by Heather Frey Blanton The point of my blog is to remind my American sisters (whether they be American by birth or spirit), of our fiery ancestors and, hence, the bloodlines we should honor. The old adage, “Well-behaved women rarely make history” is true. The history-making women of previous generations were passionate, obstinate, tempestuous, and indomitable. Probably they didn’t see themselves as such at the time. They were just doing what came naturally. So let’s talk ab
“Our properties within our own territories [should not] be taxed or regulated by any power on earth but our own.” —
Thomas Jefferson, 1774 A well-to-do socialite of the Edenton, NC community, she was not blind to the abuses of the crown. In fact, having been widowed twice in her life, she was acutely aware of the cost of doing business with his Royal Highness King George. The richest woman in North Carolina, Penelope was adept at managing her household affairs and the busine
Going back through some old research notes, I stumbled across the story of an immigrant to America. An unsung heroine who came here to make America a better place and give something back…not just take and remake the country in the image of her old country. The early immigrants to America, the ones who thrived here, were independent, strong-willed, stubborn, adventurous risk-takers. They didn’t want handouts. They wanted the freedom to make their own way. Just this morning I r
A lot of you know my newest release, Hell-Bent on Blessings, is based on the actual pioneer lady Harriet Pullen. She was one tough chick. While her life story took place in the Klondike, I relocated her to gold rush California to suit my fictional requirements and changed a few details about her, but basically, this is the beginning of her destiny. I also decided to play with the facts a bit when it came to her children. The two teenage boys in Hell-Bent are inspired by my ow
Guest story today is from Maria Tonseth! Busted! My dad and his three brothers grew up on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio.
They were all close in age and were inseparable, as if they were more of
best friends rather than brothers. Everyone around town knew the brothers
and often referred to them as the “Tonseth rascals,” because more than
likely they were getting into trouble from playing pranks of the neighbors.
My dad’s biggest dream was to play a prank on his 5th gr
Ah, the romance of Hawaii. Today’s Lady in Defiance is submitted by Mary Margaret Smith Back in the early 50’s, my grandma was a young divorcee with an 8 year old
daughter by her first marriage, and my granddaddy was a young widower.
When they met, my grandma had taken a bookkeeping class at a local college
and her teacher recommended her to my granddaddy, who had recently returned
home from the war and started a furniture business. He hired her and they
soon began datin
“No one will vote for her. She’s a woman.” And so started a joke that launched a sleepy Kansas town to international fame—as the first municipality in America to elect a woman mayor. In 1882, Susanna Madora “Dora” Kinsey Salter moved with her husband Lewis to the quiet little town of Argonia. The couple managed a hardware store while Lewis sought the opportunity to read law with a local attorney. When things fell into place for him, Dora’s parents moved to town as well to tak
I will be fifty my next birthday. Some days I feel like a kid, some days I feel a little old, but I don’t feel fifty. My daddy used to say age is all in your mind. It’s how you take life. You don’t let it take you. Connie Reeves is a great example of a woman who defied injuries, financial setbacks, and, yes, age, to spend her life doing what kept her young. I saw this picture of Constance and just had to learn more about her! Connie was born in Eagles Pass, Texas, September 2
Mattie and John In light of all the racial tension boiling in Ferguson, I thought it would be uplifting to remind us that, even in the Wild West, peace among different races has not always been elusive. Mattie Bost Bell Castner is a wonderful example. Born a slave in Newton, NC in 1848, she and her family moved to St. Louis after the Emancipation Proclamation for a fresh start. Mattie worked as a nanny, domestic servant, and hotel maid. Eager to expand her horizons, though, s
John had Abigail. Romeo had Juliet. Chief Ouray had Chipeta. Chief Ouray and Chipeta Unless you live in Colorado or are a student of history, you’ve probably never heard of her. She was the second wife of the Ute chief, but she came to be so much more. Dubbed “Queen of the Utes” by a reporter contemptuous of Indians, a poet turned the slam into an homage. And well-deserved it was. When Chipeta was only an infant, a band of renegades attacked her Kiowa village. She was the sol
