Category: History – General

Phoebe Couzins – First Female U.S. Marshal

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. Last month I started a series of articles about 10 amazing women who paved the way for females in various branches of law enforcement. January’s post focused on Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton Agent. (If you missed it, you can read it HERE)

This month I want to talk about Phoebe Couzins, the first woman to be appointed to the U.S. Marshall service.

Growing up, Phoebe’s parents taught her to view public service as something to be valued. They were a couple who truly walked the walk. For instance, when Phoebe was about six years old, St. Louis was devastated by a terrible cholera epidemic where thousands of residents perished. John and Adaline Couzins stepped forward and headed up the local relief organization that was responsible for helping the victims.

And that was only one instance of many. Among other things, John Couzins, was an architect and builder, served as a Union Major during the Civil War, and became Chief of Police in St. Louis. Adaline Couzins, was also quite active. She served as a nurse during the Civil War, tending soldiers on the battlefield at Wilson Creek, Shiloh, and Vicksburg. During the course of this, she herself was actually wounded at Vicksburg.

Which may be why, as she grew, Phoebe pushed against the boundaries imposed on nineteenth century women in a BIG way.

In 1869, she became a delegate to the American Equal Rights Association Convention in N.Y. That same year, Phoebe spoke on behalf of women suffrage to a joint meeting in the Missouri State General Assembly. She advocated the passage of State legislation granting women the right to vote. Unfortunately the proposal was ultimately rejected by a vote of 89-5.

Later that year, Phoebe was one of the first women to enter Washington University in St. Louis law school when they opened admission to women, and in 1871 she became the second woman in the nation to graduate with an L.L.B. degree. A big proponent of equality for women, once she graduated she stated that she primarily pursued a law degree in order to “open new paths for women, enlarge her usefulness, widen her responsibilities and to plead her case in a struggle which [she] believed surely was coming. . . . I trust the day is not far distant when men and women shall be recognized as equal administrators of that great bulwark of civilization, law.”  After graduating, she went on to become the second licensed attorney in her home state of Missouri and the third licensed attorney in the entire United States. Eventually she was also admitted to the bar associations of Arkansas, Utah, and Kansas, as well as the Dakota Territory federal courts.

In 1884, Phoebe’s father was appointed as the U.S. Marshal in eastern Missouri. Her father then named her a deputy U.S. Marshal, which placed her among the first women to hold that position. When John Couzins died in 1887, President Grover Cleveland asked Phoebe to step into the position temporarily, making her the first woman U.S. Marshal. She only held the position for two months, however, leaving the service altogether when she was replaced by a male.

As I mentioned above, Phoebe was a strong proponent of women’s rights. She was active in the suffrage movement for many years, as had been her mother. In the early days of the twentieth century she made the following statement: ”… today we round out the first century of a professed republic,—with woman figuratively representing freedom—and yet all free, save woman.” And she also stated “Until we are large enough to think of mind, of genius, of ability without the consciousness of sex, we are yet in the infancy of our development, we belong in kindergarten.” 

Unfortunately, Phoebe’s life did not end well. As the years passed, her strong personality and outspoken ways rubbed her associates and fellow suffragists the wrong way, eventually leaving her with few friends. At the age of sixty-eight, she found herself in a dire situation – destitute, in failing health, and unable to work – so she returned to St. Louis. She died there in December of 1913.

Phoebe was buried with her U.S. marshal’s badge pinned to her chest in an unmarked grave in Bellefontaine Cemetery. Only six people, including her brother, attended her funeral. It was a sad ending to a remarkable life.

However, in more recent years, Phoebe’s life and groundbreaking accomplishments have received more appropriate recognition.

In 1950 Phoebe Couzin’s final resting place received a marker. In that year, to acknowledge Phoebe’s many groundbreaking accomplishments, the members of the Women’s Bar Association of St. Louis placed a simple stone monument on her final grave.

And in 2000 , Phoebe, as well as Lemma Barkeloo (another early female lawyer) were honored by the establishment of the Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins Professor of Law Chair at the Washington University school of law.

There you have it, a very brief sketch of the trailblazing life of yet another brave and ahead-of-her-times woman. What struck you most about her? If you’d already heard of her, did you learn anything new, or do you have more to add to her story?

Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a drawing for winner’s choice of any book from my backlist.

 

 

Before There Was a Texas, There Were Texas Rangers

I’m on the last draft of the third book in my Haywire Brides series (at least I hope it’s the last draft). My male protagonist is a Texas Ranger and, as some of you might have guessed from my earlier books, that’s my favorite type of hero to write about.

