7 Year Tea Party Winners: Susan Craft's winner of her trilogy novels - The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia is: Lucy Reynolds, The winner of a copy of The Backcountry Brides is: Tammy Cordery, the winner of a silver quill charm is: Kathy Maher, Choice of one of three books by Carrie Fancett Pagels in paperback: Joy Ellis, A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas winner is: Becky Smith, Janet Grunst's Selah-Award winning novel, A Heart Set Free, is: Sherry Moe.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lori Benton - Researching the Iroquois

Flag of the Iroquois Confederacy
Occasionally I write a blog post dealing with a subject I've researched for my 18th century-set novels. I like to do this for the benefit of other writers, or anyone interested in that particular subject, coming along behind me on this research path. I imagine them stumbling upon the post like an unexpected cache of provisions. I hope they'll prove useful to the knowledge-hungry traveler.

Today I'd like to share my bibliography of titles collected while researching the history of the Iroquois Confederacy, or The Six Nations, particularly the Mohawk and Oneida nations.

The Six Nations are a confederacy of Iroquoian-speaking peoples that once occupied the the western portions of the state of New York from the Hudson River to the Finger Lakes region.

Traditional Iroquois longhouse
At a certain period of their history, their primary dwelling was the longhouse. The Iroquois thought of their land symbolically as a giant longhouse running east to west across their territory.

Guarding the eastern door of The Great Longhouse were the Mohawk. Next came the Oneida and (after 1722) the Tuscarora. In the center of the Longhouse, as Keepers of the Central Fire, were the Onondaga. Then came the Cayuga and lastly the Seneca guarding the western door.

Sometime before European contact, arguably around the year 1450, these tribes united under the Great Law of Peace to form the Haudenosaunee, or The People of the Longhouse.

Due to war, disease, settlement, and broken treaties, the 18th century and the early 19th saw the removal of these tribes from most of their traditional land. Many were resettled in Canada. Some in Wisconsin, some in Oklahoma. Some still live in New York.

As part of the research for my debut novel I studied the history of the the Mohawk, or Kanyen'kehake, nation. Their name translates to People of the Flint.

Joseph Brant, Mohawk chief
Much of this research centered around Joseph Brant, or Thayendenegea, who was educated in an eastern school, rose to prominence among the Mohawk partly due to the influence of Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the northern colonies (and husband of Joseph's sister Molly), and became a war chief for his people who fought with the British during the Revolutionary War.

Titles I found helpful in my research:

~ The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization by Daniel K. Richter
~ Joseph Brant 1740-1807, Man of Two Worlds by Isabel Thompson Kelsay
~ Turtles, Wolves, and Bears, A Mohawk Family History by Barbara J. Sivertsen
~ Kanyen'keha Tewatati (Let’s Speak Mohawk) and One Thousand Useful Mohawk Words by David Kanatawakhon Maracle
~ The Iroquois by Evelyn Wolfson
~ Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief by Jonathan Bolton and Claire Wilson
~ Realm of the Iroquois by The Editors of Time-Life Books
~ The Iroquois in the American Revolution by Barbara Graymont
~ The Tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy by Michael Johnson

The second eastern-most tribe after the Mohawk were the Oneida, or Onyota’a:ká:. Their name is translated as People of the Standing Stone.

Though no nation of the League was unanimously pro-British or pro-Patriot during the Revolutionary War, most of the nations fought on the side of the British--except for the Oneida Nation, who sided with the colonists.

This was due in large part to the influence of New Englander and Patriot Samuel Kirkland, a Protestant missionary who had lived and ministered among them since the mid 1760s. While not all Oneidas welcomed Kirkland and the Gospel he preached, many considered him a friend to their people. Kirkland lived among them and shared their hardships, alleviating them as best he could through pleas for aid from wealthy seaboard acquaintances and missionary societies. Through him the Oneida people formed stronger links with the colonials than did the other Iroquois nations. Some Oneida warriors served during the Revolutionary War as scouts. Some fought with the colonial militia at the Battle of Oriskany, near Fort Stanwix in western New York.

Finding resources for Oneida-related subjects has proven harder than for those pertaining to the Mohawk. For the benefit of anyone else researching along this same path, here's what I've found thus far:

~ The People of the Standing Stone, The Oneida Nation from the Revolution through the Era of Removal, by Karim M. Tiro.
~ The Oneida Indian  Experience, Two Perspectives, Edited by Jack Campisi and Laurence M. Hauptman.
~ Forgotten Allies, The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution, by Joseph T. Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin.
~ The Divided Ground, Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of The American Revolution, by Alan Taylor
~ Life of Samuel Kirkland, missionary to the Indians, by Samuel Kirkland Lothrop (can be found online as an ebook through Google).
~ Oneida Iroquois Folklore, Myth, And History, New York Oral Narrative from the Notes of H.E. Allen and Others, by Anthony Wonderley 

Do you have any titles or other resources to add? Please mention them in the comment section. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012 - Spinning Wheel

By: Carla Gade

On this, the last Monday in May, we observe Memorial Day - a time to remember the men and woman who lost their lives serving our country. Originally known as Decoration Day, the name Memorial Day came into use after WWII. The day of tribute was established in 1868 to honor the Union soldiers who died during the Civil War, inspired by the way southern people honored their dead soldiers. Over the years it came to serve as a day to commemorate the men and women killed or missing in action while fighting for what we now call the United States of America.

