August 21, 2012

Peach Cobbler, Brandy, & Political Preserves



Prunus persica: scientific name for the peach, a sweet, juicy summer treat. 1

Each year, throughout Western Pennsylvania, the peach is celebrated—an appropriate activity in August, which is National Peach Month.

A peach festival will be held 3-7 pm Saturday August 13, 2011, at Hilltop United Methodist Church in Madison (PA) 

A peach festival is planned for 4-7 p. m. (August 18, 2012) at Lebanon United Methodist Church, on Old Forbes Road in Ligonier Township. Supper will be available along with various peach desserts and other baked goods.

Even politicians recognize the value of peaches, as demonstrated by Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator and GOP presidential nominee wannabe who went “peachy’’ in Iowa in an attempt to appeal not just to Iowa Republicans’ hearts, but to their stomachs, too…Republican presidential candidates offer something special to draw supporters to the Ames straw poll in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses. This election cycle’s straw poll will be held Saturday (August 13, 2011).

So what special something is Santorum offering in Iowa?…He told a small Iowa gathering that he and his wife, Karen, have some fruit trees back home. He said the family harvested about 600 early peaches, which he and the kids peeled and made into peach jam at their house, along with about 40 jars of peach preserves that the Santorums are bringing to the straw poll.

Everyone is expected to get a sample of what Santorum referred to as “Pennsylvania Presidential Peach Preserves.”2


No wonder the peach is king. It is low in calories, have virtually no fat, and are high in vitamins C and A, dietary fiber, potassium and niacin.

Sweet, juicy summer treat originally thought to have originated in Persia, but now believed to be native to China, most likely brought to the Mediterranean by Chinese traders and to the Americas by Spanish explorers.

Peaches are grown in more than 60 countries; the U.s.—particluarly Georgia and South Carolina—is a major producer…1


Santorum wasn’t the first American politician who recognized the value of peaches. George Washington, best known as a general and president, could teach Santorum about (more…)

May 11, 2010

Immigration is Positive for the USA



I observe with regret that the law for the admission of foreigners was not passed during this session, as it is an important moment to press the sale and settlement of our lands. From a letter written by William Bingham to Gen Henry Jackson, April 9, 1793*


     From the birth of the United States into the present time, immigration has had advocates. In the 1790s, immigration was supported by land speculators, who hoped to make it rich by settling their lands with immigrants.


     My interest in immigration issues was piqued during my research for a historic journal paper and a historic romance novel, both set in the 1790s. Many of the characters in my novel—including Gen. Henry Knox, Col. William Duer, Gen. Henry Jackson, Madame Rosalie de Leval, even Pres. George Washington—were land speculators. Except for Washington, they favored immigration to supply the settlers to fulfill their land purchase contracts.

     In Roy L. Garis’s book on immigration** I discovered the “great immigration” controversy that existed in the decades immediately following the American Revolution.

     My intention is not to indicate any personal preference or bias in the immigration issue. It is to present both sides of the issue as found in early United States documents. This post offers immigration pros. To read the negative views of immigration click on Immigration is Negative for the USA.


In William Penn’s time (starting 1682), all immigrants, regardless of their religious or ethnic background were welcomed. (In Philadelphia) Quaker immigrants arriving in need of financial assistance were given or lent money interest free, but the others (who were not Quakers) became the responsibility of the city. The Friends established the first alms house in the city in 1713…Poor of all faiths lived there in cottages and were encouraged to work. In 1717 the Assembly ordered that a “workhouse” for the colony be built in Philadelphia within three years. With the Friends’ alms house meeting much of the need, public officials continuously delayed construction. The first public alms house finally opened in 1732…it had separate facilities for the indigent and the insane, and also an infirmary…#


     As early the 1730s, Samuel Waldo encouraged immigration: (due to) certain difficulties having arisen in regard to the Muscongus Patent (Maine)…thirty miles square—about a million acres…between the Penobscot and Muscongus Rivers…one-half the patent…set off in 1762…was bestowed on (Samuel Waldo)…he subsequently became proprietor of five-sixths of the entire patent…thereafter known as the Waldo Patent…he planned and executed measures for peopling (this land)…(he) invited immigration

(to continue reading, click on )


Intertwined Love: Novel Synopsis—

Immigration is Negative for the USA

Doing Historical Research in Philadelphia

Eyes in shades of purple

Dog Fighting & Cock Fighting: Cultural Phenomenon?

From the Bastille to Cinderella

May 8, 2009

The French military in America during the American Revolution: Part II




Part II

French relations with women in America

 Newport, Rhode Island, played an important part in the American Revolution by housing military personnel who arrived from France to help the Americans. Excerpts from three journals, kept by Jean Francois Louis Clermont-Crèvecœur, comte de; Jean Baptiste Antoine de Verger, and Louis Alexandre Berthier, provide material for this second post on Newport, Rhode Island and American women. To read Part 1, click on The French military in America during the American Revolution Part 1.

      In 1780 women in America were very pale and seemingly frail. The men were “tall and well-built,” although some were big, fat and lacked vigor.

     This was according to diarist Jean Francois Louis Clermont-Crevecœur, one three French military officers in M. le Comte de Rochambeau’s army who kept journals which extensively described their observations and thoughts about Revolutionary America. The army spent the winter of 1780 in Newport, Rhode Island. Along with the other two diarists, Jean Baptiste Antoine de Verger and Louis Alexandre Berthier, Clermont-Crevecoeur recorded his keen observations about Americans and their dating/marriage habits. Observations from two other diarists, Prince de Broglie (in 1782) and Comte de Segure, add to the word picture painted by Clermont-Crevecoeur, Verger and Berthier.