The Texas Rangers have a long and checkered history, starting in 1823. When Stephan F. Austin hired ten men to protect the frontier, he probably never imagined that nearly two hundred years later, the force would still be going strong.  

Those early Rangers were called various names including mounted gunmen, mounted volunteers, minutemen, spies, scouts and mounted rifle companies.  The term Texas Rangers didn’t come into use until the1870s.

Maintaining law and order on the frontier wasn’t easy, but those mounted gunmen still managed to move with quick speed over long distances, and settle trouble on the spot. Those early rangers were called upon to serve as infantrymen, border guards, and investigators.  They tracked down cattle rustlers and helped settle labor disputes.  They both fought and protected the Indians.

The job didn’t come cheap.  A man was expected to provide his own horse and it had to be equipped with saddle, blanket and bridle.  A man also had to supply his own weaponry, which included rifle, pistol and knife. 

As for clothing, a Texas Ranger wore what he had.  It wasn’t until the Rangers became full-time professional lawmen in the 1890s that many started wearing suits.  (Today, Rangers are expected to wear conservative western attire, including western boots and hat, dress shirt and appropriate pants.)

He would also have carried a blanket, and cloth wallet for salt and ammunition.  To alleviate thirst, a ranger would suck on sweetened or spiced parched corn.  Dried meat, tobacco and rope were also considered necessities. What he didn’t carry with him was provided by the land. It was a tough life and it’s not hard to guess why a man seldom lasted more than six months on the job.

Those early professional Rangers received twenty-five dollars a month in pay and worked hard for it. An officer’s pay was seventy-five dollars.

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame

Today, the Texas Rangers enjoy a stellar reputation, but that wasn’t always the case. Frontier justice could sometimes be harsh and cruel, and some Rangers fought according to their own rules. This led to excesses of brutality and injustice, including the massacre of unarmed citizens.  The Rangers were reformed by a Legislature resolution in 1919, which instituted a citizen complaint system.

The Texas Rangers have undergone many changes and transformations through the years. But the biggest change of all probably has such legendary Rangers as John B. Jones and Big Foot Wallace a-whirling in their graves; The Texas Rangers recently allowed women to join the ranks.  (Hmm.  I feel a story coming on.)

I told you the kind of heroes I like to write.  What kind of heroes do you like to read about?

“This book charms.”  Publishers Weekly

Amazon

B & N

iTunes

Updated: January 18, 2019 — 2:16 pm

Off Your Rocker

You may think this an odd title for a post (Linda has finally lost it) but you’ll soon see how it fits. In exactly two weeks from today THE OUTLAW’S MAIL ORDER BRIDE will launch. This starts a new four-book series called Outlaw Mail Order Brides and I’m so excited about this project.

This series is a bleed-over from Men of Legend. Luke Legend and his wife Josie have started a private bride service for men and women living in the shadows. Clay Colby and Tally Shannon are characters that first appeared in Men of Legend. Clay was a trail boss for Houston in The Heart of a Texas Cowboy and Tally first appeared at the end of To Love a Texas Ranger and played a bigger part in To Marry a Texas Outlaw.

Tally and a group of women had escaped the Creedmore Lunatic Asylum and were hiding out in Deliverance Canyon. Readers wrote me, wanting their story so they’re getting it.

After two years living in fear of discovery, Tally decides it’s time for change. With Luke and Josie hand-carrying letters back and forth, Tally agrees to marry Clay. Only a wanted man will know how to protect her. Finally, she’ll be able to lift the burden from her shoulders and let someone care for her.

And Clay does from the start. She’s the wife he’s longed for and the little blind girl she brings with her becomes his daughter.

But I want to talk about the horrors of early mental institutions. Number one is that they had zero oversight. People who ran them could do whatever they wanted with these people. Nor did they require any proof of insanity. Often families wanted to get rid of certain ones and these institutions provided a way. Give them some money and they’d relieve you of your problem. In some cases it became big business.

That’s what Tally’s stepmother did. She wanted to wrench the family estate from Tally and have it all so she incapacitated her, drove her to the asylum and handed her over along with a bag of money along with instructions to make Tally’s life a living hell.

Here are some actual reasons on one mental institution’s books for taking a person:

  • Imaginary Female Trouble
  • Deranged Masturbation
  • Political Excitement
  • Asthma
  • Seduction and Disappointment
  • Fever and Jealousy
  • Domestic Trouble
  • Religious Enthusiasm
  • Blindness
  • Novel Reading (WHAT!!)

