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.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Colonial American Hairbrushes and Combs

Hairbrushes have been around for thousands of years.  Early hairbrushes were made of materials like shells and porcupine quills and were used to pick through hair to remove pests, tame tangles, and tug out knots. 
Though many hairbrushes were adapted from brushes that were used for painting, no one particular person is credited with drilling holes into a wooden paddle and inserting animal hairs into the holes.  Although the hairbrush has evolved through time, the basic design remains the same-- a handle, a paddle, and bristles.
William Kent began manufacturing brushes in England in 1777.  The brushes featured bristles that were stitched into the handle by hand (called hand drawing or long holing) and domed bristles.  It took as many as twelve people to make some models.
17th Century comb, used for removing pests and
taming tangles.
In the early 1700s, American newspapers advertised horn and ivory combs. But because they were imported, they were too expensive for most households, giving rise to home industries of horn breaking and comb making, or hornsmiths (hornsmithers).
Enoch Noyes who set up a shop in Leominster, Massachusetts,  in 1759, is credited with the beginning of American comb making. He was joined by William Cleland of Germany, and by 1793, there were seventy hornsmithers working for Noyes and Cleland, and Leominster became known as “Comb City.”
To make the cattle horn combs, using a hatchet Noyes would trim the ends of a horn and split it. After soaking the horn in hot oil, he opened it with tongs and laid it between heavy flat stones to cool. Then with a saw or jackknife he cut out the shape, notched in the teeth (comb drums), smoothed off the sides of the comb, and polished it with a handful of wet ashes.  He also used ivory and tortoiseshell. Noyes also made buttons.
Later history of combs and brushes --
In 1885, another English businessman, Mason Pearson, invented an automatic brush-boring machine to speed the process of brush making.  He also invented the pneumatic rubber cushioned hairbrush the same year.  Today, these brushes are considered some of the best on the market because they clean the hair, stimulate the scalp, and spread natural oils down the length of the hair, making it shinier.
child's hairbrush
In 1854, Hugh Rock filed the earliest U.S. patent for a hairbrush that featured a metal handle with an ornamental design with scalloped edges.  Brushes like this one were popular gifts (especially as part of a set with a comb and mirror) for new brides as well as new babies.
Samuel Firey patented a brush with elastic wire teeth and natural bristles in 1870.  In 1898, Lyda Newman patented a brush with a detachable handle and air chambers for ventilation.
Alfred Fuller started the Fuller Brush Company in 1906.  At the age of 18, he moved from Nova Scotia to Boston and went to work selling brushes for another company.  He began making hairbrushes, as well as home cleaning brushes, and selling them door to door, and he soon had a million-dollar business.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Horse Breeds

Aye, good-day me friends. Most of you know my father, Nathaniel Griffith. I am Joshua. I see you've come to watch the new horses come off the Griffith Lady. They be from England. They were set to arrive last fall, 1710, but a leak on the ship sent them back to England until repairs were made.

When last I was in London, I saw a beautiful coach pulled by four seal brown horses the owner called Thoroughbreds. His best mares, he said, were bred to the Byerley Turk, a stallion captured by Captain Robert Byerley at the Battle of Buda (1686). I believe it will be yet another 20 years, perhaps 1730, before we'll see such horses in the colonies.

While in Europe with my uncle, Davis Owen, we visited a riding school in Napels where the haut √©cole of equitation was practiced.There we saw stocky black horses known as Friesians. Most stand no more than 15 hands high. These well-trained horses, along with the Andalusians, performed airs above the ground (movements involving the horse leaping and kicking out). These movements have been used in warfare for centuries.

The kings of France preferred the Andalusians, a Spanish breed, though I found the Friesians most beautiful. I fear we'd need to sell all our stock to buy one Andalusian.

A team of white marbled horses pulled our heavy wagon from Picardie, France to the Boulonnaise region. We were in search of good horses to improve our stock. Unfortunately, we were unable to bring this team with us to Newport. They were of the Boulonnaise breed and had a good reputation among breeders. Smaller types of these horses were used to transport fresh fish from the Channel coast to Paris in less than 24 hours. Of all the draft horses we saw in Europe, the Boulonnaise were perhaps the most noble. We learned, however, that some Percherons from France were taken to Quebec. Someday, I shall travel north to see these animals. Perhaps they will suit our breeding program.

We, in Rhode Island, have worked hard to breed a horse that is fleet and swift pacing. I have a stallion that will pace a mile in little more than two minutes. Our horses need also to be hardy. 'Tis not unusual to journey sixty, nigh even seventy miles in a day on forest paths. Something uncommon, I am told, in England. We call our horses Narragansett Pacers, and as long as there are narrow paths in which to ride, our horses will serve a purpose. Though I will say Uncle Davis feels our pacers will give way to coach horses when roads improve.

Well now, the barge has made shore, and I must go and collect our mares. Godspeed to you, my friends.

The first Thoroughbred to be brought to America was Bulle Rock. He was imported in 1730 by Samuel Gist of Hanover County, Virginia.

