FC 061 Hanging Ruth Blay with Carolyn Marvin

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Carolyn Marvin, author of the book Hanging Ruth Blay: An Eighteenth-Century New Hampshire Tragedy.

Bio

Carolyn Marvin currently works as a research librarian at the Portsmouth Athenaeum in Hanging Ruth Blay with Carolyn Marvin on Fieldstone CommonPortsmouth, New Hampshire. Previously, she worked in both public and school libraries. Ms. Marvin lives in a tiny ivy-covered brick house in Portsmouth with her granddaughter, three cats, Dante the Westie, and lots of fish.

Book Summary

On a cold December morning in 1768, thirty-one-year-old Ruth Blay approached the gallows erected for her execution. Standing on the high ground in the northwest corner of what is now Portsmouth’s old South Cemetery, she would have had a clear view across the pasture to the harbor and open sea. The eighteenth-century hanging of a schoolteacher for concealing the birth of a child out of wedlock has appeared in local legend over the last few centuries, but the full account of Ruth’s story has never been told. Drawing on over two years of investigative research, author Carolyn Marvin brings to light the dramatic details of Ruth’s life and the cruel injustice of colonial Portsmouth’s moral code. As Marvin uncovers the real flesh-and-blood woman who suffered the ultimate punishment, her readers come to understand Ruth as an individual and a woman of her time.

Hanging Ruth Blay with Carolyn Marvin on Fieldstone CommonBook Info

Title: Hanging Ruth Blay: An Eighteenth-Century New Hampshire Tragedy

Publisher: The History Press (2010)

Trade paperback; 125 pages with end notes, bibliography and some BxW photos and illustrations.

Hanging Ruth Blay: An Eighteenth-Century New Hampshire Tragedy is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview we explore the difficult situation of out of wedlock births and the legal and moral ramifications they had in society. Ruth Blay was ultimately hanged for concealing the birth of a bastard child though she was not convicted of infanticide. There are very fine lines drawn between what an 18th century woman is expected to do at the time of birth and what can land her in trouble with the courts. While we may never know why she behaved the way she did, we do have Ruth’s poignant confession where she is defiant and defending her innocence to the last.

Prize Winners

Two copies of Hanging Ruth Blay were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the the History Press.

The winners are:

  • Clare Gunning of New York
  • Annemare Taylor of Massachusetts

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the History Press for their generosity in donating the books!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

News & Announcements

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 061)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 61 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

FC 060 Ocean-Born Mary with Jeremy D’Entremont

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Jeremy D’Entremont, author of the book Ocean-Born Mary: The Truth Behind a New Hampshire Legend.

Bio

Jeremy D’Entremont, author of Ocean-Born Mary, has been writing about and Ocean-Born Mary with Jeremy D'Entremont on Fieldstone Commonphotographing the lighthouses of New England since the mid-1980s. He’s the author of more than ten books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and other maritime subjects. He’s the historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation, founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and the webmaster of New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide which can be found at www.newenglandlighthouses.net. He is also the owner and tour operator for New England Lighthouse Tours. Jeremy lives in Portsmouth, NH.

Book Summary

Ocean-born Mary with Jeremy D'Entremont on Fieldstone CommonMeet Mary: ocean-born and named by an infamous pirate. Her birth saved a group of Scottish immigrants aboard a ship bound for New England in 1720. Halfway through the grueling voyage, pirates intercepted and captured the vessel. Upon hearing a baby’s cry, the pirate captain promised to spare the lives of all on board if the mother named her newborn Mary, possibly after his beloved mother. The ship arrived safely in Massachusetts, and Mary lived most of her long life in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Discover the house in Henniker, New Hampshire, that Mary is said to haunt and where a pirate purportedly stashed his treasure. Historian Jeremy D’Entremont separates the facts from the fantastic legends shrouding one of New England’s most enduring folk tales.

Book Info

Title: Ocean-Born Mary: The Truth Behind a New Hampshire Legend

Publisher: The History Press (2011)

Trade paperback; 126 pages with an appendix, bibliography and some BxW photos and illustrations.

Ocean-Born Mary: The Truth Behind a New Hampshire Legend is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview we dive into the original tale of Ocean-born Mary and follow the development of the tale in published forms through the years starting in the 1800s. In the 20th century a gentleman named Gussie Roy lived in Robert Wallace’s home which he called the Ocean-born Mary house. Gussie was responsible for many of the embellishments to the story. We also explore some ghost stories as well as the likelihood of which real life pirate was the inspiration for the tale.

Heather Rojo, President of the Londonderry, New Hampshire Historical Society, has written a blog post (with photos) about Ocean-Born Mary to coincide with the release of this interview. Stop by her blog and see some artifacts from Ocean-Born Mary herself!

Prize Winners

Two copies of Ocean-Born Mary were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the the History Press.

The winners are:

  • Peg Cronk of California
  • Linda Denton of Kentucky

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the History Press for their generosity in donating the books!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

News & Announcements

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 060)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 60 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the link above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.