Maryland novelist Peni Jo Renner has written a trilogy of early American history that's worth checking out! Book One of the Puritan Chronicles is "Puritan Witch: the Redemption of Rebeckah Eames and is set in Salem, Massachuetts during the time of the witch trials. Book Two is "Letters to Kezia", set in 1693 in Connecticut. But Book Three is what brought Peni Jo's works to my attention: "Raid on Cochecho" follows the exploits of 9-year-old Grace Hampton in Dover, New Hampshire, during the "Indian troubles" of 1676. Ms. Renner did extensive research at our library and we spent some time exchanging emails about history of the settlement here in the 17th century. Give this series a try if you enjoy historical novels!
Friday, February 17, 2017
Thursday, February 09, 2017
Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Join us at the Dover Public Library on Tuesday evening, February 21 at 7pm for an extraordinary storytelling experience, presented by the Friends of the Library and funded, in part, by a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council.
Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti will portray Oney Judge, an enslaved African American servant on George Washington's plantation in Mount Vernon, Virginia. In "If I Am Not For Myself, Who Will Be For Me?", Quezaire-Presutti brings Oney to life through the young woman’s account of joining the presidential household in 1789, and escaping the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia in 1796. With the aid of the free black community, she took a ship to Portsmouth, NH where she built a new life for herself, married, and had three children.
In 1790, there were fewer than 60,000 free blacks in the United States while almost 700,000 were still held in slavery. George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate still owned 317 slaves in 1799. Oney’s story is not a stereotypical runaway account: more is known about Oney Judge Staines than any other Mount Vernon slave, as she was extensively interviewed by abolitionist newspapers in the nineteenth century. Oney’s voice provides the informative details needed to appreciate her struggles, her self-determination and the triumphs of her life.
In her one-woman shows, Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti combines her expertise in public speaking, her interest in historical research, and her passion for storytelling and dramatic performance. She studied at the University of Wisconsin and is a committed scholar of African-American Studies, particularly women of color. She is on the Performing Artist roster at the Connecticut Historical Society Museum, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, and the Social Theatre with Young Audiences of Connecticut Arts for Learning. She received the Institute of Texan Cultures' Director's Award for Excellence, the Greater Hartford Arts Council/ Boston Fund Individual Artist Fellowship, and first place in the International Toastmaster Award competition for Interpretive Reading.
This program is free. For more information, call the Dover Public Library at 603-516-6050.
Monday, February 06, 2017
In 2023, the City of Dover will be 400 years old! In anticipation of this celebration six years hence, the City is seeking to assemble a crew of detailed-oriented, historically-minded volunteers for a 5-year task!
The City possesses Dover record books spanning the years 1657 to 1807. These have been digitized and preserved thanks to a Moose Plate Grant from the State of New Hampshire, but the records are in their original, handwritten state and are quite difficult to read. Here's an example:
You can look at more of them here: http://www.dover.nh.gov/government/city-operations/finance/city-clerk-tax-collection/historic-dover-records/index.html.
We know these record books contain a lot of early Dover history and we can’t wait for their secrets to be revealed! We are looking for volunteers who would enjoy transcribing these records, word-for-word and precisely, so that they may be more clearly read, indexed, and made searchable for historians, genealogists, and other researchers.
If you are interested in discovering and recording early Dover history, please pick up a special application for a “Transcription Volunteer” at the Dover Public Library or download one at: http://www.dover.nh.gov/Assets/government/city-operations/1form/library/Volunteer%20Application_Transcriber.pdf
Volunteers will be able to work from home, either via a web connection to the digitized images, or from a disk. There are no minimum or maximum hours required. This is not a 5-year commitment, unless you want it to be!
The original paper records will not be handled unless a “legibility consult”, requiring inspection of an original page, is necessary. In that case, the City Clerk will oversee the consult. Volunteers will be taught how to properly transcribe historic records according to Bureau of Certified Genealogists standards.
For more information, contact City Clerk Karen Lavertu at 516-6020 or Cathy Beaudoin, Library Director, at 516-6050.