Perhaps the most well known French draft breed is the Percheron. However, in the 17th century the Boulonnaise seemed to be more popular. If I lived then, I would probably chose a Boulonnaise over a Percheron because of the size. Smaller, they would not only be easier to mount but easier to feed than the Percheron. My research seemed to suggest they were faster as well. Having ridden a Percheron, my legs would attest to the discomfort of riding such a broad back. However, I prefer to drive a team of Percherons over Belgians, but that is pure whimsy.

The Narragansett Pacer was the first horse breed developed in the United States and did indeed become well-known. Even George Washington owned one, and some say that Paul Revere's horse was a Narragansett Pacer. The breed did give way to coach horses, and by the end of the 19th century, was extinct. The last one was believed to have died in 1880.

This breed provided the foundation for other pacing breeds like the American Saddlebred, Standardbred, and Tennessee Walking Horse. We, at one time, believed that my own precious Ginger had American Saddlebred blood for she had the ambling gait. She could walk as fast as some horses trotted. The gait is easy to ride and ground covering.

Many breeds influenced our American breeds. However, most colonists would not have any one specific breed but more likely to have a type, such as a saddlehorse, a coach horse, or a wagon horse (draft horse). With the exception of the wealthy, horses were bought and sold based on their abilities not on breed or lineage. Growing up, and through my years as an instructor and trainer, I prided myself in working primarily with 'grade horses'--horses of no specific lineage. Like the colonialists, I was more interested in the tractability, conformation, and physical abilities of the horse than in lineage. My own Ginger frequently out-performed purebred horses worth thousands of dollars more than what we paid for her.

If you get a chance, read the story of Justin Morgan's horse. The story reflects well how a horse of relatively unknown lineage can rise to the top. It also gives a good picture of how the 18th century horse business worked.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Part 4, A Forted Frontier Holiday: Preserve My Life From Fear by Elaine Marie Cooper

While harvesting, the German settlement near New Market, Virginia receive warning of an impending attack by French and Indians war parties. They flee to a quickly cobbled refuge, Fort Providence—for they will surely need to rely on God’s Provision. The forted colonials long to celebrate the holidays and await the arrival of visitors. 
Each CQ contributor to this serial will bring their characters into the fort from throughout colonial America. Join us for A Forted Frontier Holiday each Monday on CQ for the next two months!

Part 1 - Inside Fort Providence by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Part 2 - A Providential Proposal by Susan Craft
Part 3 - Landlocked by Carla Olson Gade

