Katie Hall Underwood by Linda Harris Sittig

Katie Hall Underwood would probably shake her head in disbelief to find her name on a blog about strong women. But make no mistake, Katie Hall Underwood was a woman who empowered herself to bring new lives into the world on a remote coastal Georgia island. She was a strong woman in every fiber of her being.

Born as a descendent of enslaved ancestors on Sapelo Island, Georgia in 1884, Katie Hall became a midwife on the rural island which is now one of the last vestiges of Gullah/Geechee culture left intact along the Atlantic seaboard.

The Gullah/Geechee people came to America back in the 1800s from various ethnic groups in west and central Africa. All of them arrived as slaves. Because they lived their lives in forced isolation on the barrier Sea Islands and nearby Low Country mainland, they were able to retain their African customs. Their isolation also enabled their unique culture to survive, connecting them back to their African roots and allowing them to become a distinctive ethnic unit.

Technically speaking, Katie Hall was Geechee, Saltwater Geechee to be exact. The Gullah people were located in the Carolinas and the Geechee people settled in Georgia and northern Florida.

When Katie Hall was born, Sapelo Island had only been owned by the one family of Thomas Spaulding who purchased the island in 1802 and through the labor of 400 slaves coaxed the production of Georgia Sea Island cotton and sugar cane to unimagined productivity. Today the land still sports tidal salt marshes, upland maritime forests draped with Spanish moss, and sandy sea dunes bordering the Atlantic Ocean; the same topography for hundreds of years.

After the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War, Sapelo Island was no longer home to a productive cotton plantation due to the lack of available labor. The former slaves set up scattered free settlements with unique names like Hog Hammock, Raccoon Bluff, Shell Hammock, and Lumber Landing. It was to these communities that Katie Hall would serve her life’s purpose.

While Katie Hall had only a rudimentary education, she had also acquired a learning passed down from the generations before her about birthing babies. She became a legendary midwife on the island, delivering her first baby in the early 1920s and continuing to deliver babies until 1968, the year she turned eighty-four and electricity came to the island. Why I admire Katie Hall Underwood is that without modern drugs, electricity, or any medical education, she taught herself to use natural remedies to ease a woman’s labor in pregnancy. In her entire forty plus year career she delivered over a thousand babies and according to local lore, never lost one infant or mother; all this on an island largely forgotten to the outside world.

Katie recorded with diligence the name and date of every baby she helped to birth, in order to preserve family records. With the only means of transportation on the island to be by mule cart or on foot, Katie often walked miles from family to family helping to deliver babies. One account records the birth of two babies on the same day, where Katie walked the seven miles between the two families and then set about helping the second mother with her delivery.

Because cash was always in short supply, Katie – like many rural doctors, was often paid in the form of goods: food, or hand-sewn items, or possibly even hand-woven sweet grass baskets. As was her custom, she stayed for a meal with the family after delivering a baby and would often stay overnight if the weather was bad.

She did not become a midwife to gain recognition; she chose to become a midwife because there was a need to help the women of her island. Even after marrying William Underwood, Katie worked diligently to bring healthy babies into the world of Sapelo.

Today the over 8,000 acres of Sapelo Island are managed by the state of Georgia through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The island is still home to approximately 70 residents, mostly all descended from the enslaved Africans of 200 years ago, and whose homes are located within Hog Hammock on 434 private acres bequeathed to them by their ancestors. It is in Hog Hammock that you can find the resting place of Katie Hall Underwood in Behavior Cemetery; where the graves face east towards Africa, the ancestral homeland retold in story and in song.

Long ago she ferried babies into this world and placed them in the loving arms of their mothers. Today, the only visible recognition to Katie Hall Underwood is the ferry named after her that carries the commuters, school children, and tourists to and from Sapelo Island. The island is still only accessible by boat.

As the sun dapples the water and a dolphin breaks through the surface of Doboy Sound, the ferry passengers watch as his fin dips in and out of the water, perhaps in tribute to the last midwife of Sapelo Island.

** On a different note, you can read the New York Times article, http://tinyurl.com/mq8je7s about the present crisis facing the residents of Hog Hammock whose property taxes have jumped as much as 500% in the last two years. While McIntosh County, Georgia, claims the increased tax is justifiable, most of the residents can not afford the ludicrous increase and could be in danger of losing their homes. If this happens, could Hog Hammock eventually become another Hilton Head?