These are just ridiculous and there are lots more I didn’t list. Anything could be an excuse up until 1955 when some oversight finally came along. That it took so long is crazy!

Since we all read romance, we could’ve been institutionalized back then if our family didn’t want us!!

So, are you off your rocker or missing some marbles? Maybe you’re an overzealous cook or like to sit around daydreaming. You could be certifiable. What reason could your family have given? Have fun with this. I’m giving away THREE copies of THE OUTLAW’S MAIL ORDER BRIDE!! Plus, each will also get one of my calendars.

I’m also announcing a SALE! All of my Texas Heroes is marked down. If you haven’t read them and want to, now is the time to get them cheap. Or maybe you’re only missing one from the set. Now’s your chance.

 

 

AMAZON  |  B&N  |  iBOOKS  |  KOBO 


Pets — Then and Now

Howdy!

Welcome to the New Year!  May this new year bring all good things.  Did you make any new New Year’s Resolutions?

Must admit that I have not done so, yet — mostly because my schedule is rather long each day and rather intense.  Somewhere along the line this year, I hope to garner out a little bit of free time in which to think about the last year and what I’d like to do differently.

But, be that the case, if you have made resolutions and would like to share them, I would love to hear about them.  Might give me some ideas. 

Well, today I thought we might talk a little bit about our pets — today and yesterday.

Did you know that many of my pets help me to write books?  It really is true.  Over to the left here is my little boy, Georgie.  Georgie is a rescue that I found when I was away from home, in Florida.  He was so tiny when I found him, I realized that something must have happened to his mother.  He was living by eating the plant life in the area, and he was completely wild.

So I sat with him outside (he, always at a distance) and fed him and talked to him each night.  Then one night he followed me into my rented room, and that was it.  He’s been with me ever since.

Georgie helped me to write the book, BLACK EAGLE.  He helped by lying next to me as I was writing, and by listening to me as I explained the plot to him.  Sometimes he’d give me weird looks if he didn’t understand something, and I’d go in an “fix” that section. 

 

Then we have Midnight Thunder.  Midnight was another rescue that my brother-in-law found at a gas station.  Midnight was begging for food, and he gained not only food, but a home.  My brother-in-law gave him to me.  Midnight sat with me through the writing of the book, NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE, and in fact that title was picked because my brother-in-law found Midnight Thunder at night, thus the title of the book is inspired by Midnight, or maybe it was the other way around — not sure.  Although he is no longer with us, he was lost to us twice, and each time we found him.  But the last time we found him, he had been found and taken to a shelter.  We discovered him there.  But in order to take him back from the shelter, he had to receive a round of shots, which disagreed with him very much.  He was already rather old, and he got very sick after receiving those shots, I’m afraid, and…well the rest doesn’t need to be stated.  He was quite a wonderful cat.  He got on well with all of our neighbors, including dogs and cats.  In fact, many of our neighbors didn’t know us well, but they certainly knew Midnight.  We miss him to this day.

Next we come to Sierra.  Sierra was originally my daughter’s pet, but she was unable to keep her while she was in college, and so she gave her to me.  Sierra acted like a princess and we even called her princess.  Do you see in this picture that there is a crown above her head?  We didn’t put that there.  Interesting that the photograph captured that.  Sierra helped me write the book, THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF.  The personality of Princess Sierra in the book was, indeed, drawn from the personality of Sierra.

 

Then there is Kali.  The picture to the left is of me as a child, with a cat on my lap.  Many of my early photos include me holding dogs or cats.  Well, this picture isn’t of Kali, but the only online picture I have of Kali is on my website under tours — and all that info is protected and so I can’t lift it — but here is the url:  http://novels-by-karenkay.com/tours-photos/booktour-and-special-friends-july-2003/.  If you scroll down, Kali is the calico in a basket.

The heroine in the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE is drawn from Kali.  The heroine’s name is Kali and the character’s personality was caught not only from my cat, but from a movie actress from the 30’s that I admired very much.  Kali was another rescue — again from Florida.  She had been abandoned by her family when they moved.  I was out for a walk and she followed me 8-9 blocks to my motel.  She became mine, and was with us many, many years.

Over to the left here is Robere.  Robere was another rescue by my husband from the pound.  Unfortunately, he was with us only a little while and he died fairly young.  We believe that he might have been poisoned by our neighbors, but we aren’t certain.  All we know is that one night he got sick, and the next day he was gone.

He was a sweet, sweet, sweet, beautiful boy.  His legacy is caught in my new book, BRAVE WOLF AND THE LADY.  That main character is a combination of Robere’s personality and an artist that I admire very much, who was known to be a very sweet and kind gentlemen.

