The eighteenth century continues to capture my interest. My goal is to create a series of stories about a family whose members experience (and are catalysts of) the growth of the United States following the American Revolution. I want some of those family members living in England, others along the eastern shores of Massachusetts and Virginia, and some in Pennsylvania.
There will be a bookseller in the mix, of course. (Perhaps this person will have some dealings with the famous bookseller James Lackington in London — that would be great fun for me to create!)
While digging through my notes, I’ve come across a few sayings that can perhaps be traced back to the eighteenth century.
For instance, have you ever heard someone say that they owned something “lock, stock, and barrel?”
Guns were shipped by the English to the American colonists in separate pieces due to expense. In fact, sometimes only the lock and the barrel would be shipped, leaving the stock to be made in America. (No doubt the English believed the colonists had abundant woodland and could make their own gun stocks, so why go to the expense of shipping the stocks across an ocean?)
To get the lock, the stock and the barrel was a very big deal.
I’m also digging deep into the trade between China and Philadelphia in the late 1700s. I remain amazed — and in awe of — how far and wide the seafarers of our brave, young nation traveled.