.

Tea Party Winners: Vicki Talley McCollum's Never Say Goodbye, A National Park Romance novella goes to: Caryl Kane, Deanne Patterson, Deana Dick, Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners Beverly Duell-Moore and Cindy Pratt, Roseanna White's winners - Betti Mace, Gabrielle Meyer's winners -, Deb Marvin's paperback winner - Rachel Dodson

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day Celebration - Characters Welcome!



Might you care to partake in some refreshment
as we commence our Independence Day Celebration?
Please do. We are serving Liberty Tea and Independence Day Cake.
(The receipts for these treats shall be forthcoming.)



This house is from the Palatinate of Germany and
now located at The Frontier Culture Living Museum
in Staunton, Virginia.

Some came from across the ocean, desiring freedom from religious persecution and from famine.  My ancestors Johan and Suzanne Rousch saw nine of their sons march off to serve in the American Revolution.  I cannot imagine what that must have felt like.  And miraculously, all survived!





Shirley Plantation in Charles City, VA on the James River.
Others’ families had ventured across those same waters, over one hundred fifty years earlier, generations of their family having lived under English rule now becoming more unbearable. People whose British ancestors helped settle Virginia now found themselves at war. 




Some risked their lives printing pamphlets and other materials for the “rebel cause” while yet others simply kept working to provide the simple necessities soldiers would need.



And then there were those, who seeing no other way out, took up arms to defend their freedom of self-rule.  



The following video is long and very touching, but it does hit on some hard and sad truths of what our forefathers did for us and our freedom!








Come gather with us under this tree, older than this nation itself.
Let us share our stories and fellowship, for freedom's sake!

51 comments:

  1. Good day to you! I wondered if I would ever see a day so fine as this one. I can almost taste the freedom. But that might just be my mouth watering - my wife's fine cooking draws me to our table! A merry Independence Day to you! After we clean up I'll see if Sarah or myself can come greet guests. Or perhaps one of our friends will do the honors.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for having us here, madame--I look forward to meeting all the fine guests gathered to celebrate these United States. My name is Lark Benton, and I am from Endover Plantation outside Williamsburg. Both my brother and my betrothed took up the colors for the Patriot cause, both suffered injury at Yorktown, and now both look forward to enjoying the peace and liberty so hard won.

    For my part, I failed to understand the depth of breadth of such liberty until I had to fight for my own. I traveled to Annapolis to escape a union that would have stifled me, thinking only to find a brief respite. Instead I met the political philosophers whose ideals founded this nation, witnessed such history-making events as General Washington's resignation from the army, and felt the touch of sun from under the sole remaining Liberty Tree.

    I've learned what freedom costs to obtain, but more, what it costs to hold onto. I've learned that freedom's not only about the fight, but about what you do toward your enemies once you've won it. And I've learned that true liberty comes not from man nor quill, but from Providence Himself.

    Now, may I have a slice of that delectable cake? And coffee, if we have it. My family refused tea so long I'm lost my taste for it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sarah, here, and my brothers witnessed the remarkable surrender at Yorktown. Colonel Scott may yet join us today, from that fair city. I a sorry for the injury you suffered yet as you remind us, freedom comes with a cost.

    Coffee is all I have ready, and I, too, have forsaken teas, other than for medicinal purposes, for so long that I care not for the taste of it. We will have a pot ready soon, though, for those who wish to partake.

    My William has brought me a commodious amount of sugar and I have sprinkled extra atop the cake! Such a luxury, and a welcome one!

    ReplyDelete
  4. My name is Fiona McGill Cardew. Twenty years ago, I came to this great land in search of what was left of my family, and found so much more like my beloved Owain. He is a printer and even before we met he used his skill with the writing and the press to fight injustice. He has continued to do so, and I confess it has caused some hardship for us, as we pack up and run ahead of the British authorities who would stop us from printing pamphlets against the Stamp Act and other unfair taxations such as tea, which once I considered a luxury and now think of as the drink of oppression.

