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Articles Categorized History American

Congress Approves Women’s Right to Vote

On June 4, 1919 Congress approved the 19th Amendment, also known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which states that “The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have the power to enforce

Katherine Naylor: Petition for Divorce Granted

When we left Katherine Naylor in my previous blog, she was 33 years old, a widow with two children and substantial property. In 17th century Puritan New England, widows did not remain unmarried very long, especially if there was property involved. In Puritan culture, marriage was an equal partnership, but the husband was the undisputed

Katherine Wheelwright Nanny Naylor & Puritan Dissension

While the manuscript for Sea Tigers & Merchants wends its way through the pre-publication process, I’m doing research for a prequel to the Salem Stories series. My new story begins in 17th century Salem about forty years before the infamous witch trials. The primary characters are Philip and Mary English whose descendent became Mary Hodges

Women’s History Month with profiles of Jeannette Rankin & Anna May Wong

The month of March has eleven awareness celebrations. Some may seem slightly silly, like National Celery Month, established in 2015; others, like Irish American Heritage Month established in 1995, celebrate American diversity.* The designation I find most meaningful is WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH. I ‘m dating myself when I share that when I was growing up,

George Washington’s Teeth

Recently I found myself practicing breathing exercises while my dentist injected numbing medication into my gums. Somehow I had managed to acquire a cavity at the back edge of an existing crown. The crown had to be removed, the cavity treated, and a new crown acquired. And, of course, the afflicted tooth was a the

Puritans — More Romantic Than You Might Think

Valentine’s Day will soon be here, a day for romance & flowers; cupids & candy in heart-shaped boxes. Like many days our calendars commemorate, Valentine’s Day is largely an invention from the Victorian Age. Romantic love has a much longer history, but was not always the foundation of courtship and marriage. In doing research for

Thanksgivings Past

Thanksgiving, a national holiday embedded in American mythology, has changed over the years from an emblem of American history and unity to a day that includes eating, shopping, and watching televised football games and parades. Below are a few factoids of Thanksgivings past. When I was a child, billboards advertising a certain brand of turkey

Apples & Pumpkins: The Fruits of Fall

Every season has its own special foods, and two of the foods most associated with fall are apples and pumpkins. Both are harvested between late August and the end of October, and both have associations with fall in the northern hemisphere. As the nights become longer and the weather chillier, a mug of hot apple

Writerly Research: Copper-Bottomed Ships & Madeira Wine

Writing historical fiction is tricky, particularly if the story is based on or inspired by real people. I’m currently writing the second book in my Salem Stories series based on the 18th century Crowninshield and Derby families of Salem, Massachusetts. The story is about real people in the context of their material culture. Both aspects

Tavern Entertainments in 18th Century America

As noted in the first installment, eighteenth century American taverns were a necessary community institution — a place where travelers and residents could grab a meal, read the newspaper, or conduct business. In appearance, taverns looked much like a large house with chimneys at either end. The ground floor and primary place of business featured