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Challenge 1 for Massachusetts Bay Colony from Newportia Colony
created by Inquiry Unlimited
Theme: fire and minister loss
Our Dear Friends at Massachusetts Bay Colony,
It is with heartfelt sadness that we have learned of your recent tragedy.
We heard the story of how your meetinghouse burned to the ground and your
beloved minister died. The following was told to us by travelers who had
recently come from Massachusetts Bay Colony:
Rebecca Golds entered the meetinghouse struggling, carrying her twin babies and her warming box. As she sat down in one of the back benches, when she bent to set down the warming box, it tipped over. Still juggling her two babies, she uprighted the box, not noticing some glowing embers which had escaped the box and rolled behind the bench toward the doorway. Sharon Brown, having a good nose from baking, began to smell smoke and saw flames rising against the back door. She yelled, "Fire!" and everyone began to panic. The doorway was engulfed in flames and could not be used for a retreat. The colonists were trapped in the church. Samuel Knok and Toni
Ausborn, who were sitting next to each other jumped out the window. A
large beam, which had caught on fire fell, trapping and knocking unconscious the minister. Justice May's dress caught on fire. Another beam fell on the leg of Seymour Hanks as he attempted to reach the dying minister. Christopher Jacobs and Sarah Redwook passed out from smoke inhalation and Joseph Pickney fell and broke his leg trying to get to them.
It was the dead of winter and all the nearby water sources, the well, stream, were frozen over. Colonists frantically tried to put the fire out.
Tiffany Jones had not attended meeting as she was out delivering a baby. On her way back she met a colonist from near by Rhode Island who informed her that their colony had just been attacked by Indians and the surviving 70 colonists were on their way to Massachusetts Bay Colony.
We at Newportia are anxious to hear news of how ye managed with such terrible tragedies. Have the additional colonists created a burden upon thee? We pray that thou art in good health and able to be strong in order to solve your recent problems.
Know that we are thinking of you.
Our Sincere Wishes,
Solution 1 for Newportia Colony from Massachusetts Bay Colony
Theme: fire and minister loss
Dear Friends at Newportia,
Yes, we met a tragic challenge with the recent burning of our Meeting House. It was a trauma we will feel for many years as our minister could not be saved.
We always try to be cautious of fire. We know that you are also aware of the dangers of fire from tragedies that have befallen your colony.
This time, accidentally, Rebecca Golds brought this challenge amongst us. Her husband was away on business and she had no help with the twins. It seems that a warming box, which we continue to have problems with, allowed embers to ignite. Once Sharon Brown alerted us of the approaching disaster, we moved quickly.
With the quick thinking of Samuel Knok who got out the window, the root cellar was opened as an escape route. As beams fell from the structure, a few colonists used some pews as battering rams to break loose some of the remaining charred beams and open an area for people to escape to the outside.
When Toni Ausborn jumped out the window, he went looking for the sturdy tool next to the well to break the ice in order to get some water to throw on the fire. Even while he was doing this, he knew the water would not be enough to put out this fire. He could see the flames eating away at the timbers.
Immediately someone went to ring the bell, letting others not in the Meeting House know that help was needed. Sarah Waikfield and others at the Quaker meeting quickly came to assist. Other people gathering outside the meeting house provided medical assistance and help to fight the fire. It was noisy and smokey in the area.
While this was going on outside the building, inside the fiery building, John Mitchell had rushed to help Seymour Hanks remove the beam from what later became his badly broken leg.
Christopher Jacobs, who had been knocked out from smoke inhalation, gained consciousness when he kept hearing Sharon Brown’s voice screaming. He got his bearings and went to help carry Joseph Pickney out of the building.
When Christopher got outside, he saw Sarah Redwook breathing in fresh air outside the Meeting House.
Still inside, Justice May saw her dress on fire. She screamed and with the help of Bernadete Howsly and Elizabeth Withly stopped, dropped, and rolled so that the fire was put out. Fire on the clothing of women is a major problem in our colony!
Everyone inside and outside the Meeting House attempted to cover the fire, throw sand on it, step on it, stomp on it, suffocate it, smother it, throw our limited water at it and even throw snow at it!