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Happy Birthday, Blog! by Linda Harris Sittig

The month of April will mark the beginning of my third year writing this blog and paying tribute to an amazing array of strong women; each of whom pursued her dream to make this world a better place.  In celebration of their collective achievements I am offering two free Strong Women bookmarks to anyone reading my blog.  Just email me at linda@lindasittig.com. Put the word BOOKMARK in the subject line of the email. Then send me your name and address and I will mail you two bookmarks, one for you and one for a friend.  Your address will not be shared with anyone. Happy reading!

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Elizabeth Kenny by Linda Harris Sittig

Born in 1880 New South Wales, Australia, Elizabeth Kenny grew up as a tomboy preferring to spend her time outdoors. Always empathetic to the injured and the sick, she eventually dedicated her life to nursing; but because her only medical training came from apprenticing herself to a local doctor, the British medical system would not recognize her as a legitimate nurse.

At the age of eighteen Elizabeth went to the bush area of Australia to help provide medical assistance to the rural residents. She stayed for several years, and it would be this experience that propelled her into a lifelong career of ministering to the sick. In 1909 she went to live in Nobby, Queensland, Australia and supported herself by setting up a business where she brokered agricultural produce from farmers to metropolitan markets. From the success of that business, she was able to use the proceeds to set up her first ‘cottage hospital’. Knowing she lacked official credentials, she asked a tailor to fashion a nurse’s uniform so she would appear more authoritative, and perhaps ease patients’ anxieties. Shortly after setting up the clinic, she met a few children who had become sick with a disease that often progressed to paralysis of the legs. There was no known cure, but it did have a name – polio.

Not understanding exactly how the disease started, or how to prevent it, Elizabeth concentrated instead on helping its young victims possibly regain the use of their immobilized leg muscles. Her approaches were un-orthodox, but she began to see amazing results. She taught mothers how to wrap their children’s afflicted legs in moist warm rags, gently stretch the legs, and massage the damaged muscles. Day after day she worked side by side with the mothers to coax the children’s injured muscles back to life. Slowly, many of the children resumed mobility.

World War I broke out and Elizabeth offered her services as a volunteer nurse. Even though she had no certified medical training, nurses were in short supply and she was chosen to serve on transport ships that carried supplies to England and brought wounded soldiers back to Australia.

Returning home after the war, she resumed her battle against polio. She wrote locally about the success of her treatments with the hope that doctors might implement some of her techniques. But the British government refused to promote her treatments because the current practice was to immobilize the afflicted leg in plaster casts or splints for months at a time.

Word of her success with polio patients slowly spread, mostly by her own self-promulgation and the parents who had  hailed her techniques as life altering. It is said that mothers wept when they saw their children walk again.

We now know that polio, or poliomyelitis as it is medically known, is an acute viral infection spread by human contact through ingested feces’ particles. Only a tiny trace is needed to transmit the virus. Depictions of people crippled with the disease appear in ancient Egyptian art, so we know the illness has been around for several millenniums. Polio began to reach epidemic proportions during the mid-19th century in Europe when thousands of people flocked to the cities for work and found themselves living in overcrowded tenements coupled with unsanitary surroundings and contaminated water. By 1910 there was a dramatic increase in polio world-wide and it was noted that the disease would peak during the summer months. Suspecting that contaminated water might carry the disease, public swimming pools were shut down during the worst epidemics.

One of the most dreaded diseases of childhood, the polio virus took only 2 – 10  days to penetrate the bloodstream and lodge in the spinal cord. Paralysis began to attack the muscles, most often in the legs, and left the victim either unable to walk or saddled with a withered limb.

Between 1935 and 1940 Elizabeth traveled extensively in Australia helping to organize clinics that would utilize her methods. Then in 1940 the government of New South Wales funded a trip for Elizabeth to speak to American doctors. She settled in Minneapolis where the University of Minnesota recommended that their doctors attend her lectures. Elizabeth stayed on in America for 11 years, promoting her unorthodox treatments of warm wraps and muscle massages and exercises. ‘Kenny clinics’ sprang up across the country with parents desperate to try Elizabeth’s techniques. Meanwhile, doctors around the world raced to find a cure.