    Now, with memories of Culloden Moor, where Scots fought for their freedom against the British, and where I lost my brothers and my father became an invalid,, I fear for my new land’s future. The English will not give up without a fight. Sadly, my sons and nephews will fight against their own countrymen, as many Scots cannot fight for America due to their oath given to the king in order that they might live free in America rather than die in a British prison. Ah, the ironies of war. The sadness. Yet the glory rises before us, the possibility of founding a new nation and Owain and I and our printing press helping spread the word with through Mr. Paine’s “Common Sense” and now this new declaration that we are independent from English rule. Even my little daughter helps. Her fingers are quick to set the letters, though sometimes her spelling is still more creative than accurate. She will learn and grow and fight as hard as her brothers, using the power of the written word to support our cause.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Welcome Fiona! How wonderful that you and your husband are so brave. An the help of a daughter means much. I tried to be such a help to my dear mother, who had so many babes to chase after as well as her house work to accomplish. Might I offer you refreshments?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you, I do believe I will take a slice of that cake and one for my daughter Seren. Must watch her. She has a fondness for pastries.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My William loves all things vanilla and sugar and I must do the same for him. He was raised with such sweets as commonplace, being the son of a British colonel. Thankfully his father came around to the Patriot cause! He shall receive a double helping for his hard work for our freedom. Seren is such a lovely name. How did you choose it?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy Independence Day! It is so amazing what our little country was able to accomplish back then. I know I had family here at the time, but not really enough to know much about what they did or really who they were. What a courageous time though! Makes me proud of my family and proud of my country!~

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am very pleased to join this august company this day! Let me introduce myself. I am Elizabeth Howard, a spy, courier, and smuggler for the Patriots. I do believe I’ll have a cup of your very fine coffee, and I bring a plate of Pennsylvania Dutch apple dumplings to share with one and all, baked according to a receipt an elderly friend passed down to my Aunt Tess. I think you will find them quite delectable.

    As you can imagine, the day our independence was declared holds a special meaning to me and to my betrothed, Jonathan Carleton. We are of the generation that gave their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to gain the freedom of England’s American colonies from the tyranny of British rule. Serving the Sons of Liberty, while appearing to be a staunch Tory, I have been torn between loyalty to our glorious cause and love for my Loyalist parents and for the man I hope one day to marry.

    It is sad to say that Jonathan and I have been wrenched away from each other more times than I can count, all in the service of our God and our country. I first fell in love with him, much against my will, despite the fact that he served the British cause as an aide to General Thomas Gage. No sooner had I learned of his true loyalties—and saved him from hanging at the hands of the British—than General Washington sent him far away to the western frontiers to negotiate with the Indians. There he was captured, and for more than a year I had no news of his fate. And now, although he has returned to fight with Washington, we are separated once more by war as we face the fearful uncertainties of the future.

    I remember well standing on the common in New York City on July 9, 1776, while Washington’s aide read the immortal words of Congress’s Declaration to the assembled troops. That day, as our men threw their hats in the air and raised a cry of jubilation, I felt great hope for our future, but also a deep foreboding. In that very harbor an armada of British warships such as I had never seen or even conceived rode at anchor. The Battle of Brooklyn loomed before us, a battle that indeed became a disaster for our cause as the British Army drove Washington’s force out of New York and eventually all the way through New Jersey and across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. That day, as at Lexington and Concord and at Breed’s Hill I watched a heartbreaking number of men die whose talents and heroism we could ill afford to lose. I know many more will yet water this soil with their blood until our freedom is finally secured.

