Thursday, February 11, 2016

All the News That's Fit to Print - from 1888

Edith here, working on a short news article about Quaker Midwife Rose Carroll in 1888 Amesbury, Massachusetts.

Grove Cleveland was President of the country, which now proudly featured thirty-eight stars on its
flag. The Great Blizzard of 1888 hit the east coast hard in March, with hundreds dying.

Textile mills filled downtown Amesbury, and boardinghouses full of mill girls from New Hampshire farms or western Massachusetts villages kept the mills running. The news in early April wasn't good for the bustling town.

The world-famed carriage industry was in shambles after many of the factories burned to the ground on Carriage Hill one night. Midwife Carroll finds herself in the middle of the arson investigation. Here's a draft of my news article.

Local Quaker Nabs Arsonist

Area midwife Rose Carroll apprehended a local man attempting to set the Friends Meetinghouse aflame Sunday morning.

The Chronicle has learned that Carroll, twenty four, ran from the worship service after she deduced the identity of the man, Stephen Hamilton, whom she thought was the Carriage Fire culprit. She’d planned to go directly to the police station to inform them. Instead, she caught Hamilton red-handed starting a fire at the back of the thirty-year-old wooden structure on Friend Street.

She raised the alarm within, and members of the church joined her in putting out the fire and restraining Hamilton, son of mill owner Cyrus Hamilton. Famed poet John Greenleaf Whittier assisted in the effort.

Will young Hamilton also be charged with setting the Carriage Fire? Detective Kevin Donovan was close-mouthed about the investigation. “Miss Carroll is to be commended for her insight and bravery,” he offered instead.

Readers: What do you think? Did Stephen set the big fire, or? What else do you know about 1888 history?

Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries from Midnight Ink, among other series. The first book, Delivering the Truth, releases April 8 and is available for preorder wherever books are sold. You can find her at, on Facebook, and elsewhere.


Eileen said...

Love this! It sounds like it will be such a cool glimpse into a time and way of life I know so little about!

Edith Maxwell said...

Thanks, Eileen!