Mary Pearson: A Possible Inspiration for Lydia Bennett, a Guest Post from C. D. Gerard

This post first appeared on Austen Authors on 21 April 2020. Enjoy! 

Upon opening my inbox this morning, I found the latest newsletter from the Jane Austen Centre.  If you haven’t seen one of these newsletters, you should check in out.  It’s full of fun trivia, products and generally just all things Jane.  My favorite is the quiz, which sometimes I can ace, and sometimes, well, frankly, I totally choke. But I do enjoy the newsletter, so if you haven’t seen it, check it out!!

The first feature in the newsletter really was intriguing.  It contained a miniature of a young woman.  The headline read: “Literary Miniature: Was she the inspiration for Lydia Bennett?” When I read further, I discovered that a portrait miniature of a young lady named Mary Pearson and painted by William Wood was offered by the London Gallery for sale, and was purchased by Chawton House.

Pearson was the daughter of a naval officer and was apparently engaged to Henry Austen, brother of Jane Austen.  The engagement only last a few months.  But the most interesting thing to me was the comment that Mary Pearson was the inspiration for Lydia Bennett Wickham in Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” This was news to me.  But they didn’t elaborate further. It wasn’t enough for me. My obsessive need for thorough research got the better of me. I had to find out if there was any validity to this hypothesis.  Here’s what I discovered:

Miss Mary Pearson was the daughter of Sir Richard Pearson, an officer of the Greenwich Hospital.  According to “Becoming Jane Austen” by Jon Spence,  Henry took leave from his post with the Oxfordshire regiment to introduce Mary to his family in the summer of 1796.  They went to Rowling, the estate owned by brother Edward, where Jane was making an extended stay.   Jane invited Mary to go back to Steventon with her when she returned there.  Jane wrote her family there in advance, warning them they might be disappointed by Mary’s appearance:

“If Miss Pearson should return with me, pray be careful not to expect too much beauty,” wrote Jane.  “I will to pretend to say that on a first view, she quite answered the opinion I had formed of her.  My Mother I am austere will be disappointed if she does not take great care.  From what I remember of her picture, it is no great resemblance.”

One person in particular that was not a fan of Mary’s was Eliza de Feuillide, Jane and Henry’s cousin.  She had been married to Jean Capot, Comte de Feuillide, who was guillotined for his support of the French monarchy in 1794.  After Eliza moved to England for protection during the revolution, there was always a chemistry between her and Henry, and when his engagement to Mary was announced, she had a few words to say:

“I hear Henry’s late intended is a most intolerable flirt, and reckoned to give herself great airs.  The person who mentioned this to me says she is a pretty wicked looking girl with bright black eyes which pierce through and through. No wonder this poor young man’s heart could not withstand it.”

There is no record I could find that said why, but Mary and Henry were not meant to last.  By the fall, the engagement was broken. My guess is his attachment to Eliza was too strong. He asked for her hand the year before his engagement to Mary, and she rejected it.  But she ultimately gave in to his charms.  It is said that Jane did not approve of her brother marrying Eliza in the beginning, and would have been much happier had he married the less flamboyant and less experienced Miss Pearson.  She was afraid Eliza would promote Henry’s ambitions of being a professional in the military, and this would take him away from her and she would not see him as often as she liked.

Jane Austen corresponded with Mary years after her brother broke off the engagement.  Mary wed another, but not for nearly 20 years. It is thought that this only known miniature portrait of Mary might have been part of her attempt to get back on the marriage market after the broken engagement.  We know during Austen’s time a broken engagement could be quite the scandalous thing, and that could be why Mary did not have another marriage proposal for all that time.

That leaves us to ponder why it is said that Mary was the inspiration for Lydia Bennett.   The truth is, no one can know definitively what inspires a writer, unless they tell you directly, which is rare.  So the connection between Lydia Bennett and Mary Pearson is clearly supposition.  But it could be surmised that, if Mary did have a reputation as a flirt, and was the daughter of a military officer, and was set to marry a military man, this gave Jane Austen the idea for the character. We know that Austen had started composing “First Impressions,” at about this time as well, which can also give credence to the notion that Lydia was based on Mary.

We will never now for sure, but it’s fun to try and make the connections.  As for Mary Pearson, she has been plucked from obscurity, and 200 plus years later, has a little revenge on the boy who took her on the rebound.

You may also like this article on the same subject from the Smithsonian.

Posted in Austen Authors, British history, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Guest Post, Living in the Regency, Pride and Prejudice, reading habits | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did An Officer’s Wife Receive a Pension if Her Husband Died in the Napoleonic Wars?

Scots Greys at Waterloo carrying Canteens without regimental markings. ~ http://www.militaryheritage.com/canteen.htm

Did an officer’s wives receive any kind of pension or a refund for her husband’s purchased rank if the man was killed in battle?

First, permit me to explain, regiments were formed “whole cloth” in some regions, or whole battalions of a regiment. While regiments *generally* had districts and counties where they would recruit. A Sargent and a small group of enlisted men would ‘beat the drum’ and collect recruits, usually ‘enlisted’ men, but that could include officers. Customarily, men who wanted to become officers would apply to the colonel of the regiment, who often was not with their regiment on the Continent, but rather in England, or he might apply to the regimental agent. This process could be conducted in person; yet more often, it was executed by letter with recommendations from friends and relatives. A person could apply directly to the Horse Guards too, but then they would not have a choice as to which regiment they would be assigned.

Only about one-third of all commissions were purchased during the wars. More were purchased between 1792-1800 than later. Also more were purchased in Guard units and cavalry. One reason pensions were created and raised for officers and their wives [though badly handled at times] was because there was no commission to hand the wife. Commissions were the property of the officer. He purchased it. It was his to dispose of when he so chose.

In 1798, far more commissions were bought, meaning more money was raised. An ensign or lieutenant would receive 300 – 400 pounds, depending on whether the position was in a guards unit or the cavalry.  Extended leave was the man’s choice.  However, if it continued for several months, the army, meaning the man’s colonel,  would go after him to serve or sell out. Colonels made money from their regiment and despised having an idler on the payroll.  I read where one officer, after seven months on leave, without his commanding officer receiving any statement of when he would return was asked to return to the army, sell out, or the colonel would sell his commission for him. The man was receiving his pay during that time and taking advantage of the system. This action was the social equivalent of a dishonorable discharge.

The method of filling the necessary posts for an army was part of the Old World proprietary practices where the regiment was a business owned and run by a colonel. He sold commissions in his regiment. This was slowly phased out during the Napoleonic wars to where the Army was not just ‘Okaying’ a colonel’s choice, but granting commissions themselves as the Ordinance Department did for the Engineers and Artillery. 

So, when an officer died, his commission would be presented to the widow WHEN and IF  it was bought by another, which could be immediately, or not for a long, long time, particularly when a regiment was involved in a campaign and willing and monied candidates were not readily at hand. Depending on the colonel, he might have the regimental agent pay the purchase cost out to the widow immediately, or he may wait or ‘forget’ to pay it, just as we see such things happening in the business world today.  The officers of the mess would often auction off an officer’s belongings to raise money for the widow because she would have to pay for any transportation costs to send the body home. 

When the officer hadn’t bought a commission, had what was known as a ‘free commission’, he did not ‘sell out’, he ‘cried out’ and the widow would not receive any pension until she presented the colonel’s signed affidavit to a bank, which would then ‘charge’ the government, which was very bad at paying pensions during different points in the war. Unfortunately, the pensions were not regularly paid. Pensions for wives were about 40% of what an officer’s pay had been when he was alive. Later, in 184, the pension was raised to equal half-pay.

One must recall the scandal caused by the Duke of York and his mistress selling commissions during the early years of the war. 

“Mary Anne Thompson was the daughter of a humble tradesman. Attractive and intelligent, she was married before the age of 18, to a man named Clarke, who worked as a stonemason However, shortly after the marriage, her husband went bankrupt, and Mary Anne Clarke left him. By 1803 Clarke had been established long enough in the world of  courtesans to receive the attention of Frederick, Duke of York, then the Commander in Chief of the army.

“Taking her as his mistress, he set her up in a fashionable residence. However, he failed to supply the funds necessary to support their lavish lifestyle. In 1809, a national scandal arose when Clarke testified before the House of Commons that she had sold army commissions with the Duke of York’s knowledge. The scandal was the subject of much humour and mockery, especially by caricaturists. Frederick was forced to resign from his position, though he was later reinstated.