Then we have our dogs, both of them were rescues from the Blackfeet reservation.  These dogs discovered us while we were on the reservation with a project called, SOMETHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT.  They adopted us, and when it came time for us to go home, we couldn’t leave them behind.

Yoda, the one in front, had almost died on the reservation when he bit into an electric cable.  My husband brought him back around, and he was never far from my husband’s side after that.  Wolf, as we call the rather large collie — who also has some other breed of dog that’s very big — is a sweetie pie.  So sweet, in fact, that he loves everybody.  To this day, there are two female dogs in the neighborhood that claim Wolf as their own sweetheart.

In the world of the North American Indian, there are many accounts of pets.  I’ve read of pet deer, pet wolves, pet coyotes, pet birds, and of course some of smartest horses ever known.  I’ve even read of Crows who have been known to have saved several different war parties from harm by warning them of the enemy.

One of the most interesting accounts of those long-ago pets is that of a pet wolf who went out with his master on war raids.  This was the inspiration for the wolf’s personality in the book, WOLF SHADOW’S PROMISE.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed our little get-together today.  I’d love to hear your stories of your pets and how they have influenced you.  Oh, and did I mention that I’ve be giving away an e-book of the winner’s choice to some lucky blogger.  So come on in and leave a message.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated: January 8, 2019 — 8:05 am

Kate Warne – First Female Pinkerton

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas and the happiest of New Years!

I recently read an article about 10 amazing women who paved the way for females in various branches of law enforcement. Some of the names I was familiar with, some not, but I learned new tidbits about even the ones I’d already heard of.  So I thought I’d share what I learned with you. But to do these stories justice, I’m going to spread them over a series of articles rather than try to squeeze them all into one post.

The first one, speaking chronologically, is also the one I was most familiar with, Kate Warne.

In 1856 Kate walked into the Pinkerton National Detective Agency office seeking a position. To Allan Pinkerton’s surprise, she was not looking for a clerical position, but that of a field agent. It took quite a bit of convincing, but the 23 year old widow was more than up to the task. She calmly described the many potential benefits a female detective could offer, such as an ability to manipulate targets into believing she was on their side and confiding in her in a way that men could never manage.

Despite his initial skepticism, Pinkerton never had reason to regret his decision to hire the indomitable Kate. She proved her worth on the first major case she worked on. She was assigned to the investigation of possible embezzlement of funds at the Adams Express Co. The primary suspect was a Mr. Maroney. Kate immediately befriended Mrs. Maroney. She gained the woman’s confidence so much that not only did she learn the information she need to prove Mr. Maroney’s guilt but she managed to find and recover almost 80 percent of the money that had been stolen.

Within four years of hiring her, Pinkerton was convinced that there would be immeasurable value to him to have more female operatives in his organization. So in 1960 he opened a Female Detective Bureau and put Kate in charge.

Of course this didn’t put an end to Kate’s field work. At one point Pinkerton assigned five agents, Kate among them, to investigate secessionist threats against the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. Based on their field reports Pinkerton became convinced that there was an assassination plot against then President-elect Lincoln to take place during his trip to Washington DC for his inauguration. It was Kate who confirmed that not only did this plot exist, but she learned the specific time and location where it was to take place. She also played a key role in the secret alternate travel arrangements that foiled the assassins’ plans.

The start of the Civil War saw Kate’s role change from that of investigator to that of spy while she continued to serve as Superintendent of Female Detectives. Using over a dozen assumed names and her spot-on southern belle impersonation she worked both down south and in the north, successfully gathering needed intelligence.

After the end of the war, Kate continued on her course as a valuable senior member of the Pinkerton team. There is no telling how far she would have gone, but alas, while the ‘bad guys’ could not best her, her health did. In January of 1868, still in her mid 30s, Kate contracted a lung infection and died.

In his book The Spy of the Rebellion, Pinkerton wrote of Kate Warne  “Of rather a commanding person, with clear-cut, expressive features, and with an ease of manner that was quite captivating at times, she was calculated to make a favorable impression at once. She was a brilliant conversationalist when so disposed, and could be quite vivacious, but she also understood that rarer quality… the art of being silent.”

There you have it, a very brief sketch of the trailblazing adventures of this brave and adventurous woman. What struck you most about her? If you’d already heard of her, did you learn anything new, or do you have more to add to her story?

Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a drawing for winner’s choice of any book from my backlist.

Updated: January 6, 2019 — 4:38 pm

Send in the Cavalry! by Regina Jennings

Regina Jennings

 

Please welcome Regina Jennings

who starts off our Friday Guest Posts for the New Year!