Often perceived by the British Medical Association as a quack, and seen as a ‘fame-seeker’ by those who were rankled by Elizabeth’s outspoken manner, she none-the-less persevered in her fight against polio. Elizabeth died back home in Australia in 1952, right before Jonas Salk’s team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh developed a vaccine against polio that provided 99% immunity. Ten years later Albert Sabin developed an oral vaccine which became the gold standard and still used world-wide today.

But it was Elizabeth Kenny’s techniques that alerted the world to the possibility of new methods to fight an old disease. Her principles of stretching and exercising injured muscles eventually became the foundation for today’s rehabilitative science of physical therapy. Thousands of children walked again because of her methods. As one adult survivor of polio noted, he leads a full life today because his mother exercised his legs daily in the method established by Elizabeth Kenny. That survivor is actor Alan Alda.

In spite of all our modern medical technology, there is still no cure for polio, only immunization.

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. Sometimes it takes a strong woman to pursue innovations of treating a sick child.

As always, thank you to Dixie Hallaj for proofing and editing this blog.

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Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams by Linda Harris Sittig

Strong women sometimes come as a pair, and sometimes they actually do get recognized for their achievements.

Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams were the winners of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in organizing a significant peace movement in Northern Ireland, called the Peace People.  Other women have won the Nobel Peace Prize and other women have protested against the violence of war, but Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams’ accomplishment was a phenomenon because they brought women from both sides of the ‘war’ together, asking for the same peace to come to their land.

To fully understand ‘the Troubles’ as civil war years in Northern Ireland are often referred to, you need a quick overview of Irish political history. This is very short and in no way attempts to trivialize any part of Ireland’s heritage.

In a nutshell: Ireland was populated and ruled by various Celtic tribes until 1169 A.D. when Anglo-Normans took over the island and King Henry II of England declared himself Lord of Ireland. For the next 500 years, vigorous fighting continued against foreign rule, and Ireland eventually became divided into four provinces, comprised of 32 counties and ‘planted’ by the British government with Protestant settlers from England and Scotland. These Protestant settlers would gain a substantial amount of governmental power, especially in the northern areas, thereby relegating the native Catholic Irish to second class status. It would be another 252 years for the 1921 Anglo-Irish Peace Treaty to be signed, dividing Ireland in half. The southern 26 counties became independent and named the Irish Free State (later renamed the Republic of Ireland). However, as part of the treaty concessions, the 6 counties of the Ulster Province in the north remained under British rule and would henceforth be called Northern Ireland.

One land, one history, now two separated halves – not by choice, but by politics.

So Northern Ireland was, and still is, populated by native Irish Catholics, and by Irish Scot-Anglo Protestants whose families had lived in Ireland for hundreds of years.  But because Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, it was ruled and policed by the British.

Enter two modern factions: the Republicans who were mostly Catholic and wanted to sever the tie to Great Britain; and the Union Party, solidly Protestant and wanting to retain the key governmental positions of power in Northern Ireland.

Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams met in 1976.  There had been serious and violent fighting in Northern Ireland for the previous eight years between militant Catholics and Protestants, and the inhabitants of Belfast and Londonderry had become used to, but by no means inured of, the fighting and the presence of British soldiers.

On August 10, 1976 a Belfast mother was out on a Sunday afternoon taking a walk with her three young children. Suddenly a car came careening down the block and plowed into her group, killing all three of her children. The driver of the car (stolen earlier that day) had lost control of the vehicle after being shot by British soldiers.

Innocent children had been run down in their own neighborhood, through no fault of their own.  The grief and anguish caused by this horrible event permeated every home in Northern Ireland and other locations as well.  Whether the mother, Mrs. Maguire, had been Catholic or Protestant no longer mattered, because mothers everywhere were outraged. Mairead Corrigan, an aunt of the dead children, was interviewed on the news the following night. Sobbing into the camera she cried out that none of the women in Ireland wanted this kind of violence.

Another mother, Betty Williams, was also fed up with the violence. She, too, was a resident of Belfast. After watching Mairead Corrigan on the news, Betty began speaking to the women of her neighborhood asking them to band together to make their voices heard in protest against the senseless bloodshed.

