Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I like research. When others were moaning about their papers due in college, I was having fun in the library. Because of this it is never hard for me to start a new book.

My next one will be about famous people of Pennsylvania. I found a good resource at Midtown Bookstore when I was there. Noted Pennsylvanians by Walter Lefferts was published in 1913. Leffert’s story about Robert Morris made a huge impression on me.

Robert Morris believed in a cause so much that he was willing to invest huge amounts of money and asked others to do the same. His cause was the United States fight for independence from England. During the war, members of congress fled Philadelphia. Morris stayed and continued to take care of the nation’s business. He made sure that large amounts of goods were moved to Lancaster and other places so that the British wouldn’t confiscate them. The new navy had unfinished ships in the harbor. Mr. Morris hired civilians to finish them. He ordered obstructions put in the river to deter the British from sailing in. On and on go the stories of things Morris did. Morris ended up giving all his money for the war effort. He died a penniless man. He gave up ALL for the cause that he believed in.

This story and another recent encounter made me think about my willingness to die to self. I have been pondering whether I believe in the cause of spreading gospel of Christ to the point that I would give up ALL, especially my material goods? Recently, I went to a concert where I heard Weaver’s singing group. The father shared the story of a change in their lives. They recently sold their large home and chose to live on a tour bus with all ten members of their family so they can continue the ministry that God has called them to. Could I do the same if God asked me to?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blue Jacket

Recently, my husband took me on a date of my choice. What did I choose? A bookstore that was recommended to me, Midtown Scholar on Third Street, Harrisburg.

I browsed the Pennsylvania history section and was excited to find a book called, Blue Jacket by Allan W. Eckert. My interest was piqued because when I worked on my mother’s family genealogy, I read about Blue Jacket. Blue Jacket would have been my great, great, great, great, great grandfather’s nephew.

The book, Blue Jacket, is about a 17-year-old boy, Marmaduke Van Swearingen, who was captured by the Shawnee Indians in 1771. In exchange for the freedom of his little brother, captured at the same time, Marmaduke promised to go willingly with the Shawnees and become an Indian. The Shawnee named him Blue Jacket because of the garment he was wearing at the time of capture. Marmaduke kept his promise which wasn’t as hard as it may seem since he had grown up loving everything about the Indians and desiring to be one anyway. He later became the only white to become a war chief of the Shawnee.

By the way, we did go out to eat and went shopping elsewhere in addition to the bookstore that night. I’m not entirely a nerd.

In 2016, I read that DNA tests proved this story wrong. The DNA from the descendents of Marmaduke and the descendents of Blue Jacket did not match. Wikipedia on Blue Jacket

Report on DNA of Blue Jacket