The Shady Characters of Manhattan

It was in 1626 when Native Americans granted the Dutch the right to cut trees on Manhattan Island. Manhates it was called back then. The Native Americans had no comprehension of “owning” land. They were probably “sharing” or “trading” the timber for something with the Dutch, particularly the West India Company and the Dutch Navy who built masts for their ships. Imagine, Manhattan thick with oak, pine and nut groves. The Dutch India Company put their slaves to work logging this beautiful forest, alongside the Dutch settlers who needed homes and barns. Later, in 1856 the city of Manhattan bought 843 acres of land to make a park. Today it’s known as Central Park. With all that goes on in that world-famous city, having a forested refuge has probably saved many from the brink of insanity. In the spring of 1863 someone let 14 European sparrows loose in the park and it’s believed that their descendants still reside in the park’s trees. I understand you can run across some shady characters in the park and that one needs to be cautious. It’s always been that way. In 1856 when the city bought the land, it was reported as “filthy, squalid and disgusting… its inhabitants… engaged in occupations which are nuisances in the eyes of the law and forbidden to be carried on so near the city.” So in 1857 the city destroyed 300 dwellings and several factories and hog-feeding establishments. But then again, looking back on history we see that the Indians probably didn’t “sell” Manhates to the Dutch. And two hundred years later, it was probably just poor hog farmers, trying to make a buck, who didn’t stand a chance against developers. Suellen Ocean is the author of the historical series, The Lion’s Trace Available here:

The Lies of the Lion (Book 1)

http://www.amazon.com/Lies-Lion-Lions-Trace/dp/0965114074

The Guild (Book 2)

http://www.amazon.com/Guild-Hesters-Goodwill-Lions-Trace/dp/1484916697

The Last Quadroon (Book 3)

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Quadroon-Lions-Trace-Volume/dp/149283999X

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

The Lies ot he Lion    NewCoverTheGuild    TheLastQuadroonFrontCover

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Where the Hippies Got Their “Bright” Ideas

As I read through the history books I’m surprised to see things young people during the 1960’s imitated. I was especially surprised when I read about the spirituality, vegetarianism, occultism and nature-worshipping that was in vogue and still is, during the 1930’s, that inspired Hitler. Hitler inspired? Don’t even go there. I suppose I was just as surprised when I read about Joan of Arc and how she may have enjoyed magic mushrooms and she was probably a member of the oak cult, the Druids. According to an article a friend sent me (she knows I love all things oak and acorn) Joan was a Pagan. When she was on trail for witchcraft her inquisitioners asked her about an oak tree and she admitted to hanging mistletoe on it in Druid tradition. But hey… everyone was doing it. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Insurance? They Thought It Was a Good Idea…

New The Lies of the Lion Kindle CoverLots of talk these days about insurance, it’s a business model that’s been practiced for thousands of years. Ever hear of Lloyd’s of London? Did you know that Lloyd’s began as a coffee house in London, not far from the dock, where merchants discussed their shipping investments? Edward Lloyd was the owner of the coffee house, he died in the early 1700’s but his insurance company continued on. Early merchants invested a lot of money in shiploads of wheat, spices and various trade goods. Because they needed to insure their investments, the merchants all paid money into a fund. The history of insurance goes back to ancient Mediterranean traders, including the Phoenicians, Romans and Greeks. There were health insurance plans, far different from what we have today but they led the way to today’s form of spreading the risk between other parties.  Suellen Ocean is the author of the historical fiction The Lies of the Lion Available here: http://www.amazon.com/Lies-Lion-Lions-Trace/dp/0965114074

 

Merry Olde England? Not So Much…

A couple hundred years ago, England was really changing. What was once a land of green pastoral countryside was fast becoming a land of dirty, sooty air from too many factories arising in the new Industrial Age. What’s striking is the dramatic change the country folk had to endure. Artists had made things by hand at a much slower pace but with the advent of mechanization, artists, crafts people and farmers were put out of work and forced to join thousands in these new factories. Survival forced whole families away from the countryside, including children, to work for pay so low, they could barely meet their basic needs. It was not a merry time. Some women were working in dirty, filthy mines, crawling around on their hands and knees all day. To make matters worse, a trend began that was very greedy. Pay the worker low, sell the goods high. This all came at the expense of the environment. Factories dumped their waste in the rivers and their smoke polluted the air. If all this sounds familiar, that’s because it also happened in America and still does today. Although China is the world’s leading investor in renewable energy, air-monitoring stations in the Sierra Mountain Range are detecting China’s increasing smog. Maybe the pre-Industrial era wasn’t the good old days, and England is still a green and beautiful land, but when I see dirty air and families suffering because they can’t meet their basic needs, it leads me to believe… we need to back track. Suellen Ocean is the author of the historical series, The Lion’s Trace Available here:

The Lies of the Lion (Book 1)

http://www.amazon.com/Lies-Lion-Lions-Trace/dp/0965114074

The Guild (Book 2)

http://www.amazon.com/Guild-Hesters-Goodwill-Lions-Trace/dp/1484916697

The Last Quadroon (Book 3)

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Quadroon-Lions-Trace-Volume/dp/149283999X

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

The Lies ot he Lion    NewCoverTheGuild    TheLastQuadroonFrontCover