Part 4 - Preserve My Life From Fear by Elaine Marie Cooper

Shenandoah Valley, November, 1753

            The crisp snap of dry twigs catching fire alarmed Comfort Grant from her restless dream.
            Without moving from her bed of pine needles, her eyes searched the immediate surroundings for the presence of the Moravians. Her spirits deflated when she remembered they had left the day before. She and her husband, Jonathan, were on their own. Fear nudged at her waking thoughts but she denied its entrance.
Beyond the bright blaze of the early morning fire, Jonathan squatted down, rubbing his hands together. By the light of the flickering flames, her husband’s chiseled features stood out. Despite the constant distress of the last weeks, she still appreciated the handsome curves of his cheekbones and lips. She longed to feel the pressure of those lips, as she remembered how he would hold her close at night. But that was before they fled in terror from Pennsylvania and the Indian threats; before they had become so lost that Jonathan was forced to stand watch for unfriendly natives as well as French militia. Comfort shivered.
Survival took precedence over affection, but she ached to feel his embrace.
Grasping the small swell of her belly, Comfort both rejoiced and despaired at the presence of the new life forming inside her. She did her best to hide this change from Jonathan—no sense in adding to the man’s fears—but she knew it would not be long before he noticed. She bit her lip as she held back her tears. If only we were back home in Massachusetts. She sensed Jonathan’s gaze.
“You’re awake.” It was just a few words, but she heard the concern in his voice.
“Sleep well?” His eyes riveted upon her.
Forgive my lie, dear Lord. I heard every howl from the wolves.
As she pushed herself up from the long, soft pine needles, she drew the quilt closer around her shoulders. Wiping her loosened hair back from her face, she attempted a brave smile. “’Tis a fine fire, Jonathan.”
“We needed a bit of warmth before starting on the trail again.” He poked at the embers with a stick before he threw it onto the flames. As he stood up and covered a yawn, Jonathan reached down to grab a leather satchel. Pulling out a cloth, he opened the linen and withdrew two Johnny cakes. “Here, Comfort. You must eat something.”
             The thought of consuming food brought a sour taste into her mouth, but she took the biscuit and forced herself to eat small bites. “Thank you, Jon.”
Please, Lord. Help me keep my food down.
Jonathan bit off large chunks of biscuit, swallowing them while he looked around with vigilant eyes. “Everything seems calm enough. Let’s hasten on the road back toward Williamsburg, like Major Washington said.”
Indeed, had they not run into the young envoy deployed by Governor Dinwiddie to bring an ultimatum to the French in Pennsylvania, they would still be heading south—directly opposite of their goal.
It was also providential that the German-speaking Moravians, who were on their way to start a new settlement, were so helpful in sharing their food and their protective presence. But the language differences between the Grants and the Moravians had prevented Comfort and Jonathan from understanding that the group was going south. The Moravians had no idea where Massachusetts was.
With the constant cloud cover and unfamiliar terrain, Jonathan was unable to discern where they were. Running into Major Washington had at least spared the couple from journeying even farther away from home. But now home seemed so out of reach.
Fear once again knocked at Comfort’s heart. She struggled to recall the Psalm she had memorized as a child. “Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer; preserve my life from fear of the enemy.”
While Jonathan went to prepare the horses, Comfort stooped down to scatter the bed of pine needles.
No sense in announcing our presence to the natives.
She shivered as she thought of Jonathan’s brother, who had settled in Pennsylvania only to be found by their father in the woods. He had been savagely slaughtered and scalped.
And now Jonathan’s parents are gone as well.
When Jonathan determined to leave their home in Deer Run to bring their then-living parents back to Massachusetts from the frontier, Comfort had insisted on going. She would not stay behind to wonder where he was or fear for his safety. Now, she realized, Jonathan feared for hers. Had she made the right choice? Placing her hand gently over her womb, she smiled despite her concerns.
If I’d not come, this child would not be here.
She cleaned up the rest of their blankets and cups, then took a moment to enjoy the stunning beauty of the valley. The birches and poplars were shedding the last of their golden foliage onto the earth.
It must have been splendid not long ago. She sighed.
“Are you ready, Comfort?” Jonathan threw damp earth onto the fire and the blaze slowly sizzled and died. Drawing near to the bridled horses, he startled, grabbed his loaded musket and yelled at his wife. “Get down, behind the tree!”
Someone approached from the Old Wagon Road. Comfort pulled her wool cloak close to her neck, and tried not to make a sound. Surely her rapid breathing would betray her presence.
Preserve our lives, O Lord. Tears stung her eyes. Preserve our child’s life, O Lord. Trails of moisture rolled down her chilled cheeks.
The voice of the stranger pierced through the tension. “Ho, are you friend or foe of His Majesty the king?”
He speaks English!
“Friend. And who might you be, sir?” Jonathan lowered his musket with ease but kept it at the ready.
“I am Shadrach Clark, scout from Fort Providence.”
“Fort Providence?”
“Aye. Where ya headin’?”
Shadrach Clark’s eyes narrowed and he removed a fur hat and scratched his head. Long strands of dark blond hair flowed across his shoulders and back like an Indian headdress full of feathers. “Aren’t you a bit far from home?”
“Aye. We barely escaped the Ohio Valley, what with the unrest from the natives. Then the weather turned. We ran into a dozen or so men from Pennsylvania—Moravians, they called themselves. But we had difficulty understanding their language and before we knew it, we’d traveled too far south. We ran into an envoy from the militia yesterday who explained where we were. Now the weather’s turnin’…” Jonathan shook his head slowly, concern etched in his face.
The scout replaced his cap and stared up at the graying sky. “Snow’s comin’.”
“Aye.” Jonathan’s lips tightened into a thin line.
Comfort gripped the edges of her cloak. Snow?
The scout looked at Comfort for a moment, then back at Jonathan. “Ya might consider followin’ me to the fort. Word has it, things could get unpleasant around here.” A quick glance at Comfort again sent fear coursing through her already chilled veins.
Unpleasant? More Indians?
Jonathan threw a concerned look at Comfort then met Shadrach’s eyes. “Aye. We’ll go with you.”
Shadrach dismounted and walked toward Comfort. Taking her by the arm, he led her to the mare that Jonathan had saddled for her. The scout began to lift Comfort onto the side saddle, but Jonathan reached him and grabbed his arm. Comfort felt heat rise in her cheeks.
“I’ll help my wife.” There was more than an edge of irritation in his voice.
“Just tryin’ to help. No offense intended.”
Jonathan lifted her with care onto the saddle, his hands secure around waist. He looked up at her with eyes that seemed to say so much. Sometimes he did not even need to tell her he loved her—but she thrilled to those words whenever she heard them.
            After Jonathan mounted his gelding, the three started off with Comfort riding in the middle. Both men kept their muskets at the ready and frequently glanced around the thickly forested trail. The scout kept a running conversation going.
“So why were ya in Pennsylvania?”
“I went to get my parents and bring them back to Massachusetts. They moved to the frontier with my brother but he was killed by Indians. By the time my wife and I got there, my mother had died of the fever. And grief, I think.” Jonathan paused and cleared his throat. After a moment, he resumed. “My father took ill. We’d intended to get back home before fall, but he was too sick to move. We waited for him to get better—but he never did. Come late October, he died, too.”
Shadrach glanced back at the rider, concern filling his eyes. “I’m sorry.”
“Aye.” Jonathan’s throat sounded thick.
The rest of the ride to the fort was spent in silence. It seemed like they would never get there, but soon, Comfort startled from her sleepy state when Shadrach shouted.
“Ho, the fort!”
The tall wooden doors creaked open with the assistance of two militiamen in red uniforms. The soldiers hurried the three riders into the open area of the fort. There was so much activity inside. Comfort gaped at the strangers, some in unfamiliar clothing. A cacophony of voices speaking different languages filled her head with confusion. Her head swam as she felt her husband grab her hand. She stared at him, feeling weaker by the minute.
            Lifting her off the mare, Jonathan held her in his arms. “Comfort, are you all right?” His blue eyes glistened.
A petite and extremely pregnant woman approached the twosome. “Is she ill, monsieur?” The woman smoothed her hand across Comfort’s cheeks.
“I don’t know.” Comfort saw Jonathan swallow with difficulty when she opened her eyes.
“No, I’m well. Please, put me down, Jon.” She stroked his cheek and tried to smile.
He set her on the ground but kept his arm around her waist. Comfort could feel the pregnant woman’s gaze.
            “Come with me, mon amie.” The woman waddled closer to Comfort and placed her arm in a motherly fashion around her shoulders, leading her towards a cabin. “I am Madame Rousch, but you may call me Suzanne.” Turning toward Jonathan, Suzanne smiled at him. “She will be fine, monsieur.”
As the two women walked toward a sturdy looking cabin, a gray-haired man, full of spit and fire, stepped abruptly into their path. “And where do you think you’re taking her, Madame Rousch?” He crossed his arms and pulled himself up to his full height, his chin set in determination. “You know the cabins are for the families with little ones, do you not?”

