Category Archives: History

An Early Thanksgiving Proclamation from Abraham Lincoln

In this Thanksgiving season, I have been especially conscious of our blessings: plenty of food, a warm house, clean water, honorable work, good friends and loving family, and the freedom to worship as we desire. As I considered this post, my mind continued to the smaller things: flowers, phones, books, toothpaste, the chickadees and finches, crunchy leaves, soft snow . . . I found myself with far too many to choose from. Instead of my own gratitude list, I decided to share Abraham Lincoln’s original Thanksgiving Proclamation with you.  But did you know he signed several throughout his presidency?  I enjoyed finding this one from Oct. 3, 1863. (The one we usually reference is dated Oct 20, 1864.) I especially like the line saying that we’re prone to forget the bounties we constantly enjoy! We are all so very blessed, this day, this minute. Even in the midst of tragedy and turmoil, whether in … Continue reading

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Visions of Today and Yesterday

I feel like I live in two worlds. I recently bought a pear tree (note to self: buy a partridge) and needed to drive slowly along the back roads on the way home. My route took me through the small town of Clayton, Indiana, and my double-vision kicked in. Clayton is a country village a few miles south of the county seat, which is a slightly larger town. The historic homes along Clayton’s main road invited me to slow down and enjoy the sights – spreading shade trees, lovely flower beds, and a woman mowing a yard. Juxtaposed against this, I could also envision women in long skirts and sidewalks walking of boards. Families would have hitched a wagon and taken regular trips into Danville for supplies. The Presbyterian Church has been around since the 1830s, and descendants of the original settlers probably still worship there. Farther on, country roads … Continue reading

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Weird Names & the War That Wasn’t a War

Stolen Ohio chickens, a lost Michigan militia, and men with numbers for names?  You never know what your fiction research is going to uncover. There I was, digging into Midwest canals and railroads for Book 2 of my Shimmer of Time series.  Lots of cool stuff for the book, right?  But I got sidetracked completely by Benjamin Franklin Stickney, who had weird tastes in names and was (probably) responsible for a war most of us have never heard of. Stickney’s mother was a favorite niece of Benjamin Franklin (that’s right, the key-on-a-kite-string Benjamin Franklin, “discoverer” of electricity and inventor of my ever-necessary bifocals), and she named her son after him in 1773.  So Benjamin Stickney grew up, got married, and named his sons … wait for it . . . One and Two!  Evidently he wanted to let them choose their own names when they got older, but they never did.  … Continue reading

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