March 7: The Soldiers Cried, “Fie Fie!”

Here is a  scene from chapter 14 of my novel Soldier’s Don’t Cry of the oration on the 5th anniversary of the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1775. The heroine and patriot spy Elizabeth Thorton is in the balcony when this event unfolds. Elizabeth’s love interest British Army officer, Captain Phillip Randolph, is sitting in the front row with the other British Army officers.

Paul Revere's rendition of the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770. Five years later at the oration described in this story, Paul Revere was in the audience. A little over a month later, shots would be fired on Lexington Green.

Paul Revere’s rendition of the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770. Five years later at the oration described in this story, Paul Revere was in the audience. A little over a month later, shots would be fired on Lexington Green.

     As the time for the ceremony to start grew closer, the balcony filled until every seat in the place was full and people stood in the aisles. The main floor below continued to fill with spectators, and people began to sit on the floor in the aisles between the pews.

     Elizabeth did not see Dr. Warren, who was the keynote speaker for the event, anywhere on the main floor, and she wondered how he would manage to get through the crowd up to the pulpit.

     Elizabeth heard a thud outside the church at the front of the building. Then she saw the shape of a person outside the window behind the pulpit. It was Dr. Warren. She watched as Dr. Warren lifted the window and slid through it onto the stage. Apparently, the noise she had heard outside the church was a ladder that Dr. Warren had climbed so that he could come in through the window.

     Dr. Warren stood tall. He straightened his clothing and went to stand behind the pulpit. A hush came over the boisterous crowd as its gaze fell upon the doctor. Before he even uttered a word, his appearance spoke volumes to a crowd of Americans steeped in the virtues of ancient Rome. Dr. Warren wore a toga, the principal garment of a freeborn Roman male citizen. It consisted of a single piece of material of irregular form—long, broad and flowing. It had no sleeves or armholes and covered his entire body except for his right arm. He wore the toga without any fastening device, so he had to keep his left arm crooked to support the massive drapery.

     Elizabeth contrasted the toga to the stiff, tightly tailored coat, waistcoat and breeches of the British soldiers. The toga had no artifice, no false front, no deviant concealment; the only thing that separated the wearer’s body from his audience was his bent left arm. By wearing the garment, Dr. Warren thumbed a subtle nose of contempt at all that superficial finery with which corrupt Britain disguised its designs on American liberty and dignity. Warren was letting them know that he knew why they were at the ceremony, and he chose the garment specifically to antagonize them.

     A few of the officers who sat on the steps, Gerald among them, hissed as Dr. Warren straightened his toga and confidently looked at his notes, which someone had placed on the pulpit. He cleared his throat. He began by acknowledging the officers who sat stiffly in front of him in their heavy red wool coats. Dr. Warren then acknowledged his fellow patriots. Elizabeth was pleased to see that he would not be intimidated.

     As Warren spoke, Elizabeth saw that an officer sitting in the front row, who she knew to be Captain Chapman, was holding several pistol bullets in his open palm so that Dr. Warren could see them. True to the role of a great Roman hero, Dr. Warren calmly dropped a white handkerchief upon the officer’s hand and continued his oration. Cato had not done a better job when he took on the great and powerful Caesar. Virtue, in his lexicon, would always prevail over base power. Like the celebrated Roman politician, Dr. Warren was immune to the violent threats. Elizabeth was relieved when she did not hear him in any instance refer to the massacre as bloody.

     Warren began his speech with a historical account of America’s early settlement, in order to “determine with what degree of justice the late Parliament of Great Britain has assumed the power of giving away that property which the Americans have earned by their labor.” He gave the Whig interpretation of colonial history, portraying a Manichean worldview in which “the tools of power in every age” confronted the benign power of liberty, embodied in his case by the Puritan ancestors. Those Puritans, “determined to find a place in which they might enjoy their freedom,” exercised liberty in America through a charter obtained significantly from the British monarch rather than Parliament. They “cultivated and defended” the continent “at an infinite expense of toil and blood” and thus contributed vastly to the British Empire’s greatness. Their serene prosperity, however, awakened “the madness of an avaricious minister” and brought about “the attempt of the British Parliament to raise revenue from America.” These misfortunes “brought upon the stage discord, envy, hatred and revenge, with civil war close in their rear.”

