FC 93 At the Point of a Cutlass with Greg Flemming

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Gregory N. Flemming, the author of the book At the Point of a Cutlass: The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape, and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton. This book tells the fantastic story of a fisherman’s capture by a notorious pirate and his risky and dramatic escape.

Bio – Gregory N. Flemming

Gregory Flemming spent more than three years researching At the Point of a Cutlass, which tells for the first time the complete story of Marblehead fisherman Philip Ashton and the horrific pirates who captured him.

At the Point of a Cutlass with Greg Flemming on Fieldstone Common

photo: Laura Kallin Kaye

When researching and writing At the Point of a Cutlass, Greg explored many of the key locations in Ashton’s odyssey, from the remote Nova Scotia harbor where Ashton was captured at gunpoint to the Caribbean island of Roatan, forty miles off the coast of Honduras, where Ashton escaped. Much of Roatan’s hilly terrain remains, even today, unpopulated and heavily forested — the eastern part of the island, where Ashton was marooned and lived, is still accessible only by boat.

The book draws not only on Ashton’s own first-person account of his experiences, but also a wealth of other materials, including hundreds of colonial newspaper reports, trial records, and the hand-written logbooks and correspondence from the British warships that patrolled the Bay of Honduras and fought with Edward Low’s pirate crew.

Greg is a former journalist with a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A New England native, he is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire. He lives with his family in New England. You can learn more about Greg at gregflemming.com.

Book Summary

Based on a rare manuscript from 1725, At the Point of a Cutlass uncovers the amazing voyage of Philip Ashton — a nineteen-year old fisherman who was captured by pirates, escaped on an uninhabited Caribbean island, and then miraculously arrived back home three years later to tell his incredible story.

Taken in a surprise attack near Nova Scotia in June 1722, Ashton was forced to sail across the Atlantic and back with a crew under the command of Edward Low, a man so vicious he tortured victims by slicing off an ear or nose and roasting them over a fire. “A greater monster,” one colonial official wrote, “never infested the seas.” Ashton barely survived the nine months he sailed with Low’s crew — he was nearly shot in the head at gunpoint, came close to drowning when a ship sank near the coast of Brazil, and was almost hanged for secretly plotting a revolt against the pirates.

Like many forced men, Ashton thought constantly about escaping. In March of 1723, he saw his chance when Low’s crew anchored at the secluded island of Roatan, at the western edge of the Caribbean. Ashton fled into the thick, overgrown woods and, for more than a year, had to claw out a living on the remote strip of land, completely alone and with practically nothing to sustain him. The opportunity to escape came so unexpectedly that Ashton ran off without a gun, a knife, or even a pair of shoes on his feet. Yet the resilient young castaway — who has been called America’s real-life Robinson Crusoe — was able to find food, build a crude shelter, and even survive a debilitating fever brought on by the cool winter rains before he was rescued by a band of men sailing near the island. Based on Ashton’s own first-hand account, as well trial records, logbooks, and a wealth of other archival evidence, At the Point of a Cutlass pieces together the unforgettable story of a man thrust into the violent world of a pirate ship and his daring survival and escape.

Publication Info  At the Point of a Cutlass with Greg Flemming on Fieldstone Common

Title: At the Point of a Cutlass: The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape, and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton

Publisher: ForeEdge, An Imprint of University Press of New England (2014)

Hard cover; 241 pages with end notes, a bibliography, an index, and some photos and illustrations.

At the Point of a Cutlass is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Greg Flemming and I talk a lot about pirates! Philip Ashton, a fisherman from Marblehead, Massachusetts was taken captive for nine months by the notorious pirate Edward Low. We dive into a discussion about pirate culture, what it means to be a pirate and what life was like on board the ship. We also talk about the resources and challenges of researching in the early 18th century. This is a really fascinating tale you won’t want to miss!

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of At the Point of a Cutlass is given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of ForeEdge.

The winner is:

  • To be announced next week

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to  ForeEdge 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/point-of-cutlass-greg-flemming

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 93)?

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 93is the number of the episode.

 

FC 90 Fort Halifax with Daniel Tortora

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Daniel J. Tortora, the author of the book Fort Halifax: Winslow’s Historic Outpost.

