Before I ever started working on The Smuggler's Gambit, I had done a lot of studying about not only smuggling in the colonial era, but what prompted otherwise law-abiding men to do it. It happened in all sorts of ways and by men you might otherwise not expect. In May 1764, the month following the passage of the Sugar Act, Samuel Adams said this: “For if our Trade may be taxed why not our … [Read more...] about Smuggling in Colonial America: What drove good men to do it?
Kevin Duffus, author of The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate and 2015 NC Historian of the Year has this to say about The Smuggler's Gambit. "The Smuggler’s Gambit will transport you in time to a formative period in our nation’s history, when young Colonial Americans like Adam Fletcher bravely faced life-changing choices, moral perplexities, and danger at every turn. Perfectly paced with … [Read more...] about The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate author Kevin Duffus endorses The Smuggler’s Gambit
Many elements of The Smuggler's Gambit were inspired by real incidents that I uncovered while doing genealogical research—from the idea of forced apprenticeships, to the truth about Blackbeard, and many other bits and pieces of information. In the book, there is a reference to one of the female characters being an heiress, but being bound to some key restrictions that had been placed upon her … [Read more...] about Creative Ways of Protecting Women’s Property and Interests in 18th Century America
A well-known figure on the pirate re-enactments circuit, as well as a ship-builder, author, and certified 'Pirate-Privateer', Captain Horatio Sinbad knows a thing or two about adventure on the high seas, as well as in coastal towns like Beaufort, North Carolina, the home port of his ship, MEKA II. Now, he lends his hearty endorsement to The Smuggler's Gambit, the first novel in the Adam … [Read more...] about Capt. Horatio Sinbad gives his hearty endorsement to The Smuggler’s Gambit
Advance copies of The Smuggler's Gambit circulating ahead of its March 20, 2015 release are garnering lots of good feedback so far. Children's Literature has written this review: "With a seamless plot and vivid characters, this novel set in Port Beaufort, North Carolina in 1765, captivates the reader’s imagination. When seventeen-year-old Adam Fletcher chooses to recklessly defend his single … [Read more...] about Review — The Smuggler’s Gambit “captivates the reader’s imagination”
The Smuggler's Gambit is set in 1765 in what was at the time known as Port Beaufort (modern day Beaufort, NC). Although Port Beaufort was positioned right on the coast of North Carolina, it wasn't a place that saw heavy shipping traffic. This is because Beaufort had no means of connecting to points further inland. In other words, there were no rivers that ran directly from Port Beaufort into … [Read more...] about What kinds of things were imported to Port Beaufort, North Carolina in 1765?
In The Smuggler's Gambit, 17-year-old Adam Fletcher is the son of a young, single mother in a port town in 1765 North Carolina. When he finds himself in trouble with the law, he is forced into an apprenticeship to avoid a harsher criminal punishment. As events unfold in his new life with a local shipping merchant as his master, Adam soon finds himself caught in the middle of a smuggling … [Read more...] about Apprenticeships in Colonial America: Educational opportunity or cheap labor? It all depends…
The Smuggler's Gambit is set in 1765 and deals with shipping and smuggling, so one of the key trades in that line of work was coopering. In fact, when Adam Fletcher begins his apprenticeship with a local shipping merchant, the area in which he begins his training is as a cooper. Coopers in Colonial America were standard fixtures on ships, as well as on plantations, breweries, wineries, … [Read more...] about Coopers in Colonial America – Everything You Wanted to Know
In The Smuggler's Gambit, Adam finds himself in a situation where he needs to turn to some basic skills to survive when he is marooned on an island. It could be said that Adam and his contemporaries probably knew a lot more about basic survival techniques in the wilderness than we do today. These days, modern conveniences have made the need for such knowledge seem superfluous to some. The … [Read more...] about Basic Skills 101: Survival, or How Our Colonial Ancestors Were Smarter Than Us