April Tea Party Winners

Six Year Blog Anniversary WINNERS: Carla Gade - Pattern for Romance audiobooks go to Andrea Stephens and Megs Minutes and winner of Love's Compas is Terressa Thornton, PEGG THOMAS's signed copy of The Pony Express Romance Collection is Debra Smith, Janet Grunst's debut book goes to Kathleen Maher, Carrie Fancett Pagels' winner's choice goes to: Connie Saunders, Denise Weimer's print winner of, Angela Couch's winner's choice goes to Susan Johnson, Debra E. Marvin reader's choice of any of her novellas or a paperback of Saguaro Sunset novella -- Teri DiVincenzo and Lynne Feurstein, Jennifer Hudson Taylor's "For Love or Country" go to: Lucy Reynolds, Bree Herron and Mary Ellen Goodwin, Shannon McNear's winners are Becky Dempsey for Pioneer Christmas and Michelle Hayes for Most Eligible Bachelor, Roseanna White's winner for Love Finds You in Annapolis is Becky Smith.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Winter That Nearly Destroyed Peace


Signing of the preliminary Treaty of Paris, 1782

 By Roseanna M. White

It was 1783. The Treaty of Paris had been written, peace was a tenuous string between England and America. There was a deadline for getting the document signed, ratified, and returned to France, where Benjamin Franklin was waiting to present it to the English delegates. The hopes and fears of two nations were on the line.

And the document sat, unsigned, in Annapolis, Maryland, where the Congress was meeting. It sat, and it waited, while delegates from the 13 newly-christened states failed, and failed again to show up.

When I was writing Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland many moons ago, I kept reading about how the delegates weren't there, but it took me a long time to find something that told me why. And given the "snowpocalypse" that just closed in on Maryland again this past week, it seemed like an appropriate time to tell y'all about it. =)

I lived in Annapolis for 6 years, so I knew what normal winter weather looked like for the town. Windy. Very, very windy. Nasty windy. Cold. The occasional just-above-freezing rain, a few days of ice. Snow once a year or so. Overcast aplenty, but some days of nice sunshine too.

Not so in the winter of 1783-84. No, Jefferson and Franklin both termed this "the long winter of 1783-84," and Jefferson further added that it was "severe beyond all memory." Even the oldest men alive at the time couldn't remember a winter that was worse for the eastern seaboard. The snow kept coming. And coming. The temperatures were frigid.

The Laki fissure, from which toxic gases fumed
Yes, I'm geeky enough to find weather patterns cool, but here's why it's really neat. This winter not only ravaged the eastern seaboard of the U.S., but it also hit Europe just as severely. And Franklin, who was in Paris awaiting the return of the aforementioned Treaty that he and his compatriots had penned, hypothesized that this great winter was a result of a series of volcanic eruptions in Iceland. It was the first time anyone had thought to associate volcanic activity with weather patterns, but modern scientists are now very certain that he was right, and that Mt. Laki's continuous eruptions had led to gases being trapped in the upper atmosphere, which in turn resulted in this awful, seemingly-endless winter. (There were also toxic fogs recorded in Northern Europe.)

So as we sit beneath our three feet of snow in 2016 and watch the plows come through, as we thank the Lord that electricity has stayed on and our houses are snug, I can't help but think back to the winter that nearly kept peace from being ratified, and the snows that trapped delegated and statesmen in their homes for weeks and months.

Even after they eventually made it to Annapolis and ratified the Treaty, the ordeal wasn't over. The ships meant to carry it across the Atlantic were iced in well past the deadline...but Franklin managed to get said deadline extended. And since the winter was just as brutal in Europe, everyone was understanding...and very ready for peace.

That long winter of 1783-84 recorded the most below-zero temperatures ever in New England. The most snow in New Jersey. The Chesapeake Bay was frozen solid. The Mississippi River froze at New Orleans, and there was even ice in the Gulf of Mexico.

But peace prevailed. The people hunkered down and got through. And now, all these many years later, we can rest safe and warm inside.
he occasional just-above-freezing rain, a few days of ice. Snow once a year or so. Overcast aplenty, but some days of nice sunshine too. - See more at: http://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/2011/02/remember-when-snow-wouldnt-stop.html#sthash.XBlMYg2t.dpuf
he occasional just-above-freezing rain, a few days of ice. Snow once a year or so. Overcast aplenty, but some days of nice sunshine too. - See more at: http://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/2011/02/remember-when-snow-wouldnt-stop.html#sthash.XBlMYg2t.dpuf

17 comments:

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  2. Thank you for the interesting post,Roseanna.So many concentrate on the war itself that I appreciate it when I can learn facts about the end of the Revolution.I also wanted to thank you for writing the wonderful book Love Finds You in Annapolis,Maryland.I love it! It's one of the best books about the Post Revolutionary period I ever read!!

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    1. Aw, thank you so much, Lynne! So glad you enjoyed Lark and Emerson's story--and learning all about the post-war days was so awesome!

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  3. Wow! Great post Roseanna. I learned something new about that time and never even considered the weather or how bad it was for them.
    I too love your book, Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland.
    Still digging out from under all that snow...38 inches!
    Blessings,Tina

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  4. Good stuff! Yeah, we whine about how "hard" we have it. *snort* Our colonial ancestors would be ashamed of us.

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  5. Wow, I live near the Chesapeake Bay and I cannot imagine it being frozen over!!! I wonder if that has ever happened since that time. Sounds brutal. I'd not thought of that horrid winter as associated with the signing. Thanks for the great post!

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    1. I don't think it's happened since, no. Crazy, huh?

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  6. Thanks Roseanna for a fascinating post.One of my sons is a meteorology and oceanographic officer in the Navy.Weather has played a vital role in all our wars and it continues to today.

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    1. It definitely does! Always so interesting to learn about too.

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  7. Love it. Weather plays a part in alot of things people just choice not to believe it. Not me i know weather plays a roll in alot of things.

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  8. Absolutely fascinating! Living in MN, I know weather affects many things, so this is particularly interesting! Thanks so much for sharing, Roseanna :)

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    1. Oh yes. And it can definitely dictate entire lifestyles, when it's the norm...and cause major issues when it isn't!

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  9. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I was surprised I hadn't posted about this before! I'd had a version of it on my personal blog back in 2011 and thought for sure I'd rewritten it for the CQ. Glad I hadn't, LOL. Perfect time for this one. =)

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