Bio – Daniel J. Tortora

Daniel Tortora is an assistant professor of history at Colby College. An expert on early American and Native American history, he speaks extensively on the French and Indian Fort Halifax Winslow, Maine Habs photo (LOC)War and Revolutionary War eras. He leads battlefield and historic tours and has contributed to numerous films, archaeological projects, websites, exhibits and research projects. In 2011, he was appointed to the Fort Halifax Park Implementation Committee.

Book Summary

Winslow has grown up around Fort Halifax in its many, many incarnations. Beginning as a French and Indian War garrison and trading post, the fort welcomed historic figures from Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr to Paul Revere and Chief Joseph Orono. Reduced to one small blockhouse in the 1800s, Fort Halifax hosted archaeologists, travelers, artists, politicians and students. The Flood of 1987 swept away the blockhouse, leaving the fort and its supporters to fight an uphill battle for reconstruction. Throughout varied iterations, uses, trials and tribulations, Fort Halifax has remained the symbol of a community. Join historian Daniel J. Tortora in this engaging narrative of Fort Halifax’s fight for survival. Meet the famous visitors to the fort, the local residents who have cared for it and the figures who have kept its memory relevant and its future hopeful.

Publication InfoFort Halifax with Daniel J. Tortora on Fieldstone Common

Title: Fort Halifax: Winslow’s Historic Outpost

Publisher: The History Press (2014)

Trade Paperback; 158 pages with end notes, a bibliography, an index, and some photos and illustrations.

Fort Halifax: Winslow’s Historic Outpost is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Daniel Tortora and I discuss the strategic location of Fort Halifax at the confluence of the Kennebec and Sebasticook rivers. Fort Halifax became the most northern outpost for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Though the history of Fort Halifax as an active military outpost was short-lived it was witness to skirmishes with the Native American population and was host Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War.  Much of the story of Fort Halifax is the tenacity of its survival and its rebirth with the help of the Daughters of the American Revolution and devoted preservationists.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of Fort Halifax: Winslow’s Historic Outpost is given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of The History Press.

The winner is:

  • To be announced next week

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to The History 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/fort-halifax-daniel-tortora

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 90)?

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 90 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 83 – Rebecca Dickinson with Marla R. Miller

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Marla R. Miller, author of the book Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman.

Bio – Marla R. Miller

Marla R. Miller, a historian of early American women and work, has made a career uncovering the lives of women who left little in the way of documentary record. She is a professor of Marla Miller on Fieldstone Commonhistory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and directs the Public History program there. She has won the Organization of American Historians’ Lerner-Scott Prize for the best dissertation on women’s history and the 1997 Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Colonial History.

This is Marla’s second visit to Fieldstone Common. She appeared on the July 4th, 2013 episode to talk about her other book, Betsy Ross and the Making of America.

Book Summary

Rebecca Dickinson’s powerful voice, captured through excerpts from the pages of her journal, allows colonial and revolutionary-era New England to come alive. Dickinson’s life illustrates the dilemmas faced by many Americans in the decades before, during, and after the American Revolution, as well as the paradoxes presented by an unmarried woman who earned her own living and made her own way in the small town where she was born. Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman, uses Dickinson’s world as a lens to introduce readers to the everyday experience of living in the colonial era and the social, cultural, and economic challenges faced in the transformative decades surrounding the American Revolution.

Publication InfoRebecca Dickinson with Marla Miller on Fieldstone Common

Title: Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman

Publisher: Westview Press (2014)

Trade Paperback; 194 pages with a list or primary sources, end notes, bibliographic essay and an index.

Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Marla and I talk about the diary that acted as the background for Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman. Rebecca lived through American Revolution to see the birth of the United States. She remained unmarried and supported herself independently as a gown maker. Though she had several proposals of marriage she rejected them. Her life was a careful balance of conscious independence and loneliness.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Womanwas given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Westview Press.

The winner is:

  • Debra Cravens of Wisconsin

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Westview 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/rebecca-dickinson-marla-miller

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 83)?

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 83 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 74 The Dawn of American Independence with Brian Deming

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Brian Deming, author of the book Boston and the Dawn of American Independence.

Bio – Brian Deming

Brian Deming, author of Boston and the Dawn of American Independence on Fieldstone CommonBrian Deming grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has a master’s degree in American history from Northwestern University. He was a newspaper reporter in Brighton and Jackson, Michigan, and in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He also worked as a magazine editor and freelance journalist in Munich, Prague, Tokyo, Manila, San Francisco, and Chicago, as well as Watertown, Massachusetts, and taught American history at the University of New York in Prague. His other books are Jackson, An Illustrated History; Hitler and Munich (with Ted Iliff); and Wind Time, Wolf Time (a novel about the Thirty Years War). He and his wife live in Toronto, where he works as a freelance editor.