Within 48 hours after the death of the Maguire children, Betty Williams went on the news and read a petition she had drafted for peace, signed by over 6,000 women in Belfast – both Catholics and Protestants together.  The next day 1,000 Belfast women journeyed to the site of the accident and together recited the rosary for the dead children.

The children were buried on Friday, five days after the accident, in a funeral attended by people from all over Belfast. This is when Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams met face to face and discussed the petitions for peace. They decided to meet again the next day at what they believed would be a small peace demonstration to honor the deceased Maguire children.  When they met up on the morrow, over 10,000 women came on foot or in cars, and Protestant women came on buses they had chartered. Side by side these 10,000 women linked themselves to each other in the united desire for peace. It was the first time ever in Northern Ireland that Catholic and Protestant women aligned themselves with one another. The massive group sang hymns and then began to walk back to the cemetery where the children had been buried.

And then the unthinkable happened. Militant Irish Republicans, mostly belonging to the terrorist group I.R.A. formed their own crowd and began to assault the walking women, calling them traitors. Many marchers were beaten while the women swarmed trying to protect each other.  By the end of the walk numerous women had been battered and bruised, but not dispersed. They all reached the cemetery and began to sing Irish songs.

It was the first time in modern history that Irish women had collected together and said, “Enough!”  From that day forward Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan worked together to make the world aware of the slaughter of innocents ravaging their beloved country and how the women of Northern Ireland were campaigning together for peace.

Their campaign was long and hard, and not always successful, but together with their Peace People Movement they did make the world painfully aware of what was occurring in Northern Ireland.

For those efforts, they received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.

Yet when my husband and I visited Belfast and Londonderry in 2007, violence was not just a memory of the past. We were counseled by our hosts which pubs were Catholic and which ones were mostly Protestant, just in case we needed to know where to show our loyalties.

Thirty years after  the herculean efforts of Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams, Northern Ireland was still acutely aware of its wounds.

Strong women do not always achieve their ultimate goals, but they never give up either.

                 “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”

                         Old African proverb taken from Pearls of Wisdom, compiled by Keith Adams

Thank you to my diligent proofreader, Dixie Ann Hallaj

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Karin Bergöö by Linda Harris Sittig

Should a woman’s life change because she marries someone famous? Would her life change even more if both she and her husband share the same career?

In 1882 at the age of twenty-three Karin Bergöö became engaged to Carl Larsson, a young and promising Swedish painter, already garnering a name for his stylistic art. Karin had grown up in an unusually liberal Swedish family where her parents had encouraged their daughters to pursue their own talents and interests. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm, Karin decided she wanted to paint with a small artists’ colony transitioning to plein-air realism and located in Grez-sur-Loing, France. It was there that she met her future husband.

They both had talent, and they both had aspirations. He came from a background of poverty, while Karin’s family was securely middle-class. Unusual for that time period in Sweden to marry outside your social status – but, they did. Within the beginning years of their marriage, Karin was faced with making some important decisions. Should she, would she, continue with her painting career? If she continued painting, might she eventually become part of her husband’s competition?

It would have been easy to simply give up her art, but she didn’t. Nor did she compete with her husband. Instead, she looked at her new life with family obligations, and decided to turn her artistic flair in a different direction; she began to experiment in enhancing and embellishing their home.

Karin’s parents had given the couple a vintage summer-house near the village of Sundborn in the northern province of Dalarna, Sweden as a gift. Think swaying birch trees in summer and Christmas card perfect snow in winter to grasp an idea of the environment. With its unspoiled rural landscape and pristine Nordic light, it made for a wonderful artistic retreat. Eventually Carl and Karin transformed the residence to become their permanent home.

In Sundborn, Karin started to take weaving lessons. Soon she was fashioning bold geometric designs for their household textiles, often embellished by her original folk art motif embroidery. That step led her in an artistic direction from which she never backed down and gained her lasting recognition, but not necessarily fame for her new style of design.

While raising their seven children, Karin wove table runners, table cloths, pillowcases, bedspreads, curtains, kitchen linens, and portieres (full length curtains that function as interior doors); all adorned with her unique unencumbered style. As she looked around their home she saw spots where practical furniture was needed and she designed it; then she painted her plant stands, chairs, or even the children’s wooden beds, a bright and cheery green.