 

Regina is a wife, a homeschooling mother of four,
a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, and a voracious reader.
She is also the author of award-winning humorous,
inspirational, historical romantic fiction.

Miss Regina is giving away a print copy of her newest release ~
The Lieutenant’s Bargain
to one lucky person who comments!

 

By Regina Jennings

When I first heard about the competition, I couldn’t believe my luck. You mean there will be cavalry re-enactors showing off their cavalry skills at Fort Reno, the setting of my current series? Yeah, sign me up!

In late September, the U.S. Cavalry Association held their Bivouac and National Cavalry Competition at Fort Reno, Oklahoma—the setting of my current series. Once again, the fort sounded with pounding hooves, stirring bugles and that bluster and swagger that occurs before any contest. Now, I’m always supportive of events that honor our past, but this was at the fort…my fort! It was like I was standing beside Louisa and Major Adams watching the goings-on at the parade grounds.

In the first book of the series, Holding the Fort, most of the story takes place in the General’s House, which was the residence of the highest-ranking officer on the post. The General’s House had a central view of the parade grounds where the men drilled.

Jennings Reno

 

Here, in front of the General’s House, a participant competes in the Mounted Saber competition. The obstacle course includes spearing rings on the blade, slicing through apples, popping balloons and stabbing targets on the ground.

Another competition was Military Field Jumping. Behind this soldier you can see the long barracks that the troopers like Bradley Willis stayed in.

Jennings horse jumping

 

Besides combat horsemanship, mounted sabers, and military field jumping, they were also judged on the authenticity of the era they were portraying. Participants had several different categories that they could choose from. Naturally, I was drawn to those portraying soldiers from the Plains Indian Campaigns, since that’s the time I’m writing about.

These two soldiers are currently stationed at Fort Carson, but they were representing troopers from Fort Concho, Texas, during the Plains Indian Conflicts.

 

They are judged on the historical detail of their uniforms, weapons, gear and tack. Finding these guys is a researcher’s dream! I learned that they would’ve carried more ammo than food, because if you have ammo, usually you can get food. There’s not much room in those bags for fluff, but they liked having both a canteen and a tin cup.

And even though it was a toasty day, they favor the caped overcoat when they want to make an impression. I have to agree with them.

See the heart on the breast collar of the horse –

 

According to these presenters, the heart meant that the horse had already seen combat. Is that true? I haven’t found that referenced anywhere else, but I’m open to the possibility.

One of the funniest moments of the competition was when this guy was doing his historical authenticity interview. He rode up to the judges in a full Lawrence of Arabia get-up. He did his presentation to the cavalry judges, explaining that he’d been stationed in the Middle East and had put together his gear and clothing while there.

 

The two judges just listened in wonderment. Finally one of them said, “You’re giving me a lot of information, but I don’t have the foggiest idea of how to judge an Arab outfit. All I know is that horse is not an Arabian.”

Being at the Cavalry Competition set up the moment that will always be one of my favorite writer memories– the time my book cover came to life. One of the contestants was competing in the Mounted Saber course, when I realized that it was a scene straight out of The Lieutenant’s Bargain.

See that house behind him?

 

See the house on my book cover?

It’s the same! And while Lieutenant Jack isn’t wearing his caped coat on the cover, you’d better believe it’s a big part of the story!

I’m so grateful that our military encourages their young members to keep the legacy of their units alive through events like this, and I’m doubly grateful that they choose to hold the contests at historical sites. I’d imagine if walls could talk, the buildings at Fort Reno would say that they miss the rowdy cavalrymen and the spirited horses that used to populate their grounds.

If you’re free next September, get yourself to Oklahoma to support these brave men as they honor the heroes that came before them. And not to be pushy, but you might enjoy your visit even more if you’ve read a few fun books set there. Then you too can feel like you’re walking into history.

There’s just something right about bringing the cavalry back to Fort Reno.

Remember to comment to have your name entered
into a drawing for a copy of The Lieutenant’s Bargain!

 ** ** ** ** ** ** **

Find out more about Miss Regina Jennings and her books at ~ 

 http://www.reginajennings.com

 

To purchase a copy of The Lieutenant’s Bargain ~ 

AMAZON  |  BARNES AND NOBLE  |  IBOOKS

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! My Gift to You, an Old, Old Iroquois Legend — Also Free e-book Giveaway

It’s Christmas Time!  It’s a season for giving.  And today I will be giving away not only a free e-book of my latest release, BRAVE WOLF AND THE LADY, but I’ll also be giving away another free e-book of the first in this series, THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF. So come on in, leave a comment, and also please sure to check back here for the winners on either Wednesday or Thursday evening.