As intimidating as he tried to appear, Suzanne drew her own slight frame up to its full elevation, placed her free hand on her waist and threw her head back. “Colonel Christy, and who are you to fight with a woman in my condition? And how do you know that this woman does not have an enfant?” Her glare appeared to bore through the man.
He stuttered, then stomped away.
“That will take care of Monsieur ‘Badger.’” She huffed then drew Comfort toward the door, and led her inside the cabin. The room was filled with the soothing scent of woodsmoke. And there was a bed near the fire.
It looks like home.
            "Thank you, Suzanne.” Exhausted and overwhelmed, Comfort’s voice whispered.
            “You are more than welcome, Madame…”
“Grant. Comfort Grant.”
The French woman’s eyes lit up with joy. “Ah, ‘Comfort.’ Perhaps you will be a comfort to me when my time comes, oui?” She patted her enormous belly.
Comfort’s eyes widened. “I don’t know…” She clutched her own abdomen without thinking.
Suzanne looked at her. “So, when might we expect your little one?” Her expression twinkled with mischief.
“How…how did you know?”
Suzanne squeezed her arm. “A mother just knows these things. Here, you rest on this bed. You need to sleep. Bonne nuit.”
Comfort did not argue with the demure yet insistent woman.
Crawling beneath the soft quilt, Comfort closed her eyes yet her mind panicked. Help a woman in travail? I’ve no experience with the pains of birth. How can I help her—when I know not how to help myself?

The End of Part 4

Look for Part 5 on Monday, December 3

GIVEAWAY: One of Elaine Marie Cooper's books will be drawn from among the commenters on this post.


Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of The Road to Deer Run (Finalist in Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Religious Fiction), The Promise of Deer Run (Romance Winner for 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival, Finalist in Religious Fiction for ForeWord Review Book of the Year) and The Legacy of Deer Run. Her upcoming short romance story appears in the Christmas anthology, I Choose You (Dec. 2012). Cooper is also a contributing writer for Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson. 

"Preserve My Life From Fear" is based on characters that appeared in the The Road to Deer Run.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

John Leland: Convicted and Saved

In the summer of 1772,... When I was returning from my frolicks or evening diversions, the following words would sound from the skies, "You are not about the work which you have got to do."...And without any usual horror of mind or dread of damnation, the charms of those youthful diversions, which had been sweeter to me than the honeycomb, lost all their sweetness, nor could I conceive how there could be any pleasure in them." 
John Leland, The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland, p.10.
(Miss L. F. Greene, G.W. Wood, 29 Gold-street, New York, 1845)
"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 3:10-11
The above quote is the testimony of the Baptist preacher, John Leland, who helped Madison win the Virginia battles for religious freedom.

Eighteen years old at this time, John Leland was already very knowledgeable of the Bible, having read and studied it since he was five. John's family was religious.Yet, John struggled to get past the thought that he, "was almost in all evil, full of vanity, exceedingly attached to frolicking and foolish wickedness."(p. 10)

His experience that summer evening began a series of events within his heart, reaching to the very depths of his soul. These experiences would change the course of his life. He went to another "evening frolic" to determine if he had truly died to such a lifestyle. In his own words:
"Accordingly I went, but found nothing to please, but everything to disgust." (p. 11)

Later that summer, he watched the baptism of a young woman he had danced with in the past. She had been converted after hearing Elhanan Winchester preach.
"What I saw and heard at the water, greatly effected me. There I stood upon a rock, and made my vows to God to forsake all sinful courses and seek the Lord, if he would direct me how." (p. 11)

Still he worried about his salvation. He concluded that first he must be deeply convict of sin; that if he were converted he'd feel as though:
"a surgeon should cut open my breast with his knife, take out my heart and wash it, put it back again and close up the flesh" (p. 12)
And that if he should ever believe in Jesus he would:
 "see him as plainly as I could see an object of sense."" (p. 12)

Having drawn those conclusions, John Leland pursued faith and salvation. He saw himself a sinner, was convinced that he was condemned, and discovered "the sufficiency of a Mediator," (p. 12) settling his hope on the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.