“The modern Circe or a sequel to the petticoat”, caricature of Mary Anne Clarke by Isaac Cruikshank, 15 March 1809. Her lover Frederick, Duke of York resigned from his post at the head of the British Army ten days after the caricature’s publication. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Anne_Clarke#/media/File:Mary_Anne_Clarke2.jpg

“After the Duke of York resigned his post as Commander in Chief of the Army, and before he was later reinstated, he cut all ties to Clarke, paying her a considerable sum to prevent her from publishing letters he had written to her during their relationship. When the scandal forced Clarke to leave London, she took a tenancy of Loughton Lodge, Loughton, Essex. Clarke was prosecuted for libel in 1813 and imprisoned for nine months.” [Mary Anne Clarke]

We must consider the time period in which this is happening, as well as society’s class norms. These transferred directly into the army. Gentlemen were officers, officers were Gentlemen,  non-commissioned officers were the middle class, educated to some extent, and the enlisted men, the lower classes.

These colonels could have as much responsibility for their regiment as they wished, but they often handed off all administrative duties to the regimental agent and the Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, who was essentially the officer in the field, though certainly there were the commanding colonel who campaigned with their regiment. There were reports and paperwork that had to go to the Horse Guards or the Secretary of the Army, but the only time the colonel of the regiment HAD to appear was if he was summoned. Like most of those who were or aspired to be gentlemen, ‘serving a function’ was too much like being in TRADE for a number of the colonels. They had people, adjutants, aides, commissary officers, and other staff to deal with that sort of thing. 

What is often overlooked is the real changes in the military from 1792 to 1815. The old system was in flux. The army took control of commissioning officers around 1811 and a pension system was set up for retiring officers who had been given a commission and could ‘cry out’, but had nothing to sell as a commission. Widow’s pensions were also given serious attention during this time as they would not receive the commission costs if their husband died.

Other Resources: 

The Evolution of French Napoleonic Army Organization

History: Napoleonic Wars Army Structure

Napoleonic Era British Infantry

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleonic Wars by Rob Hartman

Posted in British history, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Great Britain, history, Living in the Regency, military, real life tales, Regency era, war | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

July 4, 1776 – Meet the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Today, I am catching up on some writing time, but I thought some of you might wish a second chance to explore my pieces on the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. It took me a little over a year to compile these stories. Enjoy! 

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Signers of the Declaration of Independence

John Adams (MA), John Adams, American Founding Father and the “Atlas of Independence”

https://reginajeffers.blog/2016/10/31/john-adams-american-founding-father-and-the-atlas-of-independence/

Samuel Adams (MA), Samuel Adams, “Poster Boy” of the American Uprising and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/samuel-adams-poster-boy-of-the-american-uprising-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Josiah Bartlett (NH), Josiah Bartlett, “President” of New Hampshire and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.blog/2016/11/21/josiah-bartlett-president-of-new-hampshire-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Carter Braxton (VA), Carter Braxton, Father of 18 and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/carter-braxton-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Charles Carroll (MD), Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the Last of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence to Pass

https://reginajeffers.blog/2016/12/22/charles-carroll-of-carrollton-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Samuel Chase (MD), Only U. S. Supreme Court Judge to Face Impeachment Charges and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/samuel-chase-only-u-s-supreme-court-judge-to-face-impeachment-charges-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Abraham Clark (NJ), Signer of the Declaration of Independence and “The Poor Man’s Counselor” https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/02/15/abraham-clark-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

George Clymer (PA), Captain of the “Silk Stockings” and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/george-clymer/

William Ellery (RI) What Does a Popular Party Game Have in Common with William Ellery, Signer of the Declaration of Independence?

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/william-ellery-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-and/

William Floyd (NY) So What Do President Abraham Lincoln and Rock Legend David Crosby Have in Common? William Floyd, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/so-what-do-president-abraham-lincoln-and-rock-legend-david-crosby-have-in-common-william-floyd/

Benjamin Franklin (PA) Benjamin Franklin, Genius and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/benjamin-franklin-genius-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Elbridge Gerry (MA) Eldridge Gerry, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Source of “Gerrymandering” https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/elbridge-gerry-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-and-the-source-of-gerrymandering/

Button Gwinnett (GA), A Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Who Died in a Duel

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/button-gwinnett-a-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-who-died-in-a-duel/

Lyman Hall (GA), Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Founder of the University of Georgia

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/lyman-hall-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-and-founder-of-the-university-of-georgia/

John Hart (NJ), John Hart, a Man Who Sacrificed Everything as a Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/john-hart-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

John Hancock (MA), “Put Your John Hancock on the Line!” ~ Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/8728/

Benjamin Harrison (MD), Congressional “Falstaff” and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/benjamin-harrison-congressional-falstaff-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

John Hart (NJ), a Man Who Sacrificed Everything as a Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/john-hart-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Joseph Hewes (NC), the Bachelor Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/joseph-hewes-the-bachelor-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Thomas Heyward, Jr. (SC) Thomas Heyward, Jr., Patriotic Songwriter and Signer of the Declaration of Independence https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/thomas-heyward-jr-patriotic-songwriter-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

William Hooper (NC): “Prophet” and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/william-hooper-prophet-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Stephen Hopkins (RI), Surveyor, Astronomer, and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/stephen-hopkins-surveyor-astronomer-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Francis Hopkinson (NJ), Francis Hopkinson, Designer of the U. S. Flag and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/francis-hopkinson-designer-of-the-u-s-flag-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Samuel Huntington (CT), Signer of the Declaration of Independence and First President of the United States

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/samuel-huntington-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-and-first-president-of-the-united-states/

Thomas Jefferson (VA), Thomas Jefferson, the Signer Who Wrote the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/thomas-jeffers-the-signer-who-wrote-the-declaration-of-independence/

Francis Lightfoot Lee (VA), Francis Lightfoot Lee, Part of Virginia’s Lee Family Dynasty and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/10/14/francis-lightfoot-lee-part-of-the-lee-family-dynasty-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Richard Henry Lee (VA), Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the “Cicero” Who Advocated for a Bill of Rights

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/richard-henry-lee-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-and-the-cicero-who-advocated-for-a-bill-of-rights/

Francis Lewis (NY), a founder of the Sons of Liberty and a Signer of the Declaration of independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/francis-lewis-a-founder-of-the-sons-of-liberty-and-a-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Philip Livingston (NY), Signer of the Declaration of Independence and “Lord of the Manor”

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/philip-livingston-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-lord-of-the-manor/

Thomas Lynch, Jr. (SC), Thomas Lynch, Jr., the Youngest of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence to Meet His Death

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/thomas-lynch-jr-the-youngest-of-the-signers-of-the-declaration-of-independence-to-meet-his-death/

Thomas McKean (DE), The “Last” Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/thomas-mckean/

Arthur Middleton (SC) (or is it Andrew Marvell?), Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/arthur-middleton-or-is-it-andrew-marvell-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Lewis Morris (NY), Lewis Morris, Lord of Morrisania Manor and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/lewis-morris-lord-of-morrisania-manor-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Robert Morris (PA), Signer of the Declaration of Independence and America’s First True Capitalist

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/robert-morris-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-and-americas-first-true-capitalist/

John Morton (PA), the “Keystone” Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/john-morton-the-keystone-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Thomas Nelson, Jr. (VA), Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Descendant of Edward III

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/another-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-thomas-nelson-jr-descendant-of-edward-iii/

William Paca (MD), William Paca, Rabble Rouser and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.blog/2016/11/30/william-paca-rabblerouser-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Robert Treat Paine (MA), “The Objection Maker” and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/robert-treat-paine-the-objection-maker-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

John Penn (NC), A Man Who Aided in Cornwallis’s Defeat and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/john-penn/

George Read (DE), George Read, the Only Signer Who Voted Against the Declaration of Independence, But Still Signed It

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/george-read-the-only-signer-who-voted-against-the-declaration-of-independence-but-still-signed-it/

Caesar Rodney (DE), Caesar Rodney, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and His Famous “Midnight Ride”to Save a Nation

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/caesar-rodney-a-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-and-his-famous-midnight-rideto-save-a-nation/

George Ross (PA), Defender of States’ Rights and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/george-ross-defender-of-states-rights-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Benjamin Rush (PA), Signer of the Declaration of Independence and “Father of American Psychiatry” https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/benjamin-rush-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-and-father-of-american-psychiatry/

Edward Rutledge (SC), Youngest Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/edward-rutledge-youngest-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Roger Sherman (CT), Roger Sherman, Signer of the Articles of Association, Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U. S. Constitution

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/roger-sherman-signer-of-the-articles-of-association-declaration-of-independence-the-articles-of-confederation-and-the-u-s-constitution/

James Smith (PA), Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Congressional “Cut-Up”   https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/james-smith-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Richard Stockton (NJ), Richard Stockton, A Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Who Was Reviled for Recanting His Allegiance

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/richard-stockton-a-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-who-was-reviled-for-recanting-his-allegiance/

Thomas Stone (MD), Thomas Stone, A Man Who Loved His Wife and a Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/thomas-stone-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

George Taylor (PA), From Indentured Servant to Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/george-taylor-from-indentured-servant-to-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

Matthew Thornton (NH), President of New Hampshire and Signer of the Declaration of Independence https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/matthew-thornton-president-of-new-hampshire-and-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

George Walton (GA), the Orphaned Signer of the Declaration of Independence

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/george-walton-the-orphaned-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

William Whipple (NH), Signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Man Whose Slaves Fought Along Side Him

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/william-whipple-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-a-man-whose-slaves-fought-along-side-him/

William Williams (CT), “I have signed the Declaration of Independence. I shall be hung.”