You can learn more about Brian Deming at his website, Boston Dawn.

Book Summary

In 1760, no one could imagine the American colonies revolting against Great Britain. The colonists were not hungry peasants groaning under the whip of a brute. They lived well. Land was cheap, wages were good, opportunities abounded. While many colonists hadBrian Deming, author of Boston and the Dawn of American Independence on Fieldstone Common been in the New World for generations, they identified with Britain, and England was still “home.” Yet in the space of just fifteen years these sturdy bonds snapped. Boston—a town of just 16,000—lit the fire for American Independence. Brian Deming explains how and why in his lucid, lively, and deeply researched Boston and the Dawn of American Independence.

To dodge British taxes, Boston merchants for as long as anyone could remember had routinely smuggled in molasses from French and Spanish possessions in the Caribbean. Boston distillers transformed this sweet cargo into rum, the liquid gold traded around the world. But British authorities cracked down on smuggling and imposed the Sugar Act to help pay for the debts incurred during their wars against France. Then came the hated Stamp Act, a tax on documents, newspapers, and printed materials of all kinds. In courtrooms, in the press, and in the streets, Bostonians rallied in protest against taxation without representation. As anger swept America, Boston was at the center of the storm, which burst forth with the infamous massacre and the Boston Tea Party. By 1775, open warfare erupted at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. Boston and the Dawn of American Independence ties these scenes together with the people of the time, including John and Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere, as well as Thomas Hutchinson, the beleaguered Massachusetts royal governor, and James Otis, the bombastic, unstable early patriot. Readers hear their voices, but also those of many amazing, colorful, and memorable personalities— feisty mob leaders, defiant Tories, terrified townspeople. Deming illuminates this epic story with views of everyday life inside taverns, outside newspaper offices, and along the wharves, and the political dramas in London and Philadelphia that shaped the destiny of an empire and gave rise to the world’s first modern democracy.

Book InfoBrian Deming author of Boston and the Dawn of American Independence on Fieldstone Common

Title: Boston and the Dawn of American Independence

Publisher: Westholme Publishing (2013)

Hardcover; 508 pages with end notes, bibliography, an index and BxW photos and illustrations.

Boston and the Dawn of American Independence is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Brian and I talk about the characters involved in politics at the start of the American Revolution such as Thomas Hutchinson, James Otis Jr., Sam Adams, John Hancock and many more. We also talked about the women of the Revolutionary era in Boston such as Jane Mecom, Mercy Otis Warren and Abigail Adams. Since the book was quite a detailed undertaking we talked about Brian’s process for writing and footnoting all the information. At the very end we get into a brief discussion about journalism and all the places his career has taken him over the years.

Prize Winners

One copy of Boston and the Dawn of American Independence was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Westholme Publishing.

The winner is: :

  • Rich Sandler of Oregon

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Westholme Publishing 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/american-independence-brian-deming/

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 74)?

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 74 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 65 A Little Commonwealth with John Demos

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Professor John Demos, author of the books The Unredeemed Captive; Entertaining Satan; and A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. In this episode we discuss these books as well as his career and the state of history in America.

Bio

John Demos was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He graduated from A Little Commonwealth with John Demos on Fieldstone CommonHarvard College, and received his graduate training at Oxford, the University of California at Berkeley, and Harvard. He has taught at Brandeis and at Yale, where he is the Samuel Knight Professor Emeritus of American History. Some of his books include A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony, Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England, for which he received the 1983 Bancroft Prize, and Past, Present, and Personal: The Family and the Life Course in American History. Demos’ The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America received the National Book Award in 1994. More recently he published Circles and Lines: The Shape of Life in Early America.

Book Summaries

Professor John Demos is an expert in early American history. His book A Little The Unredeemed Captive by John DemosCommonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony recreates the life and family structures of members of Plymouth colony in the 17th century. In Entertaining Satan Demos provides an overview of witchcraft in New England in the 17th and 18th centuries. His work The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America focuses on the 1704 Indian raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts. The book describes the taking of the Williams family and the choice of daughter Eunice to remain among the Mohawk community.