But he was concerned his conversion was not what it ought to be, until he meditated on Ephesians 1:13b "after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise". He heard in his mind God say to him, "Ye are already sealed unto the day of redemption." (p. 13)

John Leland keenly felt the hold of sin on his life. And as keenly as he felt it, he also rejoiced in the grace of God, freely given to all who receives it. He became a powerful preacher, effective in spreading the Gospel from Massachusetts to Virginia.

If only we all would feel the depth of sorrow Elder John Leland felt for his sin. Perhaps then, we would begin to grasp the greatness of God's grace and seek to live out lives pleasing to Him.

John Leland's struggle to know God's salvation impressed me. He, who had caroused with the youth and danced with the ladies, when convicted by the Holy Spirit, found that old life dead to him.

His passion for the Lord grew and became the driving force of his existence, even to the point where he willing risked being beheaded for his faith. When a woman asked to be baptized, she warned him that her husband threatened to whip her and kill the man who baptized her. He answered, "If you will venture your back, I will venture my head." (p. 20) She was whipped, but he did not lose his life.

Have you ever come to eschew parts of your life that were not pleasing to God? Have you ever become overwhelmed by the knowledge of your sin to the point where you understood your condemnation--that you indeed deserve hell? Have you ever discovered the sufficiency of God's grace through Christ and settled upon the hope of Christ's atoning blood--Christ's payment for your sin?

So many people today claim the title of Christian, yet do not live a life demonstrating the death of sin in their lives. Yes, we still live in the flesh, and therefore we will still sin. But do we eschew evil? Eschew means to shun or keep away from. Therefore, to eschew evil means to keep away from evil.

Peter wrote to Christians who saw and experienced first hand persecution for 'eschewing evil,' for not walking in the 'will of the Gentiles.' How little God asks of us in shunning that which is contrary to His Word, when He took upon Himself the likeness of man and bore our sin on the cross.
"Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of win, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead."
I Peter 4:1-5

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tea Party for Kelly Long, Dina Sleiman, and Gina Welborn

Coat of Arms at Kings Arms Tavern

We are hosting this event (virtually of course!) at the Kings' Arms Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg.  We hope you will find it as welcoming and as comfortable as we do!
Waiting area at Kings Arms

 Do come in and have a seat in one of these lovely chairs.  Aren't their seatbacks so pretty?  I don't recommend the bench, though, as it looks uncomfortable (below.)

And also take a look at the lovely china and creamware in the built-in cabinets! I love the pieces with the cutwork on them. There are porringers, mugs, and other lovely pieces to view!

Cranberry tarts, spiced tea, mulled cider, crumpets, honey-roasted ham, sweet potatoes, corn fritters and other tasty treats will be served up for this Tea Party featuring Colonial American Christian Writers members Kelly Long, Gina Welborn and new member Dina Sleiman.  Kelly and Dina have joined us as CQ contributors, also!  I see you eyeing the dessert table!  Best go upstairs with us and have your lunch first. Take the stairs up and hang onto the rail!

An Amish Kitchen
Kelly Long has THREE(!) releases: Her brand new upcoming release "An Amish Kitchen"  (December 2012, Thomas Nelson, available for pre-order now) is a combination trade length fiction/cookbook.  There are several novellas and fifty Amish recipes.  Kelly’s novella contribution is entitled “A Taste of Faith.”  Kelly also re-released "Hart’s Truth" as an ebook. 

“A Marriage of the Heart” just published by Thomas Nelson, combines three previously released Kelly Long novellas into one book and is available as audiobook, also (and is excellent!)

Lobr in Three-Quarter Time
Dina Sleiman's inspirational early American novel is the first release in Zondervan First. In "Love in Three-Quarters Time,"An impoverished young lady conspires to make a way for herself and must rely on her wits as she introduces the then-scandalous dance, the waltz, into Virginia society.   

Gina Welborn has a Christmas novella entitled "All Ye Faithful"in the collection "A Cascades Christmas" just published by Barbour.

A Cascades Christmas

This message is from a special helper I have today: We hope our guests will enjoy this party as much as we CACW members always do! My name is Shadrach Clark and I am hoping to meet some of the pretty ladies attending this tea, which is why I agreed to serve!  I am a widower, but at only three and twenty, I do believe my wife would have wanted me to remarry. 

Come in.  Sit by the hearth and visit with us a while!  One of your hostesses is Carrie Fancett Pagels and she and the lovely ladies being celebrated here will check on you to be sure you've gotten a drink and a plate of our good food.  Kathy Maher will also don a serving wenches's apron as will Lisa Norato, throughout the day. Don't forget to tell them how fetching they look and to keep any of the male patrons from disturbing them!  I imagine Andrew Jackson will be around to defend our visitors if the need arises!  Andy always loves a good party!
Dina Sleiman
Gina Welborn at Kings Arms
Kelly Long

Please introduce yourself in character and give us your setting.  Today you are in Virginia just after the War of 1812 has ended. Visitors from modern day are welcome, too!