In our Spinning Room today imagine a group of colonial women gathered preparing their wool and flax for homespun textiles to aid the cause of liberty. Perhaps many, if not all, are longing for a loved one who is away during the war.

Please join the conversation by answering any of the following questions:

Is there a war hero in one of your colonial era novels? Is he/she an historical person or an imaginary character? Can you share briefly how you treated this in your novel?

Do you have an early American ancestor that fought for our country's freedom? Or perhaps someone who has fought in more recent years who you would like to pay tribute to?

One of our commenters today will win a copy of Laura Frantz's The Colonel's Lady, an American Revolutionary War story with a fictionalized happy ending for the hero, Colonel McLinn, inspired by George Rogers' Clark.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rights of Conscience

"While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the rights of conscience in others, ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to him only in this case they are answerable."
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Benedict Arnold, Sep. 14, 1775 
"And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 16::16-17

For centuries religious leaders have tried to force people to believe what they felt those people should believe, using fear-mongering, physical violence, and even death to bully someone into worship.

But this is not how God works. We know that God desires that no one should perish:
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. II Peter 3:9
Yet God knows the hearts of men. During my devotions in Romans 6, I found this statement:
"But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you." Romans 6:17
The heart is the center of our will, our desire, our thoughts--our conscience. No one can force another to obey God from their innermost man via verbal or physical violence.

Many patriots came from situations where they were bullied into worshiping a certain way. If they did not perform certain acts of worship or serve the Lord in a prescribed way, they would find themselves brutally whipped or held under water (in the case of some Baptists and Quakers) or in some other way ostracized.

When I look at our country today, I feel as though the same thing is happening. If I do not believe as the media might have me believe about women's rights or some other issue, I am verbally stoned.

I believe we have lost the heart of Washington's words and in our effort to be tolerant we have become intolerant of those who hold to certain values. When it comes to a person's innermost faith, that which is obeyed from the heart, he is willing to sacrifice much, even giving his life for it.

I have come to believe during the colonial times the ability to not violate the rights of conscience of another existed because the core faith of many in leadership was theist--with the Judeo-Christian God being the Creator in which they believed.

Today, however, we have many people of different religions in our country. Religions that strongly oppose our God, including the belief-set of the atheist. How now can we act?

The setting in which the early church thrived was similar to our current times, though they experienced opposition to their faith more than we. God instructed Peter to write to the churches scattered across Asia Minor and to encourage them to live Godly lives before those who would harm them. God addressed their character:
"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
"For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 
 "Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it." I Peter 3:8-11
This is how we are to live before those who would "violate our rights of conscience" because of our Christian faith and values. I suppose a true test of our faith is whether we respond in love and peace, being a blessing, guarding our tongue, and trusting God to be our avenger--or whether we render "railing for railing".
"...ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to him only in this case they are answerable." George Washington

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tippling, Toasting, and Quaffing in Colonial Times by Susan F. Craft

By Susan F. Craft
Cider making
Most colonial Americans thought that alcohol was beneficial to one’s health, aiding digestion, strengthening the weak, keeping one warm, improving one’s outlook on the world, and enlivening social events such as weddings, christenings, election-day gatherings, and funerals.
Americans brought with them from the Old World the suspicion that water could make you sick. They believed alcohol cured some sicknesses. Whiskey was taken for colic and laryngitis. Hot brandy punch addressed cholera. Rum-soaked cherries helped with a cold. Pregnant women and women in labor were often given a shot of whiskey to ease their pain.
Colonial Americans started their day with a pick-me-up, enjoyed a midmorning whistle wetter, with libations at luncheon, in the afternoon, and at supper, imbibed either at home or at a local tavern.

Drinking was everywhere - at work, in the fields, in shops, at sea, and in military camps. College students drank malted beverages. Harvard had its own brewery, and in 1639, when the school didn’t supply enough beer, President Nathaniel Eaton lost his job.
The Founding Fathers also enjoyed a glass or two.  Each day, John Adams had a draft of hard cider. Thomas Jefferson imported fine wines from France. Samuel Adams managed his father's brewery for a time. John Hancock was accused of smuggling wine. Patrick Henry worked as a bartender and served home brew to guests.
The names of the variety of beverages included, Syllabub (see recipe below), Flip, Toddy, Rattle-Skull, Whistle Belly, Stonewall, Bogus, Blackstrap, Bombo, and Mimbo.  Most preferred cider and beer--cider made from apples, and beer made from corn, wheat, oats, persimmons, and green cornstalks. Madeira, imported from the Portuguese island, became popular in the 1750s when brandy was added to it. Peach brandy, a Southern specialty, was also popular, as was applejack, which came from distilling cider. Rum was king of the colonies before the Revolutionary War. It was made from molasses imported from Caribbean sugar plantations. Sometimes the raw material arrived legally; sometimes it was smuggled.

