Antique Desk Furniture Historical Comparison

I finally realized it is not a Western desk; it is an English desk from the early 20th century. The clues are the wood itself and the hardware. English oak from this period has a distinctively different grain from the Golden Oak of American furniture of this period. The oversized hardware is also distinctly English. The odd pattern of shading was caused by someone stripping the original dark finish but giving the hardware areas a wide berth, creating the like and dark patterns in the wood as the result of really poor workmanship.

A “dresser w/desk pull down” is a 20th century recreation of a variation of the 19th century “butler’s desk”. Legend has it that the butler in an upper class 19th century household was never seen to sit. Since one of his duties was also to keep the household accounts he had to have a desk but he did not sit there. It was designed so that he could stand and do his paperwork. The desk unit was incorporated into a chest of drawers to conserve space. That piece is in fact made of maple, probably in the 1950s or 1960s.

Bodart Furniture Co. was in business in Grand Rapids, from 1949 to 1973. Bodart made quality reproductions of antique European furniture forms, including desks, tables, chests and upholstered pieces. As they obviously are not in business now, you may have difficulty finding the matching chairs. But I’ll bet you can find lots of nice chairs that would match this table fine. They don’t necessarily have to be Bodart chairs.

The first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was a man known by the name of John Winthrop. Born in Surrey, England, legend says Winthrop came to Massachusetts with an original piece of furniture that instantly gained favor with the colonists: a slanted drop-front desk. After the desk became popular, it was re-named in honor of its original owner.

While the story is nice, there is little truth to it. Governor Winthrop was a real man who ruled Massachusetts until his death in 1649, but this was a good 50 years before the first drop-front desks appeared in his native country. The famous curves attributed to the Gov. Winthrop style weren’t created until the mid-1700s, when Thomas Chippendale designed the first desk of this variety.

Although many members of the public believe this style of furniture was named for a specific man, looking at this story from a historical perspective, it is obvious Governor Winthrop never owned the piece of furniture attributed to him. While Thomas Chippendale technically invented the design, he never labeled it as a “Gov. Winthrop,” either.

The answer to this riddle rests with the Winthrop Furniture Company of Boston, who created a new model of the desk in 1924 and called it the “Gov. Winthrop.” The name is now a common part of furniture vocabulary, and has increased the popularity of other furniture of the same design, commonly known as the “Gov. Winthrop” style. Many different types of antique furniture can be found today bearing the name Winthrop due to this unique design.

We installed a humidifier for the winter, which certainly helps the furniture, but summer we cannot control, as we have no AC. I am not familiar with Arizona, but I take it its very dry there, so yes putting some humidity back into the air should help. Other than that, keep all wood furniture out of direct sun and heat sources. A good paste waxing with bra wax for instance is about the only thing I can recommend to use on this piece. Apparently all pieces made with a particular type of imported mahogany carried the label you described.

The desk is from the late 19th century or perhaps even the early 20th century and is part of the great “Golden Oak” period. The style is very similar overall to the famous Larkin desks of the turn of the century with the open shelf in front below the drop. It could be an American piece but the decorative motif is more European or English. Also the desk is made of flat cut oak and shows none of the quarter cut oak generally seen on American pieces of this era. The finish has been redone and it looks more recent than the 1960s.

Dunkin Donuts – Franchise Review

Dunkin Donuts is known as a donut and coffee shop first introduced as an American company. But, now it has an international label. It was establish in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1950 by Mr. William Rosenberg. Its headquarters is in Canton, Massachusetts.

It focuses on donut and other bakery products but, interestingly, over the half of their profit comes from coffee. It seems they are a larger competitor to Starbucks than to Krispy Kreme and Tim Hortons as usual contestants.

It is stated by Dunkin’ Donuts that they are the world’s largest coffee and baked goods chain, serving almost 2.7 million clients daily, with some 8,800 stores situated in 31 countries. Including, more or less 6,400 Dunkin’ Donuts stores across the United States. Somewhat lacking when compared with the 15,011 stores of Starbucks, who’s baked goods are generally prepared out of shop.

Most of the Dunkin’ Donuts outlets are franchises. Almost 75 franchisees now exist. They are situated primarily west of the Mississippi River, Nevada, Texas and Arizona. Inside their home base in New England, Dunkin’ Donuts is dominant and you can find their stores easily in many supermarkets, gas stations, mall and airport food courts and almost anywhere you go.

In the 1950s Dunkin Donut Munchkin was invented by Mr. Larry DelVerne. In Valley Stream, New York he started his first Dunkin Donut Franchise. It was situated by the side of Sunrise Highway. Larry is from a family of 11 brothers and sisters. His younger brother named Albert DelVerne.

Dunkin’ Brands Inc (formerly well-known as Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants, while it was a part of Allied Domecq) is the owner of Dunkin’ Donuts. A French beverage company named Pernod Ricard S.A. was the owner of Dunkin’ Brands after it purchased the Allied Domecq. In December 2005 they signed an agreement to sell the brand to a group of three private equity firms. They are known as the Carlyle Group Bain, Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Dunkin’ Donuts have almost 1000 donut varieties regularly with other products. Their products: baked goods, Fritters, crullers, bismarcks, donuts, bangels, scones, muffins, danish pastry, cookies, cinnamon twists, brownies, breakfast sandwiches, flatbread sandwiches, harsh brownies. they also have coffee beverages, iced coffee, bulk coffee, espresso, lattes and cappuccino, iced lattes, turbo, late lite espresso, other hot beverages, tea, chocolate, vanilla, dunkaccino, cold beverages, smoothies, iced teas. They also have special diet menu so no one has to miss out on the famous Dunkin donut.

Franchise fees range from $40,000.00 to $80,000.00 with a total investment between $255,700.00 and $1.1mil. Net worth requirement is 1.5mil with $750,000.00 in liquid assets. The Royalty Fee is 5.9%.

When looking to start any business it is important, particularly considering today’s market, that you look for specific ways to cut minimize or reduce overhead and risk. Any business is going to have risk, but it is important to have a full understanding of the amount of investment, startup cost and “ROI” (Return on Investment).

Most people are not aware that 80% of ALL franchise endeavors fail in the first two to five years leaving large debts looming for years thereafter.

One way and in my opinion the best way to cut overhead, startup and investment cost is to take advantage of the new age of entrepreneurship and start a business from the comfort of your home. Opportunities have emerged in the online market that are creating millionaires every single day. Learn more about the exciting opportunities tied to a business model that begins profitable by visiting: http://whatsbetterthanafranchise.com.

The Friends of Tony Veranis

If edgy and nourish crime is your thing, then the short and violent lives of Boston boxer Anthony “Tony” Veranis and his friends just might fill the bill. Veranis was a tough Dorchester, Massachusetts kid who was born in 1938 to first generation Italian immigrants from Sardinia. Tony was in and out of trouble for most of his short life, as he alternated between professional boxing and low-level crime. He had “Tony” tattooed on the fingers of one hand and “Luck” tattooed on the other, but he didn’t have much of the latter.

Labeled a “persistent delinquent,” Tony was incarcerated in 1950 at Lyman Correctional School for Boys in Westborough, 30 miles west of Boston. It was the first reform school in the United States and it was where he was anonymously involved in the Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency (UJD) study conducted by Harvard University professors in an effort to discover the causes of juvenile delinquency and assess the overall effectiveness of correctional treatment in controlling criminal careers. If the study led to any positive results, Tony clearly was not included in the academic largess.

While at Lyman, Tony joined the school’s boxing team, and after being spotted by the savvy and acclaimed Boston fight trainer Clem Crowley, he began fighting as an amateur. Tony’s amateur career culminated when he won the Massachusetts State Amateur Welterweight Title in 1956. That same year, at age 18, Veranis turned professional in Portland, Maine under the alias “Mickey White” and won his first pro bout with a fifth round TKO over one Al Pepin. Tony then launched an astounding run of victories, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Tony often sparred with Joe “The Baron” Barboza, Eddie “Bulldog” Connors, Jimmy Connors (Eddie’s brother), Rocco “Rocky” DiSiglio, George Holden, and Americo “Rico” Sacramone. Southie’s Tommy Sullivan also found his way into this mix. The thing about these guys was that in addition to being well known Boston area boxers, each was brutally murdered between 1966 and 1976.

Joe Barboza (1932-1976)

“The Baron” was his boxing moniker and he ran up a modest record of 8-5 before taking on a far more lucrative and violent line of work. It was once rumored that a sparring mate had done a number on Joe, and The Baron responded by grabbing a gun out of his locker and chasing the pug out of the gym and down the street.

Joe would later assume other nicknames like “The Animal” and “The Wild Thing,” as he became one of the most feared and vicious hit men of his era. He dreamed of becoming the first Portuguese-American inducted into La Cosa Nostra, but never was because he was not of Italian extraction. Fact is, LCR members called him derogatory names-but always, of course, behind his back.