She also designed all her own clothes, in a free billowy fashion that matched her needs and her busy lifestyle. In addition to also making clothes for her children, she invented and designed a provincial folk costume for the parish of Sundborn, which was adopted by the residents and worn on festive occasions.

For many of her textiles, Karin often selected primary colors so for example, her blues stood out vividly against the background, and her trims, often in a bright cherry red, drew the eye in to focus on the main creation. In every project she undertook, her designs were personal and innovative.

While it was her husband, Carl Larsson, whose art found its way into museums and books, it was Karin’s artistic influence that is continually present in Carl’s pictures of a cozy family room, or a picnic scene with their children wearing outfits of Karin’s design, or of a peaceful spot of solitude in their home with her textiles and furniture nestled in the background. Carl’s books became immediate successes as the Swedish public clamored to see renditions of his family, his home, and his life in the picturesque countryside. It is mainly through these books that visual examples of Karin’s incredible talent still endure.

And if you have ever visited an IKEA store, then you have witnessed the ‘new Swedish design style’ that Karin Bergöö Larsson helped start over one hundred years ago.

Strong women are often smart women as well, knowing when and where to bloom.

“Love is a condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
~ Robert Heinlein
from Pearls of Wisdom, compiled by Keith Adams

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Dagmar Wilson by Linda Harris Sittig

If Dagmar Wilson were alive today, she’d be shaking her head about the recent nuclear activity negotiations with Iran. Fifty years ago Dagmar fought a similar issue, but against the Soviet Union. She was enough of a pragmatist to realize one person alone cannot bring about an end to nuclear armament, but she hoped that many voices raised together might be hard to ignore.

In 1961, she and her husband Christopher Wilson, and their three daughters, were living in Washington, D.C. Like many other young mothers of that time, Dagmar worried about potential radioactive fallout from atmospheric nuclear testing and how it might affect the lives of her children and millions of other children throughout the world. Unlike most people, however, she decided to do something about it. She started a telephone tree – calling friends, neighbors, and parents of her children’s school acquaintances, asking them in turn to call other women, sharing their concern about nuclear weapons and asking if they would be willing to join her in a protest. Her goal was to demonstrate that American wives and mothers would not sit by while men of powerful nations allowed the possible destruction of the planet via nuclear weaponry.

A short two months later on November 1, 1961, a massive one-day mobilization of over 50,000 women marched in some sixty cities across America. They marched side by side – mothers holding babies, grandmothers clutching toddlers, and women of many occupations walking away from typewriters and telephones. That day, Dagmar and 1,500 women stood at the foot of the Washington monument in Washington D.C. chanting, “End the arms race, not the human race.” President John F. Kennedy supposedly watched their gathering from a window at the White House, while First Lady Jackie Kennedy penned a note supporting their endeavors.

Together, Dagmar’s women formed a sisterhood spearheaded by Dagmar and New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug. Called, Women’s Strike for Peace, it became the largest women’s national peace protest group of the 20th century. Less than six months later, Dagmar led a contingent of 51 of the members to an international disarmament conference in Geneva, Switzerland (April 1962). The women carried with them over 50,000 signed petitions from women all over America asking for a halt to nuclear testing in the atmosphere. Remember that these signatures were garnered in an era before email, social media, or even computer technology.

Dagmar’s goal was attained in the fall of 1963, when the Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union. The treaty prohibited nuclear testing in the atmosphere, outer space, and underwater. A success by all accounts, the multi-nation ban finally occurred after a decade of negotiations. President Kennedy said that the actions of the Women’s Strike for Peace were a significant factor in bringing the awareness of nuclear armament into every American home. This national awareness might have helped to force the issue of the dangers of radioactive fallout.

Women Strike for Peace, or WSP as they became known, did not stop there. They launched peace protests against the War in Vietnam, against the House on Un-American Activities Committee, and against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. They marched in force supporting the Civil Rights Movement. In short, the WSP sought to make this world a better place, thanks to the vision of Dagmar Wilson and others like her who earnestly believed by linking together, women can make a difference.

