Sunday, July 12, 2015

Heather Flower: Legend, Lore or Literal? {Guest Post Rebecca DeMarino & Giveaway!}


Like Rebecca, I love discovering the story within the story. Researching Native American history is especially challenging. I hope you enjoy my friend Rebecca's words about her latest novel. A great read for history buffs!

Rebecca is launching her second book in the Southold Chronicle Series, To Capture Her Heart.  Be sure to participate in her generous giveaway, it's at the very end of the post.

Here's Rebecca!

As a historical fiction author, I love when my research turns up a gold nugget of information like Heather Flower - was she legend, lore or did she literally exist? She may be all three. Without a doubt her existence is controversial.

I first discovered the story of Heather Flower while researching A Place in His Heart, my debut novel about my English ancestors, the Hortons. My first book covers a time period between 1630 - 1640, so when I read an account that Englishman Lion Gardiner paid a ransom for the daughter of Montauk's Grand Sachem Wyandanch I was intrigued, and looked at all different angles to include the story, but the time frame did not fit.

I did have my heroine, however, for book two of The Southold Chronicles! Further research revealed there are three or four theories regarding Heather Flower. I chose to blend those theories in my work of fiction.

Four theories that surround Heather Flower:
  • She was Quashawam, the daughter of Grand Sachem Wyandanch and Heather Flower was her nickname. Historically, records exist showing Quashawam became Grand Sachem of the Montauk when her parents and brother died.
  • She was Cantoneras, a Long Island native from Eaton's Neck who married the Dutchman Cornelius Van Texel or Tassle, whose granddaughter, Katrina, is of Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow fame.
  • Wyandanch had two daughters, Quashawam and Heather Flower.
  • Heather Flower is a fabrication, as well as the story of the kidnapping of Wyandanch's daughter. Although Lion Gardiner's personal papers include an account of paying a ransom to the Narragansetts for the release of Wyandanch's daughter, the lack of a Montaukett written history clouds the matter. Some have alleged Gardiner may have written the story only to support the colonial's political motives.

As I read of the controversies and theories, I read too, about the beautiful and proud Montaukett people. Their legacy is one of loss and perseverance. Though many died from diseases not known to them before the white man came, there were others who survived, like my fictional character Abbey, and I believe live on through their descendants today.

To me, Heather Flower is truly a legend and a fascinating heroine! Leg·end: lejÉ™nd/ noun 1. a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated.

What do you think? Legend? Lore? Real?

To Capture Her Heart Book Launch
Post a Comment
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...