Book Info

Books by John Demos:

The Interview

In this interview we discuss how John Demos came to be a history professor and the influence of his years in the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa. We talk about the influence of his book as well as those of three colleagues Ken Lockridge, Philip Greven, and Michael Zuckerman who all wrote seminal New England town studies in the early 1970s which changed the focus of Early American history.

We discussed three of his books – A Little Commonwealth, The Unredeemed Captive and Entertaining Satan and the influences they had on interpreting Early American history. Demos credits Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum for their theory of explaining the Salem Witch Trials on an economic basis in their book Salem Possessed.

His later research into witchcraft was metaphorical as exemplified by the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

John has grown to love material culture and that has manifested in his passion for collecting antiques.

He has had a great influence on a generation of new writer-historians including Jill Lepore, Allegra di Bonaventura, Jack Larkin, Jane Kamensky, Wendy Warren, Peter Silver and many more.

In early 2014 be on the lookout for his next book The Heathen School (Knopf, 2014).

Bonus List

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

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 65)?

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 65 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 64 Artful and Designing Men – A look at Shays’ Rebellion with Gary Shattuck

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Gary Shattuck, author of the book Artful and Designing Men: The Trials of Job Shattuck and the Regulation of 1786-1787. This book explores the topic of Shays’ Rebellion, an uprising of farmers in Massachusetts, that protested unfair tax collection in the economically unstable times following the Revolutionary War.

Bio

Gary Shattuck is a native of Nashua, New Hampshire. He grew up on the west coast and Artful and Designing Men with Gary Shattuck on Fieldstone Commongraduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Anthropology. That’s where he met his wife of forty-one years and they now reside in Vermont. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the Vermont Law School, and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Military History, concentrating on the Revolutionary War.

He served thirty-five years in the law enforcement community as a supervisor with the Vermont State Police, an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Vermont prosecuting cases for the Drug Task Force, and then with the United States Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Vermont working on guns, drugs, and organized crime matters. Following the events of 9/11, he was named anti-terrorism coordinator for the district. He has also served in Kosovo and Iraq working to re-establish their court systems following those particular conflicts. He retired from the department in 2006.

Gary has just completed his second book concerning the devastating effects of Jefferson’s Embargo of 1807 on those living in northern Vermont and which resulted in the murders of three individuals, including two government officials, in the summer of 1808. It will be released in 2014.

You can find more information at the Artful and Designing Men website page and you can follow Gary on his Facebook page.

Book Summary

It is not often that descriptions of historical events can be rewritten absent compelling evidence that those past accounts were somehow in error. But that is precisely the result when new-found court documents, presumed to not even exist, shed surprising new light on the involvement of Capt. Job Shattuck, one of the principal leaders in the event history has come to call Shays’ Rebellion. In Artful and Designing Men: The Trials of Job Shattuck and the Regulation of 1786-1787, Gary Shattuck (half-nephew, seven generations removed) delves deeply into the significant contributions made by this charismatic and well-respected veteran of the Seven Years’ War, the Revolutionary War, and community member as he transitioned from peaceful town father to protest leader. Tried and sentenced to death for high treason, shocking new information provided during his trial now forces a reassessment of this honorable man’s actions, resulting in the deserved rehabilitation of a reputation that history has denied until now.

Book Info Artful and Designing Men with Gary Shattuck on Fieldstone Common

Title: Artful and Designing Men: The Trials of Job Shattuck and the Regulation of 1786-1787

Publisher: Tate Publishing (2013)

Trade paperback; 411 pages with bibliography, index, end notes and a center color insert section.

Artful and Designing Men is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview we discuss how this book came to be – when no records were supposed to exist – and yet Gary Shattuck found them. Those records, court documents, were resting quietly for years at the Massachusetts Historical Society waiting to be found. The documents redefined Shays’ rebellion and Job Shattuck participation in the event.

The story also follows the parallel lives of the Shattuck and Prescott families starting in the 1600s and becoming quite dramatic as the families take opposite sides in Shays’ Rebellion.

This interview will not only explain what Shays’ Rebellion is but will clarify its importance in the development of the constitution and the way the elite interacted with the populace as the United States slowly became an independent country.

Prize Winners

Two copies of Artful and Designing Men were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Tate Publishing.

The winners are:

  • Peter Godenschwager of Ohio
  • Sue Schlichting of Kansas

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the Tate Publishing 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

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 64)?

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 63 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 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.

FC 059 Witches, Rakes, and Rogues with D. Brenton Simons

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is D. Brenton Simons, author of the book Witches, Rakes, and Rogues: True Stories of Scam, Scandal, Murder, and Mayhem in Boston, 1630-1775.