Rum, Sugar, Slave trade
By 1770, the colonies had more than 140 rum distilleries, making about 4.8 million gallons annually. That was on top of the 3.78 million gallons imported each year. Production was concentrated in the Northeast.
Some people tried growing grapes for wine, but failed as the European root cuttings succumbed to disease and weather. Vintners in the Southern states learned to cultivate indigenous grapes such as muscadines and scuppernongs.
Early Americans really did not care what anybody thought about their love of alcohol. As a Georgian wrote: "If I take a settler after my coffee, a cooler at nine, a bracer at ten, a whetter at eleven and two or three stiffners during the forenoon, who has any right to complain?"
Benjamin Franklin came up with
over 200 names for being drunk.

But not everyone approved of drinking.  As early as 1622, the Virginia Company of London complained to Governor Francis Wyatt at Jamestown that drinking hurt the colony. James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, tried to ban rum.  Even though Puritans attacked drunkenness, they saw alcohol as a necessary part of life. Benjamin Franklin called for moderation, writing "nothing is more like a fool than a drunken man." He came up with hundreds of names for drunkenness including -- addled, afflicted, biggy, boozy, busky, buzzey, cherubimical, cracked, and "halfway to Concord," bowz'd, cherry merry, fetter'd, lappy, and mountous. Perhaps you have poetically seen a Flock of Moons, or, more nautically, been Right before the Wind with all your Studding Sails Out. Or perhaps even had a Thump over the Head with Sampson's Jawbone.
In 1790, United States government figures showed that annual per-capita alcohol consumption for everybody over fifteen amounted to thirty-four gallons of beer and cider, five gallons of distilled spirits, and one gallon of wine.
Recipe for Syllabub
The name originated in Elizabethan times and is a combination of the words "sillie" (a French wine that was used in the mixture) and "bub" (old English slang for "bubbling drink"). 

Recipes for syllabub, a frothy cappuccino-like drink, can be found back to the time of the Tudors who ruled England from 1485 until 1603. Earlier recipes contained new milk and cider, with the cows milked directly into an ale pot. Everlasting Syllabub allows for the cream to rise and thicken by letting it stand for several days.

Here’s a recipe from “The First American Cookbook – A Facsimile of “American Cookery,” 1796 by Amelia Simmons.

Take two porringers* of cream and one of white wine, grate the skin of a lemon, take the whites of three eggs, sweeten it to your taste, then whip it with the whisk, take off the froth as it rises and put it into your syllabub glasses or pots, and they are fit for use.

A porringer* was a small dish  (4” to 5” diameter and 1 /2” to 3” deep) with a low usually metal bowl with a single and usually flat and pierced handle from which Europeans and colonial Americans ate their gruel or porridge, or other soft foods. Colonial porringers tended to have one handle whereas European ones tend to have two handles on opposite sides, on which the owner's initials were sometimes engraved, and they occasionally came with a lid. Porringers resembled the smaller quaich, a Scottish drinking vessel.
Contemporary syllabub recipes can be for either a drink or a parfait:

1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled 1/2 cup white sugar 1/4 cup white wine 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or to taste) fresh mint leaves for garnish lemon slices for garnish Whip the cream and sugar in a chilled bowl, until the cream begins to thicken. Gradually whip in the white wine, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Continue to whip until light and fluffy, but not grainy. Cover the mixture and chill until serving time. Serve in chilled parfait glasses, garnished with a dash of nutmeg, a sprig of mint, and a slice of lemon. Syllabub should be eaten with a small spoon, and savored.

For Syllabub punch
Continue to add white wine to the whipped mixture, until the mixture reaches a drinking consistency.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

once upon a time

I'm often asked to share my favorite resources for making historical fiction writing rich and deep. Besides the Foxfire books which I used extensively while writing The Frontiersman's Daughter, one name stands head and shoulders above all other research material. Meet Eric Sloane:) To me and many others, he is the premier illustrator and biographer of early American life. Blessed with a quick wit, a beautiful drawing hand, and a gift of words, his legacy continues to linger. I am trying to collect every book he's ever written. Some of my favorites are below. His work is truly a feast for the heart and soul:)

Many libraries have his books or you can order them on Amazon and through other booksellers. Blessed you are if you find them in vintage bookshops or other places! He gives an in-depth look at what it was like living in years past, right down to the nitty gritty details. If you want to make your writing come alive, Eric Sloane's work will help you do that. Often I've become so lost in his books I forget all about the time, my own writing, or that I'm in modern day America. His gift is making the lost things of yesteryear unforgettable.