    Now as another battle looms for Jonathan and me at Trenton, I face with a sinking heart the years of bloody struggle that yet lie before us. With the outcome of this noble endeavor still very much in doubt, I pray that the dedication of future generations of Americans to the cause of liberty shall never fail. May we never forget or hold lightly the heroism and sacrifice of so many to secure this incomparable legacy, and may God bless this great nation as we establish it in righteousness, peace, and justice for all people.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Heather, welcome! We are so glad you joined our little group as we celebrate this day! Liberty tea and Independence cake are ready or I can bring you a strong cup of rebel coffee. My brothers are are taking a break from choring and I fear are asleep under the tree, hopefully not recalling the insults and injuries received in purchasing this freedom's day for us.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Elizabeth, so very fine to have you here! I was so pleased to meet you about two years past and so enjoyed become acquainted with you and Jonathan. I was sore afraid for you but pleased when you came through your trials. Such brave souls you both are!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Seren means star, and after all the boys, she has been a bright, shining light in our world. And It is a name used in both my native Scotland and Owain's land of his birth, Wales. She is well pleased with it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Joy here, just a reader and reviewer, but I'll take a cup of that wonderful tea and meet all of the awesome characters here.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Laurie Alice, I love that name and its meaning.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Joy so glad to see you here! Sugar with your tea? Fresh cream too?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Stepping out of character here, Gina Welborn chose that name. The heroine of her novella in Highland Crossings, Jan. 2012 release,comes after mine. My hero and heroine had been married for about ten years before her heroine was born. Seren will be about seven in July of 1776.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Good Tidings! Tis a fine day and I lift my cup of Liberty Tea to you in celebration. Glad to see you are serving this home brew, much as my mother-in-law serves her guests at the Red Griffin Inn, our family hostelery. She grows loosestrife in her own garden and also harvests raspberries for Hyperion Tea.
    Mmmm. Delicious. As good as China tea any day. Ah, forgive my manners and allow me to introduce myself. Nathaniel Ingersoll, from Glassenbury, Connecticut. I am a ship's figurehead carver on the Connecticut River. I commenced my trade as an apprentice under my uncle and became a master carver in my own right back in ’52. Twas a remarkable year, as it was also when I met fair bride, Constance Starling. It amazes me how the good Lord sees fit to turn ill-fortune into His good works, for Constance was stolen away from England against her will and barely survived her passage. I bought her indenture, if only to save her life, and gave her to serve my mother at the Inn. I offered to release her and had I known she would become my good wife, I would have insisted. But the stubborn woman would not have had it, insisting that she pay her debt of her own accord. You see, true freedom comes with a price. Constance has since taught these virtues to our children by her example. She gave up the finery she enjoyed as a maid in England and has hence kept our family in homespun for the cause of liberty. The oppression we have endured by the British has caused our commonwealth much strife, even our distant relative Jared Ingersoll sold stamps for England, was tarred and feathered and hung in effigy. My own regret is that several British frigates bear figureheads upon their bowsprits that I carved with my own hands. Aye, let the sentinels guide the scoundrels to their demise whilst my two eldest sons and their cousins fight afoot.
    Our sons first answered the call and marched from Glassenbury for the relief of Boston in the Lexington Alarm in April of 1775 and have enlisted in Fourth Troop, Connecticut Dragoons and the 6th regiment Connecticut Militia Troop of Horse. But alas, on July 25th my brother Jonathan sailed us up the Connecticut River to Hartford where we heard a reading from the Connecticut Courant, a Declaration of Independence from the British, proclaiming us no longer subjects of the king but citizens of America. Here’s to our sons, and their sons after them. To Freedom!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mistress Wellborn choseth well! Perhaps she will sup with us this eve perchance.

    ReplyDelete
  19. William Christy here, husband to Sarah, and well blessed by that happy union. I welcome you Nathaniel. Although I served as a scout during this country's war with the French and assisted during our country's freedom campaign, I did not ever enter the confines of what is now your American state. My father still insists upon British tea when we can get it, despite his conversion. Pray don't tell the dear man that this fine brew hails from South Carolina!

    To our sons and daughters! I raise my black coffee high in salute!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I bid ye good day here, friends! While I'm not a character in a book, I was a real man, who fought the good fight o' Independence with my own blood. My name's Alexander Robbins, and I was a private in the Continental Army from the good 'Ole North State. I lived to tell the tale to my youngins an' their children. I passed on my legacy to my descendants, an' I hope they're proud o' their freedom.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Welcome and we would love to hear more about Alexander! Perchance we may have met as I went with Daniel Morgan into northern Carolina to meet with the good militia men there. Where did he abide?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Alexander hailed from Guilford County of North Carolina. His descendants married some Morgans who will make an appearance into a new novel afore long. Aye, the Morgan family has deep roots in the Carolinas.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Morgan is a fine name. I have also followed the circuit rider preachers into Carolina. Told Sarah it was to keep them safe in their travels. But they helped save me. Visited Joseph Gill a deacon for the Wesleyan crowd in your fair state.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am pleased and honored to be the 100th follower! Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated. Happy Independence Day! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Constance Ingersoll here. I've decided to join my husband, Nathaniel, and all of you good folk under this tree for your celebration. I is delightful hearing all of your stories! Such a fascinating crowd is present at this gathering, and quite pleasant indeed. I'm proud of the good report my husband gives about our sons. Never would I have thought when I resided in England with my uncle as a young lady that I would ever find my way to the shores of America, nor that my own sons would fight to defend the colonies from my homeland. Ha! Homeland! America is home to me now for more that a quarter century, and I'll gladly do my part as a Daughter of Liberty and teach my own daughters likewise. Godspeed the revolution and pray keep our sons safe!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Congratulations, Karen!! We are delighted that you are our 100th follower. Thank you for joining us and for your presence here today. Happy Independence Day to you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Welcome, Karen, and thank you for joining us. Do, please, browse the archives for delightful receipts (recipes), demonstrations of dancing, a passtime General Washington greatly enjoys, and other delights or how-to articles. And stay tuned forth for even more to come.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Karen, welcome to our little settlement. We have many who are making their way on to Kentucke, including Sarah and myself. Ah, there she is, and I must go and restrain her nine brothers, all of whom served with the patriots. They are preparing to waste good shot on a celebration utilizing my good powder. Perhaps on such a day as this I will indulge them several rounds and a hearty "Huzzah!"