You will be sorry to hear that we lost our Meeting House. We also lost our minister. People suffered minor burns, and broken bones from fallen timbers. Nobody else died.
It is a few days after our dilemma. We have buried our minister in the cemetery near our Meeting House. We have decided to rebuild in the same spot. We intended to add on to our Meeting House because our colony has been growing. With the recent arrival of 70 colonists from Rhode Island, we will need more space and will have more hands to help us.
Our assistant minister, who has not decided if he will become the minister, will take on the duties of our minister until we fill that position. We might advertise in our local newspaper which is read throughout the colony. We might recruit a new assistant minister from nearby Harvard College if our current assistant minister does accept the responsibility of becoming our full time minister.
We have made arrangements to provide for our minister's wife and family. They need never worry.
With the help of Daryl Jones, Tiffany's house wright husband, we are in the process of designing and rebuilding a new Meeting House adjacent to the cemetery. It will be of brick. It will have sufficient exits.
Unfortunately it was this tragedy that brought us to deal with our problem of a new design for a warming box. Elizabeth Whitley’s husband, a blacksmith, will invent a more secure warming box. We will require that only the new version of the warming box be used in our Meeting House. If people bring their own warming boxes to Meeting House, they will have to transfer their coals into the warming boxes we will have at the Meeting House. We cannot jeopardize our meeting members or our Meeting House!
The community as a whole will pay for our new Meeting House. Rebecca Golds and her husband are outstanding members of our community. As a physician he is well respected. They have agreed to contribute more than their equal share to the building project as Rebecca feels responsible for what happened.
Many husbands were seen fixing the malfunctioning hinges on their warming boxes the day after the fire.
We send our warm wishes to you in Newportia. We know you care deeply about our well being.
Your friends in the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Challenge 1 for Newportia Colony from Massachusetts Bay
Theme: witchcraft hysteria
People of Newportia Colony
These are very trying times. Life is hard. People are tense. Throughout our colonies and in England are the accusations of witchcraft. The witchcraft hysteria has come to the Newportia Colony. The situation is very severe.
Warrant 1: The Magistrates of Newportia Colony order that Elizabeth Smith be brought to Newportia Jail until she is examined, brought to face her accuser, and finally brought to trial for witchcraft. Marion Blue accuses Elizabeth Smith of looking at his cow wrongly. The next day the cow would not eat. Elizabeth Smith is accused of witchcraft.
Warrant 2: The Magistrates of Newportia Colony order that Bob Magee Jr. be brought to Newportia Jail until he is examined, brought to face his accuser, and finally brought to trial for witchcraft. According to Angela Patchry, Bob Magee Jr. gave her a look. Angela Patchry lost her job. Angela Patchry accuses Bob Magee Jr. of witchcraft.
Warrant 3: The Magistrates of Newportia Colony order that our school mistress, Rose Laurent be brought to Newportia Jail until she is examined, brought to face her accuser, and finally brought to trial for witchcraft. Jack K. Peter states that children took sick after returning home from school. Jack K. Peter accuses Rose Laurent of witchcraft.
Warrant 4: The Magistrates of Newportia Colony order that Gabrielle Francis be brought to Newportia Jail until she is examined, brought to face her accuser, and finally brought to trial for witchcraft. According to Peter Koch, one time when Gabrielle Francis came into his shop to try and sell him dresses, he was robbed the next day. Peter Kohl charges Gabrielle Francis of witchcraft.
Warrant 5: The Magistrates of Newportia Colony order that Peter Germany be brought to Newportia Jail until he is examined, brought to face his accuser, and finally brought to trial for witchcraft. According to Scotty O'Hara, Peter Germany came into his shop to buy a lantern for his master. After Peter Germany left the shop, whenever Scotty O'Hara attempted to make a lantern, he could not make it right. Scotty O'Hara charges Peter Germany with witchcraft.
Solution 1 for Massachusetts Bay Colony from Newportia Colony
Theme: witchcraft hysteria
People of Massachusetts Bay Colony,
It is with great relief that we write to you. After many trying weeks during
which a witchcraft hysteria befell Newportia, we have ended the madness.
