FC 97 An Extraordinary Family with Liz Petry

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is author Liz Petry. This week’s discussion is a little different because we are not speaking about a particular book. Instead we are talking with Liz about her inspirational and extraordinary family which include two of the first licensed African American Pharmacists in the state of Connecticut and her mother, Ann Petry who was the first best selling female African American author.

Bio – Liz Petry

With more than 10 years of experience in journalism and a degree in law, Liz Petry has Elisabeth Petryfound great rewards in researching and writing two books about aspects of the African American experience. Her first book “Can Anything Beat White?: A Black Family’s Letters,” explored the lives of her maternal grandmother’s family as they traveled to Hawaii, the Philippines and parts of the Deep South between the 1890s and 1910. Her second book, “At Home Inside: A Daughter’s Tribute to Ann Petry,” is a memoir about her amazing and multifaceted mother, the renowned author, Ann Petry. Liz is currently working on a new non-fiction book that engages topics beyond her family and beyond the twentieth century.

Publication Info

Title: Connecticut Explored Magazine

Publication Date: Fall 2014

Article: “Just Like Georgia Except for the Climate,” by Elisabeth Petry

The Interview

In this interview Liz Petry and I discuss her family’s transformation from Southern escaped slaves to educated middle class residents of Connecticut. Her grandfather, Peter Lane, was the first male African American pharmacist in the State of Connecticut and her great aunt, Anna Louise James, was the first female African American pharmacist. Her mother was the first African American Best Selling Author in the United States. We dig deep into her heritage and discuss the successes and challenges that her family has faced through the generations.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Books by Ann Petry

Please see the WikiPedia listing above for other books by Ann Petry.

Books By Liz Petry

Prize Winner

A one-year subscription to Connecticut Explored Magazine is given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Connecticut Explored.

The winner is:

  • To be announced next week

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Connecticut Explored Magazine for their generosity in donating the subscription!

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!

The Direct Link to this post is
http://www.fieldstonecommon.com/liz-petry

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Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 97)?

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 97 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 95 The British Raid on Essex with Jerry Roberts

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Jerry Roberts, the author of the book The British Raid on Essex: The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812. This book re-introduces a part of the War of 1812 that was erased from American history.

Bio – Jerry Roberts

Jerry Roberts has been in the history business for over 30 years. He has served as Vice President in charge of Exhibits at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum in New York City, Executive Director of Connecticut River Museum in Essex CT, and Battlefield Historian for The British Raid on Essex with Jerry Roberts on Fieldstone Commonthe British Raid on Essex Project. He has designed and built over forty exhibits, has written or co-written several books and documentaries and has published dozens of newspaper and magazine articles.

Roberts is an avid sailor and merchant marine master and has navigated the eastern seaboard in small boats and historic vessels from The Gulf Coast to Nova Scotia.

He now lives overlooking the Connecticut River with his wife and two children where he continues to write about adventures large and small while designing exhibits and public programs.

Book Summary

This is the dynamic account of one of the most destructive maritime actions to take place in Connecticut history: the 1814 British attack on the privateers of Pettipaug, known today as the British Raid on Essex. During the height of the War of 1812, 136 Royal marines and sailors made their way up the Connecticut River from warships anchored in Long Island Sound. Guided by a well-paid American traitor the British navigated the Saybrook shoals and advanced up the river under cover of darkness. By the time it was over, the British had burned twenty-seven American vessels, including six newly built privateers. It was the largest single maritime loss of the war. Yet this story has been virtually left out of the history books—the forgotten battle of the forgotten war. This new account from author and historian Jerry Roberts is the definitive overview of this event and includes a wealth of new information drawn from recent research and archaeological finds. Illustrations and detailed maps bring the battle to life.

Publication Info The British Raid on Essex with Jerry Roberts on Fieldstone Common

Title: The British Raid on Essex: The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2014)

Hard cover; 197 pages with appendices including transcriptions of original documents, a chronology, end notes and an index.

The British Raid on Essex is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Jerry Roberts captivates us with the riveting story of a long forgotten but dramatic raid on the town of Essex, Connecticut during the War of 1812. The casualties during the raid were minor but the devastation was great with the destruction of over 25 vessels being built in Essex. Learn about the traitor who helped the British navigate their way up the Connecticut River and how the British escaped despite being surrounded by American troops.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of The British Raid on Essex: The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812 is given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Wesleyan University Press.

The winner is:

  • To be announced next week

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Wesleyan University Press for their generosity in donating the book!

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!