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/william-williams/

James Wilson (PA), James Wilson, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence Who Spent Time in Debtor’s Prison

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/james-wilson-a-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-who-spent-time-in-debtors-prison/

John Knox Witherspoon (NJ), Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Author of a Colonial Blockbuster

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/john-knox-witherspoon-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-and-author-of-a-colonial-blockbuster/

Oliver Walcott (CT), the Signer of the Declaration of Independence who Melted King George’s Statue for Revolutionary Bullets

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/oliver-wolcott-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

George Wythe (VA), a Signer of the Declaration of Independence Who Was Poisoned by His Heir

https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/george-wythe-a-signer-of-the-declaration-of-independence-who-was-poisoned-by-his-heir/

Posted in Africa, American History, Declaration of Independence, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Priscilla Mullins, Inspiration for the Heroine in “The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst” + a Giveaway

From Mayflower History

BIRTH:  Perhaps around 1602, likely either at Dorking or Guildford, co. Surrey, England, daughter of William Mullins.
MARRIAGE:  John Alden, about 1622 or 1623, at Plymouth.
CHILDREN: Elizabeth, John, Joseph, Priscilla, Jonathan, Sarah, Ruth, Mary, Rebecca, and David.
DEATH:  Sometime between 1651 and 1687 at Duxbury.  By tradition she attended the funeral of Josiah Winslow in 1680, but no primary source exists to confirm.

It is believed Priscilla Mullins hailed from Dorking, Surrey, England and she was in her late teen years in 1620 when she sailed for America on the Mayflower, along with her parents and her brother Joseph. Her relations died that first winter at Plymouth, leaving Priscilla as an orphan. It is believed she moved into the residence created for the Brewster family. 

During that first year, it is assumed she became very close to John Alden (my 10th great-grandfather), a man hired to be a cooper (barrel maker). Alden was to take care of the barrels aboard the Mayflower when it set sail for the New World in the early fall of 1620. After his contract was up, he decided to remain in New England when the Mayflower returned home to England.

Priscilla is the best known woman who sailed to America on the Mayflower, because of the poem The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (my sixth great uncle 5 x removed). I was inspired by Longfellow’s poem to write “The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst.”  According to Longfellow’s legend, John Alden spoke to Priscilla Mullins on behalf of Miles Standish, who was interested in the lovely young woman. But she asked, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?” You will find that line and a few more from the poem embedded within my tale. Priscilla and Alden were married by 1623, because she is not listed separately in the 1623 Division of Land at Plymouth Colony. Each man drew lots to determine the location of his land. John Alden’s grant was “on the other side of the bay” from the original Plymouth settlement.

“Not much is known about their early married life, but records show that by 1627 they were living in a house on the hillside, across from the Governor’s house and near the fort. John Alden served in various offices in the government of the Colony. He was elected as assistant to the governor and Plymouth Court as early as 1631, and was regularly re-elected throughout the 1630s. 

“At first, the colonists only planted crops on the land given them at the Division of Land. But by 1632, John Alden and others wanted to stay on their new land year round, and Plymouth Colony reluctantly agreed. There, the Aldens helped to found the town of Duxbury, and raised their ten children.” [History of American Women]

Mayflower History provides us with a look at the house in which Priscilla Mullins lived in Surrey.

This is where the Aldens lived in Duxbury. 

 

The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst

What happens when a lady falls in love,  not with her betrothed, but rather with his cousin?

Miss Priscilla Keenan has been promised to the Marquess of Blackhurst since her birth. The problem is: She has never laid eyes upon the man. So, when Blackhurst sends his cousin to York to assist Priscilla in readying Blackhurst’s home estate for the marquess’s return from his service in India, it is only natural for Priscilla to ask Mr. Alden something of the marquess’s disposition. Yet, those conversations lead Cilla onto a different path, one where she presents her heart to the wrong gentleman. How can she and Alden find happiness together when the world means to keep them apart? Inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Courtship of Miles Standish,” this tale wants for nothing, not even a happy ending, but it is not what the reader things.

Secrets&Soirees

A delightful anthology of Regency Romance Summer stories from best selling authors! Fall in love for Summer, with these wonderful romantic reads! Seven novellas to keep you reading all through Summer, each centered around Summer.

The anthology includes:

The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst by Regina Jeffers

A Lady promised to a man she has never met, who yet answers his request for assistance in preparing the home they will share, a Marquess unsure what to expect, an unplanned deception, a seemingly improper affection, misperception untangled to love.

A Hero for Harriet by Victoria Hinshaw

A young woman whose family want her to marry well, a gentleman, nobly born but uninterested in society, two matchmaking aunts, assumptions and misconceptions, the intervention of a donkey, love found despite it all.

Her Absent Duke by Arietta Richmond

A Lord and a Lady promised from birth, an avaricious uncle with plans of his own, an impossible choice which leads to disaster, an unplanned compromise, a love fulfilled despite all opposition.

The Magic Garden by Janis Susan May

A beautiful young woman, shut away in the country so that her less appealing sister may shine, an Earl set upon visiting a never seen estate, simply to escape the demands of his aunt and the pursuit of unwanted young women, an accident, a garden left to run wild, a new perspective on the world, a love which defies all expectations.

Grace’s Story by Summer Hanford

Trying to save her dearest friend from heartache will unravel a web of secrets that just might get Miss Grace Birkchester killed. Doctor Andrew Carter is determined to help those in need – but doing so draws him ever deeper into a web of danger. When their worlds collide, love may be the only thing which can save them.

What if I Loved You by Cora Lee

A man who needs to marry for his career, a woman who needs a new location in life, a proposal born of friendship, a shocking family secret which could ruin them both. Will love triumph, or will all be lost?

The Masked Wicked Duke by Sandra Masters

An opera singer who is cousin to royalty, a Duke with an artist’s soul, who is yet reputed as a rake, a chance meeting, an overwhelming attraction, a masquerade, a love which burns away all past resolve.

If you love Regency Historical Romance, you’ll love these!

Kindle   https://www.amazon.com/Regency-Summer-Secrets-Anthology-ANTHOLOGIES-ebook/dp/B08BZM3VHS/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=secrets+and+soirees&qid=1593775543&sr=8-1

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GIVEAWAY: I have two eBooks copies of Regency Secrets and Soirées available to those who comment below. 

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Myles Standish’s Career + the Release of “The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst” + a Giveaway

As my previous two posts on John Alden and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow have indicated, my most recent tale, “The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst” was inspired by Longfellow’s narrative poem, “The Courtship of Myles Standish.” Other than the knowledge of Standish being a part of the original Plymouth colonists, what else do we know of the man? In truth, not as much as one might think. As it was with John Alden, we know Standish’s “history” after his arrival at Plymouth Rock, but much before that time is mere speculation. 

For example, many list his birthdate as occurring 1584, while others think it more likely to be closer to 1587. His place of birth is also greatly debated. Nathaniel Morton, writing in his book New England’s Memorial (1669) states that Standish hailed from Lancashire, England. Morton tells us Standish owned a book about the former head of the Rivington Grammar School in Lancashire, and he cites the town of Duxbury that Standish and John Alden founded as a reference to Duxbury Hall in Lancashire. Others believe him to be from the Isle of Man state that “in his probate will that were “surreptitiously detained” from him (including lands on the Isle of Man itself); these lands all belonged at one time to Thomas Standish, of the branch of the Standish family from the Isle of Man. In September 2006, Jeremy D. Bangs supplied a scholarly review of the evidence and controversy in “Myles Standish, Born Where?”, Mayflower Quarterly 72:133-159.” [Mayflower History]

Standish was an heir to a fairly sizeable estate in Lancashire, but his lands were lost during the English Civil War, and neither he nor his son Alexander were ever able to legally regain control of the estate.

