill - An author.
brother of the string - A fiddler.
brother of the whip - A coachman.
bubble & squeak - Beef and cabbage fried together. It is so called from its bubbling up and squeaking whilst over the fire.
bug - A nick name given by the Irish to Englishmen: bugs having, as it is said, been introduced into Ireland by the English.
crown piece
bull’s eye - A crown piece.
bully ruffians - Highwaymen who attack passengers with oaths and imprecations.
bully trap - A brave man, with a mild or effeminate appearance, by whom bullies are frequently taken in.
bum brusher - A schoolmaster.
bum fodder - Soft paper for the necessary house.
bumbo - Brandy, water, and sugar.
buntlings- Petticoats.
burn crust - A jocular name for a baker.
cagg - To cagg: a military term used by the private soldiers, signifying a solemn vow or resolution not to get drunk for a certain time; or, as the term is, till their cagg is out; which vow is commonly observed with the strictest exactness. Excuse me this time, and I will cagg myself for a year.”
camp candlestick - A bottle, or soldier’s bayonet.
Captain Lieutenant - Meat between veal and beef, the flesh of an old calf: a military simile, drawn from the officer of that denomination, who has only the pay of a lieutenant, with the rank of captain: and so is not entirely one or the other, but between both.
Captain Tom - The leader of a mob; also the mob itself.
cardinal - A cloak in fashion about the year 1760.
carrion hunter - An undertaker: called also a cold cook, and death hunter.
carroty-pated - Ginger-hackled, red-haired.
carting - The punishment formerly inflicted on bawds, who were placed in a tumbrel or cart, and led through a town, that their persons might be known.
casting up one’s accounts - Vomiting.
cat in pan - “To turn cat in pan”: to change sides or parties; supposed originally to have been to turn cate or cake in pan.
cat’s foot - “To live under the cat’s foot”: to be under the dominion of a wife, hen-pecked.
cat’s sleep - Counterfeit sleep: cats often counterfeiting sleep, to decoy their prey near them, and then suddenly spring on them.
catching harvest - A dangerous time for a robbery, when many persons are on the road, on account of a horserace, fair, or some other public meeting.
caudge-pawed - Left-handed.
cheats - Sham sleeves to put over a dirty shirt or shift.
chips - A nick name for a carpenter.
chive or chife - A knife, file, or saw. To chive the darbies: to file off the irons or fetters. To chive the boungs of the frows: to cut off women’s pockets.
chivey - “I gave him a good chivey”: I gave him a hearty scolding.
choaking pie, or cold pie - A punishment inflicted on any person sleeping in company: it consists in wrapping up cotton in a case or tube of paper, setting it on fire, and directing the smoke up the nostrils of the sleeper.
clap on the shoulder - An arrest for debt; whence a bum bailiff is called a shoulder-clapper.
cob - A Spanish dollar.
cold pig - To give cold pig is a punishment inflicted on sluggards who lie too long in bed: it consists in pulling off all the bed clothes from them, and throwing cold water upon them.
conny wabble - Eggs and brandy beat up together.
contra dance - A dance where the dancers of different sexes stand opposite each other, instead of side by side, as in the minuet, rigadoon, louvre, etc. and now corruptly called a country dance.
cribbage-faced - Marked with the small pox, the pits bearing a kind of resemblence to the holes in a cribbage-board.
curse of Scotland - The nine of diamonds: diamonds, it is said, imply royalty, being ornaments of the imperial crown; and every ninth king of Scotland has been observed, for many ages, to be a tyrant and a curse to that country. Others say it is from its similarity to the arms of Argyle; the Duke of Argyle having been very instrumental in bringing about the union, which, by some Scotch patriots, has been considered as detrimental to their country.
curtain lecture - A woman who scolds her husband when in bed, is said to read him a curtain lecture.
doodle sack - A bagpipe.
durgen - A little trifling fellow.
Dutch comfort - Thank God it is no worse.
Dutch concert - Where everyone plays or sings a different tune.
dye hard - To dye hard, is to show no signs of fear or contrition at the gallows: not to whiddle or squeak. This advice is frequently given to felons going to suffer the law, by their old comrades, anxious for the honour of the gang. 
elbow room - Sufficient space to act in. “Out of elbows”: said of an estate that is mortgaged.
elbow shaker - A gamester, one who rattles Saint Hugh’s bones, i.e. the dice.
eternity box - A coffin.
execution day - Washing day.
gilly gaupus - A Scotch term for a tall, awkward fellow.
gimblet-eyed - Squinting, either in man or woman.
gingambobs - Toys, bawbles.
glim - A candle, or dark lantern, used in housebreaking; also fire. To glim: to burn in the hand.
gluepot - A parson: from joining men and women together in matrimony.