     The speech, however, did not consist merely of a historical account of New England’s settlement. Warren provided a philosophical and ideological argument in defense of the colonists’ position. “Personal freedom is the natural right of every man,” he said, as was the right to hold “what he has honestly acquired by his own labor” and to “pursue that course which is the most conducive” to happiness. Hence, “no man, or body of men, can without being guilty of flagrant injustice, claim a right to dispose of the persons or acquisitions of any other man.” Warren continued with a celebration of the ancient Romans, who through self-effacing attitudes, “eminently conduced to the greatness of that state.”

     Dr. Warren stepped back from the pulpit. A thunderous applause followed. As the applause began to die down, Dr. Warren took his a seat and Samuel Adams rose from his deacon’s seat and took his place at the pulpit.

     “That was wonderful, Dr. Warren, simply wonderful,” he began. “I know that following an oration like the one Dr. Warren just gave would be difficult for anyone; however, I would like to know who would like to volunteer to speak at next year’s commemorative oration.”

     Everyone sat looking at one another, and no hands went up.

     “Come, come now, people; surely someone would like to give the oration at next year’s anniversary of that bloody massacre.”

     As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Samuel Adams realized what he had said. His face turned pale.

     The soldiers who sat at the front of the sanctuary began to call out “Fie! Fie!”

     Elizabeth saw Gerald put his hand on the hilt of his glittering sword, lifting it from its sheath. She knew that someone had to do something quickly, or else the leaders of the Patriots would be arrested or worse.

     “Fire,” she said aloud but under her breath.

     “There’s a fire! There’s a fire!” Jonathan called out.

     Members of the audience on the balcony joined Jonathan. Not realizing where the outcry originated, they began to panic and yell “Fire!” The audience on the main floor followed suit, and there was a mad, panicked rush toward the doors and stairs. Because not everyone could fit through the opened doors at exactly the same moment, in their rush to exit the building the crowd clogged the doors. The audience in the galleries, knowing that people on the main floor would reach the exit first, crowded out the windows and swarmed down gutters like rats in the street.

     Peter and the rest of the Mayford family remained quietly in their seats and watched the chaos around them. Men were yelling, women were screaming, and babies were crying. The soldiers who had been yelling “Fie!”, but now were thinking that a fire had started on the balcony, abandoned their attempt to arrest the Patriot leaders and forced their way toward the doors to reach what they believed was safety. The selectmen eased themselves out the window and down the ladder that Dr. Warren had so conveniently provided.

     Outside, as if on cue, the comedic melodrama unfolded further when Colonel Nesbit marched his troops past the Old South Church with his drummers and fifers playing loudly. Women screaming, children crying, men yelling, drummers drumming, fifers fifing, total mayhem broke out. No one was arresting anyone. The Patriot leaders escaped without harm.

     Within a few minutes, the crowd inside the church thinned and the Mayford family rose and followed the last of the crowd out of the building through the main door. As Elizabeth followed Rachel down the balcony stairs, she thought that despite the chaotic ending, the affair went off with remarkable behavior on both sides.

     As they came through the doors out into the sunshine, Phillip met them at the door. He immediately approached Elizabeth, looking worried. Elizabeth felt a twinge of guilt because she knew she was the one who had started the panic.

     “Thank God, you’re safe,” Phillip said to Elizabeth as they walked away from the building. A crowd stood looking at the old church and looking at one another, vocalizing their wonder about where the fire was.

     “I have something to say to you, young man,” said a short, fat, elderly woman with a cane who was bustling across the road to where Gerald and several other officers were standing. She did not blink an eye as she started shaking her cane at Gerald. Elizabeth did not know why the woman selected Gerald out of all the soldiers standing around, but the woman impressed her with her tenacity.