What started as warrants for eight of our citizens on charges of witchcraft
ended up with over half of our colony imprisoned and charged, including the
judge and one of the jurors.
The trials began with a warrant for Elizabeth Smith accused of witchcraft. However, on the day of the trial Elizabeth escaped from the jail and has not been seen since. A search party was sent out to look for her, but returned unsuccessful. We still have no work of Elizabeth. Some have said she took ill in a nearby colony and is being nursed back to health by Quakers.
Bob Magee Jr. accused by Angela Patchry, denied charges of witchcraft, but when threatened with torture admitted that Francis Drake had cast a spell on him and caused him to become a witch. Drake was immediately cast in prison. Magee was found guilty of witchcraft by the jury.
Rose Laurent's accuser, Jack K. Peter, did not appear in court to testify against her. However, Zergen Monzer claimed he saw her swim at night. To which Rose replied, "Sir, I do not swim. I do believe Angela Patchry has cast a spell on me. I was indeed going to the stream to draw water when I passed out. I woke up almost drowning in the water. I finally stood up, got my footing and walked out of the water." Master Monzer emphatically contradicted her story and stressed he did see her in the water waving her arms and feet in the air. To which Mistress Laurent replied, "What do you
suppose I was doing?" and Monzer replied, "Swimming madame...swimming!" The
jury found Rose guilty and Angela Patchry was thrown in prison to await trial.
Gabrielle Francis took the stand and denied the charges. She stated she had gone to bed early the night of the robbery and could not have cast a spell.
Peter Kohl stated that she had cast the spell on his shop the day before. To which Mistress Francis replied, "I do not think so! I work hard and slave all day long to make and sell dresses. I am not a witch." However, Master Kohl pointed out that she had spoken harshly just then in court, thus proving she was a witch. Hans Fraas stated that Mistress Francis was working by lantern light the night of the robbery. Mistress Francis then accused lantern maker, Scotty O'Hara of putting a spell on the lantern which in turn caused her to be under a spell. Jurors found her guilty of witchcraft. Scotty O'Hara was imprisoned.
Peter Germany who was accused by the now imprisoned Scotty O'Hara stated, "It
was not me. My master sent me out to get a lantern. On my way back a bear started chasing me. I jumped in the water to escape. I was waving my arms drowning, not swimming. Next thing I knew I saw Long John Silver who cast a spell on me and I moved out of the water. Silver was floating in the air and said he would save me. Then I saw Scotty O'Hara looking at me. It was not what it seemed. You were not looking up in the air. You did not see him. I am innocent. It is Long John Silver who is guilty." The jury found his story so involved he could not possibly have made it up. He was found innocent and Long John Silver was tried and found guilty. However, Long John
silver accused the Judge, Hans Fraas, of casting spells and the judge was imprisoned. A new judge was appointed.
Estela Pere, accused by Scotty O'Hara and John Farmhand, denied charges of witchcraft and stated they were just trying to get back at her . She used to milk their cows for them, but they became angry with her when she quit. She said if any one made the milk go sour it must have been the strange Indian, Yo Ha Merlisa whom she had seen on fire, but not burning. She was found guilty and Yo Ha Merlisa was brought to prison to be questioned for witchcraft.
Marie Birdneau denied she had anything to do with Yo Ha seeing things. She stated she was only going to him to ask for help in planting her corn. However, Peter Germany said he saw the whole thing. He claimed Yo Ha was not delirious and that Marie was innocent. While one juror believed her to be innocent the majority found her guilty.
Eunice May Smith was accused by her daughter, Elizabeth Smith. However, Elizabeth who was also charged with witchcraft disappeared to places unknown. Eunice stated her daughter left because she realized that she would be in trouble for falsely accusing her mother. However, her friend, Marian Blue said wigmaker, Pierre S. Cargot, one of the jurors, made a wig for Elizabeth and it was bewitched and went up in flames. He also made Elizabeth disappear. The juror was imprisoned, but not before he accused Marion Blue of casting spells with Elizabeth. Eunice May was found innocent.
Finally the people of Newportia realized that few people remained who were not accused and if all were put to death, it would be the end of Newportia. They questioned how such fine people as the judge and jurors could be witches. Perhaps they had made a mistake How then were they to correct this grand injustice?
