10 Year Anniverary & New Releases Winners: Carrie Fancett Pagels' Butterfly Cottage - Melanie B, Dogwood Plantation - Patty H R, Janet Grunst's winner is Connie S., Denise Weimer's Winner is Kay M., Naomi Musch's winner is Chappy Debbie, Angela Couch - Kathleen Maher, Pegg Thomas Beverly D. M. & Gracie Y., Christy Distler - Kailey B., Shannon McNear - Marilyn R.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Patriotic Quotations of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson

by Denise Weimer

As we've just celebrated the Fourth of July, this seems a good month to hearken back to the wisdom of two of our nation's founding fathers, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. My sources for these are Quotations of George Washington and Quotations of Thomas Jefferson, both from Applewood Books of Massachusetts, 2003.

George Washington

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."

"Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government."

"Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth."

"It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it."

"To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country."

"The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations."

"Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness."

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable support. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars."

"I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them."

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."

Thomas Jefferson

"A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."

"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God."

"Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations--entangling alliances with none."

"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost."

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." ~and~ "The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."

"I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another."

"Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people."

Do any of these quote surprise you?

Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She’s a managing editor for the historical imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of a dozen published novels and a number of novellas. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses!

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Monday, July 12, 2021

The Bible of the Colonial Era

Tyndale Bible,
Gospel of John 

That really should read, the Bibles of the Colonial Era.

When discussing this topic, we actually have to go back to just before the Colonial Era to what is known as the Age of Exploration. Because, really, where did colonialism begin? Was it with the English, or the Spanish before them? In truth it's a concept far older than even the Spanish, but they seemed to perfect it with an efficiency both ruthless and shameless, appropriating new lands, the people inhabiting them, and any available natural resources. English colonial efforts didn't take off until the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Elizabeth also formalized the Anglican Church, or Church of England, after her father King Henry VIII's split with the Catholic Church. Even so, "Protestant" didn't just apply to Anglicanism, however, but to other groups popping up--followers of Jan Hus, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and others. In the middle of all that was the growing push to make the Holy Scriptures available to the common people in their own tongue--not just in Latin, which only those schooled in classical languages could read and understand. This exclusivity had been maintained for far too long by the clergy (Catholic and otherwise) as a way to keep the congregation in line.

John Wycliffe

John Wycliffe, 14th century priest and reformer, is credited with the first complete English version of the Bible. Nearly 200 years later, William Tyndale followed, providing the first English translation directly from Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, but before he could finish, was martyred by Henry VIII. Ironically enough, Henry commissioned a translation shortly thereafter, based largely on Tyndale's unfinished work. Supposing that the colony at Roanoke Island might have had a copy, I used this translation, referred to as the Great Bible, for scripture references in my upcoming Elinor. 

And here, for more information on the subject of Bible translations, I will pause and refer you to two excellent articles previously posted here at Colonial Quills:

Christendom in the American Colonies During 17th Century by Lynn Squire (Aug 15, 2012)

Bibles in Colonial America by Tamera Lynn Kraft (Nov 18, 2016)

For more reading on the history and issues of Bible translations:

Bible Translations Into English at Wikipedia

Textus Receptus Bibles (insight into why there's so much debate over the King James Version)

Friday, July 2, 2021

The Ship You Probably Haven’t Heard of That Had the Impact of the Mayflower

I’m going to share with you a tich of history that some Canadians are probably more familiar with than most Americans are, but given what it led to, the impact was felt across the North American continent—and in Europe as a whole.

In 1650, in Wivenhoe in Essex England, a small ship was built christened Nonsuch (Other such battle ships were given the name later on.) The original Nonsuch, a ketch, which is a two-masted ship carrying square sails, was commissioned by the Navy as HMS Nonsuch, meaning “unequaled”. During it's time in the navy, the ship was captured by the Dutch, but eventually it was put on the market and sold to Sir William Warren in 1667 for 298 Pounds (that’s 71,000 British Pounds today, or $98,000 USD). This is when its story takes an interesting turn.

Sketch of a replica of the Nonsuch. Photo credit: Alchetron, the Free Social Encyclopedia

Sir William purchased the ship on behalf of a group of men, including England's Prince Rupert, who were interested in exploring Hudson’s Bay for the possibility of establishing trade. They specifically selected the Nonsuch because of its small size, capable of traversing the Atlantic while also being easier to navigate on Hudson Bay and James Bay. It's size also made it possible to be removed from the water in winter to avoid being crushed by ice.

The ship was captained by Zachariah Gillam, a man from Virginia who belonged to a family of New England sea captains. He later became infamously involved in trade in a number of ways, both legally and illegally. He was probably involved in the incident known as Culpeper’s Rebellion, though it was unable to be proven in court, and he was in Virginia at the time of Bacon’s Rebellion and reported the burning of Jamestown. But I digress.