Employed by the Patriarca crime family of Providence, Rhode Island, Barboza, while operating out of East Boston, allegedly murdered between seven and 26 victims, depending on different sources, but given his methodologies and the amount of fear he generated it’s safe to err on the higher side.

Eventually, Barboza flipped and would become the “Joe Valachi” (aka snitch) of the New England Mafia. The circumstances leading up to that eventuality are grist for a lengthy and intriguing tale featuring, among other sordid elements, corruption, deception, triple-crosses, murder, false imprisonment, and the worse scandal in FBI history. Suffice it to say that his testimony helped change the criminal landscape in Boston. For his reward, there was nothing a grateful FBI would not do, so Joe became the first man in the Witness Protection Program and was sent to Santa Rosa, California, but he soon reverted to form and killed one Clay Wilson for which he served only five years. Upon his release and using the name Joe Donali, he was resettled to San Francisco, but the LCN rarely forgets or gives up, and Joe was soon murdered by four shotgun blasts in 1976. The hit was reputedly carried out by the bespectacled Mafia captain, Joseph “J.R.” Russo.

Joe Barboza was a complex individual whose violent life story begged for a book to be written-and it was by crime author Hank Messick. Titled Barboza, it is difficult, if not impossible to find, but is as compelling a true crime story as you could imagine-and if you are a boxing fan, all the better.

Tommy Sullivan (1922-1957)

Irish Tommy, as he was known in South Boston, may have been the best boxer of the bunch as he finished with a 21-2-0-1 mark. Tommy went undefeated in his first 17 pro outings until he lost to Al Priest (25-1) in 1946 and then again in 1947 when Priest was 33-2. Among Sullivan’s victims were Eddie Boden (18-0-1), Coley Welch (90-16-5) and “Mad Anthony” Jones (41-13-4) who Tommy stopped twice. Fighting before monster crowds of up to 13,000 customers, Sullivan engaged in a number of “”savage brawls” that are still talked about by Boston area aficionados. They include his brutal beatings of John Henry Eskew and George Kochan. Tommy had a knack of coming back after he had been dropped and snatching victory from apparent defeat with a “hurricane attack” in the style of later warriors Danny “Little Red” Lopez and Arturo Gatti. Boston fans loved him for the excitement he brought to the ring.

In January 1949, his relatively brief professional boxing career inexplicitly ended and he began working as a longshoreman at Boston Harbor. While at the docks, he struck up friendly relationships with fellow-longshoremen Thomas J. Ballou Jr. (barroom brawler extraordinaire) and the more infamous Barboza. According to author Howie Carr, Ballou had an unusual style of fighting. It seems he always carried a grappling hook and a $100 bill. If Ballou wanted to attack someone, he’d throw the $100 dollar bill on the ground. The unsuspecting and greedy adversary would bend over to grab it, and then Tommy would plunge the grappling hook into the guy’s back.

Tommy resented gang leader George McLaughlin of Charlestown who had attempted to extort money from one of Tommy’s close friends. For the record, the famous Boston Irish Gang War started in 1961 and lasted until 1967. It was fought between the McLaughlin Gang of Charlestown and the Winter Hill Gang of Somerville led by James “Buddy” McLean, but that’s another long and violent story for another day.

Sullivan made the strategic error of getting into a vicious barroom brawl with Edward “Punchy” McLaughlin and proceeded to give McLaughlin, also an ex-boxer, a vicious beating that could not possibly have been duplicated in Hollywood. Beginning in a bar and then moving outside into the street, the two went at each other on reasonably even terms until McLaughlin finally could take no more punishment and rolled under a parked car to escape. But Sullivan, the enraged Southie native, wanted more and he lifted up one end of the car and propped one of the wheels up on the curb allowing him to get at McLaughlin so that he could continue the beatdown. The throng of onlookers, including Barboza, was amazed at this feat of adrenalized strength that would have made a Hollywood stuntman blink.

Deadly payback was swift in coming. Two weeks later, Tommy was called to the side of a car that was idling in the street near his East Fifth Street home and he was promptly shot five times. Seven years later in1965, Sullivan’s brawling foe, McLaughlin, was shot nine times at a West Roxbury bus stop. Some suspected Barboza as the triggerman for this execution.

Although he was never put under serious scrutiny for criminal activity, many viewed Tommy within the context of where there is smoke, there likely must be fire

Rocco DiSiglio (1939-1966)

This former Newton welterweight with a modest record was found shot to death in 1966. Before he turned professional, he trained and/or spared with Veranis, Barboza, Eddie Connors, Sacramone, George Holden, Tom Sullivan, and the legendary Joe DeNucci. He was also a criminal associate of Barboza and Joe would later lead police to the site of Rocky’s corpse in Danvers. It was believed that Rocky was murdered by the mob for sticking up their dice and card games, most of which were overseen by Gennaro Angiulo, the feared gambling czar for the Patriarca crime family.

In retaliation for his brazen, maverick, and foolhardy action, DiSiglio was set up in a Machiavellian-like scheme and eventually shot to death in the driver’s seat of his Thunderbird by the same men with whom he had robbed the card games. He was hit three times at close range with one bullet reportedly tearing off part of his face and another going through his head and out an eye socket. His two killers were later murdered at different times as more loose ends were tied. The entire affair had about it the foul stench of the North End’s Angiulo, and further enraged Rocky’s friend, Joe Barboza, who soon would turn stool pigeon against the LCR.

Meanwhile, still another of Tony Veranis’s friends had died a violent death at a young age.

George Holden (1948-1973)

George, known as “Medford Irisher,” fought mostly out of Portland, Maine as a heavyweight and chalked up a less-than-glorious record of 14-26-3. He went 9-3-3 in his first 15, but then the losses came in bunches and he would lose nine of his last 10. In his last bout against Jimmy McDermott (51-15-3), Holden disgraced himself by showing up drunk for which he was indefinitely suspended. He never fought again.

Like DiSiglio, little is known about Holden’s personal life except that he was a low level operative in organized crime. Holden trained with the usual suspects and met a similar fate. On August 23, 1973, his body was found washed up along the mucky shoreline of the Mystic River in Charlestown, Mass. He had been executed gangland style with a gunshot to the head. George was 25 years old. His killers were never found. Holden’s murder was the 82nd homicide in the city of Boston in 1973.

Eddie Connors (1933-1975)

As a youth, Connors was a regular at the L Street Curley Gym and Bathhouse located in South Boston (i.e. Southie) where future gang leaders Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, James “Whitey” Bulger, and Frank “Cadillac Frank” Salemme hung out.

Eddie, nicknamed “Bulldog,” was a respected heavy-handed middleweight who fought like a bulldog during the ’50s and ran up a slate of 22-7-1 with 18 KOs against tough opposition. His last three fights-all losses by decision-were against Willie Green (27-4), Joe DeNucci (20-2 coming in), and former world champion Tony DeMarco (55-11-1). He also held the very capable George Monroe (39-13-3) to a draw. His brother James Connors (not to be confused with Jimmy Connors who fought out of New Bedford from 1957 to 1963 and who was trained by Clem Crowley) fought between 1959 and 1961 and retired with a 13-0-1 record.

Eddie would later use his boxing experience to handle drunk and disorderly customers in his notorious Bulldog Tavern in the edgy Savin Hill area of Dorchester where he acted as both bartender and fearsome bouncer, and which he also used as his criminal headquarters for illegal gambling, drug dealing, loan sharking, and planned armed robberies with his associates.

Later, because Connors was bragging too much about a murder he had helped orchestrate (of one James “Spike” O’Toole), the Bulldog had become a dangerous loose end. As such, he was set up for an ambush in Dorchester. When Eddie arrived at a service station on Morrissey Blvd. on June 12, 1975, to make a pre-arranged phone call, a young Whitey Bulger, John “The Basin Street Butcher” Martorano, and Stephen Flemmi were waiting armed to the teeth. Connors was nearly cut in half in the phone booth by the hail of heavy artillery and the loose end was tied. Curiously, the deadly Martorano was the one who had machine gunned O’Toole in 1973.

Americo Sacramone (1937-1976)

When he finished his brief boxing career with a 5-1 record, Rico, from Everett, entered the rackets as member of Boston’s Winter Hill Gang. After being wounded in the hit on Buddy McLean in 1965, Rico went back to prison on a parole violation. In 1976, he was gunned down-this time for good by parties unknown.

During his boxing days, Sacramone would often spar with the great Joe DeNucci (54-15-4), who later became the longstanding State Auditor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Tommy Tibbs (1934-1975)

While probably not a friend of Tony Veranis, Tommy (60-74-4) did fight George Monroe three times in 1953-and just about everyone else including Willie Pep whom he beat in 1958-and since Monroe fought to a draw against Eddie Connors in 1955, at least the possibility of a dotted line connection exists. Monroe was from Worcester and Tibbs made his residence in Boston. However, where Tommy warrants an honorable mention is the fact that he was shot and killed in a dispute in a Roxbury bar in 1975-one of the seminal years of living dangerously in Boston.