A town meeting was held and a long discussion ensued to identify the problems. It was determined that innocent people were being falsely accused and that the spying and trials must be stopped if the witchcraft hysteria was to stop. How was this to be done? Many suggestions were made. At last a vote was taken. Newportians agreed that they would ban all talk and everything having to do with witches. A law would be passed that would prohibit talking about witchcraft, spying on others, and would preserve the right to privacy for all Newportians. As for the victims of this hysteria,
it was voted that all those falsely accused of witchcraft be given a public apology and their names cleared on the records. They would receive a letter certifying they were not witches. Those who falsely accused were ordered to pay damages in money or goods to the innocent victims as retribution.
At last this horror has ended and we Newportians can live in peace and harmony protected by our new laws. We thank Massachusetts Bay Colony for your kind concern and hope that all is well with you.
Your friends at Newportia Colony
Challenge 2 for Massachusetts Bay Colony from Newportia Colony
Dear Massachusetts Bay Colony,
It is with great concern that we write you. News has spread that a great sickness is sweeping through the colonies of New England and we fear you may suffer greatly. A letter received from a distant relative in Massachusetts Bay Colony provided us with the following information:
Two weeks ago two ships, owned by Master Waikfield, husband of Sarah, arrived in Boston Harbor from England. The sailor, Toni Ausborn, was dispatched immediately upon docking to seek the aid of mid-wife, Mistress Sarah Waikfield for a woman passenger about to give birth.
Upon her arrival on deck of the first ship, Mistress Waikfield discovered many passengers sick with a fever, coughing, sneezing, and some with large pus-filled sores covering their bodies, others whose sores had scabbed over. Two were blind and several others near death. Most were too sick to leave the ship.
Sarah was puzzled as she had never seen such a disease. She decided to go to her friends, Debbie Redwitch and Tifanny Jones, to see if they could help. However, they too had never heard of such an illness.
Ropemaker, Master Richard had gone aboard the second ship to sell new ropes to the captain and was immediately dispatched to seek Doctor Seymour Hanks. The second ship also had a sickness, however unlike the first ship, there was only one passenger, brother of Phili May, who had developed spots of blood under his skin which had turned black. His lymph glands were swollen in the groin, armpits and necks and were developing into open sores. He was running a high fever, and suffering from chills, and body pains. Having little money, he had stowed away in the hold along with the rats. He was discovered in his unfortunate condition only when the crew was unloading the cargo from the hold.
A few days after Sarah's encounter aboard ship, her children were sent home from school by her teacher because they were coughing, sneezing, complaining of a fever, and was breaking out in a rash of pimple-like sores.
Children of Bernadete Howsley and their playmates, the children of Elizabeth Withly, also became ill. Soon Elizabeth was unable to care for her ailing children as she had become ill also.
Samuel Knok and Carnell Johnson were so upset, they decided to try to get others to go burn the ships because they were cursed. John Mitchell, who was a bit more level headed, asked the new minister to call a town meeting to discuss the situation and identify these strange diseases before allowing any more people to disembark from the ship.
We, friends from Newportia Colony, do wish you strength in dealing with this terrible situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and hope that your town meeting will provide you with solutions to the pressing problems at hand.
With deepest concern,
Citizens of Newportia Colony
Solution 2 for Newportia Colony from Massachusetts Bay Colony
9 September, 17__
Citizens of Newportia Colony,
We thank you, dear friends from Newportia Colony, for your prayers as we face yet another epidemic of that great sickness smallpox in the town of Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. We have had bouts with smallpox in 1701, in 1739, in 1742-1743, and now again that cursed sickness visits us. Through the years our Provincial Laws have put in place certain laws and procedures for dealing with the pestulous eruptions of smallpox.
People arriving in Boston from any place "where the smallpox or any other malignant infectious distemper is prevailing" are to report to the selectmen. There is a fine of 20 pounds for travelers who neglect to follow this procedure.
Families with a case of "pestulous eruptions" are required to inform the selectmen and to display a red flag under a penalty of 50 pounds. A guard who has previously survived from smallpox is stationed outside the quarantined house. He lets food go in. He makes sure people do not come out until the disease has run its course.