Giveaways: As part of our Frontier Forted Holiday Anthology, we will be announcing winners for Laura Frantz's "The Frontiersman's Daughter", Susan F. Craft's "The Chamomile", and Carla Gade's "Colonial Courtships" today.  Don't miss out on our anthology collection which will continue on Mondays through the middle of January.

We also have giveaways of Gina's, Dina's, and Kelly's books for three different winners.

We have a goody basket (including chocolate) for someone who comes in character and comments.  That always makes these tea parties a lot of fun!  WELCOME!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Puritan Prayer of Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1912

I was inspired by the lovely hymn that Janet shared on Sunday and thought that in this busy week of pie-baking and turkey-thawing and dressing-making, I would give you another quick, beautiful prayer from our forefathers to help us all reflect on the holiday.

This prayer comes from a volume of Puritan prayers entitled The Valley of Vision, compiled by Arthur Bennett. He doesn't say who wrote each one, but I am always struck by the sincere, heart-wrenching faith of those who penned these words. I pray this one speaks to you today.

Praise and Thanksgiving

O my God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admired, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee
in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it,
though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding,
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language
to express,
for what thou art to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time
and eternity.


May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving tomorrow!


Roseanna M. White pens her novels under the Betsy Ross flag hanging above her desk, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When she isn’t writing fiction, she’s editing it for WhiteFire Publishing or reviewing it for the Christian Review of Books, both of which she co-founded with her husband. She is the author of the upcoming Ring of Secrets, Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland, and two biblical novels. www.roseannawhite.com

Monday, November 19, 2012

Part 3, A Forted Frontier Holiday - Landlocked by Carla Olson Gade

While harvesting, the German settlement near New Market, Virginia receive warning of an impending attack by French and Indians war parties. They flee to a quickly cobbled refuge, Fort Providence—for they will surely need to rely on God’s Provision. The forted colonials long to celebrate the holidays and await the arrival of visitors.
Each CQ contributor to this serial will bring their characters into the fort from throughout colonial America. Join us for A Forted Frontier Holiday each Monday on CQ for the next two months!

Part 1 - Inside Fort Providence by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Part 2 - A Providential Proposal by Susan Craft