     “I would like to put a ring in your nose! This is the army’s fault, you know. You had no business interrupting our solemn occasion!”

     A younger woman came across the street and linked arms with the older woman. “Come along, Mother, we don’t need to make trouble where trouble does not need to be.”

     “I am not trying to make trouble. If anyone has tried to make trouble, it was the king’s army,” the old woman countered. The young woman led the old woman away from the church.

For Website SDC

Not Totally Fiction

Even though it is fictionalized, this is an adaptation of the actual incident on that fifth anniversary of the Boston Massacre. If you enjoyed this peek into Soldiers Don’t Cry, The Locket Saga Continues. It is available in Paperback or Kindle formats at Amazon.com.How did Elizabeth and Phillip become involved? Even more importantly, how  do they (or do they?) resolve their differences? Are they simply star-crossed lovers doomed to life apart?

As mentioned in previous posts, I am currently working on the second draft of A Coward’s Solace the third book in The Locket Saga.

In addition to the fiction, I am also working on my first nonfiction book Simply Vegetable Gardening. For a sneak peek at the type of material in that book check out my hubs on hubpages. This week I added two gardening hubs. (Links below)

Turnips, Parsnips and Rutabagas in the Garden

Grow your own Chinese Cabbage for Stir-Frying

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Learning Treat Myself With Respect

“You must focus on treating yourself with respect and loving yourself and the universe will give love and respect back to you in many various forms and experiences.”-Frank Mangano.

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I need to take a tip from my daughter and learn that I deserve to have my own respect.

When I first read the quote above, it washed over me like a tsunami. I have done a lot recently concerning the one resolution that I had concerning focusing on finishing what I start, but as far as learning to “love”, my mind has been elsewhere. As I was reading this, I realize that the reason that others do not treat me in a way that I would like to be treated is because I do not treat myself with respect.

How should I treat myself so that I can treat myself with respect? In other words, how do I treat myself with more dignity. First, I should be sitting tall and standing tall. Second, I shouldn’t allow myself to talk down at myself both in my head and aloud. I need to take better care of my body. I respect my body by eating nutritional foods and by exercising on a regular basis. I need to focus on ensuring that my hair, makeup, and clothing look nice. I deserve that kind of respect from me as much as anyone else deserves the same kind of respect. Knowing that I am worth loving by treating myself with respect, will resonate to others that I deserve their respect as well.

This Day In History As It Relates to the American Revolution

The first time the word “campus” was used to mean school grounds was in a 1774  letter written by Charles C. Beatty was written on this date regarding Princeton where he wrote:

If you recall, a similar incident occurred in Boston just a few weeks earlier. The Boston Tea Party sent the tea cargo of the merchant ships the Dartmouth, the Eleanor and the Beaver into the ice cold waters of Boston Harbor of  on December 13, 1773. To show Parliament’s disapproval of colonial insurrection, they closed the Port of Boston to all trade ships. In doing so, they were sending a message to the colonists that any further misbehavior would result in further crackdowns. Rather than beating the colonists into submission however, this and related actions lead to the events of April 19, 1775 in Lexington and Concord igniting the flintlock or Brown Betty that started the American Revolution.

This week has been quite busy. I believe that I have started developing a routine that can work for me so that I can finish the writing that I have started. I have made considerable progress this week on A Coward’s Solace, my next novel in The Locket Saga. In addition, I have written two more hubs on hubpages both of them are related to a nonfiction book that I will be publishing next month called Simply Vegetable Gardening. The hubs are Up the Fence with Cucumbers and A Three Sisters’ Garden Bed

Networking and the Brain

Since the first of the year, I have been thinking about what I am going to do when I finish school, and this past week I have done a couple of things that will help me along the road to building my career. Monday I went to the Missouri Career Center and talked to a woman who was also a writer. She gave me some names and then she gave me some job leads. I have not followed up on any of them yet. I have been busy with school and writing. Primarily Monday will be my day for doing job searching I think.  My big issue with finding a job I am discovering has to do with the fact that I don’t have the network that I need to have here in Springfield. I need to get out and meet the people that I may want to work with. As a writer, I definitely need to make those connections.

