Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Possible connection to the Mayflower

Last night my author was working on her genealogy. According to her mother, she has a distant relative who came over on the Mayflower. So far in her research, she has not yet found that connection. The closest she has come to it was this Last Will and Testament of Hugh Parsons. His daughter married Henry Matteson. Donna Swanson's (my author's birth name) grandmother was a direct descendent.

The reason this connection is so interesting is that Hannah's mother's name was Elizabeth, and we do not know her maiden name. She however did have two daughters from a previous marriage, again, we do not know his name, however, we do know that the other daughter's names were Susannah Carpenter and Elizabeth Doty. Doty was one of the names of the families who came over on the Mayflower. Is this our connection to the Mayflower?

Notes for Hugh Parsons:
1. Mattesons in America, H. Porter Matteson, 1948-1955, Typewritten & signed edition, page 1
Henry Matteson married at Portsmouth, Newport County, Rhode Island 1670 to Hannah Parsons daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth Parsons of England.
2. Newport, Rhode Island Town Council & Probate Volume 2, page 229.
Will of Hugh Parsons
Dated January 10, 1683, Proved March 14, 1684
I Hugh Parsons inhabitant of the Towne of Portsmouth on Road Island in the colony of Road Island and Providence in New England do make this my last will and Testament in minde and following.
First my minde and will is that all my just Debts which I of Right owe or am indebted to any person or persons by justly and truly paid by my executrix hereafter named in som convenient time after my decease; also I make my Loving Wife Elizabeth Parsons sole Executrix to all my estate and after mine and my Wifes Decease, my will is, that Hugh Bayly, my Grandson possess and injoy, this, my house and Land I now Live on to him and his heirs forever; with one-third of my store, and moveables that shall be there left; but in case Hugh Bayly shall die before his coming to injoy what I have here bequeathed to him, then my will is that what I have here bequeathed to him shall be and remain to his heires and next of kin which shall be found surviving after mine and my Wifes deceases and further my will is, that my Wife Take Care for the bringing up of my Grandsonn, and that he Live and be subject and helpful to hir during hir natural life and after hir so charge my said Grandsonn, Hugh Bayly to have and injoy what is hereto bequeathed to him and his heires forever and in case my Wife should Dye before my said Grandsonn come of age or capable to manage for himself- Then I leave him with his estate bequeathed to him in the Care and Trust of my overseers hereafter named. They to improve it for his best Advantage and behoofs of my Grandsonn, paying them also out of said estate for their care and trouble thereon.
And to my daughter Hannah Mattison I give one shilling and to my Grand-Daughter Hannah Mattison foure eue sheeps to be delivered to her at the day of sixteen years or day of marriage by my Executrix or overseers in Trust.
And the Remaining part of my Estate undisposed of I freely give and bequeath to my Wifes two daughters, Living on Long Island near Oyster Bay, namely Susannah Carpenter and Elizabeth Doty.
Lastly I desire my Loving friends, James Baker of Newport and William Cadman of Portsmouth and George Lauton of Portsmouth to be my overseers of this my last Will and Testament to see it performed after my decease.
In witnee-- I have on the day and year first above written set my hand and seale. Hugh Parsons
Signed sealed and owned
In the presence of
Wm Cadman
Joseph Martin
William Cadman and Joseph Martain Witness that upon their solemn engagement do testify that they saw the above said testator Hugh Parsons sign and seal the above written and heard him declare it to be his last will and testament and that then he was of a disposing mind to the best of their understandings taken before us this 14th of March 1683 John Albro assistant
More About Hugh Parsons and Elizabeth Unknown:
Marriage: 1626, Newport County, Rhode Island.
Children of Hugh Parsons and Elizabeth Unknown are:
  • +Hannah Parsons, b. 07 Aug 1646, Newport County, Rhode Island, d. 1685, Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Taxation without Representation 1765 Parliament passed the Stamp Act. According to many historians, this was the major cause of the American Revolution, however, the reason that Parliament passed the act was because the French and Indian War had left a huge national debt. It only seemed right to Parliament that the American colonists, whose protection the British army provided during the war, share in some of the responsibility in paying back those debts. Therefore, in a very major way, the French and Indian War caused the American Revolution because with out it, the Revolution may never have taken place.
      In the novel Soldiers Don't Cry, the Locket Saga Continues (by my creator--Cygnet Brown) My brother-in-law's friend  Samuel Matthew Gray (who Peter always called Matthew) was especially angered by the Stamp Act. (Personally I think he was just looking for something to fight about because he loved to pick fights.)
      Matthew was one of the original members of the Sons of Liberty, the name of which originated from a speech that Colonel Isaac Barre gave against the Stamp Act in the House of Commons. The Sons of Liberty were secret organizations formed int the provincial towns in order to organize against the Stamp Act and other British legislation they did not feel was in their best interests.
      The Stamp Act was the first event that organized the colonists against the British government. Delegates from 9 f the 13 colonies met in New York to formally protest the Stamp Act. The formal protest was heard because on March 18, 1766, Parliament repealed the act. However, the issue wasn't completely taken off the table because the same day Parliament  passed the Declaratory Act which gave Parliament the right to make any laws they wished.
       Because of the growing unrest in the colonies, British troopers were sent to Boston to quell the growing unrest in the colonies. This did not however quell anything, but simply reinforced to the colonists that the British government was not interested in allowing the colonists in on the decision making process on how British national debts should be paid.
       I hope you have enjoyed this background research that was used when writing the novel in which I am the protagonist (sometimes antagonist) in Soldiers Don't Cry, the Locket Saga Continues by Cygnet Brown

Saturday, January 5, 2013

When Fort Presque Isle closed

There is some misunderstanding concerning why forts like Fort Presque Isle closed in 1763. 

