Monthly Archives: July 2011
Right now, we’re putting the finishing touches on the high school version of our Courage, New Hampshire curriculum supplement, and Megan Ernst and I are debating causes of the Revolution. Certainly there are quite a few threads to tie together in weaving the causal tapestry — English common law, the Reformation, the Great Awakening, the Black (Presbyterian) Regiment, the Enlightenment, the constraints of the Intolerable Acts, the Quebec Act, the various revenue acts, and all of that jazz, but I wonder if anyone has ever done a study of what might be called imperial arrogance. Continue Reading »
One follower of our project, writes:
..I was expecting a video which told me more about early America and our Founding Fathers, before, during and after the American Revolution, and not this type of story. I look forward to your other upcoming productions and hope that you will give us true historic stories of our early beginnings…
She was upset, in other words, that the story was about a bastardy trial. That’s how you decode the line “this type of story.” I explained to her that John Adams tried a number of these cases before he became “John Adams” and that the founders were deeply ensconced in a legal system that placed high value on intact families, which would explain the “before” in the request for stories about “before, during, and after the American Revolution.”
I didn’t take the time, of course, to explain the story included references to the Boston Massacre, British deserter patrols, the system of tavern justice in New England, references to the Biblical roots of colonial justice, and the overtly religious language used by the plaintiff’s attorney (which was taken, literally, from the Boston Massacre trial opening statements.) I didn’t take the time to point out the accuracy of the clothing, the stone walls, the 18th century hay cart taken from a Williamsburg pattern. Continue Reading »
I always knew the character of Sarah Pine would be a bit of a risk. Our Producer Jonathan Wilson even wondered, on first read, whether she was “all there.” I explained that I saw her as a young woman obsessed with applied theology as a hobby, in a way we can’t quite imagine today this side of an Amish after glow service. If you haven’t spent much time in 18th century primary sources, it might be hard to acknowledge that published sermons were the social networking “links” of their day. Continue Reading »
Over on Facebook Group page for Courage, Paul W. Pyle aks:
I was wondering about the process you use in gathering historical facts when you start creating a great movie such as this. How you get the idea of the basic historical location and so on.
Over the years, we’ve collected quite a few primary sources for mid to late 18th century in New England. Since our goal is to root each episode in a specific month or season of the pre-Revolutionary period, we usually start by reading all of the issues of the two period newspapers we have multiple issues for — The New Hampshire Gazette and the Providence, Rhode Gazette and Country Journal. Continue Reading »
Of all the many semi-lucid critiques of Courage, New Hampshire, I find the commentary on accents the most amusing.
According to Alex Pareenee of Salon.com:
As proof of the producers’ commitment to historical accuracy, the British are all evil and speak with British accents, while the colonists are mostly good and speak with (wildly varying) American accents. (Well, one of them sort of has an Irish accent.)
Well, at the risk of a spoiler alert, he got the good-evil calculus flat wrong, but the request for accent-uniformity is just, well… odd. Continue Reading »
I talked to a guy in Michigan yesterday who was so excited about selling our movie, he wants to take it out and sell it to his church, his school, and even his neighborhood. He bought 30 copies of the DVD in our July deal, (a case of 30 for $99).
He did not, however, start out that passionate. “When I first looked at the DVD case,” he said, “I thought ‘bunch of guys running around in funny clothes and talking about history.’”
He went on: “I didn’t expect too much, but then I started watching and there were scenes that reached in and socked me right in the gut, that touched me. Continue Reading »
Revolutions aren’t fought by hoping for the best in people.
In that final stretch leading to the American Revolution, from 1770 to 1775, there were certain conversations that had to be conducted in secret. Certain friendships had to be sealed with something very much like a solemn oath. The largely peaceful pattern we have of elections in this country and our commitment to an orderly hearing of all sides was purchased by people who, for the sake of the cause, had to be absolutely intolerant of deviation from the course. Continue Reading »
In the 18th century, traveling minstrel pitch men would stand on a perch at fairs and musters and sing a song. If the country folk took a fancy to the the tune he sold them a copy printed on a broadside.
We need some ballad mongers.
Do you have a platform?
Are you up on the soap box quite a bit?
Do you have a blog, an internet radio show, a pulpit, a podcast or a chronic “letters to the editor” addiction? Continue Reading »