If you've heard of Eric Sloane or have his books, I'd love to know! I only wish I could have met him! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review of J.M. Hochstetler's Books

Daughter of Liberty
Book 1 of the American Patriot Series

As a lover of historical inspirational romance, Daughter of Liberty held me captive with its charming characters and daring adventures. And as a lover of the history of the American Revolution, this same book thoroughly swept me away. The author, J. M. Hochstetler, is an expert in every detail of the era. She describes in depth the events leading up to the start of the Revolution and she well portrayed the pain of families and friends divided in their loyalties between following the laws of the King of England vs. the outcry of the Patriots demanding freedom from oppression.

 It is a heart-rending time as seen through the eyes of a young Patriot woman acting as a spy for the rebel cause. In her intrigue, she is suddenly caught in a personal dilemma she had never anticipated: Being attracted to a British officer who thinks she is loyal to England. Events begin to spin out of control—as do the young woman’s emotions—as she is torn between betraying the British and betraying her heart. The characters are endearing and realistic, but it is the events of the era that take center stage in this highly dramatic novel that will leave you turning each page with anticipation.

Native Son
Book 2 of the American Patriot Series

While I was swept away by the first book in the American Patriot series by J. M. Hochstetler, I was thoroughly grabbed emotionally as well by this second in the series, Native Son. This book picks up where Daughter of Liberty leaves off.

 The new-found romance between American spy Elizabeth Howard and patriot Jonathan Carleton suffers an abrupt interruption: While they are planning their wedding, General Washington is preparing to send them on dangerous missions that will separate them by hundreds of miles. Their intense love is put to a test. Can they put the needs of their new country struggling for freedom over their personal desires?

 It is a heart breaking, thrilling, and gut wrenching journey on these pages filled with rich historical detail that will be visualized with clarity in readers’ minds. I am so anxious to pick up Book 3 in this series, as my own heart wants resolution for this couple. This novel is a definite “Must-Read” for lovers of American History—as well as for lovers.

Reviewed by Elaine Marie Cooper

Books 1-3 of the American Patriot Series are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christianbook.com

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Iroquois Soup

The following recipe goes along with the Native American theme that has worked its way into my series. Slightly updated for modern tastes, it’s from The Art of American Indian Cooking by Yeffe Kimball and Jean Anderson.

Iroquois Soup

4 large mushrooms, sliced
2 ea. 10 1/2 oz cans beef broth
2 tbsp. yellow corn meal
2 tsp. minced parsley or other greens
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp. basil
1 onion, thinly sliced
dash fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
12 oz. haddock fillets
10 oz. baby lima beans

Place the mushrooms, broth, corn meal, parsley, garlic, basil, onion, pepper and salt in a large saucepan, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add haddock and beans and simmer 20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally and breaking haddock into bite-sized pieces. Serve hot.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Revolutionary War And The Anglican Church

While it is well known that the Revolutionary War caused division in communities and families throughout the colonies, it also brought about the disestablishment of a Christian denomination. The history of the Church of England, or the Anglican Church in America, dates back to 1607 when the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia was formed.
Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, Virginia circa 1660
Current structure built in 1715 remains an active parish

In 1693 James Blair, an Anglican missionary to colonial Virginia, secured the charter for an institution of higher learning for the colonies. The College of William and Mary, located in Williamsburg, Virginia is the second oldest college in the United States, preceded only by Harvard.

In 1775, when the Revolution began, there were about 300 congregations of The Church of England throughout the thirteen colonies. The Church of England was the established church in six of the thirteen colonies. They were: Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and New York.

The “established church” is a church recognized by law as the official church of a state or nation and supported by civil authority. Within those six colonies there were other religious orientations. For instance, Maryland had a religious orientation to Roman Catholicism. The religious orientation in New York was Dutch Reformed. It just means that the Church of England, or the Anglican Church, was the established church.

You can imagine when the colonies found themselves divided between the patriots pursuing separation and the loyalists, or Tories, maintaining ties to the crown, that the established church would be impacted, as well. The Church of England in the colonies experienced hostility and its membership declined during the Revolution, since all clergy swore an oath of allegiance to the crown when they were ordained. As a result, many of the clergy fled to Canada and England while others who sided with the patriots seeking independence remained. 

Bishop William White
credit Library of Congress, Washington DC

In order to continue the spiritual legacy of the Church of England, but to be separate from it, a proposition was made by William White, the Chaplain of the Continental Congress that the congregations become an American church. A Convention of clergy and laity was held in the early 1780s resulted in taking the church properties from the Church of England and establishing a new church in American. During that decade interstate conventions for the new church were held, and a constitution and prayer book were drafted. Dr. Samuel Seabury of Connecticut was consecrated Bishop in 1784 by the bishops of Scotland, and William White of Pennsylvania and Samuel Provoost of New York were consecrated bishops in England in 1787. The Episcopal Church, autonomous but part of the Anglican Communion, was formally organized in Philadelphia in 1789 as the successor to the Church of England. William White became the first Presiding Bishop of the United States.