      Some people thought that the reason the forts closed was because of the Indian attacks during The Conspiracy of Pontiac. This occurred while the French and English were negotiating for peace at the end of The French and Indian War. With the fall of the French domination in the West, the Indians were left unprotected. An Indian conspiracy soon formed in to kill all the garrisons and settlers in the frontier settlements in Pennsylvania and Virginia and along the Great Lakes. They were lead by Pontiac, an Ottowan, probably the most able Native American of the time. Nearly every Algonquin tribe  and the Seneca of the Six Nations participated in the conspiracy. 

       Every English fort fell into the hands of the Indians except for Fort Detroit, Fort Pitt and Niagara. Detroit which had been attacked by Pontiac was successfully defended by Major Gladwyn. Colonel Bouquet protected fort Pitt and Niagara had not been attacked. 

       Not every Fort was attacked and overcome by Indians. Some of the frontier forts like Fort Presque Isle, were abandoned because the British were not willing to foot the cost of defending them since their quarrel was with the French, not the Indians. 

      When the war ended in 1763 with the Treaty of Paris, and the redistribution of European colonies, the cost of the war left a huge national debt hanging over the British government which a young King George had discover a way to resolve.
      In the book Soldiers Don't Cry, The Locket Saga Continues, the message that came telling the commanding officer to abandon the fort came when it did because the British government ordered it closed for financial reasons, not because of the Indian invasion that killed the members of Philip's supply party and my family.

         Soldiers Don't Cry is available on Amazon. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Henry Knox's Tenacious Bride

Lucy Flucker Knox

One woman, barely noted in Soldiers Don't Cry but deserves to have her story told, is the plucky Lucy Flucker Knox. She was born in 1756 (died in 1824). As you will read in Soldiers Don't Cry (soon to be released) Lucy was from a loyalist family (her father was the Royal Secretary of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and her brother served in the British army). She was the kind of woman that melodramas were based upon.  She went against her parent's wishes when she married Henry Knox, a bookseller and Whig. They disapproved of the match because he was not of her social class, nor could he as book seller provide for her the life which which she was accustomed. To make matters worse, his political leanings as a patriot went against everything for which her family stood. When the British forces abandoned Boston in March 1776, the Fluckers fled, turning estrangement from Lucy into permanent separation. This may explain why Lucy cleaved all the more strongly to Henry. She had no other close family besides him and his brother. Lucy Knox attempted to help her brother-in-law run the bookseller business for a while during the war, but the business failed. She also stayed with friends or in rented lodgings at times during the war, but she always preferred to be with her husband. As a result of both need and determination, she managed numerous, lengthy visits to camp, where she started to raise her family and served as a prominent social hostess. During the summer of 1777, Lucy helped her brother-in-law Billy run the book store in Boston.
When the Continental Army encamped at Valley Forge for the bitter winter of 1777-78, Lucy joined her husband. She lived in contentment in a big stone house beside Henry's artillery park, and became a pleasing hostess to cold and threadbare officers. Somehow the Knoxes always managed to provide extra food and wine, and at night there was often dancing and singing. At this time the relationship between the Washingtons and the Knoxes flourished.

Henry Knox was already close to the Commander in Chief, but as you will see in the third book (currently in barely more than an outline) in The Locket Saga--A Coward's Solace-- the relationship between "Lady Washington and Lucy Knox at while they were living at Valley Forge. Despite the 25 years age difference, the two women were close. Both came from a privileged background. Martha was a country lady; Lucy was more urban. They devoted their time to sewing, mending, and attending the sick at the encampment. Lucy grew in self-importance as she informed the older woman on matters of protocol. The Knoxes were of special value to the Washingtons in this time of open criticism of the General.

The glorious news that France recognized the new American republic and was sending aid came in the spring of 1778. Camp broke, the men prepared for battle, and the women scattered to their homes. Time and again throughout the war Lucy would come to her husband's side. At the cantonment at Pluckemin they would bury their second born Julie who was only a weeks months old.

Lucy Knox continued as a society hostess after the war, when her husband served as Secretary at War in the Confederation government and then as Secretary of War under Washington. He accepted those positions both out of a sense of public service and out of the need to support his family. The Knoxes continued to live beyond their means and without a permanent home through those years. Knox resigned in December 1794 and the following spring settled his family in Maine. After Henry died in 1806, Lucy sold her property to pay off debts and support herself.

