The King, the Pope, the Castle, the Knights, the Girl, the Freemasons and the American Army of Occupation

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In 1312, after King Philip and the Pope set out to obliterate the Knights Templar, the last remaining twelve knights escaped to the Rhine hoping a castle would protect them. History tells of their heroic fight against the armies of the Archbishop. So renowned is this legend, American soldiers serving in the Army of Occupation petitioned the Masonic Grand Master to relax the rules and allow them to charter a lodge near ancient Castle Lahneck.

Five-hundred-thirty-nine-years later, a young Scottish girl was drawn to Castle Lahneek too. Idilia Dubb was only seventeen in the summer of 1851 when under the spell of the castle and the joy of vacation, she decided to explore. She climbed the wooden stairs that led to the castle’s high tower. As she did, the ancient stairs fell away behind her. Stranded in the tower, the wall too tall for her to climb, Idilia called for help. Again and again she called out but no one heard her cries. It was nine years before her body was found. When they found her diary she had drawn two hearts at the bottom, below a prayer and her belief that death would surely come.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Prince-Before-After/dp/1484086392

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

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

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/celtic-prince-suellen-ocean/1102338307?ean=2940016618968

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Civil War Boundaries… What is the South? What is Mason and Dixon’s Line?

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The south is the section of the United States that lies below the Mason Dixon line, the Ohio River and the southern boundaries of Kansas and Missouri. The Mason Dixon line was marked by two English astronomers, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon. They marked it almost a hundred years before the Civil War but it became part of the boundary line between the slave states of the south and the free states of the north. The Mason Dixon’s Line also serves as the southern boundary line of Pennsylvania.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era Historic Romance, Black Pansy.

Available Here:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Pansy-Suellen-Ocean/dp/1484900278

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

http://smashwords.com/b/313643

eBook at Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/black-pansy-suellen-ocean/1115251569?ean=2940016438160

 

Native American History… What is Peyote?

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Peyote is the fruit of a cactus found in Northern Mexico and the American Southwest. It looks a little bit like a mushroom. There is a fuzzy substance in it that is removed before it’s eaten. After feelings of nausea, it gives the partaker a high euphoric feeling and visions. In other words, it’s a hallucinogen. Peyote was used and is still used today by Native Americans in spiritual ceremonies. It was also eaten during war and for times of hard work because of the stimulating nature of its properties and its ability to subdue hunger and thirst. Unless you belong to one of the Native American religious groups granted legal permission to consume peyote, you will find yourself in trouble with the law if you have it in your possession. Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

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Native American Genealogy… Seeking Our Ancestors

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Chief Red Cloud of the Sioux Indian tribe is remembered by these words:

“The White Man made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they only kept one. They promised to take our land, and they took it.”

Humans always strike out for new lands, encroaching on those who were there before them. In what the Europeans called, Manifest Destiny, they swept across the continent and settled from the east coast to the west. In the earliest days of contact, as those of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Indians were friendly but as the new settlers began staking claims on Indian lands, threatening their way of life and their survival, wars ensued. It’s a complex situation, those of us who are descendants of European settlers and have some Native American ancestry. Because of past prejudices toward being “Indian,” our Native ancestors are hidden in our family trees.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

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

Genealogy… Of Course White Americans Have Native American Ancestry

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When Colonial Europeans walked into America’s wildlands, the roads they took had been well travelled for centuries by Native Americans. The rivers the European explorers paddled down were familiar to the Natives, having used them for trade routes all their lives and their father’s before them. Coastal villages were connected by shoreline paths. European men weren’t just looking for land, they were also looking for wives and when they encountered friendly Natives, fell in love with their new friend’s daughters and sisters. You can see it in many an American face. And you can sense it in their heartiness, because who better to survive the remote wildlands than people who had been surviving for thousands of years in the same environment? Unfortunately, many of these frontiersmen gave their Indian wives new names, like Lucy or Ida, making it very difficult for us to decipher by looking at the names on paper. But like I said, you can see it in the faces of the American people and here we are…still… maybe looking more European than Indian but loving nature and surviving in the environment that our ancestors did so long ago. Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

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

The Old South… Carpetbaggers and the Crime of Reconstruction

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After the Civil War, the “procedure” to readmit southern states into the Union was called, “Reconstruction.” I find this interesting because I had always thought it referred to the re-building of the war torn states, not the rebuilding of the union, which was the United States.

After the war, Congress could have accepted southern representatives back into the fold but instead waited until 1867 when they created five southern military districts and appointed a major general for each district. Unfortunately, corrupt white men from the North (Carpetbaggers) descended upon the South to take advantage of the situation. With everything in turmoil and a lack of governance, political corruption proliferated and African Americans were exploited. White farmers went from owning slaves, to new laws that gave African Americans military protection. On top of all this, Carpetbaggers were encouraged to take advantage of the newly freed African Americans, resulting in large-scale waste and extravagance.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era Historic Romance, Black Pansy.

Available Here:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Pansy-Suellen-Ocean/dp/1484900278

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

http://smashwords.com/b/313643

eBook at Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/black-pansy-suellen-ocean/1115251569?ean=2940016438160

The Violence We See Lately… It’s Nothing New

We’re all troubled by the violence that we’ve been seeing on the news but when I had my history books out and was reading about attacks on ancient Spain, it surprised me how things have not changed. What is happening in the Middle East is a seven-hundred-year-old scenario. And it’s tempting to believe that humans are by nature cruel and destructive but that would ignore the great strides we’ve made toward world peace. Take for example the racist singing from University of Oklahoma fraternity members. It wasn’t long ago that racism like that was ignored. Today more and more people speak up.  It may take awhile for the world to become kinder but the world as a whole is not barbaric. It used to be and we all have ancestors somewhere back in time who were probably very cruel. And look how nice we turned out.

Suellen Ocean is an author and genealogist. You can see her books here: https://www.amazon.com/author/suellenocean.