Next time I do the laundry, I’m going to give my husband a curtain lecture and tell him what a difficult day I had as it was execution day!

For fun, try to come up with a sentence using the slang dictionary!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

O GOD, OUR HELP IN AGES PAST


O GOD, OUR HELP IN AGES PAST


1.  O God, our help in ages past,
     Our hope for years to come,
   Our shelter from the stormy blast,
  And our eternal home.

2.  Under the shadow of Thy throne
      Thy saints have dwelt secure;
   Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
     And our defense is sure.

3.  Before the hills in order stood,
      Or earth received her frame,
   From everlasting Thou art God,
     To endless years the same.


4.  A thousand ages in Thy sight
      Are like an evening gone;
   Short as the watch that ends the night
     Before the rising sun.

5.  Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
      Bears all its sons away;
   They fly forgotten, as a dream
     Dies at the opening day.

6.  O God, our help in ages past,
      Our hope for years to come,
    Be Thou our guard while life shall last,
      And our eternal home.




This ancient hymn, based on Psalm 90, has brought comfort and encouragement to many over the centuries. It’s a reminder that the same God who has been with us through earlier trials will continue to guide us through whatever sorrows and challenges life will bring in the future.

It has been said that “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” is one of Isaac Watts’ greatest works and one of the finest hymns in the whole arena of English hymnody.

Isaac Watts by unknown artist
at London's National Portrait Gallery
Isaac Watts, born in Southampton, England in 1674, was raised in a family that did not embrace the established Church of England. In his early childhood his genius for verse was identified, and he was later promised a financed university education by friends. He declined the generous offer because the donors assumed he would pursue ordination in the Church of England. Instead, in 1690 he attended a Nonconformist Academy at Stoke Newington under the tutelage of the pastor of the Independent congregation at Girdler’s Hall. He later joined the congregation in 1693.

After returning to Southampton for two years, where he wrote most of his hymns, he returned to Stoke Newington for five years as a tutor. In 1702 he became the pastor of an influential Independent Congregational Chapel in London, but resigned after only ten years due to health issues which would continue to plague him until his death in 1748.

He published his Hymns and Spiritual Songs between 1707 -1709. Over his lifetime he is credited with writing 750 hymns and numerous other works. He also authored: “When I survey The Wondrous Cross” and “Joy To The World”.

Isaac Watts poetry also earned him praise in the American colonies. John Wesley called him a genius and Benjamin Franklin published his hymnal.
                                   

Williams Croft, an English composer and organist, composed the music of this old hymn to the tune of “St. Anne”.

He served first as a chorister at the Chapel Royal as a boy and later as one of the organists. He was a composer for Queen Anne and is attributed to be the preeminent church musician of his time. In 1708 he became the organist for Westminster Abbey. He composed works for the funeral of Queen Anne and George Frideric Handel as well as for the coronation of King George I.

O God, our help in ages past,
      Our hope for years to come,
    Be Thou our guard while life shall last,
      And our eternal home.




Friday, January 25, 2013

Tea Party for Jennifer Hudson Taylor and Elaine Marie Cooper


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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Some Wit from Ben (Franklin, that is)



When I began research for my first colonial, I got my hands on Poor Richard's Almanack -- a collection of adages that Benjamin Franklin published, and which were all the rage in the 18th century. As I read through them, integrating quite a few into Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland thanks to a Ben-loving housekeeper and working a few into my new Ring of Secrets as well, I got many a laugh from the sharp-tuned wit of this founding father. And was amazed at a few that have become so well-known that we often think they must have come from the Bible.

And so, some wit and wisdom to carry you through your week, courtesy of Ol' Ben.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

What is serving God?
Tis doing good to man.

God helps those who help themselves.

The poor have little,
Beggars none;
The rich too much,
Enough not one.

After crosses and losses, men grow humbler and wiser.

If you would not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worthy reading,
Or do things worth the writing

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards. (LOL)

Work as if you were to live a hundred years,
Pray as if you were to die tomorrow.  

One good Husband is worth two good Wives; for the scarcer things are, the more they're valued. (LOL again)

Creditors have better memories than debtors.

Death takes no bribes.

A good example is the best sermon.

All would live long, but none would be old.

A long life may not be good enough, but a good life is long enough. 

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.

Beware of him who is slow to anger; he is angry for something, and will not be pleased for nothing.
(In other words, don't make Roseanna mad! ;-)

Danger is sauce for prayers.

Bad commentators spoil the best of books.
(for all you writers out there)

Approve not of him who commends all you say.