Likewise, we know little of his service to Queen Elizabeth’s army. Unsubstantiated reports claim he was a lieutenant in the Queen’s arm. Scholars believe he served for a time in Holland where he became acquainted with John Robinson and the Pilgrims who lived near Leiden. He was hired to be the Pilgrims’ military captain. His role in the settlement was to be coordinate the Pilgrims’ defense against outside threats from, say, the French, the Spanish, or the Dutch, as well as the “Indians” (Native American) tribes. 

 

 

A scene from The Courtship of Miles Standish, showing Standish looking upon Alden and Mullins during the bridal procession ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Courtship_of_Miles_Standish#/media/
File:Courtship_of_Miles_Standish_a_Plymouth_Pilgrim.jpg

We know he was married when he traveled with the Pilgrims. His wife Rose traveled with him to the New World. As they had no children, they likely married before the Mayflower set sail, but we do not know the date or even Rose’s last name. The lady died during the first winter at Plymouth. According to the tale Longfellow set about, Standish set his eyes on Priscilla Mullins, an orphan (Her parents and brother also died during that first winter.) and one of the wealthier Pilgrims because she held the shares of her family in the expedition. Moreover, she was the only female who was not married among those who, initially, traveled with the Pilgrims. Priscilla, however, chose John Alden over Standish. Standish, later, courted and married a woman named Barbara (again, no last name), who arrived at Plymouth on the ship Anne in the year 1623. 

As part of his duties to the Pilgrims, he explored the area and assisted in developing the site chosen for the settlement. In his role as military captain, Standish oversaw the building of the fort designed to protect the colonists. He led trading expeditions and designed the group’s response to the Indian tribes in the region. “He led the party that went in pursuit of the alleged killers of Squanto (who was later discovered to be safe). He led the revenge attacks on the Indians in the Massachusetts Bay after they were caught in a conspiracy planning to attack and destroy the Plymouth and Wessagussett colonies; several Indians were killed or executed, for which Standish received some criticism, even from his friends, for being too heavy-handed.” [Mayflower History] At times Standish was criticized for his ruthlessness and for his quick temper. However, he was also praised for his defense of the colony and for his tender concern for those who took ill during that first disastrous winter. 

In the mid 1630s, Standish and John Alden founded the town of Duxbury, where they lived out the remainder of their days. Standish and Barbara had eight children: Charles (died young), Alexander, John, Myles, Lora, Josias, and Charles. He died a painful death from most consider to be kidney stones on 3 October 1656.

Also See: 

American Ancestors 

Britannica

Study.com

Introducing “The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst” (part of the Regency Summer Secrets and Soirées Anthology)

Released Yesterday, June 30, 2020

What happens when a lady falls in love,  not with her betrothed, but rather with his cousin?

Miss Priscilla Keenan has been promised to the Marquess of Blackhurst since her birth. The problem is: She has never laid eyes upon the man. So, when Blackhurst sends his cousin to York to assist Priscilla in readying Blackhurst’s home estate for the marquess’s return from his service in India, it is only natural for Priscilla to ask Mr. Alden something of the marquess’s disposition. Yet, those conversations lead Cilla onto a different path, one where she presents her heart to the wrong gentleman. How can she and Alden find happiness together when the world means to keep them apart? Inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Courtship of Miles Standish,” this tale wants for nothing, not even a happy ending, but it is not what the reader things.

Secrets&Soirees

I have 3 eBook copies of Regency Summer Secrets and Soirées available to those who comment below. 

Kindle    Regency Summer – Secrets and Soirees: A Regency Romance Summer Anthology (REGENCY ANTHOLOGIES Book 5) eBook: Richmond, Arietta, Jeffers, Regina, May, Janis Susan, Hanford, Summer, Masters, Sandra, Lee, Cora, Hinshaw, Victoria: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store

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What Does Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Have to Do With the Release of “The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst”?

According to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: A Maine Historical Society Website, “Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a commanding figure in the cultural life of nineteenth-century America. Born in Portland, Maine, in 1807, he became a national literary figure by the 1850s, and a world-famous personality by the time of his death in 1882. He was a traveler, a linguist, and a romantic who identified with the great traditions of European literature and thought. At the same time, he was rooted in American life and history, which charged his imagination with untried themes and made him ambitious for success.”

My story, “The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst,” was inspired by Longfellow’s poem “The Courtship of Miles Standish.” I have loved the poem for more years than I care to recall. I spent 40 years teaching English/language arts in public schools of three different states, most of which at the high school level. Therefore, I was often called upon to teach “Evangeline” and, upon occasion, “The Courtship of Miles Standish” in my American Lit classes. Naturally, when Ancestry.com led me to John Alden of the Plymouth Colony fame as my tenth great-grandfather and then directed me to Longfellow as my sixth cousin 5x removed, I was doing my “happy dance.” Longfellow, you see, is also related to John Alden through Alden’s daughter Elizabeth. I am related to Alden through his daughter Rebecca. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of the “Fireside Poets,” wrote lyrical poems about history, mythology, and legend that were popular and widely translated, making him the most famous American of his day.

The plot of The Courtship of Miles Standish deliberately varies in emotional tone, unlike the steady tragedy of Longfellow’s Evangeline. The Pilgrims grimly battle against disease and Indians, but are also obsessed with an eccentric love triangle, creating a curious mix of drama and comedy. Bumbling, feuding roommates Miles Standish and John Alden vie for the affections of the beautiful Priscilla Mullins, who slyly tweaks the noses of her undiplomatic suitors. The independent-minded woman utters the famous retort, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?” The saga has a surprise ending, one full of optimism for the American future.

Most would agree that Longfellow’s poem is fictionalized history. Main characters Miles Standish, John Alden, and Priscilla Mullins are based upon real Mayflower passengers. Longfellow was a descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins through his mother Zilpah Wadsworth and he claimed he was relating oral history. Skeptics dismiss his narrative as a folktale. At minimum, Longfellow used poetic license, condensing several years of events. Scholars have confirmed the cherished place of romantic love in Pilgrim culture and have documented the Indian war described by Longfellow. Miles Standish and John Alden were likely roommates in Plymouth; Priscilla Mullins was the only single woman of marriageable age in the young colony at that time and did in fact marry Alden. Standish’s first wife, Rose Handley, died aboard the Mayflower in January 1621. Two years later, Standish married a woman named Barbara in Plymouth in 1623. The Standish and Alden families both moved from Plymouth to adjacent Duxbury, Massachusetts in the late 1620s, where they lived in close proximity, intermarried, and remained close for several generations.

To Read The Courtship of Miles Standish, go HERE

Introducing The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst

What happens when a lady falls in love,  not with her betrothed,

but rather with his cousin?

Miss Priscilla Keenan has been promised to the Marquess of Blackhurst since her birth. The problem is: She has never laid eyes upon the man. So, when Blackhurst sends his cousin to York to assist Priscilla in readying Blackhurst’s home estate for the marquess’s return from his service in India, it is only natural for Priscilla to ask Mr. Alden something of the marquess’s disposition. Yet, those conversations lead Cilla onto a different path, one where she presents her heart to the wrong gentleman. How can she and Alden find happiness together when the world means to keep them apart? Inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Courtship of Miles Standish,” this tale wants for nothing, not even a happy ending, but it is not what the reader things.

EXCERPT:

For more than a week, Cilla had called daily upon the abbey, no longer waiting for either of the Sterlings to assist her. She also no longer wore her better day dresses, for she often assisted the maids, girls from the village she knew either from church or by sight, taking down dusty drapes or rolling up carpets to be beaten. Some items she had chosen to replace, while others only required a thorough cleaning. Each day, she spent time reorganizing her various lists, prioritizing what should be addressed first.

“After you have had your midday meal,” she told Audrey, Ellie, and Janie, the three maids hired to assist her, “we will take a survey of the music room.” If it had been Cilla’s choice, once she had viewed the spectacular pianoforte located in the music room, she would have started her survey of that particular room first, for music was what touched her soul. Everything else was secondary in her life. However, it was on the third day before she had recalled the room near the rear of the house.

