Revolutionary War History: Well-Researched Novel

To the women in our family, I can recommend Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times 1769 – 1776 (A Historical Romance).   

The text was very helpful to me in understanding not only the well-researched events, but how these events might have affected the daily lives, actions and feelings of colonists. This is a source that can help bring history to life.*

For example, I had no idea that Parliament had passed legislation to make each colony a separate trade entity. Someone in New Hampshire with goods to sell to Boston could not simply transport them to Boston. He had to find an English ship and transport goods to England. Then the goods had to be transferred to another English ship and transported back to Boston…with the seller paying all costs and duties. Colonists had withstood these sorts of rulings from Parliament since 1696…more than 50 years!

1765 Broadside

This 1765 Broadside calls for the resignation of Andrew Oliver, Distributor of Stamps. Public Domain image from Wikipedia

With the Stamp Act, windows were broken by angry Boston citizens at the home of a British official. This resulted in the first two British Regiments being sent to occupy the city. Solders marched, idled away their time, drank and generally were rude, disruptive and dangerous to the colonists.

When the tax on tea was proposed, it was not excessive…the principal of taxation without representation was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Many mothers and daughters of Boston signed an oath to drink no more tea, and most were faithful for three years before the tax law became official. This resulted in huge surplus supplies of tea in London warehouses and hundreds of thousands of pounds in loss for the British-owned tea company. Several ships arrived with loads of tea, which the Boston colonists refused to be unloaded. A stalemate prevented ship captains from leaving without their ships being confiscated and themselves perhaps prosecuted for treason. British governors were deaf to firm negotiation from The Sons of Liberty…all of which escalated into the Boston Tea Party.

Through this novel, I better understand the early years of conflict that lead into Avery Mustain’s Revolutionary War service.

Here’s another resource that I look forward to viewing:

Sons of Liberty is a 1939 American short drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, which tells the story of Haym Solomon. It won an Academy Award in 1940 for Best Short Subject (two reels).

If you have favorite books or links, please leave a post and share with our family.

*I read the Kindle version, which was available at no cost when I downloaded. If you don’t own a Kindle, Amazon.com offers free apps for computers and mobile devices. I really love the Kindle for iPhone app, which is with me anywhere I’m waiting with a few minutes to read.

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Nathaniel Baxter Musteen: Benton County Arkansas Roads

Nathaniel Baxter Musteen

Nathaniel Baxter Musteen with one of the draft horses used to pull grading equipment for Benton County roads.

Nathaniel, born Aug 7 1876, held a contract with Benton County, AR, to grade roads, and heavy equipment was drawn by teams of large draft animals. Dad once said Grandpa’s barn had room for 65 horses. If any cousins have different details about the number of horses, know more about the equipment, own photos, etc., please email me (rebecca-johnson@sbcglobal.net), or post details in the comments section below.

I know very little about the types of equipment, other than graders for the many dirt roads. And I’ve never seen a photo of a wide, multi-pronged grader…Dad talked about the horses, barn and equipment a few times as I grew up.

Grandpa was still using horses for several years after the last children, Dad and Jack, were born in September of 1929. Nathaniel stood well over six feet, so you can see in the photo above that his horses were sturdy work animals.

Rogers  Brick Streets

Rogers brick streets, photo from Wikipedia, with permission of Douglas Wertman

For years I believed he had paved the brick streets in downtown Rogers, but I later learned that Grandpa’s crews graded the roadbed very finely, and an outside contractor from another town brought his teams to place the bricks.

Debbie Musteen Phillips and Rebecca Musteen Johnson

Debbie and Becky on Grandma’s block

When Grandpa died from a heart attack at age 70 in 1946, he left the frontage of an entire commercial block on 2nd street to my grandmother. Their white stucco home was on the south end, next was a barber shop. Other businesses included a tire shop, a laundry and a grocery at the north end, managed by Jack and Rosemary Garner who attended the Church of Christ with Grandma.

My  cousin, Debbie Musteen Phillips, scanned the only photo I have of Grandma’s block view. The house and the small, white frame barber shop are south of where she’s standing behind me. Debbie reminded me recently that Grandma was always telling us to stand facing into the sunlight as she snapped photos…resulting sometimes in glaring squints instead of relaxed smiles!

If anyone has more photos of this block, please let me know. The buildings have recently been demolished to build a large, national chain gas station.

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