I, also, went online to a webinar about networking and  learned about Coffee, Lunch, Coffee,  a book written by Alana Muller. She said that she create a network by having coffee with one person in the morning, lunch with another person, and then coffee with another person in the afternoon for a total of three people per day five days per week. She said that by the end of a year, she had 160 meetings and met 200 new people in that time. She said that if I was looking for work, looking for work was my job. As in a job,I should get up and get dressed as though I were going to work and then go someplace where I can work. My main focus in getting a job should be to network, that it is in meeting people that I am able to find the right connections to find the job that I want. I don’t know that I could sit down with 15 people per week every week for a year, but I imagine that it is sort of like writing on a regular basis, once you get used to doing it, it becomes less of a chore and more of a habit.

I am in the middle of a class on physiological psychology and even though it sounds like a boring, dry class, once I plowed through the anatomy information, I found the class fascinating. Our brains are truly awesome. We’ve had an exponential growth in understanding of how our brain works, but the more we learn, the more we realize that we don’t know anything. Did you know that our brains are interactive? For instance, when we feel empathy toward someone who is sad, our brains motor and sensory neurons fire in the same part of the brain as the person with whom we empathize.I finished reading the textbook this week. I have just 3 more weeks of the class.

I listened to an audio this week that told about being mindful and I then downloaded a mindfulness bell on my phone. (free app). Periodically through the day, I am using that to help me focus for a minute or so while doing everyday things. I feel as though my mind is full this week (pun intended).

I added 2800 words to my work in progress A Coward’s Solace, the next book in The Locket Saga. This week, I, also, wrote hubs for Hubpages. Both have a mindfulness element to them.

The Best Tips For Losing Weight Permanently

Tips for Becoming Mindful

This Week’s Results of My Weekly Plan

I have actually been sticking to my weekly plan this week and it has been a busy one. Despite the cold and the fact that my daughter has been home from school most of the week because of the weather, I have had a productive week.  I have been busy with a new online college course that I started. I’m taking physiological psychology and I’m off to a great start. I’ve had to read hundreds of pages in my textbook and related articles. I turned in my two papers and they have been returned to me with grades of 100% each. In addition,  yesterday I received news that in 2013 I won two Chancellor Scholarships at my university!  After this class, I will have just five more classes to finish my bachelor’s degree at Argosy University Online.

A while back I wrote a hub on hubpages called Strategies For Getting It All Done In this hub, I discussed a strategy that I use which uses the acronym SOFF which stands for Start, Organize, Focus and Finish. This works good for every task that I have. However, a lot of what I do are not simple tasks. They are projects that need more than one sitting to finish, so I have break down those projects into simple tasks that I can do at one sitting. In addition, I have learned that I am usually good at starting projects, but I am not so good at finishing, therefore, since I am finishing my formal education this year, I am using this year to finish a number of projects that have accumulated over the years as well.

To finish those projects, I have created a strategy in my plan. I have determined that I will finish as many of the projects I already have started in the past as I can. I explained how I plan to do that in the hub that I wrote yesterday called A Simple Time Management System To Help Me Finish What I Start

I have also been working on the third book in the Locket Saga  A Coward’s Solace. I am currently working on the second draft and while working on it, I took some of the research that I have been doing and wrote a hub about one of real people from history that I am including in this novel. The hub is about An Unsung Heroine-Lucy Flucker Knox

I am trying to schedule my writing for weekdays only so that I can either use the weekends for catching up on anything that I might be behind on (after all, life does happen) and to have more family time. Given the option, I could write 24/7 because I love what I do so much. However, the second part of my resolution “to love more” includes spending more time doing things with my family.

Because I need to write 2800 words per week so I can finish the second draft of A Coward’s Solace by May 1, I am writing 560 words per day Monday-Friday so that I can finish the book by the end of the year making A Coward’s Solace the third book in The Locket Saga. My first two books When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, The Locket Saga Continues  are available on Amazon.