Dagmar Wilson passed away in 2011 at the age of 94, after a highly successful career as peace activist, artist, and illustrator of children’s books. One of her daughters, artist Jessica Wilson, has reprinted some of Dagmar’s holiday art onto cards with winsome letters forming “PEACE”, so that Dagmar’s message will never be forgotten. These cards are available from Around the Block Books 540-751-9161, Natural Mercantile 540-338-7080, or from jessnotes94@gmail.com.

Strong women live on through their legacies.

Thank you to Dixie Hallaj, my ardent proof reader.

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Tempe Wick by Linda Harris Sittig

Tempe Wick grew up in an era when our country was at war. Actually, we weren’t even a country yet – just thirteen colonies bound together in a rebellion against England.

Tempe was the youngest of the Wick’s five children, and the only one still living at home. Her parents owned a large farm amid the bucolic rolling hills of central New Jersey, near present day Morristown. But when talk of revolution exploded into full-fledged war, life quickly became very serious as the Wick family sided with the Patriots seeking freedom from Britain’s tyranny.

By December of 1779, General George Washington’s Continental Army had dissolved into a ragtag group of starving soldiers anxious for decent shelter, warm clothes, and food. Provisions were so scarce that men were chewing on their worn out leather shoes, hoping for a bit of nourishment. There were no stray dogs left.

Desperate times produce desperate men, and often – strong women as well.

The next two winters hosted brutal weather, where blizzards blanketed the fields for weeks and livestock froze where they stood. General Washington alerted the residents of Jockey Hollow for the need to establish military quarters nearby. More than 10,000 men descended on the area, and stayed in encampments that bordered the Wick farm. The Wick family believed so strongly in the Patriot cause that they voluntarily shared as much of their wheat harvest and butchered cattle as they could. But the war dragged on. Mr. Wick died, Mrs. Wick became quite ill, and Tempe now age 21, became her mother’s full time nurse.

New Year’s Eve 1781 was not an occasion for celebration, but as the moon rose high in the sky spreading fanciful shadows over a snow filled landscape, sounds of musket shots broke the stillness of the night. Knowing that ammunition was precious, Tempe must have feared that the British had invaded. She was wrong. The Pennsylvania soldiers wintering near the farm, fed up with their deplorable conditions and not having been paid for over a year, mutinied.

Regardless of the impending danger, there was no way that she would abandon her sick mother. All through the night, she later said, she kept vigil with a rifle in her lap as over 1,000 soldiers stampeded past the Wick house on their way back to Philadelphia. By morning, Mrs. Wick’s coughing now wracked her body and Tempe left to seek the doctor. Saddling up the family’s last remaining horse, Colonel, she raced to the doctor’s house to obtain the needed medicine. As she left to return home, two renegade soldiers dashed out from behind some trees and demanded that she relinquish her steed.

Instead, she snatched the reins, swung herself up into the saddle, and took off at a full gallop.

And the story, or legend, might have ended here with her mother receiving the medicine. However, Tempe also needed to protect their horse, which she had raised since a colt. Leaving the mare in the barn would have allowed the renegade soldiers to steal her. Instead, she led the horse right into the house, through the kitchen and into her small bedroom at the back. Tying rags under and around the hooves to stifle any noise, and leaving the horse to nibble the hay filled mattress, she was able to keep Colonel hidden while the renegades who had followed, searched the barn.

To keep a horse in the house for even one day and night would have been a feat, but according to local lore, Tempe kept her horse safely inside for almost a week.

How she brought in hay and water and lied to the patrolling soldiers, is all a part of her story. Eventually the mutiny ended, soldiers returned to their posts, and the dreadful winter weather ended. George Washington was able to inspire more patriotic fervor, rally the troops, and we won the war—the War for Independence.

Most of the facts about Tempe Wick are clearly documented: she went on to marry and have five children of her own, and since her older siblings had their own farms, she inherited the Wick farmstead. Her escapade of saving the family horse eventually became a legend in central Jersey.

I’ve been to Jockey Hollow. I visited the Wick House, and took my time lingering in Tempe’s small back bedroom, imagining a horse with rags on its hooves munching a mattress while mutinied soldiers swarmed the nearby countryside.

When you are a courageous strong woman, anything is possible.

“Self-sufficiency is the greatest of all wealth.”
Epicurus ~ from Pearls of Wisdom compiled by Keith Adams

Thank you to my wonderful proof reader, Dixie Hallaj.

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