About This Blog

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Jea @ Abrigados

My reason for writing this blog is to share fascinating details that make up the backstory for my novels in The Dauntless Series. These include the activities and personalities of Susan B. Anthony and her family–especially her gun-toting brother Daniel and his wife Annie:

  • To view them in the context of the culture of the states where they settled: Massachusetts, New York, and Kansas.
  • To spend a few moments with the people who inspired them, from Quakeress Aunt Hannah Hoxey (who defied early Victorian custom by speaking in public) to Frederick Douglass (an Anthony neighbor who burst the bonds of slavery) to feminist Clarina Nichols (who established an abolitionist newspaper that preceded D.R.’s  newspaper dynasty).
  • To learn how they were affected by the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, and the waves of reform that swept upstate New York with such fire that the area became known as “the burned-over district.”

Since 2012, I’ve been writing historical fiction about the Anthonys. While the tone of this blog differs from that in The Truth About Daniel (the first in the Dauntless Series), these online writings give a view of the scope and breadth of the research that underpins my book-in-progress.

Writing can be a lonely profession. So imagine my excitement when I discovered other historical authors using the term “cultural biography” to describe a similar literary process. Here’s David Reynolds, author of John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights (Alfred A. Knopf publisher):

The special province of the cultural biographer is to explore this relationship, focusing on three questions: How does my subject reflect his or her era? How does my subject transcend the era-that is, what makes him or her unique? What impact did my subject have on the era?

Quoting Emerson, he continues,

The ideas of the time are in the air, and infect all who breathe it. . . . We learn of our contemporaries what they know without effort, and almost through the pores of our skin.” The cultural biographer explores the historical “air” surrounding the subject and describes the process by which the air seeped through the pores of his or her skin.

What was in the air surrounding the Anthony family that made them so noteworthy? That’s what I’m exploring in my twice-a-week posts.

On the trip of my dreams, with Martha's Vineyard in the background.

On the trip of my dreams, with Martha’s Vineyard in the background.



4 thoughts on “About This Blog

  1. I am a Read descendant of Eliphalet who came to Canada from Massachusetts, US. I believe that I am a cousin of Susan B. Anthony and am interested in your findings to help confirm some information on this family and am happy to have found the blog.

    • When you speak of the Read connection, you are no doubt referring to Susan’s brother Daniel Read Anthony’s, who was named after his maternal grandfather. Susan B. Anthony in her authorized biography by Ida Husted Harper, devotes many pages to her ancestors in her opening chapter. I am curious about your Eliphalet reference, since I have not come across person before.

    • Hi Jeanne. I believe I am related to Susan B Anthony’s brother, Daniel Read Anthony.
      I’m trying to find out all the connecting descendants from my relatives, Isaac Cady Howe, Joseph Howe, Ira Burch Howe, Clark Howe, Amy Louise Howe Burnett, & William Ross Burnett. It would be wonderful to be able to pass this inheritance onto my own grandchildren.
      Please let me k is if you have any clues or direction I could go in seeking these details.
      Judith Lynn Burnett

      • Hi, Judy,
        At this point, I do not recognize any of the names you mention, but I am not a genealogist, either!
        I can tell you this much: Daniel and Annie had two surviving children:
        –D.R. Anthony II, who had a son D.R. Anthony III, who was a KS state senator. They lived in Leavenworth and had descendants.
        –Maude Anthony Koehler (Lewis), who had no children and moved to Pasadena, CA.
        I’m sorry I can’t be of further help. It is a very large family, and the first traceable ancestor dates back to 1495.

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