Too Much Time Has Passed

I have been absent for far too long!

After almost two years without a computer I am finally back on board. Anxious to get back to blogging and writing about all the amazing ladies in our American history.

So much has happened these past few years and I can’t wait to share all the great news.

Posted in Masque of the Revolution | 2 Comments

Happy 237th Birthday America

Two hundred thirty-seven years ago today a gathering of powerful, smart and victorious men signed the most famous piece of paper in our history.

We celebrate that day with fireworks and barbeques with friends and family to honor that glorious day in 1776. For the men and women under General George Washington’s command it was time to get back to work. We had won the country, but the battle to keep it was just getting started.

Most are under the impression that the signing of the declaration was the end of the Revolution. Only fourteen months old, the war was in the beginning stages at that time. It would take another seven years to finalize our stand for freedom as an independent country. On September 3, 1783 the Treaty of Paris was signed and the war was officially over.

We’ve come along way in the last 237 years. Our country has progressed in unbelievable ways that I am certain those men could not ever imagine was possible. We always thank the men and women for serving our country. It is an honor that many of us don’t realize comes from the heart. It is a passion, for some a calling to serve in the military. It is that determination and the soul of how we came to be what we are today, The United States of America.

Happy 4th of July everyone. Be safe, celebrate today and remember not only the men and women who are serving now, but all those who have served in the military for the past 237 years.

Grave site of Deborah Sampson, a.k.a. Robert Shirtliff, foot soldier from the 4th Massachusetts Regiment. Revolutionary War.

Grave site of Deborah Sampson, a.k.a. Robert Shirtliff, Continental Army foot soldier from the 4th Massachusetts Regiment. Revolutionary War

 

 

 

Posted in Masque of the Revolution

Teresa L. Watts, Author

We read and revel about the women in history who conquered barriers, spoke out loud on their beliefs, fought enemies with grace and intelligence everyday. I bet they weren’t sitting on the couch thinking about what they were going to do. We never read about that. Because it didn’t exist, couches were not part of the furniture in homes of the early days. If you sat on the “couch” all day, first you would be naked, there would be no food, no water, no candles to light so you could see, or blankets to cover you from the cold seeping through the walls. Before outsourced manufacturing they had to make every single item needed to survive. Think about taking a week to do one load of laundry…

It seems in today’s world you only hear about women doing such above matters AFTER they have hit the bottom. This disturbs me…

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Posted in Masque of the Revolution

Teresa L. Watts, Author

Gannett Family Grave site Deborah Sampson a.k.a. Robert Shurtlieff

Rock Ridge Cemetery, Sharon Massachusetts November 2010

Me at Deborah Sampson’s Grave site, Sharon Massachusetts November 2010.

I recently found out a male resident in Sharon Massachusetts has taken a keen interest in Deborah Sampson and is writing her story. GREAT! I wish him much success.

During my research of women in US History, Deborah is one of the most fascinating women I discovered. But… men writing about women has always rang too technical to me. Which always takes me back to conversations I have with women about men and history. “It’s done their way and they forget about the ladies.” “That’s why it’s called HIS-story” I giggle a little. The dividing line between men and women always gives me a little giggle, I can’t help it.

As a woman I research between the lines. It’s what we do, we are known for beating the facts…

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Posted in Masque of the Revolution

Women’s History, Women’s Suffrage Movement; Anna Howard Shaw

“as a little girl preaching alone in the forest…to a congregation of listening trees.”

~Anna Howard Shaw

What a profound statement. These are the words that a twenty-three year old Anna Howard Shaw spoke to Dr. Peck when he invited her to give her first sermon. The success of this led her down the path to preaching. In 1880, Shaw became the first woman in America to be ordained in the Methodist Protestant Church.

Though Shaw known best for her role in the Woman’s Suffrage Movement achieved many successful accomplishments, but her path was as many women who became the first in anything in history was a long hard struggle.

As a little girl Anna recalled the vivid memory of her mothers reaction upon arriving in the newly opened West. Her father an established businessman in New England wanted the freedom and the land given to those willing to settle in the west. Sending his wife and children on to their new home in Michigan, a young Anna remembered the excitement her mother had thinking she would enjoy a luxurious Victorian style farmhouse like the one she had while living in the established East. The sad reality remained in Anna’s memory upon the family arriving at the log cabin. Her mother found the bare rugged one room cabin nestled deep in a wooded area, forty miles from anything. As she opened the door and stepped inside she dropped to her knees and sobbed. The stricken emotion remained with her mother forever. The children plowed fields, planted crops and worked from sun up to sun down. Anna often took laborious jobs like digging ditches and wells just to help out financially. Anna blamed her father for his selfish act and the emotional suffering of her mother. Anna took a teaching job to help supplement the financial burden of the family at age fifteen.