Back to Tony (1938-1966)

Meanwhile, after beating Al Pepin in his pro debut, Veranis continued his attention-grabbing run as a professional. He was described as “one tough SOB; a Wildman who was courageous in the ring.” Other said he was well-trained and “a great prospect and that his boxing style was one of a slugger.”

In 1957, Tony fought an astonishing 26 times (the majority at the Rollway Arena in Revere). Tony’s best win may have been on December 3, 1957, when he stopped-and retired-the talented Bobby Murphy (19-3-1). Bobby, a former USA New England welterweight titleholder, had impressive wins over Vic Cardell (65-25-7), Fitzie Pruden (50-21), Rocky Sullivan (66-43-12) and Jackie O’Brien (65-17-9), as well as a draw with top contender Chico Vejar (63-5-1). A win over Murphy meant something.

Tony’s last fight in 1957 was against rugged Barry Allison on December 17 against whom he fought to an admirable draw. Allison (40-19-2) was at the center of New England boxing during the 1950s but was never able to reach world championship level though many think he should have gotten the nod against Johnny Saxon in 1958. As for Tony, he slaughtered Silby Ford in a bloody encounter in February 1958, one that had blood-splattered ringsiders aghast as Silby’s teeth and mouthpiece were knocked out. This moved Tony’s record to 25-0-2 before dropping back-to-back fights to Allison in a rematch for Allison’s USA New England middleweight title and to undefeated Joe Devlin at the Boston Garden.

Tony’s loss to Allison was one in which he took a terrible beating and one that undoubtedly rendered him damaged goods going into the Devlin bout-not taking anything away from the Crafty Joe who himself retired undefeated. These two fights occurred within a 16-day span in March 1958. After his brutal knockout defeat to Devlin in which he was decked in every round, he was taken to Boston City Hospital in bad shape and remained in a coma before recovering some three month later. But his boxing days were over.

After boxing, Tony reportedly suffered from severe migraine headaches, nausea, temporary mood swings, and blackouts-maladies that apparently were not treated and pointed to brain damage. When combined with heavy drinking and depression, this lethal mix could only spell major trouble for an ex-boxer. Tony was arrested for an unidentified crime on December 23, 1963, and sent to prison in Norfolk, Massachusetts.

While incarcerated he supposedly became an altar boy to serve at prison mass, prompting the prison chaplain Father John Fitzgerald to say, “He wanted to get straightened out, and I think he did. He was a wonderful boy who’d run with a bad crowd. He frequently stopped in to see me… after he got out, and everything seemed to be all right. He took me to the fights, and he was with respectable fellows.” Some portrayed him as a friendly and quiet guy who was the victim of circumstances beyond his control, but other saw him as a small-time hoodlum and mean drinker with a bad personality change who was more brawn than brain. Street lore and my own in-depth research clearly support the later depiction.

Tony soon found himself in debt to South Boston loan sharks and being overdue to such types was hardly conducive to one’s well being since examples had to be made. Tommy DePrisco, a Barboza associate, attempted to collect from Tony in a South Boston bar but was embarrassed, maybe even punched, and forced to leave as this was Tony’s hangout. The following night, John “The Basin Street Butcher” Martorano was at Billy O’s tavern in Dorchester when Veranis braced him and reportedly slurred, “I’m Tony Veranis, you know who I am. I just had a beef with your friend [DePrisco]. I kicked him outta Southie with his tail between his legs, fuck him and fuck you, too.”

As Tony allegedly reached for his gun, the taller Butcher beat him to the punch and fired down into Tony’s skull twice-blowing what was left of his already damaged brains all over the place. His body was dumped in the Blue Hills wooded area off Route 28 near where Milton and Dedham meet. He had $2.83 in his pocket. This was the end result when two former altar boys met up at the wrong time in the wrong place. One was 27, the other 26. Tony may have been tougher with his fists, but the Butcher was faster with his gun.

John Martorano: Last Man Standing

Many claimed credit for the hit on Tony Veranis and a few even suggested that Barboza was involved, but the most reliable accounting is that Martorano (also known as “The Executioner” among other aliases) was responsible. Early on, Martorano, who also was an altar boy, a good athlete, and well-educated in private schools, showed a marked proclivity for conflict resolution. He eventually became the chief enforcer for the Whitey Bulger gang running up an astounding tally of 20 confirmed hits (all carried out in a cold, detached, so-called “professional” manner).

One of John’s familial Old World core values was that of loyalty, and when he later learned that Bulger and Flemmi were FBI informants who leaked useful information, some of it even accusatory against John, he became enraged. The fact is, he flipped out and then proceeded to flip on the flippers, becoming a key government witness and in the process exposing the links between the Bulger gang and the FBI’s Boston office. In return for his “cooperation” and confession to 20 murders, he served only 12 years and received $20,000 gate money upon his release. Said U.S. Attorney Donald Stern, “The only thing worse than this deal was not doing this deal.”

Of the murders, Martorano incredibly and calmly stated, “I always felt like I was doing the right thing. Even if it was wrong, I always tried to do the right thing.”

Today, while the mother of all rats, Whitey Bulger, spends the rest of his life in prison, John Martorano and Kevin Weeks (another deadly Bulger enforcer and righteous snitch who wrote the compelling “Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger’s Irish Mob,” are free to walk the streets of Quincy, Dorchester, and South Boston having done their time and having made their deals. Unlike Joe Barboza, they don’t need any witness protection because there is no one left from whom to be protected.

Red Shea

There was another ex-boxer, but he chose another, more difficult path. His name was John “Red” Shea and he traded an exceptionally promising boxing career for a more lucrative life as an important operative and enforcer for the Bulger gang. But the thing about Red was that when he was finally caught, he didn’t flip, but held fast to the Irish code of silence. The 47-year-old Red served out his 12 years in prison without ratting out and is now considered a rare man of honor in the Boston area. He went on to write the hot selling Rat Bastards: The Life and Times of South Boston’s Most Honorable Irish Mobster. Red is now enjoying his freedom and the secrets of his life of crime most likely will be taken to the grave with him. His second book, A Kid from Southie has now been published amid solid reviews.

Joe DeNucci and Clem Crowley went on to live extremely honorable and even celebrated lives, as did Joe Devlin, New Bedford’s Jimmy Connors, and Barry Allison. However, Eddie Connors, Rocky DiSiglio, Rico Sacramone, Joe Barboza, George Holden, and Tommy Sullivan-all fighters in the Boston area who were connected to one another in one way or another-were each murdered at a young age.

Women's Business Grants

Television, magazine, and web ads keep promising that there is over 400 billion dollars available in grant money today. They promise that if you send them money they'll tell you how to get a federal grant that you do not have to repay. Women owned businesses are the fastest growing markets in today's world. These ads target women want to start or expand their own business. They promise women business grants are easy to find and even easier to get.

The first part of their promise is true. Google women business grant and you will get 357,000 results. Few of them are actually helpful though. Most of the hits are for ad sites promoting more of what you've been hearing. Remember the shocking statement in the add; that less less than fifteen percent of people ever apply for these grants? That part is true too. But there are reasons for that. Many of these grants have eligility criteria the average person can not meet. Others are location specific grants. Meaning that if you live in Massachusetts and find a great women business grant for starting a home remodeling company, you may have to live in Alaska to qualify. Still, there are grants that you can apply for.

The Amber Grant offers women business owner's small grants for everything from start up to expansion. The amounts are small, usually not more than a thousand dollars. But that small grant can help you buy a new computer for your business or pay for business cards and other advertising.

Most states and the Small Business Administration offer women business grants of varying amounts. It takes some research to find them. Your best bet is to go to your state's web site and search under business assistance benefits. For instance, when you search the Commonwealth of Massachusetts official site for women business grants you are directed to their SOMWBA site (State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance). This site provides links to information ranging from the private sector, to federal government, the state, and local assistance programs. When you register with the site you can receive updates on financial assistance and access to technical assistance as well. Registration is free.

Money, in the form of grants and credit, is available to women in business. Many of the loans are subprime and easy to acquire with a better than decent repayment plan. And though you will not qualify for every grant, the odds are good you'll qualify for a few of them.

As a final note, WomensNet and WomenOwned are two good resources for finding women business grants. In fact WomensNet is the place that offers the Amber Grant. They are worth looking at, but as with all things business related your best bet is to have a plan in place before you start your search. Knowing what specifically you want a grant for will shorten your search tremendously.

Tribute to a Coach

He always seemed just a bit ticked off.

Maybe he was. Maybe he wasn’t.

Whatever was going on inside him, he commanded respect. Fear, it seems, trumps all the other motivators…and I think it’s fair to say that we were all just a bit intimidated by Coach Gerard Leone.