Conflict in this denomination in America has not been limited to the eighteenth century. The Episcopal Church has once again become embroiled in division in the twenty-first century. After about three decades of debate over orthodoxy, practice, and the authority of Scripture, many congregations in the United States have experienced partition. Beyond the anguish and legal battles over property, it has resulted in the formation of over 1000 new Anglican congregations coming out of existing Episcopal Churches. It will be interesting to see what the future holds, but it is often through times of great trial that the body of Christ is purified and strengthened. Hopefully, that will be the result of the present upheaval.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Joan Hochstetler interview

Joan Hochstetler is the author of Daughter of Liberty, Book 1 of The American Patriot Series.

Published by: Sheaf House Publishers

Date: April 1, 2012

Joan is also the author of 3 other books, Native Son and Wind of the Spirit, books 2 and 3 of the American Patriot Series, and a contemporary novel, One Holy Night. Her website is http://www.jmhochstetler.com or www.theamericanpatriotseries.com

Joan, what got you interested in the colonial time period?

I was raised a Mennonite, and the history of the Hochstetlers is well known in the Amish and Mennonite community. You’ll find our family’s story on the Hochstetler History page on my author website. In 1757 my ancestors were caught up in one of the last Indian attacks on the border settlements in Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War. So that first drew my attention to the colonial era.

What really got me started writing about it however, was The Scarlet Pimpernel, a fabulous TV movie from 1982 starring Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour. It was set during the French Revolution, and I absolutely adored it. ADORED it! I knew immediately that I HAD to write my own version of the story. Alas, I wasn’t in the least interested in the French Revolution, plus there was no reason to duplicate that setting. Luckily we had our own Revolution, and my hero turned out to be a girl. And so it began . . .

What inspired your latest colonial work?

My latest book, Crucible of War, Book 4 of the series, releases in September 2012, after the re-release of Daughter of Liberty and Native Son in the new Heritage Edition. In the course of researching the first volumes, I uncovered so much fascinating material that it quickly became apparent it would be impossible to do justice to our nation’s founding in only 2 or 3 volumes. Wind of the Spirit ends right before the crucial battles of Trenton and Princeton, which left that story yet to be told. And much, much more. That keeps me going. Every time I start to think I have to give up this crazy obsession, I look ahead to all the pivotal events still coming up, and I’m re-inspired. People today know so little about what our founding generation suffered and sacrificed, and I refuse to allow that legacy ever to be forgotten.

Do you have a favorite colonial place you like to visit and why?

Oh, Colonial Williamsburg, without a doubt. I’ve only visited there once in the flesh—someday I’m going to go back for sure—but I’ve been on their website many times. Living history just doesn’t get any better. The interpretation of the colonial and Revolutionary periods of this country is impressive. Every citizen of this country ought to take a pilgrimage there at least once in their lifetime.

If you care to say, you can tell readers where you live and what colonial places you have in your state or your home state if different.

I’ve lived in the Nashville, Tennessee, area for many years, and one of my favorite colonial/early American sites to visit is Rock Castle on the east side in Hendersonville. The home was built by Daniel Smith, a surveyor, captain in the Revolutionary War, United States Senator, and Indian treaty negotiator, among other accomplishments.

Joan also has a favorite colonial recipe she enjoys and would like to share with readers. It's called Iroquois Soup and you can find it Sunday, May 20, on CQ.

Thank you for being our guest today on Colonial Quills, Joan.
Thank you for having me! And, I’ll be giving away a copy of the new Heritage Edition of both Daughter of Liberty and Native Son.

Be sure to leave a comment to be included in a drawing for giveaways of Joan's books! They're available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christianbook.com.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ann Hutchinson, A Woman of Interest

Anne Hutchinson on Trial by Edwin Austin Abbey
"I acknowledge using the words of the apostle to the Corinthians unto him, that they that were ministers of the letter and not the spirit did preach a covenant of works..."
Anne Hutchinson, her trial 1637
"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." II Corinthians 3:6

Anne Hutchinson stood on trial in the Massachusetts Bay Colony because of her convictions that we live by grace, not by works.

The salvation God offers us is free to those who call upon the name of Jesus, the Son of God.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation....
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:9-10,13
Salvation doesn't come through any other person.
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12
 Salvation doesn't come through any act of righteousness or any ritual (works).
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
 Salvation comes simply from faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the payment for our sins. A person comes to understand that he will die in his sins. He desires not to; believes that Jesus died in his place, was buried, and rose again; and calls on Jesus to save him. Once saved, a person will desire to love Jesus because of what Jesus has done for him. This change occurs because of the Holy Spirit working within the saved person. Jesus said:
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15
 Have you called upon Jesus to save you from your sins and the wages of your sins? If not, please pray even now and ask Him to forgive you. Let Him know you want Him to save you. If you want to talk with someone about it, please feel free to email me at: lynnsquire@gmail.com

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cotton Mather - Preacher to the Pirates!

On Friday, 20 June 1704, Cotton Mather and another minister, as well as “Forty Musketeers, Constables of the Town, the Provost Marshall and his Oficers,” accompanied the condemned pirates to the place of execution. In An Account of the Behaviour and Last Dying Speeches of the Six Pirates, he wrote:
Being allowed to walk on Foot through the Town, to Scarlets wharf, where the Silver Oar being carried before them; they went by Water to the Place of Execution being Crowded and thronged on all sides with Multitudes of Spectators.