The Nonsuch began its new epoch at a critical moment in history. Two storied explorers I’ve written about before, Pierre Esprit-Radisson and his brother-in-law Medard Chouart, Sieur Des Groseilliers, had already scoured the best routes to get into the region. In the process, they hauled back a profitable cache of furs for France. Though they had probably saved the infant French colony from financial ruin, they were fined, and Des Groseilliers was tossed into jail. Go figure. Upon his release, the pair decided to abandon France and head to England for support of their discoveries instead.

King George II was intrigued by their proposition to outfox France to delve deeper into the area for trade via the Hudson Bay route. This, at the very moment when the financiers of the Nonsuch, who included the king’s cousin Prince Rupert, were preparing their plans. 

The ship was captained by Zachariah Gillam, a man from Virginia who belonged to a family of New England sea captains. He later became infamously involved in trade in a number of ways, both legally and illegally. He was probably involved in the incident known as Culpeper’s Rebellion, though it was unable to be proven in court, and he was in Virginia at the time of Bacon’s Rebellion and reported the burning of Jamestown. But I digress.

Captain Gillam was given orders by Prince Rupert to follow the succinct instruction of Radisson and Groseillier for the journey, and the ship set sail from Gravesend on June 3, 1668. 118 days later, September 29th, Captain Gillam dropped anchor in the southern end of James Bay near the mouth of the river he promptly named for Rupert. There, the crew built a cabin and weathered a long Canadian winter, but during that time they were discovered by Cree Indians who came to trade. By the following year, they returned to England with enough beaver pelts to prompt the formation of the Hudson Bay Company—which has been in operation ever since—and which led to the formation of other competing companies such as the Northwest Company, the XY Company, and John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company.

The battle for conquest of the New World's resources was heavily underway, and it all began with the Nonsuch and men who envisioned an empire.

To reflect the history and heroic efforts of the fur traders, the Hudson's Bay Company commemorated those events in 1970 by building a replica of the Nonsuch. To tour the rebuild and see it's contribution to the Manitoba History, and to get a glimpse of replica Nonsuch in action, watch the video.

P.S. If you'd like to know even more history about the Nonsuch, here's an even more in-depth video:

Monday, June 21, 2021

Whatever Did They Eat on the Georgia Frontier?

by Denise Weimer

Plantation kitchen at Stone Mountain
Many of my historical novels are set during the time all but coastal Georgia was still a frontier. My most recent work-in-progress, A Secondhand Betrothal, takes place in 1813 on the border of Creek and Cherokee territories. Research for the time period and location can prove daunting, but it’s important to depict what daily life was like as accurately as possible. These frontier families wouldn’t have access to all the goods of their counterparts in Savannah or even Augusta, yet their diets wouldn’t exactly mirror that of their Native American neighbors either. So what did they eat? Here are a few facts uncovered in my research.   

Guide with oxalis at William Harris
They lived off the land as much as possible. The Early History of Jackson County, Georgia, tells us that the Upper Creeks lived on “fish, turtles, apples, pawpaws on small bushes now extinct, pig potatoes or oskones which came from the swamp, wild beans, wild grapes or unups.” A genealogy of Turner County, Georgia, south of Atlanta, revealed that game was plentiful, chiefly deer and turkeys. Hunters also brought home partridges, turtles, and squirrels. In fact, Georgia squirrel stew closely resembled the Brunswick stew popular in other parts of the South ( Herbal foragers could find a bounty in the woods and streams, including blackberries, wild strawberries, muscadines, persimmons, and various types of mushrooms in season. Honey mushrooms could be soaked in salt water, then cooked. Chantrel mushrooms were a late-summer favorite, cropping up in woody areas near oaks, especially after a rain. Walnuts, pecans, and hickory nuts were so plentiful that the nuts often formed a carpet several inches thick. Even acorns of white oaks could be soaked in water to remove the tanic acid, then eaten—or roasted and crushed into a light-brown flour. Endless native greens were edible, including wood sorrel or oxalis with its tiny, yellow flowers. It grows year-round and has a tart, lemony flavor (I know – I tried some on a nature walk!). Even a white fungus known as cauliflower can be fried just like its namesake. 

They cultivated what they could. The Upper Creeks raised green corn called emefila when soft but maize when hard. They ground corn to make cakes and cooked them in hot ashes. Green corn and wild beans went into a succotash. The settlers made sparkling corn beer and added to this “hog and hominy, johnny cakes, and batter cakes” of unbolted rye flour. Johnny cakes were made of corn meal and baked before the fire on wooden boards, turned repeatedly until all sides were light-brown. In Turner County, wolves swarmed the country in packs and threatened those raising sheep and hogs—so that tells us there were those attempting to do so. Hog Mountain, Georgia, derived its name from its function as a crossroads marketplace where not only those who raised hogs but cattle as well brought livestock for sale. Chickens and cows provided dairy products. Peach and apple trees flourished in Georgia. And naturally, the settler’s garden was his mainstay, from herbs to squash, pumpkins, beans, greens, and melons. However, I found it surprisingly hard to locate pre-Civil War resources on Southern vegetable and herb gardens. Suggestions?