The past and the present I love the stories of women who, on the verge of losing everything, look defeat squarely in the eye and knock the snot out of it. When Sarah Cockrell’s husband Alexander died in 1858, he left her with three small children and a few struggling businesses. Oh, and a mountain of debt. At the time of his death, Alexander owned a sawmill, gristmill, office building, and a ferry business in Dallas. Recognizing Sarah’s business acumen, and since he couldn’t
Do you remember your first boyfriend? Was he, perhaps, a bit of a bad influence? Did you follow him into escapades that now leave you wondering in horror, what was I thinking? Cheer up. He probably never shot it out with US Marshals. Rose Dunn, youngest of ten, was born in Oklahoma and received a formal education from a convent. In the meantime, two of her brothers went astray of the law and started hanging around some pretty tough characters. Sometime in 1892, they brought G
Suffrage and Temperance? No, no, no. Let’s talk Bloomers! This was supposed to be better than a dress? In American history, you have women who spied for this country, loaded cannons during heated battles, fought wild Indians, ventured alone to rowdy frontier towns. And then there is Amelia Bloomer. A native of New York, Amelia was the first woman to own, edit, and operate a newspaper in the United States. The Lily was started in 1849 for the reading pleasure of the Seneca Fal
Anna Smith Strong on AMC’s show Turn is portrayed as a woman more in love with a man than the cause of Liberty. Maybe. But I think it was the other way around. Anna Strong? From a wealthy Tory family, Anna married ardent Setauket patriot Selah Strong III, who became a judge in New York. The Strong family owned much property on what is now Long Island. Property owners, lawyers, and patriots, they made themselves a big target for the Crown. In 1778, her husband was arrested for
Antonia Ford, a pretty, sassy spy for the Confederacy, didn’t mind batting her eyelashes at a Union soldier if it got her intelligence. She didn’t count on one man capturing her heart, though, or what their love would cost them. (Photo by O.H. Willard, Library of Congress Philadelphia Manuscript Division, Gift of the Willard Family) Born into a wealthy family of loud-and-proud secessionists, Antonia loved her home in Fairfax Court House, VA. When Union troops occupied her tow
Sometimes, just existing is such a task. A college roommate said that to me many years ago. For some reason, I thought of that when I researched the story of Charly Parkhurst. She carried an amazing, isolating secret for over thirty years… Born in 1812, Charly lost her parents at an early age and wound up in an orphanage in New Hampshire. Either she escaped or they let her go, but when Charly was old enough to take care of herself, she skedaddled. Probably in her early teens.
Perhaps you’ve heard it said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Poverty and physical abuse are two things that will either make you or break you. Annie Oakley In the case of Phoebe Ann Moses, AKA, Annie Oakley, they made her a legend. Born the sixth of seven children in 1860, Annie had a fairly happy home life in Ohio, until the death of her father when she was six. By all accounts, a compassionate child with wisdom beyond her years, little Annie thought it was her
Poor, oppressed women. We’ve been kept barefoot and pregnant our whole existence with little chance to improve our lot in life. America, this Land of Opportunity, provided no better alternatives…Or so spout the feminazis. Gimme a break. If you read my blog, then you know women with fire in their bellies rocked their worlds…and no corset could hold them back. Eliza Take the refined and educated Eliza Lucas Pinckney. The woman was a Donald Trump before there was a Trump. Born i
Meliscent Barrett Prior to open hostilities between the Colonists and the British, Colonel James Barrett and his son James ran a commissary for the army. A young British officer came by regularly to pick up the wagonload of supplies. While he waited for the items to be gathered and loaded, he would entertain himself by chatting with Col. Barrett’s pretty daughter Meliscent. The Barrett’s weren’t quiet about their opinions regarding Colonial independence, but Meliscent, fiftee
By Heather Frey Blanton Dorothy Hancock The biggest, baddest, most bold signature on the Declaration of Independence belongs to John Hancock. Said signature is the icon for fearless rebellion and raw treason. Did you know that when Hancock put his name to that paper, he was a newlywed? No wonder he was feeling froggy. So who was the lady who stoked the fires of revolution and made John think he was ten feet tall and bulletproof? Dorothy “Dolly” Quincy was the youngest daughte