Clean your finger, before you point at my spots.
 
Given that this book is in the public domain, you can read more of Ben's wit and wisdom online from Google Books!

~*~
Roseanna M. White pens her novels under the Betsy Ross flag hanging above her desk, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When she isn’t writing fiction, she’s editing it for WhiteFire Publishing or reviewing it for the Christian Review of Books, both of which she co-founded with her husband. www.roseannawhite.com

Monday, January 21, 2013

AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION


AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the work he did to promote equal treatment and opportunity for all. This champion of the African-American civil rights movement, and Baptist preacher, pursued his goal by way of non-violent civil disobedience. In his 1963 Washington D.C. speech “I have a dream”, two particular lines stand out above all others to me.

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.' . . .

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Crispus Attucks
The story of African-American patriots goes back to the very beginning of our nation – those who served in the American Revolution.  As early as 1770, black Americans were supporting the Patriot cause. One of the first battles was the March 5, 1770 Boston Massacre which aimed to remove British troops from Boston. Crispus Attucks was one of a group of dock workers, sailors, apprentices, and servants who were antagonizing British soldiers on the Boston Commons. Attucks, a black patriot, led the charge and was the first to lose his life.  
1975 Postage Stamp honoring Salem Poor 

Salem Poor, a freed black slave, was one of the Minutemen who fought at Concord, Massachusetts in April of 1775. He also served at the battles of Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and Stony Point.

In November of 1775, the English royal governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, issued a proclamation declaring martial law, that all Patriots were traitors, and promising freedom for any slaves who would join the Loyalist cause. He thought a slave uprising would create a fear among the Patriots, cause mistrust between master and slave, and make the Patriots back down from seeking independence. It’s estimated that somewhere between 800 and 2,000 slaves from both Loyalist and Patriot owners enlisted with Dunmore; however it was short lived as Dunmore fled the colony in 1776, taking only 300 former slaves with him.

Those slaves who joined the Loyalist or Patriot cause were not motivated by revenge against their masters but for the opportunity to secure their freedom. The decision to support one cause or the other was as divided in black families as it was in white ones. This was perhaps our first civil war, separating families and friends.

 The contradiction of white Patriots desiring independence from Britain while owning slaves caused many whites, including southerners, to begin to question the institution of slavery. Many slaves, promised freedom for their service, fought on the side of the Patriots. The Sons of the American Revolution estimate that as many as 20,000 may have served. The pursuit of liberty united black and white Americans and the war was won.

Friday, January 18, 2013

New York State and the American Revolution--Part I


According to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, 
“Nearly one third of all the battles fought during the American Revolution were fought in New York State. The capture of Fort Ticonderoga, the Battles of Oriskany, Newtown and Saratoga are just a few of the major events that took place on New York soil.” http://nysparks.com/historic-preservation/heritage-trails/revolutionary-war/default.aspx

This is a four-part look at these important theaters in the war and New York’s vital role in our Nation’s Founding Struggle
By Kathleen L. Maher

Part I—Newtown

Where modern day Elmira, NY is now situated, an Indian village by the name of New Town set the stage for  an important battle in the American Revolution. Set on the Chemung River near Pennsylvania’s border, Newtown/Elmira is fringed by hills on the West and East, and it is along one of these hills to the East that General Sullivan staved off an ambush from the Iroquois leader Joseph Brant and British commander Colonel John Butler.


The Six Nations, four of whom had pledged their loyalty to the crown, had been attacking the settlers of south-central New York for years, trying to drive them out of their log homes and farmsteads. The Mohawk, Cayuga, Seneca and Onondaga tribes supplied the British from this fertile area, and General John Sullivan’s orders from Washington were to drive them out.

In August 29, 1779, Sullivan and 5,000 Continentals from New York, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania had amassed on the shore of Chemung River on New Town’s northeast side. Rumors of an impending ambush roused the Patriot forces to clash with British and Iroquois warriors at the base of what is now called Sullivan’s Hill.
Sullivan's Monument
The casualties were not high but the lasting effect of the battle of Newtown was the disbanding of the Six Nations—the Iroquois were scattered, their villages burned, and their supplies were decimated. Washington instructed Sullivan to pursue the enemy all the way to Forts Niagara and Oswego, but Sullivan failed to accomplish these orders.
The British had lost their bread bowl, and a fierce ally in the war.

A plaque on the memorial site at Sullivan's Monument reads: The soldiers in Sullivan's army were surprised to find cultivated fields and beautiful orchards. Following the war many returned to settle here. Some historians contend that opening the Indian lands for settlement was General George Washington's ultimate purpose for Sullivan's expeditions.

"The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting more."

General George Washington