For one example, even today, even after his recent passing from cancer at the age of 72, I’m reluctant to call him “Jerry” as he once warned us never to do after our football careers were over. That’s because I’ve seen him furious before…and don’t totally trust the line between life and death as being anything that could effectively restrain him.

Coach Leone was Franklin, Massachusetts’ most successful high school coach. At least he was to the best of my knowledge. I don’t know of any other FHS coach who could boast a 32 game winning streak. It was impressively long in an extremely competitive high school football league. Historically long, in fact — at the time, it set a Massachusetts’ schoolboy record. One of the Attleboros — either the Red Rocketeers or Blue Bombardiers — eventually broke it, I think.

He left FHS a while after the streak, but returned to win an in-state Super Bowl for Franklin in 1983, showing that he hadn’t lost his touch. Too bad they didn’t have those Super Bowls when we played.

The guy was tough, and it was no act. He grew up in the Whiskey Point section of Brookline…not some sleepy Massachusetts suburb somewhere. I remember approaching him one fall day after one of the math classes he taught. We were in an empty classroom, and he was dressed in a coat and tie, looking perfectly civilized. Not having any inkling of what I was about to do, I proceeded to ask him for the day off under the mistaken belief that having a softball-sized boil on my knee qualified me to skip practice. Unfortunately he saw this as just another lame excuse and blew up. “You can’t afford to skip practice today,” he informed me in his ominous “I’m perturbed” tone, “but if you do, go ahead and skip the rest of the season too.”

It was a real turning point for me.

There didn’t seem to be any good reason to stay on the team. Practice was rough enough as it was but now here was the coach literally inviting me to quit…something that would have been all too easy to do that day. I was getting treated unfairly. That much was clear. The guy had to be nuts. That’s what I thought, at least.

Fortunately for me, I went ahead and practiced that day. I didn’t quit. I wasn’t “all in” for a week or so, but I didn’t quit.

That junior year (1968) was a rough one for us — and the country. First Martin Luther King was assassinated in April then Robert Kennedy was murdered in June; there were race riots and war protests; Vietnam’s number of KIAs, WIAs, MIAs and POWs kept mounting; and, maybe as another dark omen (albeit of lesser magnitude), one of America’s most beloved sports heroes ever, Mickey Mantle, played his final season. The nation’s atmosphere was dark and doubtful.

We lost every game except the last two that dismal year; we tied the next to the last contest then beat neighboring King Philip in a Thanksgiving Day thriller to stay mercifully out of the cellar.

I remember being injured much of the season (a sprained ankle that masked a fracture) and slogging from one miserable loss to another. But none of us quit. And Coach Leone didn’t baby us, either. He didn’t say, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” He would never have uttered such nonsense. He just made us realize that if we really wanted to win, we were going to have to want it a lot more and work a whole lot harder than the other guys — a lesson that, as it turns out, happens to apply to every important goal in life.

And he wouldn’t let us dog it just because we were down and out. I think it was during that tough 1968 season when, near the end of a practice, during sprints, I caught a blur out of the corner of my eye. I turned: It looked like bigfoot getting blown up by an MX missile. Actually it was Coach Leone blasting across the field, tackling a lumbering lineman who was halfway through a sprint, a teammate much bigger than he was who must have thought he could get away with running those sprints at less than top speed. It was a beautiful tackle, I had to admit.

To me, it was trademark Coach Leone stuff.

At any rate, the incident only helped motivate us to work harder. The next season, with that 1968 character-building behind us, we picked up where we left off. The year looked more hopeful — man landed on the moon in July — and I was lucky enough to be elected one of the captains, validating my decision not to quit. As usual, Coach Leone’s practices were legendary — some players decided not to go on.

We cruised through the first game with Case (I still don’t know where that place is). Unfortunately the next game, Ipswich, was one that should never have been scheduled. At least that early in the season. As good as we were — and we were good — Ipswich was that much better at that moment in time. I can still see their star back galloping away from me.

Someone said they saw Coach Leone crying afterward. I don’t know.

I do know that the practice following that devastating loss was “memorable.” Pure savagery. Gladiator training school stuff. The coaches were not happy. I remember the poor helmet-framed face of my good friend, Mike Gilmore — just before planting my cleats squarely into it (into his facemask, actually). But he survived. We all survived. And no one called the ACLU.

Or the ASPCA.

The rest of the season could have been scripted in Hollywood. We simply didn’t lose again. A week later, we faced a tough North Attleboro team and our character was again tested…this time we were up to it. We mustered two goal-line stands on our way to an 8-0 win and — five wins later — to the championship Thanksgiving Day re-match between Franklin and King Philip, both of us undefeated, the previous year’s two worst teams, accounting for the first seven victories in that historic 32 game winning streak as well as the first of those three consecutive championships.

We got the ball rolling.

I actually saw Coach Leone smiling that victorious Thanksgiving day. Several times, in fact.

He had this spooky knack of knowing whether or not you were “giving 100 percent.” He simply wouldn’t settle for less, often using the Three Stooges’ expression, belly-bumping, to describe a mediocre effort. As the great UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, famously put it, “Don’t confuse activity for accomplishment” — something Coach Leone wholeheartedly believed.

And Coach could get us psyched up. At least he could get me psyched up before a game. I remember being in an altered state on Saturday mornings before we played (that’s right…we played on Saturdays not Friday nights). It was intense. I wouldn’t talk or do anything but stare out the door waiting for my ride to the school to show up. I had my favorite psych songs, of course, but there were no Walkmans or Ipods around to play them. Just albums.

Even so, I didn’t need music to get motivated.

He wasn’t one for excessive praise, either, and that was just fine. People get praised for too little these days. According to today’s standards, just about everyone deserves to be a hero. But a mere nod of his head could feel like a million bucks. And he had a good (if not somewhat concealed) sense of humor. I remember, after football season, competing in the quarter mile in track and accidentally bumping the runner ahead of me off his pace. Now, traditionally, track and field is a non-contact, non-violent sport. In this instance, however, my roller-derby version of the quarter mile just busted Coach up: I remember how hard he laughed.

He wasn’t perfect. None of us can lay claim to that. And he and Scott Hayden have had to deal with a monstrous tragedy after Scott’s life-changing spinal cord injury on the football field. Scott still heroically deals with it. But the thing is, when Coach Leone is remembered, it will probably be for the great contributions he’s made to the lives of hundreds of guys.

I’m certain I’m a far better man for not quitting his football team on that fall day in that empty Franklin High classroom in 1968. I wonder about it sometimes. Certainly quitting would have been easy to do that day…but what would it have done to me later in life? “Coach made me tougher,” Mike Gilmore admitted after I told him of his passing. “He gave me confidence.”

Coach Leone’s brand of no-excuse competition made all the members of his teams tougher and better prepared for life. I can’t imagine facing life any other way.

Thanks, Coach.

Yeah, I think it’s safe to say that we were all just a bit intimidated by Coach Leone…but, more importantly, we loved the man and wouldn’t have wanted him any other way.

Saltbox Garage Plans

If you’re looking for all-American style, saltbox garage plans may be right up your alley. The saltbox style with its sloping gable roof and asymmetry has an interesting history. The saltbox style takes its name from the old saltboxes of colonial times, which were sloped, wooden boxes in which salt was kept for storage in homes. The style first appeared in New England, most likely in Concord, Massachusetts, in about 1600, but became more popular with Queen Anne’s taxation of houses that were more than one story in the early 1700s, since the back roof line descends to the height of a single story, no many how tall the building is. John Adams’ birthplace in Quincy, Massachusetts is a perfect example of this style in a home.

Saltbox garage plans are before for anyone who is interested in either the aesthetics of the style, or building a sloped apartment or storage unit above their garage. It’s an interesting design is sure to draw attention, and renters, and its simple design is ideal for someone looking for a quick fix without purchasing some ready-made nightmare.

Before purchasing or designing your saltbox garage plans, you should contact your local building control office, and familiarize yourself with what is allowed in your area and on your property. They can give you valuable information that will help you find plans that they are more likely to approve, therefore saving you time and money in the long run. They will also be able to inform you of the regulation, such as whether or not structural professionals like architects, electricians and plumbers are required in your area.

Saltbox garage plans are easily to find. They can be purchased in many home improvement stores, or online for a reasonable price. Usually they are available for $50 or less. However, before purchasing, make sure they meet the codes and regulations of your local agencies, and that the kits include everything you will need. Sometimes it is only the one blue plan, and it is likely that building control will tell you need much more than that. In addition, many times contractors will also need copies. You want to be sure you have enough before you start your project.

Finally, if you are adding an apartment to the upper story, you will want to search out the appropriate appliances for the sloping structure. In addition, remember to figure in paint, carpeting or flooring, and the small pieces that make a home a home, such as light switches and socket covers. It is better to overestimate than to find yourself over budget and out of money later. Keep in mind that the top story will be half the size of the bottom story, and make your purchases fittingly.