Cotton Mather made it his life's goal to preach to condemned pirates with the intent of saving their souls for all eternity.  He often visited them in prison, reading Scripture to them and exhorting them to come to a true repentance for their sins before their execution. A diary entry in April 1699 read:
After the other public Services of the Day were over, I visited the Prison. A great Number of Pyrates being there committed, besides other Malefactors, I went and pray’d with them, and preach’d to them. The Text, in which the Lord helped mee to Discourse, was Jer. 2. 26. The Thief is ashamed, when hee is found. I hope, I shall have some good Fruit of these Endeavours.
But who was this Cotton Mather? Born in 1663, the eldest son of a prominent preacher in Boston, he grew up believing in hard work and living a Godly life. He learned to speak and read Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Science intrigued him to such a degree that in 1713 he became the first person born in America to become a member of The Royal Society in England.   At age eleven, he was the youngest person admitted to Harvard College where he studied medicine and theology.

Two years after he graduated in 1678, Cotton Mather delivered his first sermon in Dorchester at Grandfather Richard Mather’s church.   Eight years later, he visited his first condemned prisoner.

His doctrine, or fundamental belief, was that “If we Mark the Ways of Wicked men, which is indeed, an old Way, we shall find in it some things that are truly Remarkable.”  The truths he found "remarkable" in each of the condemned men he visited were:

  • Sin has been around for a long time 
  • To follow the path of evil is not an easy way
  • When one allies himself with evil, he hastens his downfall
  • Sinning is a deceitful vocation
  • Commiting a sin only leads one to greater sins.
  • Once facing justice, sinners claim to repent but they're not sincere in doing so
  • Too much wickedness ensures an early demise
  • God knows all sins the wicked commit
  • Sooner or later all sinners must face their just punishments

Over his years, Cotton ministered to hundreds of condemned pirates. Most repented. Some never did. One of the most famous of those men who refused to see the light was a man by the name of William Fly, a 27 year old sailor who staged a mutiny on board the slaver, Elizabeth in 1726. After killing the captain and first mate, they took over the ship and became pirates, feasting on any ship that happened their way. After Fly's capture and speedy trail, he was quickly condemned to death by hanging.

Mather then described two meetings he had with the convicted pirates. Their first conference took place six days before their executions. Although doomed men, Mather assured them they could still be saved – “Tho’ you have been so wicked overmuch, that the Sword of Justice can do no other, than Cause you to Dy before your Time, yet there is Mercy with God for you, if you Return to Him. . .the great God is Angry with you…. You are within a very few Days, to be thrown into those Hands, which if you dy in Ill Terms with Heaven, you will find it a fearful thing to fall into. Now, tis only in the Way of repentance…that you can be saved from the inconceivable Miseries….

After several meetings , and try as Cotton Mather did, he failed to turn Fly toward God. 

The final segment of The Vial Poured out upon the Sea (an account of the proceedings)  involved the execution. Mather bid Fly “to Speak, what he should judge proper to be spoken on that sad occasion….” Instead of confessing or warning others not to tread the path he had, Fly said, “he would advise the Masters of Vessels to carry it well to their Men, lest they should be put upon doing as he had done.” Remaining defiant to the end, Fly died on 11 July 1726, at the age of twenty-seven, and his “Carcase hanged in Chains, on an Island, at the Entrance into Boston-Harbour.” 

Cotton Mather was sixty-three when he counseled William Fly. The Vial Poured out upon the Sea was his last narrative that focused on condemned criminals. He took seriously his job of ministering to sinners before they departed this life. 

Cotton Mather was the most prolific writer of early American literature, yet few of his 469 published writings have appeared in print since his death in 1728. He craved knowledge, and when he died, he owned one of the largest libraries in America.   

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Call the Women Together

In 1998, I was thrilled to visit the shrine for historians: The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. This museum is unlike any other. Nineteen buildings host various exhibits—so many, in fact, that it is impossible to see everything in one day.

While I have forgotten many of the historical displays, one definitely stands out in my memory. It was a poster depicting a “Man Midwife.”

Now the title alone was enough to intrigue me, especially since I was a registered nurse, then working in a mother/baby unit at a local hospital. The display at the Smithsonian highlighted the debate going on in the late 1700s concerning male physicians undertaking the business of delivering babies.

The picture shows a person of two parts—half physician with his tools of the trade, including forceps and medications; the other half, a female midwife with her arms outstretched in motherly care. The symbolism of interfering medical practitioner vs. comforting, female arms was loud and clear. But the image was also prompted by the disapproval of many who were offended by males becoming involved in such intimate medical care of women.

A letter addressed to “All men in general and to all married men in particular,” was written in 1764 by Philip Thicknesse. His words expressed his outrage at the growing practice:

 “Let it be remembered that my motive is thereby to put a stop to impure acts, immodest actions, and the indelicate, unchaste, and unnecessary transactions of Men Midwives, such as they avowedly and publicly profess and such that every man of sense, decency, sentiment, and spirit must and will disapprove, or be totally indifferent as to his wife’s conduct or his own honor.”