Monday, September 10, 2012

           Here's the design of the cover of Soldiers Don't Cry--second book--of the Locket Saga.  What is your opinion?
          Edits are moving right along. We hope to have the book ready for publication by December 1st. Just in time for the holiday season!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How Phillip and I met again

So many people have been waiting for the second book in the Locket Saga that I decided to sneak a few pages from Soldiers Don't Cry to give a taste of this second book. This is the scene where Phillip and I reunite after 12 years apart.

Phillip heard skirts rustling. He turned toward the sound, and looked up to the landing at the top of the stairs.
Phillip gasped. Beautiful was too plain a word to describe the young woman descending the stairs. The gown of fine dove gray silk trimmed in fine lace was not the dress of a poor little orphan. The long blonde ringlets cascaded down the side of her head and her delicate features were not those of a homely woman. The graceful movements, the head held high, the slight tilt of her head were all movements of a woman who had been to finishing school. Phillip sensed the anxiety under the appraising look from those powder blue eyes framed under the long eyelashes, but he also caught a glimpse of the spirit he had once known. He knew this beautiful woman descending the stairs was none other than Elizabeth Thorton.
For a moment that stared at one another. He smiled a half smile and tried to hold back a grin. He watched the line deepen in her forehead. He knew she was wondering why he seemed to know her even though he had just arrived by ship from England where she, Elizabeth, had never been.
Phillip smiled at the confusion he saw in her face. He imagined she was debating whether he was making a blatant pass at her, or how it could be possible that they could know one another. He was certain that she had no idea who he was. She did not recognize him as the eight-year-old boy she had known in the West.
After Elizabeth joined the three men, Phillip was pleased to see Gerald could not make his charms rub off on her. Phillip was impressed that she recognized Gerald as the want-to-be womanizer that he was.
When Gerald was part of certain circles where men entertained older married women, he behaved himself. However, in the company of younger women, particularly pretty younger women who were just becoming aware of their womanhood and were flattered whenever any man paid attention, Gerald created his own rules, which benefited him and not the woman. He also misbehaved with the type of woman the type of woman whom men paid for their attentions or women who would do anything to improve her status in the world. Women of that caliber he considered fair game.
Phillip was pleased Elizabeth was not impressed with Gerald’s suave sophistication. He was relieved she dismissed Gerald and she immediately became more interested in Phillip. He watched her face carefully as he introduced himself to her. She recognized Phillip’s surname.
“I knew a Colonel Randolph when I was a child,” she said.  “I was taken to Fort Presque Isle, where he was in command, after my family was killed by Indians up near Lake Erie. You wouldn’t happen to be any relation to him would you?”
His gaze never left her. “I’m his adopted son.”
Elizabeth’s mouth dropped open, and she covered it with her hand.
 Phillip grinned.
“Oh, my. . .”
She looked him deep in the eyes. Phillip could almost see the flicker of recognition in her eyes. He saw her struggle with the seeing the eight-year-old boy in the red uniform who was now a full-grown man in the red uniform. The boy he had once been but now was not. He was the boy who stood so straight and stern and tried so hard to be a man. He was the boy she tried so hard to teach to play as a normal child was supposed to play.

He heard her gasp, saw her eyes widen.

“This can’t be! Phillip, is this actually you?”
His grin grew wider, “one and the same.”
Elizabeth turned toward her brother-in law. “Peter! Do you remember Phillip, Peter?  He was the little boy who came with Colonel Randolph when he brought me back here when I was five!”
Peter cleared his throat. His eyes were darker. Phillip frowned at Peter’s worried expression. Phillip heard Peter’s voice deepen when he said, “Yes, I remember. Phillip, how is Colonel Randolph?”

Friday, June 29, 2012

Why is the series called The Locket Saga?

      If you've read the book When God Turned His Head which is the first book of The Locket Saga, you see on the front cover a picture of a locket. What is the significance of the locket, you might ask and what does it have to do with the series of stories?
      At first glance, you probably notice that my father first gave the locket and it ended up in the hands of Rachel, before it finally ends up in my mother's hands at the end of the book. This locket has become a family heirloom and it will be one of the things that ties the family together from book to book.
     The locket is more than just an heirloom, however. It represents idealization of American Individualism.The locket has it's secret place that contains the lock of my father's hair. That lock of hair represents the origins of the locket. The lock of hair represents the ideals of the colonialists where they believed that by hard work and sacrifice, they would be able to achieve the dream of owning their own stake in this country. The idea that they had a chance to live their lives as they chose. They knew that with each hardship that they suffered, they broke a glass ceiling for their progeny.
      The locket itself represents how each subsequent generation  proudly displays its ancestor's values. As you'll notice on the locket on When God Turned His Head, on that locket there is a cross. That cross represents the fact that these family members believed in the guidance of Providence. They believed that God wanted them to spread the gospel everywhere they went. By wearing the locket and displaying that cross, they were proudly proclaiming to whom they belonged.
     The Thorton family, American ideals, and the locket itself become a three cord  thread that connects each book in the saga together. Generations live, generations die, but like the family name, the locket and the ideals live on and affect the people whose lives they touch.