Reviews

A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Friday, July 9, 2021

It's 1776. Do You Know Where Your Ancestors Are?


TOF intended to post this for the 4th of July, but the Friday within the octave of the Glorious 4th will have to do.

The World of 1776.

We have previously looked at the worlds of 1920, 1870, and 1820; that is. the Singularity (1870-1920) and the Fuse (1820-1870) that lit it. Technically, we should now look at the world of 1770, but the Revolution is close enough. 

The 1770s were not too much different from the 1820s, except that railroads were not even a glint on the horizon. Frank;in has only recently discovered that lightning and the 'electrical fluid' are the same thing. The Leyden Jar (an early capacitor) was invented only thirty years ago.  But electricity is as yet only a curiosity. For now, the world is powered by wind and solar, and thus is energy-poor, especially for the poor. Messages travel only as fast as a courier on horseback or a schooner. Stagecoaches are the usual means of long distance travel. A few canals have been dug in France, England, and the Germanies, Captain Cook has discovered Australia.six years ago, (The Australians always knew it was there) fourteen-year-old Marie Antoinette has arrived at the French court.and married Louis-Auguste (who will later became King Louis XVI). Rubber has been discovered to remove pencil marks, to the joy of students everywhere. The first partition of Poland has begun. 

Friday, July 2, 2021

The White Family

The Incomparable Marge stemmed from families long-resident on this continent and who participated in most of the American Experience. Her Hammontree ancestors were in Tidewater Virginia by 1723; the Hollands, also in Virginia by 1724. In 1723, the Helms were in Bucks Co, PA prior to moving to North Carolina. The Goss family were in North Carolina by 1755, the Tams in Delaware by 1776. Marlow was born in Kentucky in 1808. Johnny-come-lately Harris, appears in Tennessee by 1819. Margie always got a chuckle out of anti-immigrant agita. As far as she was concerned, they were all immigrants. One of her ancestors had married a Choctaw woman.  

She had ancestors in the colonies; in the Revolution (one collateral ancestor died at Valley Forge, another survived.) They traveled west when 'west' meant the Great Smokey Mountains and rubbed shoulders with Sam Houston and Andy Jackson in Tennessee, They were Southerners who wore blue in the Civil War. They headed farther west in covered wagons, various families touching down at various times in various states: Arkansas, Missouri; Ohio, Indiana; Georgia and Louisiana, converging finally, in the Red River Valley, then Choctaw Nation. Along the way were Confederate terrorists (A collateral ancestor perished in the Great Hanging, when Confederate rangers hanged Union sympathizers in Grayson County, TX), outlaws, sheriffs and posses, and shoot-outs.

And so, we come to the Whites.

Whoa, What's This?

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