    ReplyDelete
  29. Fionna and Constance, I am back and glad to rejoin the ladies. My brothers would listen to naught what I had to say about the use of their guns for merry making! William shall set things aright. William! Where are you taking those long rifles?! Alas, I fear he joins them rather than deters them. Might I offer you ladies a square of the coconut cake I have baked this afternoon? I fear I did not remove it from the fire quickly enough but tis still quite edible. And I shall refill your cups.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Good Day to You!
    I am so pleased and thankful to be here for this special celebration. My name? 'Tis Anne Stahl. I am lately from the state of New-York. ...Why yes, the Mohawk Valley. How did you know? Oh Jonathan knows my husband, Jacob. A cup of coffee does sound good; because I no longer dote on tea as I once did. But I had Loyalist leanings some fifteen years ago--if I wanted to stay alive that is. Yes, I can admit to it. Then I took the chance and followed my heart--and conscience, and discovered the Patriots' cause set better with my soul.
    Now my husband suggested I leave the valley for a short time because that Tory devil Walter Butler and his Rangers and Indian allies continue to make forays through the villages, burning and pillaging, trying to terrorize those who remain. He feels I would be an especial target. I pray that New-York is ever-vigilant. That is why I consider it an honor to celebrate with you today--I believe we must never forget the sacrifices that were made for our freedoms, and continue to be made.
    Oh yes--it is quite warm here, lovely as it is. 'Tis fortunate I brought my fan, a blue China silk fan. I brought several for friends and relatives knowing it would be so warm today. Goody Lange? You shall have one as you are our 100th celebrant on this auspicious day! Thanks be to God and Blessings on our fair country!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Good day to you, Anne. I am Sarah Christy and moved from Penn's colony to the Shenandoah Valley when I was young. I once thought I would like to return to the city of Philadelphia but I have come to love the mountains of Virginia. Will bring your coffee straightaway. Cake?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks and Blessings to you all! Please stop by when you find yourselves in Kentucke!

    ReplyDelete
  33. You must be part of the group that William and his friend Daniel have been taking into Kentucke, then! So many wonderful descriptions coming back from that country beyond the hills. Watch out for the Shawnee, that is their hunting grounds.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Quiet and humble greetings from Winona, Canada. My name is John Lewis and I am but eight and a half years old. I am sore ashamed to admit it, but my father, Levi Lewis, Jr., moved our family from the north of New Jersey to escape the war. It saddens me to admit him a Tory. Some day, some way, I will make it back to the colonies and take my rightful place! I miss my friends. I want to go home.

    (My ancestor. He never made it back, but his son, John Lewis, Jr., did. Bless him for that!)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Welcome John. I shall serve you out a large portion of cake you sweet child and your tea shall be sweet!

    Our dear friend Clark has left to retrieve his parents in Canada. Can you imagine his astonishment at finding them there and him a longtime scout for the patriot's cause? We are so glad he located, them, though, and indeed they were British, so what can one say? If we can get a message to Clark perchance he can accompany you and your family home again!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you kindly Mistress Christy. Cake is my favorite thing! I vow never to drink tea again, not if I live to be fifty. I am fond of cold buttermilk though.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Let me send one of my fine sons down to the cooling house to fetch you some buttermilk, Mistress Thomas. We have very fine milking cows here in the valley and are blessed to own one.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you! The cake is very find. My sister baked a cake last week but she burned it. She burns everything. Father says we're not to say anything about it, but I'm sure you won't tell her.