In 2012, it is difficult to relate to the emotion and concern of Mr. Thicknesse. But considering the history of childbirth, it is not surprising that only female midwives were considered the acceptable assistants in the birthing process.

Since earliest recorded childbirths in the Bible, midwives were called upon to assist in a birth. And ever since Bridget Lee Fuller delivered the first Colonial babies on board the Mayflower in 1620, midwives had established themselves as the ones to call upon when labor began in the New World. For the next 200 years, midwifery reigned.

Midwives did not go to school to learn the craft—the skill was taught by other midwives. There was no formal training in the early colonies until 1765 when an institute for training was offered in Philadelphia. But many could not afford such schooling and most still apprenticed under more experienced trainers. Many midwives were widows who delivered babies as a way to make a living.

When a pregnant woman knew that birth was imminent, she “called her women together” for the event. Friends, relatives, the midwife—whoever a woman wanted to attend her and speak words of comfort to her—became a part of the birthing scene. It was definitely a female affair, although occasionally, husbands were needed to assist.

Childbirth in Early America was difficult, to say the least. One in eight births resulted in the death of the mother, usually as a result of exhaustion, dehydration, infection, or excessive bleeding. Women often looked toward impending childbirth with dread, one referring to it as “the greatest of earthly miseries.”

A midwife with great skills was highly valued. A diary kept by a late 18th century midwife from Maine named Martha Ballard describes the difficult life that she faced—fording rivers in winter, spending hours and days tending to laboring patients, and occasionally, preparing a deceased patient for burial. But Martha’s record was a successful one for the times: Out of 996 deliveries, there were only four fatalities.

Highly devoted to her profession, Martha continued delivering infants in her community until just before her death in 1812 at the age of 77.

But long before Martha Ballard passed away, the tide was beginning to turn. By the late 1700s, doctors in England had begun to play a greater role in childbirths. They, in turn, influenced American doctors who trained across the ocean and then brought these ideas home.

The practice of physician-assisted childbirth became popular in the urban areas of Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. These man-midwives brought with them medications and forceps. While the forceps could be handy during difficult deliveries—perhaps saving many infants and mothers who would otherwise have died—the physicians tended to interfere more in a delivery rather than allowing the child to be born at a natural pace like the midwives.

 By 1790, midwifery was losing ground to the doctor-assisted delivery. But midwives continued to reign in many areas as the main caregivers of laboring women.

Monday, May 7, 2012

One Year Anniversary of Colonial Quills Blog


We are excited to have you join us for Colonial Quills' first anniversary celebration! We have been blessed with a great team of contributors who delight us with all sorts of information about colonial history. Our founder, Carrie Fancet Pagels, does a fantastic job of managing the blog and highlighting Colonial American Christian novels. She is also the founder of Colonial American Christian Writers Yahoo group which is associated with and inspired this blog. Carrie, you do a great job and we love you!
(CFP: I did not write that. Since I am the one showing as having posted this I thought I should mention that LOL! Thank you, Carla!)

May we offer you a cup of chocolate?
Image from History.org

What CQ Contributors' have been blessed with, in their writing careers, this past year:

In March of 2012, Lori Benton signed a two-book contract with Waterbrook/Multnomah, for two 18th century historicals. The first, to be released in summer 2013, is set in upstate New York, 1784. The second, release date 2014, is set in western North Carolina, 1787.  The New York book will be her debut novel.

Carla Olson Gade received her second colonial American book contract, this one from Abingdon Fiction for their Quilts of Love series.  Pattern for Romance is set in Boston, Massachusetts in 1769 and releases in June 2013. Her  novella, Carving a Future, in the Colonial Courtships anthology along with CACW friend Laurie Alice Eakes, will be out in October 2012.  Carla's debut novel, The Shadow Catcher's Daughter, Heartsong Presents/Harlequin, launched in February.

A rendezvous at Colonial Williamsburg with "Quillers"
Carrie (founder), Carla (webmaster), and Carla's Mom.

In February 2012, Rita Gerlach's first book in her 'Daughters of the Potomac' trilogy was released. USA Today Books gave Before the Scarlet Dawn a rave review. Opening in the Hope Valley of Derbyshire, England, and transitioning to colonial Maryland at the start of the American Revolution, Before the Scarlet Dawn is a historical drama that shows the hardships women faced in the 18th century wilderness. In October 2012, the second book and sequel, Beside Two Rivers, a story of redemption and forgiveness, will be released. The last book in the trilogy, Beyond the Valley, will wrap up the series in February 2013.

In August 2011, MaryLu Tyndall's final installment of her War of 1812 Destiny series was released. Set in Baltimore, Surrender the Dawn is a romantic adventure surrounding the battle for Fort McHenry. In July of 2012, her 11th published novel, Veil of Pearls, a story of forbidden love set in Charleston, SC in 1811, will make its debut!