One of my most favorite Christmas memories is being told a story the night before Christmas in an attempt to get me to go to sleep.  It didn’t work very well (getting me to go to sleep).  But it is a wonderful memory.

And so I thought I’d regale you with this beautiful story, an ancient, timeless, American Indian Legend. I was late today making the post, and so I’ve posted the legend that I told you last year, but this year, because I’m late, I’m first going to tell you a beautiful story of The Gift of the Creator.  This story is taken from the book, LEGENDS OF THE IROQUIOS, by Tehanetorens.  Enjoy!

 

Long, long ago, an old, old man came into an Iroquois Village.  He was tired and hungry, and his clothing was tattered and torn.  As he walked through the village, he came first to a longhouse of the Turtle Clan.  Pulling on the entryway, he asked for food and lodging for the night.  But he was turned away because he looked to be an old beggar, and he was instructed to go away.

Next the old man came to the longhouse that had the symbol of a snipe on the house — a snipe is a kind of wading bird.  Again, he pulled back on the entryway and he asked for food.  But like before, he was scolded and turned away.  He moved on.

He walked on to the longhouses of many of the other clans, including the Wolf, the Eagle, Beaver and more.  Each time he asked for food and lodging, but each time he was turned away.

Exhausted now, the old man came at last to the very last longhouse in the Iroquois Village.  Pulling back on the cover across the entrance, he was met by an old woman.  Again, he asked for food and lodging for the night.

However, this time the old woman took pity on him, and asked him to come inside, where she treated him to a hearty meal, and invited him to stay for the night.  She made him welcome, giving him warm clothing and warm bedding.

However, the next day, the man was very ill, and he asked the woman to please help him by going into the forest and gathering the roots of a plant.

This she did for him.  When she returned, he guided her on how to make a soup and a tea from the plant, which he then consumed.  Soon he was well.  But it wasn’t long before he became ill once more, and again, he instructed the woman to go out into the forest and to gather the stalk of yet another plant.  This she did.  Again, he instructed her how to make a tea of it, which, when he drank the tea, he became well.

Over and over again, the man became sick, and sent the woman into the forest to pick different herbs and plants, and each time, when he drank the tea, he became well.  One day, the woman came home to the longhouse and found that the old man had become a handsome, young man. 

The old woman became frightened, but the young man told her to be calm.  He told her that he was the Creator, and that because of her kindness to him, he was going to bestow upon her, and the Bear Clan, a wonderful gift: the gift of healing.   And so it came to be.  The old woman became the most respected member of that tribe, and from that day forward, the Bear Clan, and all within it became the Keepers of the Medicine.  The lesson learned is that kindness, empathy, and good-will are always rewarded.  We may not always see it, as did the old woman in this story, and yet, we will, in our own way, be rewarded.

And now comes the story that is so beautiful to read about at this time of year.

 

This is the tale of a girl who married her one, true, love, a man who was a star.  It’s origin is Sioux — I don’t know if that’s Lakota or Dakota or Nakota.  All three are Sioux, just different dialects.  By the way this story comes to us from the book, Favorite North American Indian Legends, printed by Dover.  Before I start, I wanted to say that this story reminds me of a legend from one of my books, Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, which is now in e-books.  Although the story of Soaring Eagle’s Embrace is based on a similar legend as the one I’m telling you today, it is a little different.  Mainly in Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, it was the young man who fell in love with a star.  Okay, that said, let’s pretend we are sitting around a fire in a warm, warm teepee.  The scent of smoke is strong in the air, and loved ones surround us as we wrap ourselves in warm blankets.  And so the storyteller begins:

Long ago, there were two sisters, one whose name was Earth and the other’s name was Water.  This was at a time when all people and animals were in close communication with each other and so the animals supplied the sisters with all their needs.

 One night the sky was clear and beautiful and both sisters looked up to the sky through their wigwam — comment, now we know that this was most likely the Dakota since they were living in Wigwams — anyway, they looked up through the hole in their wigwam and admired the beautiful stars.

Earth said to her sister that she’d had a dream about a handsome young man and that she thought he might be a star.  Water responded saying that she, too, had seen a man in her dreams who was a brave man.

The sisters chose stars that they thought might be these men that they had dreamed of.  Water chose the brightest star for her husband.  Earth chose a little star that twinkled.

Then they slept.  When they awoke, they were in the land of the Sky.  The stars were, indeed, people.  Now it happened that the man that water chose was an older warrior and that the man that Earth chose was a young, handsome man.  Both sisters married these men and they were very happy.