If you are using the upper story of your saltbox garage plans for storage, you may want to consider what type of items will be stored. Sensitive items may need a heat controlled environment. In addition, you will want to make sure that the structure is sound, to keep out pests, mold and mildew.

15 August 1945: USS Concord Fires Last Shot of WWII – 15 August 2015 Marks the 70th Anniversary

Other war ships claimed to have fired the last shot of World War II, but that distinction goes to the USS Concord CL-10, a four-stack light cruiser named for the Massachusetts town where the first ordered shot of the American Revolution-“the shot heard ’round the world”-was fired.

“I had no idea I was present for this historic event,” Thaddeus Buczko of Salem, Massachusetts, told me in a recent interiew, “until I read about it many years later in a veterans’ magazine.” At the time, 19-year-old Buczko was serving in the U. S. Navy aboard the USS Bearss (pronounced “barce”). The Bearss was one of the destroyers that comprised Task Force 92 serving in the Northern Pacific Ocean, along with the light cruisers Concord, Richmond, and Trenton.

By 15 August 1945, Nazi Germany had surrendered to the Allied Forces in Europe (8 May), and atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki, Japan (9 August). Did Buczko and his shipmates have a sense that the war was ending? “No,” Buczko says. “We heard that the Germans had surrendered, but we were all the way over in the Pacific. We were still at war. We heard about the bombs being dropped in August, but we were unaware of the consequences and had no idea what was going to happen next. We were still under orders.”

On 15 August 1945, Task Force 92 bombarded shipping and shore installations in the Japanese Kuril Islands. The Concord was tasked with opening fire on Shasukotan Island, firing “salvo after salvo” with her six-inch “twin guns” and the five-inch guns of the Task Force’s destroyers, including the Bearss, according to the account by Fred A. Lumb that Thaddeus Buczko read years later.

Lumb continues: “At last Capt. C. A. Rumble, commanding the Concord and the little task group, gave the ceasefire order. The destroyers’ guns became silent. About a minute later, Lt. Comdr. Daniel Brand, the gunnery officer, high aloft in forward fire control, saw to it that one more round was fired by the Concord.” Because the last shot had mis-fired just before the ceasefire went into effect, the ship had to receive special permission from the Task Force Commander to fire one last time rather than retrieve the ammunition manually. That was the last shot of the war.

Ensign Robert P. Crossley of the Concord described what happened next: “News of Japan’s acceptance of the Potsdam Surrender terms… was received aboard the Concord by radio as she steamed toward the Aleutians following the Navy’s final offensive strike against Japanese territory… the shot heard ’round the world from the Musket of the Minutemen of Concord and Lexington on April 19, 1775 had re-echoed with even greater fury and meaning as this proud bearer of the minuteman tradition fired the final naval gun salvo of World War II, a few seconds after 8:06 p. m. (Japan time).”

Fred Lumb concludes: “Within the hour, Ens. Robert Crossley was in the coding room, just off the radio shack, typing Concord’s claim to having fired the last American shot of the war.” The Navy soon verified their claim.

The crew aboard the Bearss received the news of Japan’s surrender by loud speaker, with very few details. Buczko recalls, “Even when we were informed that the Japanese had surrendered, we wondered if the Japanese ships and pilots out there knew it. We were still ever-vigilant. We could still be attacked.”

As for hearing the war was over? “We were all just matter-of-fact,” Buczko says. We were very tired. There was no elation, no jubilation, like you hear about everyone in the States.” In the Aleutian Islands, the Bearss and the Concord repaired damage to the ships, re-supplied, re-armed, and prepared for orders. They prepared for boarding parties. “We knew we were going in,” Buczko explains, “but we didn’t know when or how.”

On 2 September 1945, the Japanese and Americans signed the official surrender document aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

In the Aleutian Islands, orders came for the Bearss and the Hood, another destroyer in the Task Force, to rendezvous with a Japanese ship carrying the emissaries who would sign U. S. Naval Emergency Occupation Order No. 1. The Order would turn over the Ominato Guard District Area to the United States, specifically: “That portion of the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido between Latitudes Forty Degrees and Thirty minutes and Forty-two Degrees North and between Longitudes 139 degrees and 142 degrees East is hereby declared the Ominato Guard District Emergency Occupation Zone.”

The Bearss and Hood rendezvoused with the Japanese delegation’s ship in the Tsugaru Straits, “a fifteen-mile-wide body of water separating the northern coast of Honshu and the Island of Hokaido,” Quartermaster Edwin E. Douglass wrote in his account of the day.

QM Douglass continues: “The Japanese crew had painted a white cross on their ship’s funnel, the emblem of surrender. As the ships approached each other, it was indeed a tense moment for every man aboard until the Japanese raised the international code of flags giving us assurance her intentions were strictly peace loving.” Even so, while one of the Hood’s small boats went out to transport the emissaries to the Bearss, the Bearss and the Hood circled the Japanese ship, guns trained on their potential target. The Bearss also took on U. S. Marines and media personnel. While everyone boarded the Bearss, Buczko was top-side manning two 36″ search lights, observing it all, but having “no idea of what was going on,” he remembers.

The Japanese ship guided the Bearss and the Hood through the heavily mined Tsugaru Straights into Matsu Bay for occupation duty. “When we pulled in,” Buczko recalls, “I remember observing Japanese people abandoning the city in haste for the mountains, carry their belongings or using anything with wheels. I think were in fear of the occupation forces.”

The United States and Japan signed Emergency Occupation Order No. 1 on 9 September 1945 aboard the USS Panamint, the flagship of Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, Commander, North Pacific Force and Area. Among the Order’s instructions, the Japanese would provide:

  • Lists of all Japanese “land, air, and anti-craft units, showing locations and strength in officers and men”
  • Lists of all aircraft (military, naval, and civilian), naval vessels, and merchant ships, their type, condition, and locations
  • Detailed information, including maps, of “all mines, minefields and other obstacles to movement by land, sea or air”
  • “Locations and descriptions of all military installations and establishments… together with plans and drawings of all such fortifications, installations and establishments”
  • “Locations of all camps and other places of detention of all United Nations prisoners of war”

Further stipulations regarded minesweeping, and the provision of transportation, labor, materials, and facilities as directed by Admiral Fletcher.

In his introductory remarks to the Occupation Order, Admiral Fletcher expressed his hope that the occupation would proceed without “any incident that would only increase the sufferings of the Japanese people.”

Concluding his personal account of the signing, QM Douglass wrote: “Another drastic and useless war had ended, another lesson had been learned testifying that man wraps himself in a blanket of ideals and luxuries, then with a match sets the world on fire, finding he was destroying himself as well with the seeking of leadership and fame.”

The officers and crew of the Bearss held a flag raising ceremony at the Ominato Base. QM Douglass observed, “The ancient empire today stands beneath the flags of the United Nations. A destroyer and her crew received a ‘well done’ as the stars and stripes were raised over Ominato, proving that nations combined shall oppress all who intend to destroy the human race.”

Heading Home and Conclusions

After a period of occupation duty, the USS Concord sailed for Boston to participate in Navy Day on 27 October 1945. According to the Navy, she was the first Navy cruiser named for a Massachusetts city or town to visit the Commonwealth since the surrender of Japan. Some 18,000 people lined up in Boston to board the ship and view the turret of the “twin six” that fired the last shot of the war. (The gun and mount are now on view at the Naval Museum in Washington, D. C.) Visitors also saw a bronze replica of the famous Concord Minuteman Statue, a memento of the first “shot heard ’round the world” of the Revolutionary War and the ship’s “mascot.”

The Concord received one Battle Star for her service in the Kuril Islands Operation. After visiting Boston, she returned to her home port of Philadelphia where she was decommissioned on 12 December 1945 and sold 21 January 1947.

Following her occupation duty, the USS Bearss sailed for Hakodate, Hokkaido, to Yokosuka in Tokyo Bay, and then returned to the States via the destroyer base in Hawaii to San Diego, California. From there, the Bearss passed through the Panama Canal and arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, on 23 December 1945. She had participated in eight sea strikes with no casualties. The Bearss was brought back into service in 1951, decommissioned in 1963, and eventually sold for scrap.

After a 30-day leave, allowing him to return home to Salem for Christmas of 1945, Thaddeus Buczko (today, age 89) was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Midway until he retired from active duty.

He went on to receive a B. A. from Norwich University (with honors) and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U. S. Army. While pursuing his law degree at Boston University, in June 1949 Buczko was commissioned by the U. S. Army to serve as a Reserve Officer with the 304th Armored Calvary Regiment. He was recalled to active duty in 1952, during the Korean War, where he served as a Unit Tank Commander with the 3rd Armored Division and as Assistant Staff Judge Advocate for the Division. After the war, Buczko served with Civil Affairs units (military government). He commanded the 357th Civil Affairs Area B Headquarters. He also served as Chief of Staff of the 94th Army Reserve Command, which was comprised of more than 12,000 citizen-soldier reservists in over 100 reserve units in New England. In 1979, Buczko retired at the rank of Colonel after 30 years of service in the Army. For his service, he received the Legion of Merit medal.