Bio

Witches, Rakes, and Rogues with D. Brenton Simons on Fieldstone Common

D. Brenton Simons

D. Brenton Simons, is the President and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts.

Currently piloting a groundbreaking $50 million capital campaign, Brenton Simons has led the Society to major growth in its national services and scope and to its pivotal role in the popular expansion of the genealogical field in America.

A staff member since 1993 and President and CEO since 2005, he has developed several of the organization’s most popular services, including its website, member magazine, and special publications imprint. In addition, he is the author of several books, including Boston Beheld: Antique Town and Country Views and Witches, Rakes, and Rogues, winner of the 2006 Award of Merit from the Association for State and Local History.

Most recently he produced, with Atlantic Media, a short film on the society, “A Farseeing Vision,” recipient of the 2011 Silver Telly Award. His genealogical articles have appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, The American Genealogist, The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine and elsewhere. A graduate of Boston University, he is a member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, the American Antiquarian Society, the Club of Odd Volumes, the Society of the Cincinnati, and is a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Book Summary

Witches, Rakes, and Rogues with D. Brenton Simons on Fieldstone CommonBostonians of the colonial period may have been Puritans, but they were anything but pure. Witches, Rakes, and Rogues demonstrates that from the city’s founding until the Revolution, Boston’s narrow, twisting streets were crawling with witches, murderers, con men, swindlers, and blackguards.

By digging deep into the city’s records, Simons reveals a veritable rogues’ gallery, and even uncovering the truth – in “Murder by Arsenic: The Ill-fated Greenleaf Children” – about Boston’s first documented serial murder. Other true tales include “The Turbulent Passions of Ann Hibbins,” “The Diabolical Possession of Martha Robinson,” “The Extortion Plot Against Two Gentlemen of Substance,” and stories of bigamists, thieves, miscreants and black sheep.

Book Info

Title: Witches, Rakes, and Rogues: True Stories of Scam, Scandal, Murder, and Mayhem in Boston, 1630-1775

Publisher: The New England Historic Genealogical Society (2006)

Hardcover; 260 pages with end notes, bibliography, index and some BxW photos and illustrations.

Witches, Rakes, and Rogues is available for purchase from Amazon.com, The New England Historic Genealogical Society and other booksellers.

The Interview

Toward the beginning of the interview Brenton Simons read a passage describing the attempted murder of Cotton Mather by a granade thrown through a window.

Later on he read a first hand description by Samuel Breck of people being punished at the whipping post and the pillory and the horrible things the public threw at the criminal.

In the middle of the interview Brenton made reference to a book. It was Legal Executions in New England: A Comprehensive Reference, 1623-1960 by Daniel Allen Hearn.

Prize Winners

Two copies of Witches, Rakes, and Rogues were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

The winners are:

  • Col. John Heavey Jr. of Kansas
  • Celia Lewis of British Columbia, Canada

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the New England Historic Genealogical Society 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 059)?

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 59 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.

The 300th Anniversary of the Old State House

THURSDAY, 28 July 2013 The 300th Anniversary of the Old State House in Boston

This week on Fieldstone Common, Marian Pierre-Louis interviews Nathaniel Sheidley, the historian of the Old State House in Boston, Massachusetts.

This year the Old State House in Boston is celebrating its 300th anniversary. In celebration of this occasion Marian Pierre-Louis, host of Fieldstone Commons takes a tour on-site at the Old State House to learn about the significant contributions made to United States history, particularly around the time of the American Revolution. Marian is hosted on the tour by Old State House Historian, Nathaniel Sheidley. Join us for an up close look at American history.

Dr. Nathaniel Sheidley on Fieldstone CommonDr. Nathaniel Sheidley is the senior Historian and Director of Public History at the Bostonian Society. Originally from Connecticut, Dr. Sheidley attended Stanford University as an undergraduate and received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University. Prior to joining the Bostonian Society, Dr. Sheidley was a member of the faculty at Wellesley College, where he taught American History for ten years. Dr. Sheidley has written and taught courses about a wide range of subjects, including Native American history, gender history, and the history of the American Revolution. Most recently, Dr. Sheidley authored the entry on the American Revolution for the 2011 edition of The World Book Encyclopedia. He is currently finishing a plate on the American Revolution in Boston for The Atlas of Boston History.