When she was younger, she would sometimes sneak into the abbey just to have a look around. There were so many wonderful pieces of art and sculptures thereabouts, and Cilla loved simply to curl up on one of the dust-covered chairs and study the artwork, while she made notations of melodies to accompany each piece. The works served as her inspiration. It was perhaps on her third or fourth visit to the abbey that she had discovered the music room. Her hands had itched to play the pianoforte, but she had resisted the urge to do so, knowing someone might hear her and demand to know why she had entered the Blackhurst property without permission. Little did she know, at the time, this would be her future home. She was glad today that she would have a legitimate excuse to view the ornate instrument, perhaps even taking a few moments to play a short composition she had rolling around in her head.

“Shall I bring you a tray, miss?” Janie asked.

Cilla’s eyes remained on the instrument. Distractedly, she responded, “Bring it when you return. I am in no hurry.”

“Yes, miss. Enjoy your time to rest for a few minutes. You’ve worked most diligently,” Audrey added.

Cilla smiled at the girls. “I plan to test out Lord Blackhurst’s pianoforte.”

“You play, miss?”

“My late mother loved music as dearly as she loved my father. She made certain each of her children could play an instrument.” Cilla did not say the words aloud, but she thought, As I pray I will be allowed to do so with my own children. Catching the ache of loneliness seeping into her chest, she shooed the maids from the room so she might explore the space alone.

With the maids’ exit, Cilla made her way about the room, admiring the carved frame of a harp, which had two broken strings, but she strummed the remaining ones, picking out a simple tune. “Even without all its strings, the instrument is excellent, or perhaps it is the room that speaks of perfection,” she murmured. She could imagine herself spending countless hours within. “At least, this is something I can love about the future marriage to which I have been committed.”

She began a more complete examination of the room, which she had belatedly realized had been specifically designed to create a musical experience. The room’s location, near the rear of the house, would prevent the noise of a busy household from interfering with a musical performance. Draperies not only hung at the windows, but also covered one of the walls. Persian rugs of various sizes were scattered about the floor, sometimes layered with rugs made of wool supporting an instrument, while several large plants and upholstered chairs and settees dotted the rim of the room.

One corner held a bookshelf, containing books of various sizes. A floral printed wallpaper covered the wall surrounding the arched entrance, and a fabric-covered folded screen sat opposite the book shelf in another corner.

“Someone certainly knew what they were doing,” she said as she crossed to one of the windows to draw back the drapes to allow light into the space. A smattering of dust filled the air about her, and she batted away the dust motes floating before her eyes. She turned for a second look at the room, now draped in sunlight. “I could spend my days practicing and not be disturbed.”

With a sigh of satisfaction she had yet to know since assuming the task of arranging his lordship’s household, Cilla sat at the instrument and positioned her fingers upon the keys. Although the pianoforte, like the harp, could do with a good tuning, within minutes, she was lost in the music, swaying on the bench, allowing the melody to carry her to another place—a place only she knew. Soon she was switching from a piece by Mozart to one she had been working on for several months—one with which she had yet to know fulfillment.

Over and over again, she played the prelude, changing the phrasing—adding a different chord here and there—dropping a half note she once thought essential.

So engrossed with the process, she failed to hear the faint sound of a footfall behind her. When she finally realized she was no longer alone in the room, it was too late not to gasp, as she spun around to gape at the handsomest man her eyes had ever beheld.

“Oh, botheration!” She clapped a hand over her mouth, as she blushed thoroughly. “You startled me, sir! I did not hear you come in. May I assist you?”

What could only be called an arrogant lift of his eyebrow rose in obvious disapproval. “Perhaps it is I who should assist you,” he said in exacting tones.

Regency Summer Secrets and Soirées Releases July 7 – PreOrder is Available Today 

 

 

 

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John Alden and Celebrating the Release of “The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst” + Giveaway

My story, “The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst,” is part of the Regency anthology, Secrets and Soirees, being released 1 July 2020. It is heavily influenced by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Courtship of Miles Standish.” Many of the characters names, for example, derive from the poem. However, in Longfellow’s narrative, John Alden speaks to Priscilla Mullins because his friend, Miles Standish, wishes to marry Priscilla. In the Longfellow poem, Standish simply wishes to marry Priscilla because his wife, Ruth, has died, and, obviously, at the Plymouth Colony, few English women were available. Yet, it is John Alden who loves Priscilla, and, astutely, she loves John in return. 

I did not want my story to follow Longfellow’s tale too closely, just to be influenced by it. Why? You may ask. The reason this tale has captured my attention all over again is John Alden, the Assistant Governor of Plymouth Colony, is my 10th Great Grandfather on my maternal side through Alden’s daughter Rebecca. 

Alden was born in approximately 1599, most likely in Harwich, Essex, England. Although there are several other possibilities for his heritage, the Aldens of Harwick were related by marriage to the Mayflower‘s master Christopher Jones. Alden would have been about 21 years of age when he hired to be the cooper (barrel-maker) for the voyage. Once those aboard the Mayflower reached America, Alden chose to remain rather than to return to England. Priscilla Mullins, the woman he eventually married was from Dorking, Surrey, England. Her parents, William and Alice Mullins, and her brother Joseph, all died during their first winter at Plymouth. 

As members of the original voyage, both Alden and Priscilla held shares in the company financing the establishment of Plymouth Colony. Priscilla’s shares were many due to the deaths of her family members. John Alden was elected an assistant to the Colony’s governor in 1631. “He was one of the men who purchased the joint-stock company from its English shareholders in 1626, and was involved in the company’s trading on the Kennebec River. [In 1626, the colony’s financial backers in London, known as the Merchant Adventurers, disbanded. This left the colonists in a quandary as to how to settle their significant debts to those who had funded the effort. Eight of the Plymouth colonists, including John Alden, agreed to collectively assume, or undertake, the debt in exchange for a monopoly on the fur trade from the colony. These men who averted financial ruin for the colony became known as the ‘Undertakers.’ The fact Alden was among them is indicative of his growing stature in the colony.] John Alden, along with Myles Standish and several other Plymouth Colonists, founded the town of Duxbury to the north of Plymouth. Evidence suggests the men began constructing their houses as early as 1629.

About 1653, he, along with his son Captain Jonathan Alden,built the Alden House, which is still standing and is maintained by the Alden Kindred of America. By the 1660s, John and Priscilla Alden had a growing family of ten children [Elizabeth, John, Joseph, Priscilla, Jonathan, Sarah, Ruth, Mary, Rebecca, and David].  Combined with his numerous public service duties (which were mostly unpaid positions) he was left in fairly low means.  He petitioned and received from the Plymouth Court various land grants, which he distributed to his children throughout the 1670s.  He died in 1687 at the age of 89, one of the last surviving Mayflower passengers.” (Mayflower History)

SOURCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

John Alden 

The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst

EXCERPT:

Spring, 1821, Yorkshire

Cilla knocked on the door to her father’s study. “You sent for me, Papa?” She knew quite well what the subject of today’s meeting was to be, for she had observed the marquess’s mark on the express delivered a half hour removed to her father on a silver salver. Ironically, she had been raised with a strong sense of independence, but, today, she was to be maneuvered into accepting a man she had never met—to be the pawn in a chess match where everyone would win, but her.

“Come in, Priscilla. I have additional news from Lord Blackhurst.”

She swallowed her sigh of resignation as she made herself do as her dear Papa said; yet, she was not pleased with the situation. Until Lord Blackhurst had shocked her by sending word to her father that he was prepared to meet the arrangements between the marquess’s family and hers and marry her, Cilla had only heard mention of the man and his family because one of the marquessate’s many properties marched along with her father’s main estate.

Most assuredly, she had heard more than a few tales of the previous Marquess of Blackhurst. Lord Robert Keyes had been her father’s most loyal chum growing up in this part of Yorkshire, and Lord Edward Keenan had often sung the man’s praises. Since learning of the arrangement between her father and Robert, 10th Marquess of Blackhurst, Cilla had often thought if her prospective groom had been the father, instead of the son, she would have held no qualms about marrying the man. Even if only half of her father’s tales were true, there was much to admire in the former marquess.

His son, however, possessed quite a different reputation. Unbending. Sanctimonious. Harsh. Empty of humor. Being forced to marry a man she could not respect was beyond the pale. “Has his lordship changed his mind about taking a complete stranger to wife?”

Her father looked up from the letter resting upon his desk and frowned. “Do you realize how fortunate you are? You are a mere ‘miss,’ the daughter of a baron. His lordship’s agreement to marry you is a rare opportunity for one of your station. Customarily, a duke or a marquess would court daughters of earls—women who are addressed as ‘Lady So-and-So,’ not ‘Miss Keenan.’ Your marriage to Blackhurst will make you a marchioness, one of the leaders of English society.”