The Direct Link to this post is
http://www.fieldstonecommon.com/british-raid-essex-jerry-roberts

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 95)?

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 95 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 84 – African American Connecticut Explored with Katherine Harris

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Dr. Katherine J. Harris, one of the main contributors to the book African American Connecticut Explored.

Bio – Dr. Katherine Harris

Katherine J. Harris, Ph.D. is a lecturer at Central Connecticut State University. She serves on the State Historic Preservation Council and the site selection committee for the Connecticut Freedom Trail. She is the author of Pan-African Language Systems: Ebonics and African Oral Heritage, African and American Values: Liberia and West Africa, The American Values Projected Abroad Series, and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s African Diplomacy is due out soon.

African American Connecticut Explored on Fieldstone Common

The Book Team: (left to right) Elizabeth J. Normen, Katherine J. Harris, Wm. Frank Mitchell, Stacey K. Close, Olivia White. (Photo by John Groo.)

Book Summary

The numerous essays by many of the state’s leading historians in African American Connecticut Explored document an array of subjects beginning from the earliest years of the state’s colonization around 1630 and continuing well into the 20th century. The voice of Connecticut’s African Americans rings clear through topics such as the Black Governors of Connecticut, nationally prominent black abolitionists like the reverends Amos Beman and James Pennington, the African American community’s response to the Amistad trial, the letters of Joseph O. Cross of the 29th Regiment of Colored Volunteers in the Civil War, and the Civil Rights work of baseball great Jackie Robinson (a twenty-year resident of Stamford), to name a few. Insightful introductions to each section explore broader issues faced by the state’s African American residents as they struggled for full rights as citizens. This book represents the collaborative effort of Connecticut Explored and the Amistad Center for Art & Culture, with support from the State Historic Preservation Office and Connecticut’s Freedom Trail. It will be a valuable guide for anyone interested in this fascinating area of Connecticut’s history.

Contributors include Billie M. Anthony, Christopher Baker, Whitney Bayers, Barbara Beeching, Andra Chantim, Stacey K. Close, Jessica Colebrook, Christopher Collier, Hildegard Cummings, Barbara Donahue, Mary M. Donohue, Nancy Finlay, Jessica A. Gresko, Katherine J. Harris, Charles (Ben) Hawley, Peter Hinks, Graham Russell Gao Hodges, Eileen Hurst, Dawn Byron Hutchins, Carolyn B. Ivanoff, Joan Jacobs, Mark H. Jones, Joel Lang, Melonae’ McLean, Wm. Frank Mitchell, Hilary Moss, Cora Murray, Elizabeth J. Normen, Elisabeth Petry, Cynthia Reik, Ann Y. Smith, John Wood Sweet, Charles A. Teale Sr., Barbara M. Tucker, Tamara Verrett, Liz Warner, David O. White, and Yohuru Williams.

Publication InfoAfrican American Connecticut Explored on Fieldstone Common

Title: African American Connecticut Explored

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2013)

Hard cover; 422 pages with with end notes for many chapters, bibliography, an index and some photos.

African American Connecticut Explored is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Dr. Harris and I talked about the history of slavery in Connecticut, when it started and how it ended. We also talked about the unusual practice of the African American community, starting in the 1700s, to elect Black Governors. We talked about successful New Haven resident William Lanson. And Martin Luther King Jr. even made a cameo appearance in this discussion of Connecticut history.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of African American Connecticut Exploredwas given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Wesleyan University Press.

The winner is:

  • Cheryll Toney Holley of Massachusetts

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Wesleyan University Press for their generosity in donating the book!

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!

The Direct Link to this post is
www.fieldstonecommon.com/african-american-ct-katherine-harris

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 84)?

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 84 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 73 Becoming Tom Thumb with Eric Lehman

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Eric D. Lehman, author of the book Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P. T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity.

Bio

Eric D. Lehman directs the creative writing program at the University of Bridgeport, as well as teaching both writing and literature. Although he has taught over twenty different courses, his signature class is the Literature of Travel and Adventure. He is the editor of the school literary magazine, Groundswell, and of the faculty essay series, The Have you listened to the interview with George Morgan and Drew Smith yet? You won't want to miss this one! www.FieldstoneCommon.comCommons. In his spare time, he researches Henry Miller, writing academic essays for Nexus: The International Henry Miller Journal.

In addition to Becoming Tom Thumb, Eric has published six books including: A History of Connecticut Wine: Vineyard in Your Backyard, Bridgeport: Tales from the Park City, Hamden: Tales from the Sleeping Giant; Insiders’ Guide to Connecticut, A History of Connecticut Food, co-written with his wife, and Afoot in Connecticut.