Thaddeus Buczko has served as a Salem City Councilor, Massachusetts State Representative, Post Master of Salem (appointed by President John F. Kennedy), Massachusetts State Auditor, and First Justice of the Essex County Probate and Family Court. He is credited with bringing Pope John Paul II to Boston in 1979. He continues to reside in Salem.

781 Area Code – Where Is It?

If you have been receiving calls from an area code that shows up as 781, its really not surprising, as this North American area code serves a portion of the city of Boston in Massachusetts, and is also shared as an overlay with area code 339.

Together, these two telephone codes serve many districts, and some of them are Pembroke, Burlington, Stoneham, Abington and South Weymouth.

If you don’t recognize any of those places its OK. 781 covers the mass of six counties in Massachusetts with a rough estimate of population being around one and half million people, and the counties by name are Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk, so this leaves a very good chance that a number that has been calling you matches this area and could be virtually anyone.

Due to increased need for more North American telephone area codes in and around the area, area code 781 was created as a split from the older code 617, and the overlay that would later go on to help now used as 339 came out in 2001.

The big question on your mind might be, how do I get more information on the whole phone number now that I know its probably coming out of Boston? in other words – how do I figure out the exact location of it, and who owns this telephone number?

Most people who want to get the facts about someone who is calling them will simply use a reverse phone number lookup.

These types of directories can be extremely useful as they can typically do reverse searches on both cell and land line numbers. Now, you could just try doing a search in say Google with the number you are interested in getting data on, but the only thing that it might return would be a public number like for a business, and cell phone numbers just aren’t publicly listed. This means that chances are the number that you have on hand is private, and you will have to use a real reverse cell phone lookup instead.

American History – The Colonial Period

The following article lists some simple, informative tips that will help you have a better experience with The Colonial Period.

The Colonial Period

NEW PEOPLES

Most settlers who came to America in the 17th century were English, but there were also Dutch, Swedes and Germans in the middle region, a few French Huguenots in South Carolina and elsewhere, slaves from Africa, primarily in the South, and a scattering of Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese throughout the colonies.

After 1680 England ceased to be the chief source of immigration. Thousands of refugees fled continental Europe to escape the path of war. Many left their homelands to avoid the poverty induced by government oppression and absentee-landlordism.

By 1690 the American population had risen to a quarter of a million. From then on, it doubled every 25 years until, in 1775, it numbered more than 2.5 million.

Although a family could move from Massachusetts to Virginia or from South Carolina to Pennsylvania, without major readjustment, distinctions between individual colonies were marked. They were even more so between the three regional groupings of colonies

NEW ENGLAND

New England in the northeast has generally thin, stony soil, relatively little level land, and long winters, making it difficult to make a living from farming. Turning to other pursuits, the New Englanders harnessed water power and established grain mills and sawmills. Good stands of timber encouraged shipbuilding. Excellent harbors promoted trade, and the sea became a source of great wealth. In Massachusetts, the cod industry alone quickly furnished a basis for prosperity.

With the bulk of the early settlers living in villages and towns around the harbors, many New Englanders carried on some kind of trade or business. Common pasture land and woodlots served the needs of townspeople, who worked small farms nearby. Compactness made possible the village school, the village church and the village or town hall, where citizens met to discuss matters of common interest.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony continued to expand its commerce. From the middle of the 17th century onward it grew prosperous, and Boston became one of America’s greatest ports.

Oak timber for ships’ hulls, tall pines for spars and masts, and pitch for the seams of ships came from the Northeastern forests. Building their own vessels and sailing them to ports all over the world, the ship masters of Massachusetts Bay laid the foundation for a trade that was to grow steadily in importance. By the end of the colonial period, one-third of all vessels under the British flag were built in New England. Fish, ship’s stores and wooden ware swelled the exports.

New England shippers soon discovered, too, that rum and slaves were profitable commodities. One of the most enterprising — if unsavory — trading practices of the time was the so-called “triangular trade.” Merchants and shippers would purchase slaves off the coast of Africa for New England rum, then sell the slaves in the West Indies where they would buy molasses to bring home for sale to the local rum producers.

THE MIDDLE COLONIES

Society in the middle colonies was far more varied, cosmopolitan and tolerant than in New England. In many ways, Pennsylvania and Delaware owed their initial success to William Penn.

Under his guidance, Pennsylvania functioned smoothly and grew rapidly. By 1685 its population was almost 9,000. The heart of the colony was Philadelphia, a city soon to be known for its broad, tree-shaded streets, substantial brick and stone houses, and busy docks. By the end of the colonial period, nearly a century later, 30,000 people lived there, representing many languages, creeds and trades. Their talent for successful business enterprise made the city one of the thriving centers of colonial America.

Though the Quakers dominated in Philadelphia, elsewhere in Pennsylvania others were well represented. Germans became the colony’s most skillful farmers. Important, too, were cottage industries such as weaving, shoe making, cabinetmaking and other crafts.

Pennsylvania was also the principal gateway into the New World for the Scots-Irish, who moved into the colony in the early 18th century. “Bold and indigent strangers,” as one Pennsylvania official called them, they hated the English and were suspicious of all government. The Scots-Irish tended to settle in the back country, where they cleared land and lived by hunting and subsistence farming.

As mixed as the people were in Pennsylvania, New York best illustrated the polyglot nature of America. By 1646 the population along the Hudson River included Dutch, French, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, English, Scots, Irish, Germans, Poles, Bohemians, Portuguese and Italians — the forerunners of millions to come.

The Dutch continued to exercise an important social and economic influence on the New York region long after the fall of New Netherlands and their integration into the British colonial system. Their sharp-stepped, gable roofs became a permanent part of the city’s architecture, and their merchants gave Manhattan much of its original bustling, commercial atmosphere.

THE SOUTHERN COLONIES

In contrast to New England and the middle colonies were the predominantly rural southern settlements: Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, and Georgia.

By the late 17th century, Virginia’s and Maryland’s economic and social structure rested on the great planters and the yeoman farmers. The planters of the tidewater region, supported by slave labor, held most of the political power and the best land. They built great houses, adopted an aristocratic way of life and kept in touch as best they could with the world of culture overseas.

At the same time, yeoman farmers, who worked smaller tracts of land, sat in popular assemblies and found their way into political office. Their outspoken independence was a constant warning to the oligarchy of planters not to encroach too far upon the rights of free men.

Charleston, South Carolina, became the leading port and trading center of the South. There the settlers quickly learned to combine agriculture and commerce, and the marketplace became a major source of prosperity. Dense forests also brought revenue: lumber, tar and resin from the long leaf pine provided some of the best shipbuilding materials in the world. Not bound to a single crop as was Virginia, North and South Carolina also produced and exported rice and indigo, a blue dye obtained from native plants, which was used in coloring fabric. By 1750 more than 100,000 people lived in the two colonies of North and South Carolina.

In the southern-most colonies, as everywhere else, population growth in the back country had special significance. German immigrants and Scots-Irish, unwilling to live in the original tidewater settlements where English influence was strong, pushed inland. Those who could not secure fertile land along the coast, or who had exhausted the lands they held, found the hills farther west a bountiful refuge. Although their hardships were enormous, restless settlers kept coming, and by the 1730s they were pouring into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Soon the interior was dotted with farms.

Living on the edge of the Indian country, frontier families built cabins, cleared tracts in the wilderness and cultivated maize and wheat. The men wore leather made from the skin of deer or sheep, known as buckskin; the women wore garments of cloth they spun at home. Their food consisted of venison, wild turkey and fish. They had their own amusements — great barbecues, dances, housewarmings for newly married couples, shooting matches and contests for making quilted blankets. Quilts remain an American tradition today.

SOCIETY, SCHOOLS AND CULTURE

A significant factor deterring the emergence of a powerful aristocratic or gentry class in the colonies was the fact that anyone in an established colony could choose to find a new home on the frontier. Thus, time after time, dominant tidewater figures were obliged, by the threat of a mass exodus to the frontier, to liberalize political policies, land-grant requirements and religious practices. This movement into the foothills was of tremendous import for the future of America.

Of equal significance for the future were the foundations of American education and culture established during the colonial period. Harvard College was founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Near the end of the century, the College of William and Mary was established in Virginia. A few years later, the Collegiate School of Connecticut, later to become Yale College, was chartered. But even more noteworthy was the growth of a school system maintained by governmental authority. The Puritan emphasis on reading directly from the Scriptures underscored the importance of literacy.

In 1647 the Massachusetts Bay Colony enacted the “ye olde deluder Satan” Act, requiring every town having more than 50 families to establish a grammar school (a Latin school to prepare students for college). Shortly thereafter, all the other New England colonies, except Rhode Island, followed its example.