Part 3 - Landlocked by Carla Olson Gade

Shenadoah Valley, November 1753

Constance Ingersoll squeezed a fistful of her quilted petticoat, thankful for the warmth it provided from the brisk chill in the air. “I don’t know how your mother is managing at the inn. Though I am stilling learning the art of domesticity, I at least provide another set of helping hands.”
            “Do not fret, my dear. Mother is resourceful. Mayhap she enticed Lucy to help her for a spell.” Nathaniel looked up from the small piece of wood he was carving into a whistle.
            “But Lucy has her own family now,” Constance said.
            “I’m sure mother is managing just fine. She always hires more girls to help at the Red Griffin in the autumn. Harvest is past, and they have likely already helped her put up food for the winter. By now they are busy giving the house a good scrubbing. Thanksgiving will be upon them soon and Mother always welcomes extra guests at the inn.” Nathaniel reached for hand and cast an assuring gaze over her pensive face.
            Constance clamped down on her lower lip. Thanksgiving. She had never experienced this colonial American holiday before. How she longed to experience the festivities that she had heard so much about. To celebrate the Lord’s goodness with her new husband and family. Now she would miss it altogether. “I should have never come, but I had to find you before you left on this trip. I could not let my harsh words leave such a breech between us.”
            “We have gone over this before, my dear. Though I wish you had stayed, I did not wish to leave you. ‘Twas strictly a matter of business.” Nathaniel set his knife down and drew Constance close, his arm wrapped around her waist. “I am grateful to have you near me now. ‘Twasn’t easy leaving my new bride.”
            “I simply did not wish for you to think that I wished you ill on your trip. It was that you had to depart so soon after our marriage. Your mother proffered good advice, she being a young bride once whose merchant husband frequently set sail. I don’t know how she could bear it, especially with four sons underfoot. You and Jonathan at the helm.” A tiny grin spilled onto her face.
            “I assure you, that this is a rare occasion, but the terms of the agreement Uncle Phineas made for us to obtain such good lumber from the Shenandoah Valley proved to advantageous to turn down. This will mean a great deal and save us much expense for our ship carving shop. And Jonathan was pleased at the opportunity for trade. ” Nathaniel inspected his small carving before his eyes drifted to hers.
            Constance looked upon her husband’s handsome face, losing herself in his loving gaze. His eyes, despite their stormy blue-grey, held such tranquility–mocking the uncertainty of this trip. They had sailed from the coast of Connecticut all the way to Alexandria. But when Jonathan decided to explore further trade options up the Potomac River, they were diverted to land. The British Colonel Lee Christy informed them of the need to bring supplies to a fort in the Shenandoah Valley. It might have meant losing some of his investment, but he and Nathaniel agreed that it was well worth providing for the welfare of the forted inhabitants. “At least I brought you some extra foods for the journey, my love, a peace offering of sorts.”
            “Aye, and they were palatable indeed. I am still marveling at the fact.” Her brother-in-law stepped up behind them, teasing his way into the conversation. “I am not accustomed to stow-aways, you know. I shall forgive you this time, Constance, since it was my ship’s beam that knocked you senseless, leaving you aboard my vessel for the duration of our travels.”
            “Had I not snuck aboard and retreated below to regain my composure to ready myself to speak to my husband, I would have not found myself at your mercy, Jonathan. Pardon, Captain Ingersoll.” Constance straightened to attention, hiking her chin. “But that cat you had on board nearly frightened me to death.”
            “You can imagine my own fright when I found you lying there on the floor,” Nathanial said. “At least Jonathan had the good sense to offer you his own quarters for your convalescence.”
            “And the continued comfort for the newly married couple, I might add. My back might never recover. I do not know how my crew endures sleeping in such small compartments.” Jonathan’s face contorted as he rubbed his back with exaggerated flair.
            “We shall forever be in your debt, sir.” Constance looked up the trail, beyond the Shenandoah River. Although they were no longer aboard the Rivier Handelaar. She was glad to be in the company of two such stalwart men while so far from home. What pleasure it gave her to think of Glassenbury, Connecticut as her home now when several months before she had been spirited away from all she knew and loved in England.
            “All is well now, my love,” Nathaniel said, yet his hand tightened around the stock of his musket.
            “Is it?” Constance looked from Nathaniel to Jonathan, and her eyes darted about their surroundings. The dense forest concealed many mysteries. Among them, the danger lurking there. “When will Colonel Christy return rejoin us?”
            “We shall know in a moment’s time. The Colonel will return presently along with the minister he is escorting to Fort Providence. Word has it that the reverend’s services were required for a burial.
            Jonathan eyed Nathaniel. “The dead woman had an arrow in her back. The man beside her husband was scalped.”
            Nathaniel shook his head and growled at Jonathan. “That information was not necessary to share, brother.”
            Nathaniel tugged back on his dark queue and exhaled. “Do not be alarmed, Constance. Fort Providence is not much further away. We have had God’s protection thus far, and I have no doubt that we can trust Him still.”
            A freshet of tears filled Constance’s eyes, threatening to spill like the Connecticut river during a spring flood. She did not want Nathaniel to see her like this. She had promised herself she would not be a burden to him–she, his uninvited guest. There was nowhere to retreat from his presence, save the wagon. Constance turned and made her way across the Old Wagon Road to the trees sheltering their covered conveyance, Nathaniel calling out to her as she fled.
            In a flash she reached her refuge and glanced back at Nathaniel. What was she running from? He was her safe harbor. She leaned against a towering oak, the rough bark pressing into her shoulder blades. She stepped away, closing her eyes as she pulled in a deep breath.
            As she opened her eyes she caught the shadow of an arm reaching around from behind her. A rough, firm hand clamped around her gaping mouth. Another arm grabbed her around her waist and pulled her back against her attacker. She caught the glimpse of a tawny arm, striped in dark paint. Oh Lord, no! An Indian.
Her eyes shot up in search of Nathaniel and Jonathan. The pair had their rifles pointed straight in her direction. Though she trembled in her captor’s grip, she thrashed about pursuing her escape. The savage clutched her tighter, his odor permeating her nostrils.
            “Drop your weapons, men! Fear not.” Colonel Christy commanded from atop his gray gelding. “He is a friend.”
            “Tell him to release my wife–at once!” Nathaniel demanded.
            “If he is no foe, why has he taken her?” Jonathan snapped.
            “Perhaps so you would not kill him on sight.” Colonel Christy got down from his horse and went toward them.
            “Dark Horse, you may let go of Mrs. Ingersoll,” The Colonel ordered. “Mrs. Ingersoll, he will release you now and you may walk toward your husband with no fear.”
            “It is alright, Mrs. Ingersoll. He is a praying Indian, and our ally.” Reverend Saks calmly walked toward her, hand extended.
            “Go.” The Indian released Constance and gave her a gentle push. “The colonel. The preacher. Friends.”
            Her eyes fixed on Nathaniel, who remained alert, his musket braced against his shoulder. He nodded, his stormy eyes beckoning her. She took one step, and then another, with legs that she could no longer feel.
            “Come, dear,” the minister said as her came near.
            She hastened her pace, yet the weight of her body pulled her to the ground and shrouded her in darkness.