Eric is also an editor of and contributor to the Connecticut Literary Collective, a guide to literary journals for Connecticut writers. His essays, reviews, poems, and stories have been published in dozens of journals and magazines such as The Writer, Gastronomica, Antique Trader, and the New Haven Review.

Originally from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, he moved to Connecticut fifteen years ago and fell in love with the state. He believes that history and travel help us know the place we live, and therefore know ourselves.

You can learn more about Eric Lehman at his website.

Book Summary

When P. T. Barnum met twenty-five-inch-tall Charles Stratton at a Bridgeport, Connecticut hotel in 1843, one of the most important partnerships in entertainment history was born. Gravestone of General Tom Thumb aka Charles StrattonWith Barnum’s promotional skills and the miniature Stratton’s comedic talents, they charmed a Who’s Who of the 19th century, from Queen Victoria to Charles Dickens to Abraham Lincoln. Adored worldwide as “General Tom Thumb,” Stratton played to sold-out shows for almost forty years. From his days as a precocious child star to his tragic early death, Becoming Tom Thumb tells the full story of this iconic figure for the first time. It details his triumphs on the New York stage, his epic celebrity wedding, and his around-the-world tour, drawing on newly available primary sources and interviews. From the mansions of Paris to the deserts of Australia, Stratton’s unique brand of Yankee comedy not only earned him the accolades of millions of fans, it helped move little people out of the side show and into the lime light.

Book InfoBecoming Tom Thumb by Eric D. Lehman on Fieldstone Common

Title: Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P. T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2013)

Hardcover; 246 pages with end notes, bibliography, an index and BxW photos and illustrations.

Becoming Tom Thumb is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Eric and I talk about Charles Stratton, the successful man. It’s hard to call him Tom Thumb after reading this book and seeing him as a real person. This story will challenge all the preconceived notions you have of General Tom Thumb. He was smart, talented, entertaining and a leader in his community. We discuss, as well, the success of P.T. Barnum and the prejudices faced by little people later in the 19th century.

Prize Winners

Two copies of Becoming Tom Thumb were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Wesleyan University Press.

The winners are:

  • Joan Conklin of Massachusetts
  • Melinda Tarbox of Texas

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to Wesleyan University 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!

The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/becoming-tom-thumb-eric-lehman/

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 73)?

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 73 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 70 Post Roads and Iron Horses with Richard DeLuca

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Richard DeLuca, author of the book Post Roads and Iron Horses: Transportation in Connecticut from Colonial Times to the Age of Steam.

Bio

Richard DeLuca earned a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from Manhattan College in Post Roads and Iron Horses with Richard DeLuca on Fieldstone CommonNew York, and a Master of Science degree in transportation planning from the University of Connecticut at Storrs. He has ten years of experience in the field of engineering as a transportation planner with the Connecticut Department of Transportation and with the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency.

In 1978, he moved to San Francisco, after which he pursued a career as a writer, focusing on California history. He was a member of the California Historical Society, a volunteer teacher in the Society’s docent program, and past president of the Society’s docent association. His article on the Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island and the origins of the Native American civil rights movement was published in California History, and received the society’s Alice J. Clark award for twentieth-century history in 1984.

He and his wife returned to Connecticut in 1998. For the past ten years he has been at work on a two-volume history of Connecticut transportation from the colonial period to the present. The first volume, Post Roads & Iron Horses, was published by Wesleyan University Press in December of 2011, and covers the history of Connecticut transportation from colonial times through the age of steam. A second volume on transportation in the twentieth century is in progress. He has presented his research at several history conferences, including the Dublin Seminar, and published several articles in Connecticut History, the journal of the Association For The Study of Connecticut History. His latest article, Competition v. Monopoly: Transportation and the Law in Nineteenth Century Connecticut, appeared in the fall 2010 special issue of Connecticut History celebrating the 375th anniversary of the state’s founding. He also served as the membership chair for ASCH from 2003 to 2005, and is currently on the editorial board of Connecticut History.

You can contact Richard through the publicist at the Wesleyan University Press.