Roseanna M. White celebrated the release of her first colonial, Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland,in December 2011, which debuted to a 4 1/2 star Top Pick review from RT. She also signed a three-book contract with Harvest House for the Culper Ring Series, which will begin with Ring of Secrets, set during the Revolution, in January 2013.

On Thanksgiving Day 2011, Elaine Marie Cooper signed her contract with Sword of the Spirit Publishing for her third book in the Deer Run Saga, The Legacy of Deer Run. It will be released this month. Her second book in the series, The Promise of Deer Run, won first place in Romance at the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival, and is a Finalist in Religious Fiction category in Forward Reviews' Book of the Year Contest.

Meeting up with the "Quillers" with Janet, Gina, Roseanna,
Rachel, Laura, and Carrie (behind the camera)
Susan F. Craft's Revolutionary War romantic suspense, The Chamomile, released in November 2011, won the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Fall 2011 Okra Pick, best novels of the season.

Last September, Lynn Squire's Joab's Fire released. A short novel set in 1906 Canada in the region now known as Alberta. Then in November for her church's Home Mission Conference, A Week of Faith More Precious than Gold was released. This is a collection of seven short stories with accompanying devotionals focusing on the need to stand fast in our faith.

Carrie Fancett Pagels has submitted two three-book proposals to CBA publishers. The current one has made it past the assistant editor at one large publishing house and prayers are appreciated for God's favor wherever this manuscript is supposed to be published. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to continue to moderate the CACW group and manage Colonial Quills and Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help.

Laura Frantz is writing a new four novel series for Revell Books. The Ballantyne Legacy, a sweeping family legacy set in Pennsylvania spanning from Colonial times through the Civil War. A Love's Reckoning will release in September 2012

"Quillers" Laura and Carrie at ACFW

Janet Grunst, Writer – Janet now serves as the co-hostess of the Yorktown Christian Fiction Writers, the northern branch of the Tidewater Christian Fiction Writers group. She attended her first ACFW conference this year, polished a full MS, and has made great progress on her current WIP. She has sought representation and her proposal sits with an agent this very minute. Prayers welcomed!

Pat Iacuzzi, Writer – Has had a breakthrough with her story, The Bondage Keeper (working title), and is now in the revision and editing stage. Pat is an active blogger at American Historical Christian Fiction and as with many other writers who are otherwise employed, she expects her work in progress to take her through the end of the year.

"Quillers" Janet and Carrie
In October 2011, Jennifer Hudson Taylor's medieval tale Highland Sanctuary released from Abingdon Press. She also received a contract from Abingdon for Path of Freedom: Quilts of Love Series #3 (2013). In February her colonial novella was published in Highland Crossings.  Another novella released in April, The Quakers of New Garden. Stay tuned for her first colonial novel coming in September 2013, The Forbidden Conquest, the book one in the MacGregor Quest.

This spring, J. M. Hochstetler released books 1 and 2 of her acclaimed American Patriot Series, Daughter of Liberty and Native Son, in a newly revised Heritage Edition featuring the paintings of acclaimed historical artist Don Troiani.

Rebecca DeMarino is our NEWEST CACW member and will be a contributor to CQ, also.  Rebecca just signed a three book contract for a colonial series with Revell. Welcome, Rebecca!

Please continue to visit the blog to see what our many Colonial American Fiction friends also have in the works.

From an 18th century handkerchief, at CW.

MaryLu Tyndall's Veil of Pearls releases in July. Two of our visitors, one today and one tomorrow, will have a paperback copy pre-ordered for them!

Order Veil of Pearls from Amazon, CBD, Barnes&Noble
MaryLu's Website:  http://www.marylutyndall.com/

Laura Frantz's The Colonel's Lady will go home with three guests this week!

Carla Olson Gade's Colonial Courtships, her October release, will be given away to two winners! This book can be pre-ordered from Barnes&Noble, Amazon, and CBD
Gina Welborn from CAFWs is giving away a copy of  Highland Crossings that features her debut novella, "Sugarplum Hearts", which also includes novellas from CACW members Pamela Griffin and Jennifer Hudson Taylor.

Elaine Cooper has graciously offered to give away a copy of The Promise of Deer Run to one of our winners as well!

J. M. Hochstetler will give away a set of the first 3 books of The American Patriot Series, Daughter of Liberty, Native Son, and Wind of the Spirit, this week. They are all available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and CBD in either print or ebook. Book 4, Crucible of War, which releases in September, can also be preordered!

Susan Craft is offering a copy of her novel The Chamomile as a prize for one blessed winner!

A copy of Surrender the Dawn,  signed by MaryLu Tyndall will be given away this week!  This is one of the ACFW Book Club picks for the month.  Carrie is the facilitator for that discussion which begins May 20th.

Rita Gerlach will give away one signed copy of Surrender the Wind, a historical romance and ACFW Book Club pick for a month, and one signed copy of book 1 Before the Scarlet Dawn in her Daughters of the Potomac Series (historical drama) to two special winners!  Included with the books will be keepsake bookmarks.

Thank you for visiting Colonial Quills
and make this a fantastic first year!