     Americans had a lifespan of sixty years, Clermont-Crevecoeur wrote. Some rare residents lived to be (more…)

May 6, 2009

The French military in America during the American Revolution Part 1


Part 1

Newport, Rhode Island, played an important part in the American Revolution by housing military personnel who arrived from France to help the Americans. Excerpts from three journals, kept by Jean Francois Louis Clermont-Crèvecœur, comte de; Jean Baptiste Antoine de Verger, and Louis Alexandre Berthier, provide material for this post on Newport, Rhode Island. This is Part 1 of a continuing discussion of the French in Rhode Island. To read the next segment click on The French military in America during the American Revolution: Part II

     During the night of October 30/31, 1780, a snowfall blanketed the navy ships that were transporting M. le Comte de Rochambau’s army to their winter quarters in Newport, Rhode Island. On the morning of the 31st, a thick mist enveloped the ship’s sails. “There was great activity as they hoisted their anchors to proceed to (more…)

March 31, 2009

Madame Rosalie de la Val: A Character Sketch



A Character Sketch

Since March is Women’s History Month, and March 8 was International (Working) Women’s Day, I developed a character sketch on Madame Rosalie Bacler, a French émigré who came to the United States during the French Revolution, and who was a “working” woman, a “noble” who planned a French refugee colony in the Massachusetts Territory of Maine. Whenever I “introduce” this historical female to people, they become fascinated. Madame is the main character in the historical romance novel that I am attempting to write.

     Madame Rosalie Bacler de la Val, a French émigré who came to the United States to escape the atrocities of the French revolution, was an independent land speculator/settler in what is known today as Hancock County, Maine. In the 1790s, this region it was the Maine Territory of the State of Massachusetts, part of the Penobscot Land Tract purchased from the State of Massachusetts by land speculators Henry Knox and William Duer.
     Only about ten percent of the post-American Revolution land speculators worked independently, outside a company. None, as far as I have encountered, were women—much less (more…)

February 19, 2009






     The blog category, NOVEL SEGMENTS, will present information and scenes being developed for a historic romance novel to be written in three sections. Numerous actual romances intertwine throughout the segments. One romance replicates Tennyson’s poem, Enoch Arden.
     The writing is historical in that it follows real people in real situations. It’s a novel because conversations must be created and scene material filled in. Characters cannot be interviewed, since the dateline of the story is about 1786 to 1845. However, numerous lines are factual, since they come from actual documents.
The complete tale travels from Boston, Massachusetts to Revolutionary France to the Virginia-Boston Atlantic corridor to Lamoine, Maine, British Guiana, and finally ends in Alencon, France.
     The first few segments being posted recreate a political backdrop of the novel. The romance parts will follow. The first segment was:
A 1786 MEETING IN VERMONT (Novel #1) Visit the category “1790s BACKGROUND at for interesting background information.

     On March 8, 1787, the Ohio Company met at Bracket’s Tavern, Boston, where accounts showed that 250 Ohio Company shares, at $1,000 a share, were sold. This provided them with $250,000 to purchase land in the Ohio section of the Northwest Territory. Three directors—Rufus Putnam, Samuel Parsons and Manasseh Cutler—were appointed to apply to Congress for a private land purchase in the Northwest Territory, and to bargain on its price.  Dr. Cutler was ill, and did not attend.
     “Since the Doctor sold the most shares, over one hundred, and his skills are such that could lead us to success, I think we should appoint him to go to New York and purchase as much land as our money will buy,” Rufus suggested. “Samuel, you could go with him.”
     “It won’t be easy, negotiating for a private purchase of land,” Samuel noted.
 “No, it won’t,” Rufus acknowledged. “But surely Dr. Cutler will agree. (more…)

August 16, 2008

RAINBOW’S END Conclusion

RAINBOW’S END Conclusion

To read previous segments click on: RAINBOW’S END Part 1 &  RAINBOW’S END Part 2 & RAINBOW’S END Part 3

     Rushing Waters tipped his cup, lightly sipping its contents. As his pain abated, he laid back, thinking about several European men whose spirit, like his, was moved by Mountain-Laurel.

     In 1749 he’d met Peter Kalm, from a country named Sweden across the big waters. Peter favored (more…)

August 13, 2008




To read previous parts of Rainbow’s End click: RAINBOW’S END Part 1 and/or RAINBOW’S END Part 2

     He separated from the others, who continued their journey without him. He could follow the rough path later. Lowering himself onto soft pine needles, he saw a stunning stand of Mountain-Laurel under a nearby canopy of maple leaves. He sipped a small cup of weak tea to sooth his body, sore from the trek. Refreshed, he lit his pipe before symbolically depositing his pain in the thick, unpassable Mountain-Laurel branches and inhaling hope from the slight scent of a myriad of blossoms. Watching the smoke swirl upwards, he saw visions (more…)

August 11, 2008



To read Part 1 of Rainbow’s End click: RAINBOW’S END Part 1

    Although Rushing Waters never again tried to eat Mountain-Laurel leaves he did discover the joy of climbing the crooked, twisted plant trunks. He sought out shrubs less tangled than the one he had attempted to crawl through at age two, and discovered he should bypass the shrub’s dark brown red-tinged flaky rough bark in favor of the newer stems with their smoother, rather fuzzy bark. One day in his fourth summer, when he climbed an older stem, its brittle branch (more…)

August 10, 2008



     Rushing Waters hobbled away from the fire, stumbling occasionally as sweat prevented his wrinkled hand from grasping a walking stick. Although he took care not to lose water from the cup he held in his other hand, sporadic droplets spilled onto the rich soil or escaped to moisten one of the many rocks cropping up from the pits of the land.

     From the fire to the oak tree roots was only twenty paces. This distance would have meant nothing to his former strong muscles, but now…now, in his fortieth spring, he wondered (more…)

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