The Colonial Era is such an exciting time in American History! It is the beginning of our country! This is the Age of Discovery. Before 1492, America was unknown, no one knew it even existed. All of this changed when Christopher Columbus landed on islands south of Florida. After this discovery, several exploration expeditions set out intent on the New World over the next hundred years.
In 1585, the first English settlement in the New World was the colony of Roanoke. This colony is one of the greatest mysteries in our history. The colony was abandoned and the settlers disappeared. Later in 1607, a new settlement called, Jamestown was founded. Though they had several turbulent years ahead of them, the colony survived, becoming the first permanent settlement in the New World. Thirteen years later, in 1620, a group of settlers, later known as pilgrims landed on the rocky shores of Massachusetts. This colony after the early years flourished as well.
This is an era full of new discoveries, a new world, new settlements and new way of life for many people. The idea of freedom was sparked during this era, fanning into a full fire in later years. Towns were built and grew into cities, slave labor was integrated into the south, legendary people were born, the French and Indian War was fought out on the frontier, and the Stamp Act, along with many others were signed. Which lead the colonists to question the king who ruled over them and brought about the idea of a new nation.
One of my favorite novels from this period is The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton. It is a two book series called The Pathfinders. The Wood’s Edge begins in 1757 and covers many great topics of the era. Such as the French and Indian war, life on the frontier, politics of the time and relations with the neighboring Native American tribes.
Listed below are several novels for your perusing. I hope you enjoy this first stop on our historical tour! Next, is the events leading up to the shot heard around the world, and the War for American Independence.
Can a religious separatist and an opportunistic spy make it in the New World?
Mary Elizabeth Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary Elizabeth survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?
Do You Believe in Love at First Fight?
Any ship arriving from England means good news for Virginia colony farmers. The “tobacco brides” would be on board–eligible women seeking a better life in America, bartered for with barrels of tobacco from the fields.
Drew O’Connor isn’t stirred by news of a ship full of brides. Still broken-hearted from the loss of his beloved, he only wants a maid to tend his house and care for his young sister.
What he ends up with is a wife–a feisty redhead who claims she is Lady Constance Morrow, daughter of an Earl, brought to America against her will. And she wants to go straight back to England as soon as she can. She hasn’t the foggiest notion how to cook, dares to argue with her poor husband, and spends more time working on mathematical equations than housework. What kind of a wife is that? Drew’s Christian forbearance is in for some testing.
Headstrong and intelligent, deeply moral but incredibly enticing, Constance turns what was supposed to be a marriage of convenience into something most inconvenient, indeed.
After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?
With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.
1757 The Wood’s Edge – Lori Benton
At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?
The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.
On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.
When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?
1763 Rebellious Heart – Jody Hedlund
In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she’s ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she’s a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She’s determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.
Ben Ross grew up a farmer’s son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn’t see how he’ll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he’s drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna’s decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben’s growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.