She rarely spoke disrespectfully to her father, who had turned his life upside down to raise his five children properly after the loss of his beloved wife. However, in this matter, Cilla could not agree. “What good will it be to become a marchioness if Lord Blackhurst means to clip my wings? I shall not be allowed my own thoughts on anything more important than the color of a pillow in my favorite drawing room.” She worried if she would be allowed to continue to compose music once she married. She had already sold two pieces to Mr. McFadden in London, and she hoped the fugue she was writing would be the third such piece to know authorship.

“Such nonsense,” her father grumbled. “Blackhurst is not an ogre.”

Her brow crinkled in objection. “In the newsprints, he is depicted as a man with a stick down his trousers and not in the front,” she declared in bold tones.

“Priscilla Rebecca Elizabeth Keenan, I will not tolerate such language in this house! Do you understand me?” her father chastised in sharp tones.

She wished to remind him it was she who oversaw the horse breeding upon the estate and knew something of the nature of stubborn stallions and resistant mares, and she was well aware of what the caricatures meant, but, instead, she bowed her head in submission and said, “Yes, Papa. I beg your forgiveness.” Cilla paused before daring to ask, “When was the last time you laid eyes upon his lordship? Perhaps the man you knew is not the man who has returned to London after years in India.”

Her father’s frown lines deepened in concentration. “Blackhurst was perhaps twelve or thirteen. The last few years of Robert Keyes’s life, the family lived on the property belonging to the late Lady Blackhurst through her marriage settlements. Her ladyship preferred Devon to the wilds of Yorkshire, and Lord Blackhurst adored his wife as much as I did your mother. He allowed her to determine his home seat, but the abbey is Blackhurst’s traditional home.”

“More than seventeen years,” she said triumphantly. “Since reaching his majority and leaving university, the current Lord Blackhurst has spent his years in India. For all we know, he would still be there if his father had not passed. And, might I remind you, that was nearly two years removed. His lordship made no effort to rush home to claim this peerage. We know nothing of the type of man he has become other than the tales found in the newsprints of his years of service to the East India Company, most of which are quite unflattering. I cannot believe you mean to send off your only daughter on the arm of a man who is a complete stranger.”

Turbulent emotions reflected upon his countenance, and Cilla realized he was not as pleased with this arrangement between her family and that of the marquess, as she once thought. Her father sighed heavily. “A contract exists between our families. Would you have me know dishonor? Or ruin? I could not afford a large penalty for breaking the agreement. I have your four brothers to consider.”

“I would have you also consider your only daughter,” she said defiantly.

Giveaway: Regency Summer Secrets and Soirees will not be released until July 7. On that date, I will present 5 winners an eBook copy of the anthology, which also includes a story from Summer Hanford. The giveaway will end at midnight EST on June 30. The winners will be announced on July 12. Happy Reading! 

Meanwhile, you might also be interested in the release of “Last Woman Standing,” my long novella from last Christmas’s anthology entitled, A Regency Christmas Proposal. It is available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited for your reading pleasure. 

Last Woman Standing

JACKSON SHAW, the Marquess of Rivens, never considered the “gypsy blessing” presented to his family during the time of Henry VIII truly a blessing. He viewed it more as a curse. According to the “blessing,” in his thirtieth year, at the Christmas ball hosted by his family, he was to choose a wife among the women attending. The catch was he possessed no choice in the matter. His wife was to be the one who proved herself to be his perfect match, according to the gypsy’s provisions: a woman who would bring prosperity to his land by her love of nature and her generous heart. In his opinion, none of the women vying for his hand appeared to care for anything but themselves.

EVELYN HAWTHORNE comes to River’s End to serve as the companion to the Marchioness of Rivens, his lordship’s grandmother. However, Lady Rivens has more than companionship in mind when she employs the girl, whose late father was a renown horticulturalist. The marchioness means to gather Gerald Hawthorne’s rare specimens to prevent those with less scrupulous ideas from purchasing Hawthorne’s conservatory, and, thereby, stealing away what little choice her grandson has in naming a wife, for all the potential brides must present the Rivenses with a rare flower to demonstrate the lady’s love of nature. Little does the marchioness know Hawthorne’s daughter might not only know something of nature, but be the person to fulfill the gypsy’s blessing.

If you prefer a print copy of the tale, try Something in the Air, which includes “Courting Lord Whitmire” and “Lady Woman Standing” in one volume. 

 

Courting Lord Whitmire: A Regency May-December Romance

At the bend of the path, an unexpected meeting.

She is all May. He is December.

But loves knows not time.

Colonel Lord Andrew Whitmire has returned to England after spending fifteen years in service to his country. In truth, he would prefer to be anywhere but home. Before he departed England, his late wife, from an arranged marriage, had cuckolded him in a scandal that had set Society’s tongues wagging. His daughter, Matilda, who was reared by his father, enjoys calling him “Father” in the most annoying ways. Unfortunately, his future is the viscountcy, and Andrew knows his duty to both the title and his child. He imagines himself the last of his line until he encounters Miss Verity Coopersmith, the niece of his dearest friend, the man who had saved Andrew’s life at Waterloo. Miss Coopersmith sets Whitmire’s world spinning out of control. She is truly everything he did not know he required in his life. However, she is twenty-two years his junior, young enough to be his daughter, but all he can think is she is absolute perfection.

****************************************************************

Last Woman Standing: A Regency Romance

JACKSON SHAW, the Marquess of Rivens, never considered the “gypsy blessing” presented to his family during the time of Henry VIII truly a blessing. He viewed it more as a curse. According to the “blessing,” in his thirtieth year, at the Christmas ball hosted by his family, he was to choose a wife among the women attending. The catch was he possessed no choice in the matter. His wife was to be the one who proved herself to be his perfect match, according to the gypsy’s provisions: a woman who would bring prosperity to his land by her love of nature and her generous heart. In his opinion, none of the women vying for his hand appeared to care for anything but themselves.

EVELYN HAWTHORNE comes to River’s End to serve as the companion to the Marchioness of Rivens, his lordship’s grandmother. However, Lady Rivens has more than companionship in mind when she employs the girl, whose late father was a renown horticulturalist. The marchioness means to gather Gerald Hawthorne’s rare specimens to prevent those with less scrupulous ideas from purchasing Hawthorne’s conservatory, and, thereby, stealing away what little choice her grandson has in naming a wife, for all the potential brides must present the Rivenses with a rare flower to demonstrate the lady’s love of nature. Little does the marchioness know Hawthorne’s daughter might not only know something of nature, but be the person to fulfill the gypsy’s blessing.

Kindle   https://www.amazon.com/Something-Air-Two-Regency-Romances-ebook/dp/B08B1T59BF/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=something+in+the+air+by+regina+jeffers&qid=1591965043&sr=8-1

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The Market for Quackery in Medicine During Late Georgian Era

Previously, I have spoken of anxiety treatments for Mrs. Bennet’s nerves. You may find the article HERE

Recently, I have been exploring a book called Decency and Disorder: The Age of Cant 1789-1837. It is by Ben Wilson. Amazon describes it as such: “Brilliant young historian Ben Wilson explores a time when licentious Britain tried to straighten out its moral code, ridding itself of its boisterous pastimes, plain-speaking and drunkenness – raising uncomfortable but fascinating parallels with our own age. Decency and Disorder is about the generation who grew up during the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars, and some of its most exciting figures.”

In this book, it speaks of it becoming fashionable to speak of ones “nerves.” Those of us who love Jane Austen recall Mrs. Bennet’s many references to her “nerves.” [See Mrs. Bennet’s Nerves, causes thereof on Two Nerdy History Girls.]

Mrs. Bennet: “Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves.”

Mr. Bennet: “You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least.”

Nervous disorders and palpitations could be caused by any or every thing. Such disorders were a boon both to those who had training in medicine and those who did not, but wished to profit from the hysterics of others. People began taking a variety of remedies from powders to pills to elixirs. 

The Nurse: A Monthly Journal of Practical Knowledge , March 1915, provides us one account of a man took 51,590 pills in 1814, alone. The man died in 1817 “at a ripe old age.” Did the pills assist him to another three years on this earth? No one can say for certain. 