    I need to get to bed soon. *yawn!* If I don't get in bed before Peter, my older brother, he won't leave me enough room. Our bed in New Jersey was larger. I miss that too.

    Good night!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Good night and sweet dreams to you young Master John Lewis! And your secret is quite safe with me. We'll beg Clark to help get you home and into a nice large bed with a brand new feather tick atop!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I forgot to tell young John that I had a basket liner just like my own to send home to his sweet mother. Will send a message with the post.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Mistress Janet Grunst of Williamsburg was unable to get through on the highway. The blockage has been removed but alas she must tarry where she is as night falls. Perchance we might yet greet her on the morrow.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Good tidings, I am a little late to the party but sure will enjoy some Liberty Tea. My name is Mandy Lynn and am from Charles Town and my betrothed rode with Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox and kept those dreadful Loberstacks on the run. The Patriots here even hid gun powder under the Losterbacks nose in the Dungeon of the Old Exchange on Broad Street. I am very proud of our Patriots! Have a merry 4th of July!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you, Mandy, and I am so glad to greet you here! I must bid you all a good ever and hope that another whose day does not end as soon as mine might greet our guests! Thank God we have independence.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Good eve to all of you fine ladies and gentlemen gathered here under this shady tree. I am Jonathan Ingersoll, and I see most of my family has also seen fit to venture here and spend a few moments enjoying the respite from the summer heat.

    Do allow me to share a bit more about myself, though I fear I am unable to tarry much longer. I am a merchant trader, like my father before me. And just as my brother, Nathaniel, followed in our uncle's trade, so I continue in the legacy our father left, sailing the river and providing many with the finest goods within fifty miles.

    My dear and beloved wife, Clara, worked alongside our mother for many years before assuming full control of the family inn when our mother could no longer manage it on her own. We met along one of my journeys north along the river. And had it not been for my presence of mind to delve deeper into the reasoning behind Clara's brother's animosity toward me, Clara and I might very well never have married.

    But, here we are, with three strong sons and two beautiful daughters. The pride and joy of a father's heart.

    And now, I must beg your forgiveness and take my leave. My ship will not delay any further. I must make way along my route of trade and begin readying my youngest son for his eventual launch as a merchant tradesman himself.

    High praise be to God for the independence of our fair country and Blessings to all who celebrate!

    ReplyDelete
  45. So good to see you here, Jonathan. You are your dear wife are such a blessing to our family. Tis good to know you are carrying on the family legacy through your son. It is especially important in these time of embargo from the British that you can trade in goods from the colonies.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Greetings from Braxton Hall in Virginia. My wife and I are late to join you under such an auspicious tree. The roads were poor and one of our horses caught a stone in his shoe. Many delays but at last we are here. I remember the day the Liberty Bell rang in Philadelphia and our Declaration of Independence from Britain's rule was heralded throughout the Thirteen Colonies. My name is Seth Braxton. I saw many a man give his life for freedom, including my own beloved father who died at Yorktown. I survived, for Almighty God had other plans for me. I pray daily America will regain what we, the Patriots of Liberty, fought and died for.

    (Seth and Juleah are the hero and heroine in the novel 'Surrender the Wind' by Rita Gerlach. http://www.ritagerlach.blogspot.com )

    ReplyDelete
  47. Bonjour! Monsieur Braxton, I just wrote of you to some of my new friends here in America. Be assured your horses have been well cared for this morning. Welcome!

    My daughter rests this morning and the men are very busy. But I have fed them and the children are performing their chores so here I am! Never would I have imagined a life like this when I lived at the court of Versailles. This was my husband's dream. But all these children and grandchildren. It is God's hand on us, blessing us and giving us freedom, too!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Oh, I missed such a fine party as I was away all day! But wonderful to read all the heartfelt comments and know we have some winners with Karen and Heather:) Heather is dear to me but I've not met Karen yet. Welcome to Karen, another Kentuckian! It was a truly wonderful day yesterday, made moreso when remembering why we celebrate in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Bonjour Madame Frantz! So good to have you come by. We so enjoyed your cornbread receipt this past Lord's day.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Please feel free to continue celebrating!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I must bid adieu to our visitors and put the last of my one hundred grandchildren to bed. One hundred is not so many when you consider that I bore twelve children and all have been blessed with healthy families. Let me find little Clark and tuck him in with his brothers.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting, please check back for our replies!