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Historical Romance Author

What Were They Thinking?

Aunt Nancy, Mom, Becky, Meena, Trina and Me at the site of the Boston Massacre

Last week I went on a trip with my mom, aunt, sisters and my sister-in-law to Boston and Plymouth, a wonderful opportunity to participate in one of my favorite past-times…daydreaming. I love standing at historical sites and imagining the thoughts and emotions that must have overwhelmed the participants.

For instance, were the British soldiers afraid for their safety as they stood in front of the State House amid a mob pelting them with snowballs and rocks? When they heard the call “Fire” were they surprised that their commander would order them to fire on the townspeople? Did they question whether that voice was their commander’s or question the direction from whence the call came?

Imagine Paul Revere’s impatience as he stood here on the shore and watched for the lanterns to shine in the white steeple across the way.

Imagine my impatience to get the picture of me being a tough Plymouth guard before the real tough Plymouth guard came back to his station and caught me wearing his props.

Imagine standing in this room on December 16, 1773, with 5000 others as they planned a protest against the British tax on tea. What were the 100 or so men thinking as they slipped out to dress like Mohawks, board the British ships and throw the tea in the harbor?

Imagine standing on Bunker or Breed’s Hill with other shopkeepers, booksellers and farmers watching 3000 troops from the finest army on Earth disembark and take battle formation against you. Imagine knowing that you only have enough ammunition to fire twice, maybe three times – not nearly enough to stop the massive army in front of you.

Imagine your husband bolting awake in the middle of the night, grabbing his musket and running towards the church bells that were ringing the alarm as you try to quiet the children, assuring them that everything will be alright…knowing that nothing is right and only a miracle will bring him home safely.

What were they thinking? Journals, letters, accounts – many left a record for us, but nothing makes them come alive like standing in the very place and giving yourself time to imagine.

Which historical event have you imagined yourself a part of? Where have you been or would you like to go?


  1. It was a very thoughtful & fun trip. I too daydreamed…I caught myself staring at the TD Garden arena & trying to image I was a Boston fan in the year 2011. What would be my first reaction when I heard the news Kendrick Perkins is being traded to the OKC Thunder. Oklahoma City? They have no legacy! How can our scowled defensive enforcer call this place home? Who will replace him? What does this mean for team…for our city…for our future?!?

  2. Hmmm I would probably want to be a part of the revolution! I’d probably want to be in Williamsberg VA

  3. I loved visiting Williamsburg, Jenna! If I was going to experience the Revolution, I think Williamsburg would have been much more comfortable than Boston.

    Becky, you are hilarious!

  4. Hi! Boston is amazing. My son and daughter-in-law live there. I know what you mean about Boston’s history. I find myself trying to picture how things looked back then and how the people felt. What was running through their minds? Did they expect victory or defeat?

    Did you walk up the steps in the Bunker Hill (Breed’s Hill) monument? I climbed up a few years ago. I had to stop about halfway up to take a little rest. The steps are so steep! I felt like a wimp until I went a little further and passed two young girls taking a breather too! It was well worth the climb. The views are beautiful!

  5. Doreen – The monument was closed while we were there. The heat was too intense for them to allow anyone up…so I guess we’ll have to go back. 🙂 We really loved Boston. It was beautiful.

    Another place that has a similar emotional response for me is the Alamo.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Regina~

    That gave me goosebumps!

    I haven’t visited any of those places, but I would love to. Just reading about them injects a shot of that Revolutionary fire in my veins. I so admire those men and women who risked everything they had to throw off the bonds of tyrany.

    There’s a line in the movie National Treasure when someone tells Ben Gates (Nicholas Cage) “People don’t talk like that anymore.”

    It’s true that we don’t. And it’s a shame because we should. I’m so glad you did today.

  7. …Or yesterday, I suppose. 😉

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