“Some people live for pleasure, some for fame, some for business, and some have never exhibited any particular reason why they should be alive. There are a variety of the human species, well known to doctors and nurses, who seem to live for the purpose of sampling all the remedies proposed for all the ills to which humanity is heir. With them, ‘doctoring’ is a synonym for drugging. They scan the advertising pages of every printed thing that they see, and they count that day lost in which they do not read of some new nostrum for the particular malady that is making them miserable at that particular time. Their well-worn path to the grave runs via the local drug story. They ‘doctor’ a while for the liver, then for the kidneys, then the stomach—of course—then for catarrh, then for all the rest of the diseases mentioned in the ‘ads’; then without pausing for breath they start in and do the whole course over again. The names of the ‘wonderful medicinal discoveries’ mentioned in the papers become household words to them, and they wait impatiently for the next one to appear. Their premises are renowned for their abundance of bottles, empty and filled. 

“We have it directly from the wife of one of these, that the poor man came home two hours early from his work suffering from an awful dyspepsia, and actually helped himself to seven sorts of medicine before night, going to bed without relief at last. 

“This was considered a record, but we are just mean enough to remind him and all the rest of his ilk, that they are out of the race—just one long century behind the times. The record for this sort of dosing was made in 1814, and so far as we know has never been beaten. We saw it in the Lancet, and that is good enough authority on this particular sport: In the year 1814, one man created a record by swallowing not fewer than 51,590 pills. His name was Samuel Jessup, who died in Heckington, in Lincolnshire, in 1817, age 65. He was an opulent grazier, a bachelor, without known relatives, and for the last thirty years of his life possessed a craving for what was then called ‘physic.’ In twenty-one years he took 226,934 pills supplied by an apothecary of the name of Wright, who resided in Bottesford. This is at a rate of 10,806 pills a year, or 29 pills each day, but toward the end, he took 78 a day. Notwithstanding this, he took 40,000 bottles of mixture, juleps, and electuaries. Some of these particulars were disclosed at a trial for the amount of an apothecary’s bill at Lincoln Assizes shortly after his death.” 

A very clever marketing idea of the time was newspaper and other advertisements promoting Balm of Gilead.

The Cedar Mountain Herb School Website tells us:

“The resin from the leaf bud (Balm of Gilead) of the cottonwood tree has a celestial scent like no other. One of my favorite activities is walking along river banks, taking in the scent of the cottonwood. It’s the leaf buds we gather from fallen branches after a windstorm that we use for medicine.

“Cottonwood leaf buds contain tannins, as well as anti-inflammatory and fever-reducing salicylates. The resins from the buds also possess antifungal and antimicrobial properties in the form of flavones. An oil or salve made from this resin can bring relief to pain caused by swelling, arthritis, strains, and general muscle pains. You’ll notice that the tips of the branches look like gnarled witches fingers. Or my grandma’s poor arthritic fingers. Or mine, as they are starting to look like Grandma’s. A bit of the old doctrine of signatures is happening there – plants sometimes resemble the part of the body they affect. A little cottonwood bud oil on my poor gnarled fingies sure ease the pain of the arthritis that’s setting in. Cool, hey?

“Cottonwood resin can also be applied directly from the bud onto a cold (herpes) sore. It doesn’t look pretty, and stings a little at first, but man, does it ever bring relief from the itch. It also does a great job with speedy healing of the lesions. If you are worried about people staring at the yellow glob on your face, you can use the medicinal oil extraction full strength. It works just as well (perhaps a bit more slowly), but with lesser visual impact.

“For a hot dry cough with a lot of hacking but little relief plus feverishness, Balm of Gilead resin works well to cool the lungs and bring up the mucous. The resin is not water-soluble, so making a tea or infusion would not work. How do we get the resin to the lungs? Cottonwood bud resin dissolves well in honey, which can be stirred into hot water or tea for sipping.”

 

 

 

 

Alan Mackintosh’s The Patent Medicines Industry in Georgian England: Constructing the Market by the Potency of Print speaks of Irregular Medicine Owners. For those of you interested in this type of book, here is how Amazon describes it: In this book, the ownership, distribution and sale of patent medicines across Georgian England are explored for the first time, transforming our understanding of healthcare provision and the use of the printed word in that era. Patent medicines constituted a national industry which was largely popular, reputable and stable, not the visible manifestation of dishonest quackery as described later by doctors and many historians. Much of the distribution, promotion and sale of patent medicines was centrally controlled with directed advertising, specialisation, fixed prices and national procedures, and for the first time we can see the detailed working of a national market for a class of Georgian consumer goods. Furthermore, contemporaries were aware that changes in the consumers’ ‘imagination’ increased the benefits of patent medicines above the effects of their pharmaceutical components. As the imagination was altered by the printed word, print can be considered as an essential ingredient of patent medicines. This book will challenge the assumptions of all those interested in the medical, business or print history of the period.

Several prominent men of the Georgian era made themselves rich in treating a variety of ailments, among them were William Brodum, James Coghlan, Bishop George Hay, Samuel Solomon (1768/1769-1819), and John Lignum. Solomon ran his business out of Liverpool, while Lignum was located in Manchester. 

William Brodum by E. A. Ezekiel, 1797.
(Image Courtesy of The Wellcome Library, CC BY 4.0.)

We do not know much about William Brodnum. We assume he was a foreign-born Jew. He promoted himself as a physician, having received training in surgery for both the navy and the army in Europe and obtaining a an MD degree from Marischal College in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1791. He claimed to be an expert in treating venereal disease. He was, initially, quite successful. In 1799, he patented Dr. Brodum’s Nervous and Restorative Cordial (nervous conditions, consumption, and deafness) and Dr. Brodnum’s Botanical Syrup (general complaints and aches and pains). He published his 344-page Guide to Old Age in two volumes in 1795. The Guide claimed the Royal family took Brodnum’s medicines, and it was dedicated to the King. Eventually, his notoriety caught up to him. He was accused of “planning to bribe” his way to becoming the President of the Royal College of Physicians. According to The Patent Medicines Industry in Georgian England, “Perhaps the ultimate indication of Brodnum’s celebrity was an elaborate masquerade at Foley House in 1802, attended by the Prince of Wales and two of his brothers. Artificial village shops were created in the great hall and manned by the local aristocracy and gentry. One shop was ‘Doctor Brodnum’s shop’, and the whole scene ‘produced all the comic effect that may be imagined to arise from the characters that composed it.'”

James Coghlan was a leading Catholic publishing bookseller in London. Coghlan, along with Bishop George Hay, the Vicar-Apostolic for the Scottish Lowlands, and Father Henry Francis Xavier Chappel, a Dominican priest from Leicester. These three men made and distributed medicine between 1770 and 1800. Coghlan published The Laity’s Directory, a periodical-style publication of the time. He made some five different medicines during these years, often including an advert for the product in the back part of the Laity’s Directory. It does appear that Coghlan had any medical training.  He claimed the recipes could be found in either the Jesuits’ Library (three of his 5 medicines used the word “Jesuit” in the title) or other Catholic publications. After his death, the profits from the sales went to various Catholic charities. 

Bishop Hay was the joint head of the Catholic church in Scotland. He set up the first Catholic seminary in Scotland and was recognized scholar of religious works. He even supervised a new translation of the Bible. Hay originally trained as a surgeon. He first designed his own Antiscorbutic Tincture in Scotland, but the proceeds were used for charity. He met Coghlan when Hay meant to have Coghlan sell copies of the translated Bible in London. He also sent along bottles of his tincture for Coghlan to sell, but it was not very popular, so he he later sent an improved version

Solomon, a Jew, had obtained an MD from Marischal College in 1796. He spent some time as a spectacle (meaning eyeglasses) salesman before he started selling his famous Cordial Balm of Gilead. This elixir was recommended for a wide variety of conditions, especially those associated with nerves and other debilitating disorders. Solomon also developed and sold an Anti-Impetigines designed to purify the blood for scorbutic and other complains, as well as an Abstergent Lotion applied directly to scorbutic eruptions. He promoted his Balm of Gilead and other “cures” through newspaper and other advertisements.

In his book, A Guide to Health, Solomon claimed to be one of the most successful physicians in both England and upon the Continent. He also claimed to spend at least £5000 per year on advertising. His success allowed Solomon not only to become a leader in Liverpool’s society but also to build Gilead House on the eastern edge of the city in 1804.

John Lignum’s fame was less than that of Solomon. When he lived in Edinburgh he was an apothecary called John Wood. Later, he became a surgeon called John Lignum when he was living in Manchester. His “circuit” covered much of northern England. Not being so well known kept him from being a target of those who criticized others like Solomon. Lignum produced his Antiscorbutic Drops and Lotion and pills, specifically designed for those with venereal disease, for some 30 years, working out of his home, first on Thomas Street, and, then, on Bridge Street in Manchester. 