One day the sisters went out onto the plains to dig turnips (a much favored food at this time in history).  Both of their husbands warned them not to strike the ground too hard.  But Earth, in her haste to dig the turnips, struck the ground so hard that she fell through the sky to the ground.

Earth was found and cared for by two older people who tried to help her.  But she was so upset about losing her husband that all she did is cry.  She could not even see her husband in the sky because he had blackened his face because he was now a widower.  Earth waited and waited for him to come to her, but he could not.  However, he did give her a most precious gift.

That night when she went to sleep, she dreamed of a beautiful red star.  It had never been in the sky before.  She knew at once that it was her son.

When she awoke, she found a handsome boy by her side — her son.  Although Earth’s husband could not come to rescue her, and though he loved his son deeply, he gave to his wife the only gift that he could — their son, Star Boy.  It was a gift from his heart..

‘Tis the season of giving.  I hope you have enjoyed this story, short and simple though it is.  I thought it was quite beautiful.

I’ll be giving away a free e-book of BRAVE WOLF AND THE LADY to some lucky blogger.  I’ll also be giving away a free e-book of THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF to some lucky blogger.  Please do read the Giveaway Guidelines that govern our give-aways — off to the right side of the page.

 BRAVE WOLF AND THE LADY is my most recent book.  By the way, the paperback is reduced in price from $14.99 to $11.99 for the Holiday season.

 

PHOT0043

THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF is on sale for the Holiday season for $.99, and the paperback is on sale for $11.99, as well.

The picture below and to the right is of myself and my husband with Chief Mountain in the background, the setting in the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE — on the Blackfeet reservation.

And so from my heart to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!  And, or, Happy Holidays!

Updated: December 4, 2018 — 9:45 am

WHY DO WE HAVE VETERANS DAY? by CHERYL PIERSON

This year, Veterans Day fell on Sunday. The 11th of November is the actual day of the holiday. But did you know that if it falls on a Sunday, it’s celebrated on Monday, and if it falls on a Saturday, it’s celebrated on Friday?  So, that being said, since we are “in the ballpark”, I couldn’t let this day go by without talking about the meaning of Veterans Day and how it came to be in our country. When I was a young child, I remember asking my parents about Veterans Day–but my mom always called it “Armistice Day”. When she told me the story about “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”, it always seemed like a magical spell–and maybe that’s what the world hoped it would be–the war to end all wars had already been fought, and so there wouldn’t be anymore. But there were.

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

The Last Two Minutes of FightingSoldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect. It’s called “THE LAST TWO MINUTES OF FIGHTING”.

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

(WWI SCOTTISH PIPER IN TRADITIONAL KILTS, STANDING TALL ON THE BATTLEFIELD–OVER 1000 PIPERS WERE KILLED IN WWI)

WWI Scottish PiperThe original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of    peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

united-states-flag_2188_130187911[1]

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

united-states-flag_2183_58326922[1]From 1971-1978, Veterans Day was celebrated on October 25. In 1975, then-President Gerald Ford signed a bill that would return it to November 11 again starting in 1978.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Do you remember the poem by Canadian John McCrae “In Flanders Fields”? Many of us had to memorize this in elementary school. McCrae was a physician/surgeon during WWI–he died of pneumonia not long before the war ended. Take a minute to listen to this recitation of “In Flanders Fields” by the late Leonard Cohen. It is haunting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKoJvHcMLfc&feature=share

united-states-flag_2187_29279775[1]

CREDIT GIVEN TO:  Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs website for much of the text and one picture in this post.

The Holiday Season — And So It Begins

Howdy!

And Welcome to the Tuesday Blog. 

In keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving and the start of the Holiday Season, it seems to me it would be a good idea to give away a free e-book of my most recent release, Brave Wolf and the Lady to some lucky blogger.  All that needs to be done to enter into the drawing is to leave a comment here.  By the way, please refer to the Giveaway Guidelines that govern all our giveaways.  It’s off to the right here.

Well, today I thought we might talk about love, seeing as how this is the season of love — what’s it all about?  At this time of year, with the holidays and all the out-of-mind busy-ness that we seem to get in to — I thought it might be good to take time out and have a look at  a subject that we all…well, that we all love.  Love.

14-smooch1.jpgIt seems to me that there’s all sorts of different kinds of love.  There’s the obvious kind — the kind that we all write about, the absolute beauty of love and romance and the coming together of two souls to create new life.  I’m speaking of course about the love of a man and a woman, the love of family, the love of children.  May this love always flourish and prosper in our society — I only say that because, it’s become my opinion that the family is really under attack.  But I digress.  Oh, by the way the picture to the left is of myself and my husband and the background is the Grand Canyon.