The first immigrants in New England brought their own little libraries and continued to import books from London. And as early as the 1680s, Boston booksellers were doing a thriving business in works of classical literature, history, politics, philosophy, science, theology and belles-letters. In 1639 the first printing press in the English colonies and the second in North America was installed at Harvard College.

The first school in Pennsylvania was begun in 1683. It taught reading, writing and keeping of accounts. Thereafter, in some fashion, every Quaker community provided for the elementary teaching of its children. More advanced training — in classical languages, history and literature — was offered at the Friends Public School, which still operates in Philadelphia as the William Penn Charter School. The school was free to the poor, but parents who could were required to pay tuition.

In Philadelphia, numerous private schools with no religious affiliation taught languages, mathematics and natural science; there were also night schools for adults. Women were not entirely overlooked, but their educational opportunities were limited to training in activities that could be conducted in the home. Private teachers instructed the daughters of prosperous Philadelphians in French, music, dancing, painting, singing, grammar and sometimes even bookkeeping.

In the 18th century, the intellectual and cultural development of Pennsylvania reflected, in large measure, the vigorous personalities of two men: James Logan and Benjamin Franklin. Logan was secretary of the colony, and it was in his fine library that young Franklin found the latest scientific works. In 1745 Logan erected a building for his collection and bequeathed both building and books to the city.

Franklin contributed even more to the intellectual activity of Philadelphia. He formed a debating club that became the embryo of the American Philosophical Society. His endeavors also led to the founding of a public academy that later developed into the University of Pennsylvania. He was a prime mover in the establishment of a subscription library, which he called “the mother of all North American subscription libraries.”

In the Southern colonies, wealthy planters and merchants imported private tutors from Ireland or Scotland to teach their children. Others sent their children to school in England. Having these other opportunities, the upper classes in the Tidewater were not interested in supporting public education. In addition, the diffusion of farms and plantations made the formation of community schools difficult. There were a few endowed free schools in Virginia; the Syms School was founded in 1647 and the Eaton School emerged in 1659.

The desire for learning did not stop at the borders of established communities, however. On the frontier, the Scots-Irish, though living in primitive cabins, were firm devotees of scholarship, and they made great efforts to attract learned ministers to their settlements.

Literary production in the colonies was largely confined to New England. Here attention concentrated on religious subjects. Sermons were the most common products of the press. A famous Puritan minister, the Reverend Cotton Mather, wrote some 400 works. His masterpiece, Magnalia Christi Americana, presented the pageant of New England’s history. But the most popular single work of the day was the Reverend Michael Wigglesworth’s long poem, “The Day of Doom,” which described the last judgment in terrifying terms.

In 1704 Cambridge, Massachusetts, launched the colonies’ first successful newspaper. By 1745 there were 22 newspapers being published throughout the colonies.

How can you put a limit on learning more? The next section may contain that one little bit of wisdom that changes everything.

In New York, an important step in establishing the principle of freedom of the press took place with the case of Johann Peter Zenger, whose New York Weekly Journal begun in 1733, represented the opposition to the government. After two years of publication, the colonial governor could no longer tolerate Zenger’s satirical barbs, and had him thrown into prison on a charge of seditious libel. Zenger continued to edit his paper from jail during his nine-month trial, which excited intense interest throughout the colonies. Andrew Hamilton, the prominent lawyer who defended Zenger, argued that the charges printed by Zenger were true and hence not libelous. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty, and Zenger went free.

The prosperity of the towns, which prompted fears that the devil was luring society into pursuit of worldly gain, produced a religious reaction in the 1730s that came to be known as the Great Awakening. Its inspiration came from two sources: George Whitefield, a Wesleyan revivalist who arrived from England in 1739, and Jonathan Edwards, who originally served in the Congregational Church in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Whitefield began a religious revival in Philadelphia and then moved on to New England. He enthralled audiences of up to 20,000 people at a time with histrionic displays, gestures and emotional oratory. Religious turmoil swept throughout New England and the middle colonies as ministers left established churches to preach the revival.

Among those influenced by Whitefield was Edwards, and the Great Awakening reached its culmination in 1741 with his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Edwards did not engage in theatrics, but delivered his sermons in a quiet, thoughtful manner. He stressed that the established churches sought to deprive Christianity of its emotional content. His magnum opus, Of Freedom of Will (1754), attempted to reconcile Calvinism with the Enlightenment.

The Great Awakening gave rise to evangelical denominations and the spirit of revivalism, which continue to play significant roles in American religious and cultural life. It weakened the status of the established clergy and provoked believers to rely on their own conscience. Perhaps most important, it led to the proliferation of sects and denominations, which in turn encouraged general acceptance of the principle of religious toleration.

EMERGENCE OF COLONIAL GOVERNMENT

In all phases of colonial development, a striking feature was the lack of controlling influence by the English government. All colonies except Georgia emerged as companies of shareholders, or as feudal proprietorships stemming from charters granted by the Crown. The fact that the king had transferred his immediate sovereignty over the New World settlements to stock companies and proprietors did not, of course, mean that the colonists in America were necessarily free of outside control. Under the terms of the Virginia Company charter, for example, full governmental authority was vested in the company itself. Nevertheless, the crown expected that the company would be resident in England. Inhabitants of Virginia, then, would have no more voice in their government than if the king himself had retained absolute rule.

For their part, the colonies had never thought of themselves as subservient. Rather, they considered themselves chiefly as commonwealths or states, much like England itself, having only a loose association with the authorities in London. In one way or another, exclusive rule from the outside withered away. The colonists — inheritors of the traditions of the Englishman’s long struggle for political liberty — incorporated concepts of freedom into Virginia’s first charter. It provided that English colonists were to exercise all liberties, franchises and immunities “as if they had been abiding and born within this our Realm of England.” They were, then, to enjoy the benefits of the Magna Carta and the common law. In 1618 the Virginia Company issued instructions to its appointed governor providing that free inhabitants of the plantations should elect representatives to join with the governor and an appointive council in passing ordinances for the welfare of the colony.

These measures proved to be some of the most far-reaching in the entire colonial period. From then on, it was generally accepted that the colonists had a right to participate in their own government. In most instances, the king, in making future grants, provided in the charter that the free men of the colony should have a voice in legislation affecting them. Thus, charters awarded to the Calverts in Maryland, William Penn in Pennsylvania, the proprietors in North and South Carolina and the proprietors in New Jersey specified that legislation should be enacted with “the consent of the freemen.”

In New England, for many years, there was even more complete self-government than in the other colonies. Aboard the Mayflower, the Pilgrims adopted an instrument for government called the “Mayflower Compact,” to “combine ourselves together into a civil body politic for our better ordering and preservation…and by virtue hereof [to] enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices…as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony….”

Although there was no legal basis for the Pilgrims to establish a system of self-government, the action was not contested and, under the compact, the Plymouth settlers were able for many years to conduct their own affairs without outside interference.

A similar situation developed in the Massachusetts Bay Company, which had been given the right to govern itself. Thus, full authority rested in the hands of persons residing in the colony. At first, the dozen or so original members of the company who had come to America attempted to rule autocratically. But the other colonists soon demanded a voice in public affairs and indicated that refusal would lead to a mass migration.

Faced with this threat, the company members yielded, and control of the government passed to elected representatives. Subsequently, other New England colonies — such as Connecticut and Rhode Island — also succeeded in becoming self-governing simply by asserting that they were beyond any governmental authority, and then setting up their own political system modeled after that of the Pilgrims at Plymouth.

In only two cases was the self-government provision omitted. These were New York, which was granted to Charles II’s brother, the Duke of York (later to become King James II); and Georgia, which was granted to a group of “trustees.” In both instances the provisions for governance were short-lived, for the colonists demanded legislative representation so insistently that the authorities soon yielded.

Eventually most colonies became royal colonies, but in the mid-17th century, the English were too distracted by the Civil War (1642-1649) and Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan Commonwealth and Protectorate to pursue an effective colonial policy. After the restoration of Charles II and the Stuart dynasty in 1660, England had more opportunity to attend to colonial administration. Even then, however, it was inefficient and lacked a coherent plan, and the colonies were left largely to their own devices.

The remoteness afforded by a vast ocean also made control of the colonies difficult. Added to this was the character of life itself in early America. From countries limited in space and dotted with populous towns, the settlers had come to a land of seemingly unending reach. On such a continent, natural conditions promoted a tough individualism, as people became used to making their own decisions. Government penetrated the back country only slowly, and conditions of anarchy often prevailed on the frontier.

Yet, the assumption of self-government in the colonies did not go entirely unchallenged. In the 1670s, the Lords of Trade and Plantations, a royal committee established to enforce the mercantile system on the colonies, moved to annul the Massachusetts Bay charter, because the colony was resisting the government’s economic policy. James II in 1685 approved a proposal to create a Dominion of New England and place colonies south through New Jersey under its jurisdiction, thereby tightening the Crown’s control over the whole region. A royal governor, Sir Edmund Andros, levied taxes by executive order, implemented a number of other harsh measures and jailed those who resisted.