Constance could hardly believe that they were at last safe inside Fort Providence. What a harrowing ordeal it had been the day prior when Dark Horse had come to warn Colonel Christy and Reverend Saks that Shawnee hostilities were increasing. The dead couple that had been found along the way, proof indeed. Word had it that the couple had abandoned their wagon fleeing for their lives. Before they left, the men investigated the wagon and discovered their little son hiding under some blankets, frozen with fear. Though Constance had contended with fear herself in her first encounter with an Indian, Dark Horse had been a Godsend hastening them to the fort before the Shawnee reached them. He remained with them until they arrived, and was welcomed inside to sup with the Reverend and Colonel Christy.
            Nathaniel hooked Constance’s elbow around his and ushered her by the light of dusk toward the main building where they would make their temporary dwelling. Jonathan would sleep in the wagon. And the little boy they had discovered was fast asleep. Constance's heart broke for the boy who had lost both his parents in the Indian attack. What would become of the lad? Nathaniel patted her hand, seemingly aware of her thoughts.
            As they turned the corner, Constance gasped. Dark Horse.
            He nodded and stepped aside.
            Nathaniel called to him as he passed. “Dark Horse.”
            The Praying Indian turned, acknowledging Nathaniel with his penetrating stare. “Yes, Nathaniel Ingersoll.”
             “Thank you. . .for bringing us to safety,” her husband said.
            “I am sorry to cause your wife fear.” Dark Horse’s coal black eyes were upon her.
            Constance’s heart thumped beneath her stays. But what was there to be afraid of now? She was safe in her husband’s arms and the fort was full of armed men. Dark Horse had proved to be a staunch ally and she had learned that he had aided the forted colonials on several occasions. She nodded at this unlikely hero and managed a weak smile.
            “Will you remain for Thanksgiving tomorrow? With the deer you provided and the supplies we brought in we shall have a great feast.”
            “I leave at dawn.”
            “Stay.” Constance could not believe the word the spilt from her lips.
            Dark Horse grinned and looked at Nathaniel.
            “You heard the woman.” Nathaniel chuckled and winked at Constance. “As I told you our forefathers did.”
            “Indeed, Dark Horse. We have much to be thankful for.” Reverend Saks sauntered by, Prayer Book beneath his arm. “Tomorrow will be a great day of thanksgiving for God’s provision and providence. In fact, Mr. and Mrs. Ingersoll, I would like you to come with me to meet a young couple who will be wed on the morrow. It seems as if I have arrived in time to help them tie the knot.”
            Dark Horse looked at the minister, confusion in his dark eyes. Reverend Saks smiled and adjusted his wire rimmed spectacles. “A marriage, Dark Horse. Like Mr. & Mrs. Ingersoll’s.”
            The following morn, the fort was a bustle with preparations for the great feast. Constance, Nathaniel, and Jonathan were introduced to several of the families. They met Rousches with their many children, and niece, Sarah; the colonel's son William, who was sweet on the girl; the Camerons; and the Zerkles, whose foolhardy patriarch recently lost his life to the Indians, and son Nicholas who barely escaped with his life and hobbled around the fort on makeshift crutches.
            The aromas of corn spoon bread, sweet potatoes, pheasant on the spit, and all manner of pies and other dishes filled the community kitchen of the great house; the deer and pig being roasted in the yard. Young girls snapped peas, and chopped squashes, and rolled out biscuits. Constance helped prepare a Marlborough Pudding, an Ingersoll Thanksgiving favorite dish, to bake in the large hearth.  
           The petite Mrs. Rousch came alongside Constance. “It is no small miracle that your troupe arrived when it did, oui? There are many Palatinate Germans here who greatly missed our communal day of thanksgiving when we were sent to the fort before the harvest was in. Some of the other colonists share the tradition, and some observe this time with a simple day of prayer and fasting. But since you and your Indian friend have brought so many provisions, it is a perfect occasion for a feast after our time of worship.” She rested her arm atop her rounded center, exceedingly great with child. “With the mariage this afternoon, we have much to celebrate. And there is talk that Allison and Doug may take the enfant trouv√©, the foundling, as their own.
            “Praise be God. I thought that I would miss Thanksgiving this year. But here I see, under every circumstance there is a time and place for thanksgiving.”

High in the heavens, eternal God,
Thy goodness in full glory shines;
Thy truth shall break thro’ every cloud
That vails and darkens thy designs.

For ever firm thy justice stands,
As mountains their foundations keep;
Wise are the wonders of thy hands;
Thy judgments are a mighty deep.

Thy providence is kind and large,
Both man and beast they bounty share;
The whole creation is they charge,
But saints are they peculiar care.

My God! How excellent thy grace;
Whence all our hope and comfort springs!
The sons of Adam in distress
Fly to the shadows of thy wings.

  From the provisions of thy house
We shall be fed with sweet repast;
There mercy like a river flows,
And brings salvation to our taste.

Life, like a fountain rich and free,
Springs from the presence of the Lord;
And in the light our souls shall see
The glories promis’d in thy word.

(Psalm 36, v 5-9, Perfections, Providence, and Grace of God
The Psalms of David by Isaac Watts)

The End, Part 3

Look for Part 4 of A Forted Frontier Holiday on Nov. 26th.

GIVEAWAY:  One of Carla's books will be given away to a commenter for this post.  The winner will be announced at the TEA PARTY this coming Friday, November 23rd, given for Kelly Long, Dina Sleiman, and Gina Welborn. Come by in character for a chance to win the gift basket (chocolate included!)

Carla Olson Gade grew up in an historic Massachusetts town not far from Plymouth, Massachusetts, home of her Pilgrim ancestors. She now lives in rural Maine with her husband and two young adult sons. She is the author of The Shadow Catcher's Daughter and “Carving a Future” in the Colonial Courtships novella collection. Her colonial novel, Pattern for Romance (Quilts of Love series), and her novella in Mistletoe Memories release in 2013. You may connect with her at carlagade.com.

This Forted Frontier Holiday installment, "Landlocked", was based on characters from my novella, "Carving a Future", featured in Colonial Courtships (Barbour/2012).