Cherokee herb garden at New Echota

They imported what they couldn’t access or cultivate, including spices and specialty items. According to the history of Jackson County, coffee was only used on special occasions. The History of Gwinnett County mentions that among the stock at the local trading posts were muscovado sugar, Jamaica and Antigua rum, Spanish brandy, Philadelphia rye whiskey, Teneriffe wine, claret, Holland gin, Malaga wine, London port, and Spanish “segars.” As you can see, the backwoods lacked not on alcohol.

The copy of Tullie’s Receipts: Nineteenth Century Plantation Plain Style Southern Cooking and Living (whew!) I ordered for my research offered a section entitled “Unusual Receipts” the contents of which suggested they might have originated on the frontier. What was on the menu? Pigeon or lark pie; possum and tater; squirrel soup; rabbit stew; to roast a goose; to try lard; hominy; to make a hedge hog; peach leather; mincemeat; Mama Sander’s scuppernong hull pie; blackberry wine; and corn beer. Oh, and there was a nice country syllabub I had my characters prepare for Christmas. 

The kitchen at Chief Vann House
Questions, anyone? I know you’ve been waiting your whole life to learn how to prepare a hedge hog. 

Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She’s a managing editor for the historical imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of a dozen published novels and a number of novellas. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses!
Connect with Denise here:
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Friday, June 4, 2021

Those Intrepid Travelers Who Traversed the Vast American Wilderness

Whenever driving across sections of the country, I've always been fascinated to think of how the early settlers, explorers, adventurers, and armies traversed the rugged distances of the wilderness. Nowadays, we can hop aboard a plane and barely have time to finish reading a novella before we land a thousand miles away. Or we can get into a car and not quite finish a novel before driving the hours across a couple of states. We look at the hills and valleys, we imagine the vastness of the tangled forests that were riddled with narrow Indian trails at best. In a flash, we drive over rivers that took hours to ford.

Yet, the remarkable thing of it all, to me, is that the colonists and fur traders and who-not seemed to go back and forth across this land with great frequency. It seems, in reading historical accounts, that Daniel Boone tramped back and forth with great regularity, and the voyageurs paddled many thousands of miles across the great lakes and up and down the mighty rivers.

I recently read of a British attempt, during the latter part of the Revolutionary War, to thwart the spread of America's hold on the western lands--particularly hoping to stop the advancement of American General George Rogers Clark and decimate his army--by planning a 3-prong attack on St. Louis in the center of the continent. Now, consider the vastness of this three-prong approach:

1. One force was to march northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

2. The second force was to march from Fort Detroit to Cahokia (across from St. Louis).

3. The third force was to trek from Lake Superior to the Mississippi River, and then follow the river to St. Louis.

Each of these would be a momentous tour for anyone nowadays with modern equipment at their disposal. Can you imagine such an attack, with each prong thousands of miles distant from each other, working its way through unsettled wilderness territory? Incidentally, it failed. But only incidentally. The fact that such a task was attempted simply blows my mind.

While I've often thought about the difficulty faced by pioneers moving into the west, knowing they'd likely never see their families "back home" again, these men who trekked back and forth over mountains and rivers seemed little daunted by the magnitude.

These are the things I think about when I travel. Do you think about them too?

In Song for the Hunter, my new novel available for pre-order, I deal largely with the travels of the voyageurs and fur traders across the great lakes, the area known as the "Upper Country", and the western Lake Superior region, especially along the south shore lands of Ouisconsin (Wisconsin).

Endorsements for Song for the Hunter

"A few pages into Song for the Hunter, Naomi Musch earned a spot on my list of favorite Christian historical fiction authors. What a joy to find another writer who shares my heart for telling cross-cultural stories in a frontier/wilderness setting—and discovering that writer's gorgeous, evocative prose brought the setting to such vivid life that I found myself often lingering over the imagery conjured. Characters Camilla and Bemidii (and a large supporting cast) came leaping off the pages straight into my heart. I couldn't turn those pages fast enough to discover how they charted a course through desperately entangled paths to find a clear way forward. Hope triumphs in this latest offering from gifted wordsmith and lover of history, Naomi Musch."

Lori Benton, Christy-Award winning author of Burning Sky and the Kindred duology, Mountain Laurel and Shiloh

"This beautifully written and immersive story will transport you back in time and keep you turning the pages! Naomi Musch's voice and style is the perfect balance of lyrical combined with cadence and word choice appropriate for the time and setting. Fans of Lori Benton and Laura Frantz will find this story a perfect addition to their libraries! Highly recommend."

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Award-winning and bestselling author, Behind Love's Wall

"In Song of the Hunter, the long-awaited sequel to Mist O’er the Voyageur, Naomi Musch transports us back to the waters of Lake Superior during the height of the fur trade. Cultures clash as an evil man sends ripples across the waters that will touch the hearts of many. It took strong people to survive the wild and unpredictable environment, and it would take strong people to find the truth and reconcile with it. The story is beautifully presented in a setting rich in the heritage of the people and the grandeur of nature. A must read for those who enjoy the rugged landscapes and rich cultures of America’s northern shores."

Pegg Thomas, Award-winning author of Sarah’s Choice

Naomi Musch