When news of the Glorious Revolution (1688-1689) that deposed James II reached Boston, the population rebelled and imprisoned Andros. Under a new charter, Massachusetts and Plymouth were united for the first time in 1691 as the royal colony of Massachusetts Bay. The other colonies that had come under the Dominion of New England quickly reinstalled their previous governments.

The Glorious Revolution had other positive effects on the colonies. The Bill of Rights and Toleration Act of 1689 affirmed freedom of worship for Christians and enforced limits on the Crown. Equally important, John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government (1690) set forth a theory of government based not on divine right but on contract, and contended that the people, endowed with natural rights of life, liberty and property, had the right to rebel when governments violated these natural rights.

Colonial politics in the early 18th century resembled English politics in the 17th. The Glorious Revolution affirmed the supremacy of Parliament, but colonial governors sought to exercise powers in the colonies that the king had lost in England. The colonial assemblies, aware of events in England, attempted to assert their “rights” and “liberties.” By the early 18th century, the colonial legislatures held two significant powers similar to those held by the English Parliament: the right to vote on taxes and expenditures, and the right to initiate legislation rather than merely act on proposals of the governor.

The legislatures used these rights to check the power of royal governors and to pass other measures to expand their power and influence. The recurring clashes between governor and assembly worked increasingly to awaken the colonists to the divergence between American and English interests. In many cases, the royal authorities did not understand the importance of what the colonial assemblies were doing and simply neglected them. However, these acts established precedents and principles and eventually became part of the “constitution” of the colonies.

In this way, the colonial legislatures established the right of self- government. In time, the center of colonial administration shifted from London to the provincial capitals.

THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR

France and Britain engaged in a succession of wars in Europe and the Caribbean at several intervals in the 18th century. Though Britain secured certain advantages from them — primarily in the sugar-rich islands of the Caribbean — the struggles were generally indecisive, and France remained in a powerful position in North America at the beginning of the Seven Years War in 1754.

By that time France had established a strong relationship with a number of Indian tribes in Canada and along the Great Lakes, taken possession of the Mississippi River and, by establishing a line of forts and trading posts, marked out a great crescent-shaped empire stretching from Quebec to New Orleans. Thus, the British were confined to the narrow belt east of the Appalachian Mountains. The French threatened not only the British Empire but the American colonists themselves, for in holding the Mississippi Valley, France could limit their westward expansion.

An armed clash took place in 1754 at Fort Duquesne, the site where Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is now located, between a band of French regulars and Virginia militiamen under the command of 22-year-old George Washington, a Virginia planter and surveyor.

In London, the Board of Trade attempted to deal with the conflict by calling a meeting of representatives from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the New England colonies. From June 19 to July 10, the Albany Congress, as it came to be known, met with the Iroquois at Albany, New York, in order to improve relations with them and secure their loyalty to the British.

The delegates also declared a union of the American colonies “absolutely necessary for their preservation,” and adopted the Albany Plan of Union. Drafted by Benjamin Franklin, the plan provided that a president appointed by the king act with a grand council of delegates chosen by the assemblies, with each colony to be represented in proportion to its financial contributions to the general treasury. This organ would have charge of defense, Indian relations, and trade and settlement of the west, as well as having the power to levy taxes. But none of the colonies accepted Franklin’s plan, for none wished to surrender either the power of taxation or control over the development of the western lands to a central authority.

England’s superior strategic position and her competent leadership ultimately brought victory in the Seven Years’ War, only a modest portion of which was fought in the Western Hemisphere.

In the Peace of Paris, signed in 1763, France relinquished all of Canada, the Great Lakes and the upper Mississippi Valley to the British. The dream of a French empire in North America was over. Having triumphed over France, Britain was now compelled to face a problem that it had hitherto neglected — the governance of its empire. It was essential that London organize its now vast possessions to facilitate defense, reconcile the divergent interests of different areas and peoples, and distribute more evenly the cost of imperial administration.

In North America alone, British territories had more than doubled. To the narrow strip along the Atlantic coast had been added the vast expanse of Canada and the territory between the Mississippi River and the Allegheny Mountains, an empire in itself. A population that had been predominantly Protestant and English now included French-speaking Catholics from Quebec, and large numbers of partly Christianized Indians. Defense and administration of the new territories, as well as of the old, would require huge sums of money and increased personnel. The old colonial system was obviously inadequate to these tasks.

SIDEBAR: THE WITCHES OF SALEM

In 1692 a group of adolescent girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, became subject to strange fits after hearing tales told by a West Indian slave. When they were questioned, they accused several women of being witches who were tormenting them. The townspeople were appalled but not surprised: belief in witchcraft was widespread throughout 17th-century America and Europe.

What happened next — although an isolated event in American history — provides a vivid window into the social and psychological world of Puritan New England. Town officials convened a court to hear the charges of witchcraft, and swiftly convicted and executed a tavernkeeper, Bridget Bishop. Within a month, five other women had been convicted and hanged.

Nevertheless, the hysteria grew, in large measure because the court permitted witnesses to testify that they had seen the accused as spirits or in visions. By its very nature, such “spectral evidence” was especially dangerous, because it could be neither verified nor subject to objective examination. By the fall of 1692, more than 20 victims, including several men, had been executed, and more than 100 others were in jail — among them some of the town’s most prominent citizens. But now the hysteria threatened to spread beyond Salem, and ministers throughout the colony called for an end to the trials. The governor of the colony agreed and dismissed the court. Those still in jail were later acquitted or given reprieves.

The Salem witch trials have long fascinated Americans. On a psychological level, most historians agree that Salem Village in 1692 was seized by a kind of public hysteria, fueled by a genuine belief in the existence of witchcraft. They point out that, while some of the girls may have been acting, many responsible adults became caught up in the frenzy as well.

But even more revealing is a closer analysis of the identities of the accused and the accusers. Salem Village, like much of colonial New England at that time, was undergoing an economic and political transition from a largely agrarian, Puritan-dominated community to a more commercial, secular society. Many of the accusers were representatives of a traditional way of life tied to farming and the church, whereas a number of the accused witches were members of the rising commercial class of small shopkeepers and tradesmen. Salem’s obscure struggle for social and political power between older traditional groups and a newer commercial class was one repeated in communities throughout American history . But it took a bizarre and deadly detour when its citizens were swept up by the conviction that the devil was loose in their homes.

The Salem witch trials also serve as a dramatic parable of the deadly consequences of making sensational, but false, charges. Indeed, a frequent term in political debate for making false accusations against a large number of people is “witch hunt.”

It never hurts to be well-informed with the latest on The Colonial Period. Compare what you’ve learned here to future articles so that you can stay alert to changes in the area of The Colonial Period.

A Life of Harmonius Insight

With sparkling blue eyes and an exuberant amount of energy, Barbara J. Rich, born in 1934, teaches yoga at her private studio; Yoga for Daily Living in Groton, Massachusetts. She is also a Special Education advocate and consultant, working with families and school systems in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. Her wellness classes are an inspiration to many of us who feel weary and worn from the full and often overbooked lives we live.

As I think about all the energy it takes to push through another day I am amazed as I sit in Barbara’s peaceful sunlit yoga studio, that I am feeling so much calm and relaxed. With a shift in attitude, a few minutes of scenery change and increased oxygen levels I am starting to feel at ease. Barbara is an experienced, certified Yoga instructor from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA. She offers the community a fountain of yoga teachings right in her backyard. With a rainbow of wild flowers and a secluded getaway minutes from Groton center, you feel as if you have headed towards a wilderness retreat as you pull into the driveway to her studio.

The classes begin with slow, focused breathing and gentle joint and muscle movements which allows tense muscles to unwind. Once the body-mind feels safe and accepted, classic Yoga postures (asanas) are demonstrated and practiced. You are encouraged to pay attention to your own particular range of motion and flexibility while entering, holding and releasing the postures. During the classes you are taught a variety of breathing techniques (Pranayama) concentrating on the connections between body, mind and spirit.

It is while you are in the relaxed states that you are able to clear your mind of your days’ thoughts and expectations. It is a time to simply be in the moment and absorb the natural peaceful surroundings.

In addition to weekly classes, Barbara offers one-to-one Yoga Mentoring sessions, as well as Life Coaching to help clarify your goals and guide you on your journey to your life’s purpose. She offers yoga classes on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. The Studio is located at 104 Mill Street, Groton, MA. To attend a class; please call 978-448-3751 or email Barbara directly at barbararich@verizon.net. The studio (approx. 168 ft) is also available for rent for any type of yoga, meditation, workshops, massage or other holistic practices. If you are interested in renting the space for occasional use, (rent negotiable) please call Barbara directly at 978-448-3751.