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
Salutary Neglect was a term that referred to an unofficial policy practiced by English authorities wherein they would turn a blind eye to various violations in the American colonies—especially relating to trade. Why would they enact legislation that created certain trade restrictions or tariffs and then not enforce it? Because they knew that people do more business when there aren't a whole … [Read more...] about What was Salutary Neglect and why did things get bad when it ended?
Charles Townshend, the man for whom the Townshend Acts of 1767 are named, was someone who liked to stir the proverbial pot. But don't take my word for it. "Townshend ingeniously sought to take money from Americans by means of parliamentary taxation and to employ it against their liberties by making colonial governors and judges independent of the assemblies." — Historian John C. Miller "If … [Read more...] about The Townshend Acts (1767) – Townshend’s efforts to “stir the pot” worked, but he died before his laws went into effect
Remember when Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said this? "[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it. . ." Boy, that sound-byte was all over the place almost as soon as she said it! What was it about that statement that got people so riled up? It was vague. It gave no concrete declarations about what could be expected from the Affordable Care Act legislation, more commonly known … [Read more...] about The Declaratory Act (1766) – King George & Co. declare, “We can do whatever we please.”
When Parliament voted to thrust the burdensome Stamp Act upon American colonists, they also imposed passed along side it a piece of legislation called the Mutiny Act of 1765. (The first Mutiny Act was passed in 1689, but was renewed every year until 1879 as Britain's way around the Bill of Rights prohibition on the existence of a standing army during peace time.) The purpose of the Mutiny Act of … [Read more...] about The Quartering Act (1765) – Colonists forced to foot the bill to house His Majesty’s soldiers