Book Summary

Post Roads & Iron Horses is the first book to look in detail at the turnpikes, steamboats, canals, railroads, and trolleys (street railroads) that helped define Connecticut and shape New England. Advances in transportation technology during the nineteenth century transformed the Constitution State from a rough network of colonial towns to an industrial powerhouse of the Gilded Age. From the race to build the Farmington Canal to the shift from water to rail transport, historian and transportation engineer Richard DeLuca gives us engaging stories and traces the significant themes that emerge as American innovators and financiers, lawyers and legislators, struggle to control the movement of passengers and goods in southern New England. The book contains over fifty historical images and maps, and provides an excellent point of view from which to interpret the history of New England as a whole.

Book InfoPost Roads and Iron Horses: Transportation in Connecticut from Colonial Times to the Age of Steam

Title: Post Roads and Iron Horses: Transportation in Connecticut from Colonial Times to the Age of Steam

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2011)

Hardcover; 251 pages with 3 appendices, end notes, a bibliography, an index and lots of  BxW photos and illustrations.

Post Roads and Iron Horses is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

A discussion about transportation in Connecticut is a really a discussion about transportation in the Northeast. Connecticut is a main corridor for travel between New York and Boston. Likewise much travel northward to Springfield, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire happened via the Connecticut river. In this interview we talk about everything from Native American footpaths to town and country roads to steamboats, canals and, of course, iron horses (trains).

We discuss how people reacted to the arrival of railroads and the change from “local time” to standardized time because of train schedules. For more on the discussion of standardized time, Marian recommended checking out a recent episode, “On the Clock: A (Brief) History of Time” from the program Backstory with the American History Guys.

Prize Winners

Two copies of Post Roads and Iron Horses were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the Wesleyan University Press.

The winners are:

  • Leighton Symonds of New Hampshire
  • Sue Kissel of Arizona

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the Wesleyan University 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!

The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/post-roads-iron-horses-richard-deluca/

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 70)?

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 70 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 062 Vampires: Food for the Dead with Michael Bell

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Michael Bell, author of the book Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires.

Bio

Michael E. Bell was awarded a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University at Bloomington, where his dissertation topic was African-American voodoo practices. He also has an M.A. Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England's Vampires with Michael Bell on Fieldstone Commonin Folklore and Mythology from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology from the University of Arizona, Tucson. For more than twenty-five years, Bell was the Consulting Folklorist at the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission in Providence, Rhode Island. He has also taught folklore, English, and anthropology at several colleges and universities. Dr. Bell has served as a scholar or consultant on numerous projects, particularly those concerned with folklore, folk art, oral history, and humanities programs for young adults. These projects have taken a variety of forms, including primary research and fieldwork, exhibits, publications, school curricula, workshops and lectures, festivals, performances, and media productions. In addition to many state and local grants, project funding sources have included the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution. Bell has completed a variety of publications and media productions on topics ranging from local legends and the magical black cat bone to the occupational folklife of the shell fishing industry of Narragansett Bay. He lives in Pawtuxet Village, near Providence, Rhode Island.

You can learn more about Michael at his website www.foodforthedeadcom.com. Also, check out his schedule of upcoming appearances.

Book Summary

For nineteenth-century New Englanders, “vampires” lurked behind tuberculosis. To try to rid their houses and communities from the scourge of the wasting disease, families sometimes relied on folk practices, including exhuming and consuming the bodies of the deceased. Author and folklorist Michael E. Bell spent twenty years pursuing stories of the vampire in New England. While writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Henry David Thoreau, and Amy Lowell drew on portions of these stories in their writings, Bell brings the actual practices to light for the first time. He shows that the belief in vampires was widespread, and, for some families, lasted well into the twentieth century. With humor, insight, and sympathy, he uncovers story upon story of dying men, women, and children who believed they were food for the dead.

Book InfoFood for the Dead: On the Trail of New England's Vampires with Michael Bell on Fieldstone Common

Title: Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2011)

Trade paperback; 337 pages with appendices, end notes, works cited and some BxW photos.

Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Michael Bell and I explore the folk stories and folk beliefs behind the tragic epidemic of tuberculosis that lead some New Englanders to believe that they were being sickened and fed upon by the dead. New England vampirism differed greatly with traditional mass media images of Eastern European vampires.  In New England the practice arose from the fear and sense of helplessness in combating the spread of tuberculosis.  Yet it had the very real consequence of exhuming loved ones who had died from the disease and the ritual treatment of their bodies to put an end to further deaths of family members. Is vampirism in New England for real? Listen to the interview and decide for yourself!

Prize Winners

Two copies of Food for the Dead were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the Wesleyan University Press.

The winners are:

  • Kathy Hyde of California
  • Rice Jackson of Texas

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the Wesleyan University 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 062)?

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 62 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.