Posting to a timeline for historical fiction

photograph of timeline

Posting to a timeline is one of my most useful tools in writing historical fiction. Have a peek at my five-foot-long timeline of the Anthony-Osborn family, beginning in the 1700s and ending in 1930. On it, I have recorded not only events that were significant to the Anthonys but to the United States in general. […]

Using historical newspapers to write fiction

I discovered the value of historical newspapers on my second visit to Kansas to research Daniel Read Anthony and his family. An eloquent packet While at the Spencer Library, University of Kansas, I found a packet of news clippings neatly folded and tied with a black grosgrain ribbon. My breath caught in my throat as […]

Historical research: Walk where they walked

large white house with picket fence

When I first researched Susan and her family, I walked where they walked. Wearing a long skirt, wool cape, and boots, I trudged snow-clogged streets of old Rochester. A bit later, I was dismayed to learn that the Rochester home of Frederick Douglass no longer exists. Undeterred, I branched out to visit Seneca Falls, where […]

Victorian garden ramble

garden in front of townhomes

My novel characters often take a ramble when life gets too much for them. Victorians particularly loved their gardens, but any movement in the fresh air calmed their heart rate and lowered their blood pressure. It’s the same for us today. In fact, it’s all the more possible since the pandemic allows more people than […]

Three Fun Ways to Learn About Historical People

Historical people are fun to research–if you know how. It’s one thing to look them up on the census or visit their graves. Even reading about them in a biography gives only a one-dimensional view of them. It’s another thing altogether to get a sense of their manner of speaking, temperament, and habits. Historical research […]

Famous Black Woman Spurned by Racist

Ida Wells

Susan B. Anthony Champions Ida B. Wells In 1895, Susan B. Anthony went out for the day instructing her (white) stenographer to help her guest, journalist Ida B. Wells, to catch up on her correspondence. When Susan returned, the journalist was doing her own typing while the stenographer sat idle. Asked why she was not […]

Mary Bowser, Confederate White House Spy

Even now, it’s hard to get a clear description of Mary Bowser, who greatly aided the North by spying on the Confederate White House during the Civil War. Maybe that’s because she wanted it that way. Here is the closest we can come to facts about her life. Mary Bowser (AKA Richards) was born a […]

Civil War Nurse Who Outranked General

Mary Ann Bickerdyke, Civil War Nurse

For those who prefer to read, here’s the text of the video. I love Mary Ann Bickerdyke for her fierce devotion to the soldiers she called “her boys.” As a Civil War nurse, she was a particular favorite of the soldiers. Bickerdyke set up more than 300 field hospitals for soldiers and made sure they […]

Great American Women of Susan B.’s Era

Susan LaFlesche Picotte

During Women’s History Month we will use this space to celebrate several great American women who were comrades of Susan B. Anthony. (Click here for an earlier blog post on Women’s History Month.) Though Miss Anthony did not know all of them, each one came from her era and worked to make us a more […]