Through her years of teaching Anna wanted nothing more than to go to college. Her family frowned on her chosen career path of preaching and refused any financial help for an education. She was given an option, give up preaching or go to college. Not willing to give in she went hungry and cold living in attics and working to pay her own way through Albion College.

Women were given options to do only one thing in their life. They didn’t have the luxury of variety or seeking a self supported life. After graduating from Albion College Anna went on to Boston University and in 1886 received her M.D.. During her college years she became an advocate on political rights for women, a very outspoken one at that.

She rallied, debated, lectured and lobbied for women’s rights. Two years after graduating from Boston University she attended her first meeting of the International Council of Women and met Susan B. Anthony who encourage her to join the National Women’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Holding a key position in the association she encouraged the merge between NAWSA and the AWSA (American Women’s Suffrage Association). The merging of the two associations created a unified suffrage movement.

Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw died July 2,1919 at the age of seventy-two. A few months before congress ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

She never married and portrayed with great tenacity that women did have a variety of options and experience a self sufficient life. Upon her death she was a Methodist Minister, a medical doctor and a suffragist.

Teresa L. Watts

Historical Author discovering amazing women in US History, one gal a time.

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No Change and Our Country Continues

I voted in the 2008 elections as I did in many before them and didn’t think that much about the process. At the time I hadn’t found a genre that I felt comfortable with and fiddled around with different ideas and emerged myself into the business of writing without committing to a specific story. By late 2009 I had settled into the historical genre. The journey and discovery of women in our American history became my passion. I couldn’t get enough and more research led to more discoveries of the many unspoken heroines long before my time. I fell in love with every one of them. I wanted to know them, to know more about them, to sit down in conversation and really listen to their words and feel the passion that drove them to do what they did – to be heard, to no longer stand two paces behind the men and remain silent. It was a long, difficult process that took a savvy group of smart, determined women many years to make my walk into the voting booth a reality.
In 2012 I voted and this time it had triumphant meaning. I could feel the energy of the ladies before me smiling, cheering me on as I walked each step into the voting polls and signed the voting roster.

I have made it no secret that I abhor politics. The bantering and judgement that goes with it irritates me. I grow tired of all the ads, and the words of others TELLING me what I’m supposed to think, who I’m supposed to like on voting day. Oh my gawd shut up! Now, I think back and bet the ladies who started it all in 1848 felt the same way. This I share with them and have to laugh at this connection I have with them. I bet they said the same as me, ‘shut up I’ll think the way I chose. It is not your decision it is mine and mine alone.’

So today even though the candidate I voted for didn’t win the election I am very proud that I have the opportunity to cast my vote and be counted in the historical making for the leader of our country. For that, I thank the ladies. For one who gets to hang out at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for another four years, and I didn’t vote for him the first time around either, the reality remains, no matter who gets to live in the historical home is going to screw it up according to one group and doing a fabulous job according to another. So on the subject of politics I remain silent. I don’t like anyone telling me what I’m supposed to think. It’s this time of year I don’t log into social media,  watch very little news broadcasts and hurry to get past the headlines that dominate my home page. Some people say I keep my head in the sand. No, I just don’t make my views public. It’s a subject I don’t verbalize out loud.

As a country we embrace the process with passion and pride. Americans continue to exercise the right to speak and be heard whether we agree or disagree with the final decision. Just as our ancestors before us, politics are what this country was founded on and the root of our existence in this country. But… as I have said before and I say now, there is more in what we do in our lives on a day-to-day basis that do not involve politics just as the women before me. This is the basis of my research of women in American History.  The strength we have, the passion we hold within us to know what needs to be done and we simply get it done.

Teresa L Watts, author of women in American History

 

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National Women’s History Museum – Don’t Tell Me I Can’t

I had to blog about this exciting new project the NWHM is doing. Don’t Tell Me I Can’t is a grassroots public service announcement campaign to educate and motivate Americans to support the NWHM. These young actors portray notable women in history and well guess who’s in there? Yep, Deborah Sampson. My gal has a lot to tell us. 

Help spread the word and support this awesome campaign!

http://nwhm.org/html/involved/donttellme/index.html?utm_source=don%27t+tell+me+i+can%27t&utm_campaign=donttellme&utm_medium=email

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