The ingredients for Solomon’s elixir was not discovered until after 1810. The main ingredient was a half pint of brandy to which Solomon had added cardamon seeds, tincture of cantharides, lemon peel, and scented with Sicilian oregano. The “drunk” would feel the initial euphoria of the spirits, but then came the “pity drunk” lows. Afterward, a larger dose or a more frequent dose was recommended. 

 

 

Posted in Austen Authors, British history, Georgian England, Georgian Era, history, Jane Austen, Living in the Regency, real life tales, Regency era, research, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Smugglers in Kent, UK, a Plot Device for “Losing Lizzy: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary”

In my latest Austen-inspired story, Losing Lizzy: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary, smugglers in Kent were mentioned several times. Yet, what do we know of these smugglers?

Daniel Defoe wrote a poem about smugglers in Deal, Kent, who turned the town into a sea of violence and debauchery. They ran the town for almost fifty years. No one could stop them until the crack down came because the gold from England was going to French smugglers and then straight to Napolean’s coffers. Only then did the Crown really take notice, and Dragoons were often sent to stop them.

“If I had any satire left to write,

Could I with suited spleen indite,

My verse should blast that fatal town,

And drown’d sailors’ widows pull it down;

No footsteps of it should appear,

And ships no more cast anchor there.

The barbarous hated name of Deal shou’d die,

Or be a term of infamy;

And till that’s done, the town will stand

A just reproach to all the land”

A good source on smugglers, in general, and specific to Kent is Smuggling in Kent and Sussex 1700-1840 by Mary Waugh.

Also, here is a website with much information about other aspects of smuggling, though, including some  of the methods of concealment.

http://www.smuggling.co.uk/history.html

It is several pages long.  The last page names some of the ones who opposed the smugglers.

Marked with a long and controversial history, it is likely the act of smuggling dates to the first time duties were imposed in any form on products used by the masses. In England smuggling first became a recognized problem in the 13th century, following the creation of a national customs collection system by Edward I in 1275. [Norman Scott Brien Gras,  The Early English Customs System (OUP, 1918)]. Medieval smuggling tended to focus on the export of highly taxed export goods — notably wool and hides. [N.J. Williams, Contraband Cargoes: Seven Centuries of Smuggling (London, 1959)] Merchants also, however, sometimes smuggled other goods to circumvent prohibitions or embargoes on particular trades. Grain, for instance, was usually prohibited from export, unless prices were low, because of fears that grain exports would raise the price of food in England and thus cause food shortages and/or civil unrest. Following the loss of Gascony to the French in 1453, imports of wine were also sometimes embargoed during wars to try and deprive the French of the revenues that could be earned from their main export. [Smuggling]

Generally, we use court records or the letters of Revenue Officers as the resources for tales of smuggling operations. In England, wool was smuggled to the Continent in the 17th Century due to high excise taxes. In England wool was smuggled to the continent in the 17th century, under the pressure of high excise taxes/ In 1724, Daniel Defoe wrote of Lymington, Hampshire, on the south coast of England

“I do not find they have any foreign commerce, except it be what we call smuggling and roguing; which I may say, is the reigning commerce of all this part of the English coast, from the mouth of the Thames to the Land’s End in Cornwall.” [Defoe, Daniel (1724). A Tour Thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain: Letter III. London.]

Smuggling gangs formed to avoid the high rates of duty levied on tea, wine, spirits, and other goods coming into England from Europe. The high duties were required by the government to finance a number of extremely expensive wars with France the United States. Smuggling became a profitable venture for impoverished fishermen and seafarers. In many smaller villages peppering the southern shires, especially, smuggling was what kept the villages viable. 

Public Domain ~ A book with a concealed space for hiding cigarettes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smuggling#/media/File:Cigarette_smuggling_with_a_book.JPG

Revenue agents, the military, constables, the JP’s , the navy, and custom agents all had a part to” play in combating smuggling. Members of all of the groups  were suborned over to the side of the smugglers at one time or another. However, what might have been possible in 1780 was less likely to be possible in 1818. Smugglers rarely used regular harbors or  had anything to do with harbor masters, The Preventative men—the Riding officers were revenue men . The local JP was often in cahoots with the smugglers, and it  was difficult to gather a jury to convict or even to bind men over. There were also Smuggling Wars. They were “WARS,” despite our tendency to romanticize the men.

Other Sources on Smuggling: 

BBC – Nature of Crimes

Foxford History

Historic UK

U. S. History

Losing Lizzy: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary

She thought him dead. Now only he can save their daughter.

When Lady Catherine de Bourgh told Elizabeth Bennet: “And this is your real opinion! This is your final resolve! Very well. I shall now know how to act. Do not imagine, Miss Bennet, that your ambition will ever be gratified. I came to try you. I hoped to find you reasonable; but, depend upon it, I will carry my point,” no one knew how vindictive and manipulative her ladyship might prove, but Darcy and Elizabeth were about to discover the bitter truth for themselves.

This is a story of true love conquering even the most dire circumstances. Come along with our dear couple as they set a path not only to thwart those who stand between them and happiness, but to forge a family, one not designed by society’s strict precepts, but rather one full of hope, honor, loyalty and love.

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0884F86FP

Kindle  https://www.amazon.com/Losing-Lizzy-Pride-Prejudice-Vagary-ebook/dp/B08886PXQG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/losing-lizzy

Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/losing-lizzy-regina-jeffers/1137038434?ean=2940162951087

Posted in book release, British history, British Navy, Georgian England, Georgian Era, historical fiction, history, Jane Austen, Living in the UK, Pride and Prejudice, publishing, real life tales, Regency era, research, Vagary, writing | Tagged , , , , , , ,

June 20 ~ West Virginia Day ~ “Country Roads Take Me Home…”

West Virginia Day – June 20

June 20 celebrates the birth of my home state. West Virginia was founded in 1863. I just returned from WV on Sunday. I love driving the mountain roads, but I’m sure many others do not. They are intimidated by the curves. When I come out of the tunnel at Bluefield, the one which separates West Virginia from Virginia, my heart always says “home.”

On June 20, 1863, West Virginia became the thirty-fifth state in the Union. The land that formed the new state formerly constituted part of Virginia. The two areas had diverged culturally from their first years of European settlement, as small farmers generally settled the western portion of the state, including the counties that later formed West Virginia, while the eastern portion was dominated by a powerful minority class of wealthy slaveholders. There were proposals for the trans-Allegheny west to separate from Virginia as early as 1769. When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, the residents of a number of contiguous western counties, where there were few slaves, decided to remain in the Union. Congress accepted these counties as the state of West Virginia on condition that its slaves be freed. “Montani semper liberi,” “mountaineers always freemen,” became the new state’s motto.

Personally, I love driving the mountain roads, but I’m certain many others do not. Many are intimidated by the sharp curves. When I exit the tunnel at Bluefield on Interstate 77, the one which separates West Virginia from Virginia, my heart always says “home.”

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Babcock State Park, Glade Creek Grist Mill

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The beauty of a WV highway

On June 20, 1863, West Virginia became the thirty-fifth state in the Union. The land that formed the new state formerly constituted part of Virginia. The two areas had diverged culturally from their first years of European settlement, as small farmers generally settled the western portion of the state, including the counties that later formed West Virginia, while the eastern portion was dominated by a powerful minority class of wealthy slaveholders. There were proposals for the trans-Allegheny west to separate from Virginia as early as 1769. When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, the residents of a number of contiguous western counties, where there were few slaves, decided to remain in the Union. Congress accepted these counties as the state of West Virginia on condition that its slaves be freed. “Montani semper liberi,” “mountaineers always freemen,” became the new state’s motto.

“In 1963, West Virginia Day was the highpoint of a year-long celebration of the state centennial, with President John F. Kennedy speaking from the steps of the state capitol. The state enjoyed its grandest birthday party that day, beginning with a breakfast restricted to people born on June 20 and culminating with evening fireworks. A 35-layer cake was served at noon, and Kennedy’s speech was followed by a 35-gun salute.

“In addition to official observances, West Virginians celebrate their state’s birthday with a variety of tavern toasts, family cookouts, and other unofficial acknowledgments. Long-standing customs include the creation of a special glass-work by Blenko Glass of Cabell County. Issued in a number equal to the state’s age, the limited-edition piece is sold in Charleston to first-comers on the morning of West Virginia Day.” [e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia “West Virginia Day.” e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 20 June 2014. Web. 22 May 2018.]

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my hometown

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fine shops found in the Arcade in downtown Huntington

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busy downtown streets in Huntington

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