Okay, so are there other kinds of love?  I think so.

7-pic[1]

.

1-LORA-1[1]There’s of course the love between friends?  That’s love, too, isn’t it?  I know you’ll all agree that we would, indeed, be strange beings if we didn’t have a close circle of friends that we love with all our hearts.  But it’s different kind of love, isn’t it?  However, just because it’s the love between friends doesn’t  make it any less a deep and abiding love.10-greiman[1]

There’s also the love for mankind in general — the love of those in other parts of the world that might be having a difficult time.11-thousandoaks[1]  For instance,Untitled-16[1] many of our American Indian people on the reservations.

And how about the love we have for other life forms?  Our pets, for instance.  That’s most definitely love, too.         dogs space 1

 Love.  If I were to define love, I’d take a page from friend and author, L. Ron Hubbard, and say that it seems to me that it is an intense feeling of admiration directed toward someone or something.  It doesn’t ask for anything, it is either freely given or it’s not really love.  It’s not a dominating or controlling force.  Not love.  Not by definition.

It’s more about giving than receiving, sharing instead of using another.

But so far I’m leaving out one of the greatest love stories of all time.  Can you guess what story that is?

Our joy at this time of year is because of this love story.  Even our calendars are a celebration of this love story and of this one man’s life.  It has been said and shown through historical writings that because of this man and because of his teachings of love, that he freed a whole people from bondage, a people who had been utterly enslaved.  It’s said and it’s written that he brought a true civilizing force to the world, and that this force was to love and to treat ones fellow man, even ones own enemies, as one might like to be treated oneself.   It’s said also that he saved mankind itself from doom because of this love story.  One of my prayers at this time of year will be that the world at large learn again this lesson, a lesson given so freely so long ago …

Love…  I’d really like to hear your own love stories and your thoughts in general about love, so please do leave a message.  By the way, the picture below is of myself and the one man in my life whom I love with all my heart.  May you all have a very, happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas!

12-grandcanyon1.jpe

 

Updated: November 5, 2018 — 4:52 pm

Fudging Facts to Name a State

I’m a native Idahoan now living in Montana. Basically, I moved next door, after a thirty-year stint in Nevada (also next door). I love all three states and would be hard pressed to pick a favorite.

Nevada Territory 1860

The origin of Nevada’s name is straight forward—Nevada means ‘snow-covered’ and referred to the many mountain ranges in Nevada, particularly the Sierra Nevada, which often have snow year round. The origin of Idaho and Montana’s names, however, is not so straight forward. In fact, those origins involved deception.

When I learned Idaho history in the fourth grade, we were taught that the name Idaho came from the Shoshone term Ee-da-how, which means ‘sun comes up in the mountains’. Not so.

In the early 1860’s Congress was considering making a new territory in the Rocky Mountain area, which would eventually become Colorado. A (fraudulently elected) lobbyist named George M. Willing suggested the name Idaho, saying it was a Shoshone term meaning ‘gem of the mountains’ or ‘sun comes up from the mountains’. He’d made the whole thing up. Congress figured it out before the territory was named, and that territory became Colorado Territory.

Colorado Territory

By that time, however, the name Idaho was in common usage. A steam ship on the Columbia River was named Idaho, and when gold was discovered on the Clearwater river in the 1860s, the area was called the Idaho diggings. A few years later, when Washington Territory was broken into two sections, the new section was named Idaho Territory.

Idaho Territory 1863

 

The origin of Montana’s name also involved a touch of deception. Montana was part of Idaho Territory until 1864, when a former congressman named Sidney Edgerton brought samples of gold to Washington and suggested the creation of a new territory. The Union needed gold, so congress set to work. Ohio congressman James Ashley suggested the name Montana for the new territory, explaining that ‘montana’ was the Spanish word for mountainous, which perfectly described the area. There was one small problem—there was nothing Spanish about the area, which bordered Canada. Other names were suggested–Shoshone, Jefferson and Douglas. Senator Charles Sumner wanted an Indian name for the territory. One of the original Montana settlers, George Stuart, suggested Tay-a-be-shock-up, which is Snake for ‘the country of the mountains’.  Some unknown person, however, convinced congress that the name Montana was not so much Spanish as it was Latin. Congress could accept a Latin name and Montana Territory was blessed with a name that could be easily pronounced.

Petticoats & Pistols © 2015