Inoculation is prohibited unless the selectmen permit it.
Rainsford Island in Boston Harbor becomes a quarantine hospital for people coming in by ship. The two ships of Master Waikfield were sent to the island because ships carrying smallpox are smoked with "rossom and brimstone" also "washed and cleansed" until the officer at Rainsford thinks the vessel might go on. People were cleansed and washed. Those of them who had any hair were washed well with vinegar. Their clothes, especially the suits were aired, washed, and smoked carefully. When this smoking, washing, and cleansing was completed, the vessel proceeded after paying for these services.
Our townspeople dealt with this newest curse in a few different ways. Many people hearing of the latest threat packed their things and left Boston. Other people, like Christopher Jacobs immediately offered his time and services to help out his friends. he had small pox when he was little.
Sarah Waikfield, Tiffany Jones, and Debbie Redwitch were at first puzzled by the disease until they spoke to a well respected elderly woman of the colony who had remembered well the epidemic of 1742.
Bernadete Howsley's kids got a mild case of the sickness as did the children of Sarah Waikfield and Elizabeth Withley. The children were quarantined together. Elizabeth had a mild case of smallpox as a child. It was not enough to give her immunity to the disease, but she did not display severe symptoms this time. She stayed with the children throughout their fight with the sickness. Bernadete's children were very lonely without their parents. Yet every day Bernadete and other parents saw their children through the window of the shelter.
Tiffany and Sarah helped care for Sarah's husband and Lizzie's husband. Sadly we must report that Sarah's husband died. He could not eat anything. One thing led to another. His condition worsened. He will be missed.
Tiffany Jones' kids stayed with their father in their own house. He had smallpox during one of the previous outbreaks in Boston.
Keith Martin had already been inoculated but he had not inoculated his children. They caught the smallpox. He put a red flag in front of his house and helped them.
John Mitchell's childrend had smallpox so he had known about it. He volunteered to help on the ship and along the shore during this time of catastrophe.
Seymour Hanks and Rebecca Golds had never been exposed directly to the virus. They preferred to help on shore. They attempted to find herbs from the local Native Americans. They found that grinding the herbs and cod liver oil helped to reduce the fever and attack the constipation.
Antonia's husband was on the incoming ship. He got the small pox. His wife took care of him. She soon got the smallpox too. Sharon Brown assisted them with food. Justice May had volunteered to watch Antonia's children before Antonia and her husband were quarantined.
George Philipis, brother of Phili May, developed spots of blood. When the ship was detoured to Rainsford Island, he died. Nobody else showed the same symptoms. The area where George stayed was "smoked" and all personal items were burned.
Amos Webster, the esteemed Boston merchant, immediately showed his community concern by providing additional food, bandages, pans, replacement clothing, red flags, vinegar, candles, and blankets for the volunteers and sick people.
The people in Boston were frantic. Our town was nearly empty. Gradually there would not be a reasonable food supply. Trade had ceased. The port of Boston was closed since no ship wanted to enter the epidemic area and no port would allow a ship recently setting sail from Boston to dock. There has been no town meeting held in Boston for the duration of the epidemic.
These are indeed trying times in Boston. Life continues to be harsh. We thank you for keeping us in your prayers.
With hope for the good things the future will bring,
Citizens of Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Challenge 2 for Newportia Colony from Massachusetts Bay Colony
Citizens of Newportia,
As with us in Massachusetts Bay Colony, we realize that this winter has also been a long, cold, snowy season for you. Snow has been at almost record breaking depths. Spring approaches. Warmer temperatures continue. Rain falls freely. Tornadoes funnel the areas.
We realize that the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers are at capacity and other rivers in the Newportia area have peaked. On occasion this low and flat coastal area has been known to flood as the rivers overflow their banks. Further west, at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, occasional mudslides have been known to block trails.
During these severe weather situations, the wildlife are hard hit. Farmers intent on planning their spring work anticipate damage to their fields, crops, and fruit trees.
What adventures do Newportians tell of their recent bouts with snow, rain, mud, floods, melting, tornadoes?
Your friends at Massachusetts Bay Colony
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