Throw it on Your Back, Your Bed and Your Floor but Don’t Forget Where it Came From

President Donald Trump has brought a lot of attention to the Civil War this week. Making scholars remind us of the truth about that war, maybe even confusing us. History buffs will let you know that the Civil War wasn’t all about freeing slaves. It was also about preserving the Union. Ouch. That hurts.

Dividing the United States of America was unthinkable to the North. America’s economy was in crisis. At the beginning of the Civil War, the price of cotton started to increase, obviously because the north was shut off from the south but in 1865, when Robert E. Lee surrendered, the price dropped.

Fortunes were made on the backs of slaves who labored in the sun-drenched cotton fields. People died out in those hot fields. And today, we forget all about that. We take our cotton for granted. We throw it on our beds, onto our backs, onto our floors and into our mattresses. We dry off with it and lay on top of it at the beach. We make balls of it to swab our skin and make strips of it to use as bandages and slings. Tents, tarps, you name it, we’ve made it from cotton. How many of us think of the history behind cotton? It’s hard to understand all the politics surrounding the Civil War but the next time you put your hands on cotton, think of all the history behind it. And be grateful that it is behind us.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278

Book Two, Blue Violet: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Book Three, Black Lilac: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA

Book Four, Ellie: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWVNCTS

Book Five, Rose Thorn: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X1GN58T

Book Six, Mississippi Wild Blue: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072L2WWMR

Civil War Soldier… His Wife Was Fifty Years Younger

The Civil War ended in April 1865 and the last Civil War veterans died in the 1950’s. But according to a story last August in the “U.S. News & World Report,” by Curt Mills, the United States was still paying a veteran’s pension to the daughter of Mose Triplett, a soldier who started as a Confederate Rebel and defected to the North and became a Yankee. When Mose died in 1938, the pension he was receiving went to his daughter Irene. If you’re counting the years since the Civil War ended and thinking… that’s not possible, let me give you a hint. His second wife was fifty-years younger. Mose was eighty-three when his daughter Irene was born. He was an elderly father, he had his last child, a son, at eighty-seven. He must have been a hearty man, he made it to the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278

Book Two, Blue Violet: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Book Three, Black Lilac: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA

Book Four, Ellie: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWVNCTS

Book Five, Rose Thorn: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X1GN58T

Civil War History… America’s Rotten Wooden Ships

Black PansyI grew up in the post-World War II era. In the San Francisco Bay Area, there was a large docked fleet of steel ships. They called it the moth ball fleet. I think it’s still there. There have been suggestions about what to do with it, but to my knowledge, those ships are still docked.Canva Blue Violet Cover

Just like during World War II, during the Civil War, America had plenty of ships. It was quite an armada but after that bloody war and all those lives lost, Americans longed for peace and ignored our Navy. The thinking was that no other country would invade the United States, so the flotilla rotted away. Thankfully, Americans came to their senses and every few years, Congress allocated funds for more ships.

New Cover Black LilacAs much as we hate war, it’s a necessity to protect our country. But it is heartening to me to understand that Americans were so sick of war that instead of fighting, they were rebuilding America.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278

Book Two, Blue Violet: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Book Three, Black Lilac: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA

The University of Church

Black PansyTimes have changed for Black America when before the Civil War, it was illegal in many states to learn to read and write. While most of White America did not attend college, it was an opportunity if the family had means. It was however, a big challenge for Blacks. So after the war, when slavery was abolished and they were given more freedom to live as they choose, the church was an option and many Black families attended. Within these churches, they learned to read and write through studying the Bible. Canva Blue Violet CoverAnd since the “good book” was also a history book, a book of laws, a cultural journal and a vast literary work of proverbs, prophesy and poetry, becoming a scholar became an option for religious Blacks. The evolution of the church brought us great leaders like Martin Luther King and gospel singers like Mahalia Jackson and of course a rich music legacy of soul, rhythm and blues, funk, rap and good ‘ol rock ‘n ‘roll.New Cover Black Lilac

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278

Book Two, Blue Violet: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Book Three, Black Lilac: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA

Black & White Civil War Era Romances… Was it Love?

Black PansyI believe it was William Somerset Maugham who wrote in one of his novels that we love someone because they bring us pleasure. That philosophy offers up possibilities besides the usual heart-thumping emotions we call love. If pleasure equals love, options could include loving someone for their wealth, their sexuality, their prestige, power, beauty… you name it. And who are we to judge?

Canva Blue Violet CoverThere are plenty of historical records of black women cohabiting with white men and white women with black men. But I find myself asking… did blacks and whites during the Civil War Era truly love their partner of a different skin color? With the lack of freedom for blacks you really do have to ask. Was this relationship I see on paper, good old-fashioned love? The kind that makes your heart go… thump, thump, thump? Or was it coercion, comfort, security or freedom that the relationship provided?Front Cover Black Lilac

After the war ended, Mississippi was so concerned that blacks and whites would have relationships, they stiffened the penalty to life in prison. But the historical records reveal that during the most dangerous times, mixed couples risked it all to be with the ones they loved.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78

Don’t Feel Bad… They Didn’t Like Catholics or Jews Either

Black PansyThe Ku-Klux-Klan was a secret political organization in the Southern United States that gained momentum during Reconstruction, after the Civil War. The group’s main mission was the establishment of white power. One thing the group made clear was that they did not want freed blacks to have any power. Due to bureaucratic red tape, some of the white Southerners were unable to vote after the war, while freed blacks were not only able to vote but were given positions in the government. Obviously, this freaked out the white status quo who went from dominating the blacks to watching them take jobs in the newly formed post-war administration.

Canva Blue Violet CoverAcceptance into the group was only open to white Protestants who were born in America. Today the Ku-Klux-Klan has morphed into other organizations but lately, refugee problems in Europe and fears of terrorism in the United States has brought white supremacy groups back into the news.

Front Cover Black LilacSuellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278

Book Two, Blue Violet: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Book Three, Black Lilac: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA

Colonial Masters Were Not Permitted to Mutilate Slaves

BlackPansyKindleCoverThe world during the era of slavery was a nightmare. The Louisiana Code Noir, was a set of laws enacted to maintain control over slave-colonist relationships, about such things as marriage, sexual relations and what authorities thought was appropriate punishment. Section Thirty-Eight of the code permitted Colonial “masters,” to put their slaves in irons and whip them with rods or ropes. History shows us that colonial masters did indeed make use of the liberalness of this law. It remained in force until the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Slavery conditions were so brutal, the authorities had to make a law forbidding the mutilation of the limbs or any part of a slave’s body. If colonial masters were caught mutilating the arms or legs of their slaves, or any other body part, the slaves were to be confiscated and the masters were to answer to the court. They were though, legally allowed to whip a slave with a rod or a rope and put them into irons, if the masters thought “the case required it.”

Butterfly BLUE VIOLET Front Cover

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

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

Book Two, Blue Violet: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4