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Failure in Philadelphia?

Failure in Philadelphia?

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Failure in Philadelphia?

93 pagine
1 ora
Aug 31, 2011


It's the hot, miserable summer of 1787 in Philadelphia. Will the delegates at the Grand Convention succeed or fail at their mission? Will they amend the Articles of Confederation as instructed? Or are they up to something else?

Our tale is brought to us by Henry, a young man from Britain who has been tasked with keeping an eye on what the delegates are up to. He is certain they cannot accomplish what they came to Philidelphia to do!

Historical fiction, with the focus on historical!

Aug 31, 2011

Informazioni sull'autore

Historian, and Author, Homeschool Mom of 12

Correlato a Failure in Philadelphia?

Leggi altro di Catherine Mc Grew Jaime
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Failure in Philadelphia? - Catherine McGrew Jaime


in Philadelphia?

A Novel of the Constitutional Convention

Catherine McGrew Jaime

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2011 by Catherine McGrew Jaime

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this e-book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

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Chapter One

As I finished my hasty meal, I was brought back to the reality of the day’s work by Miss Maureen looking for me again. Henry, Miss Mary wants you to go down to the stables and make sure they have room for several more horses. Mr. Madison has returned from Virginia and is expecting a number of other Virginia delegates soon. We will need to stable the horses that they bring.

As I swallowed the last couple of bites, I managed a less than enthusiastic answer: How many horses will we need room for, Miss Maureen? Do you have a count?

Miss Maureen didn’t seem to notice my frustration. But then I was fairly sure that not much bothered Miss Maureen. She was in charge of the kitchen and anything else she wanted to put her hand to, and she made sure no one forgot it. No, not yet. Mr. Madison has come alone. Miss Mary expects that several of the others will bring servants with them. So we may need another ten stable spaces in the next week or two.

Servants? Or slaves? I silently compared the two words as I walked to the stables. They are certainly not the same thing! I am a servant. My contract will end in a few years, and I will be a free man. Most of the servants they bring from Virginia will not have that to look forward to. I sometimes pondered whether slavery made sense to me, but it was a concept I didn’t like to think about. As an indentured servant, I often felt treated no better than a slave; but seeing these slaves generally reminded me that my life was really not so bad. Besides, I smiled to myself. My contract might end much sooner than I had originally thought. In exchange for some important information about the comings and goings of some of the key Americans here in Philadelphia, I had been promised that my contract would be ended in much less than the seven years I had come to America expecting!

In the beginning, I had just been listening to their conversations as I brought drinks from the kitchen to the guests and as I cleaned the tables. From the start, the men in Miss Mary’s Indian Queen Tavern ignored me as I passed in and out of their view. As a result I had been able to pass on some critical details to the British Consul General here in Philadelphia.

But then the Americans had moved their seat of government to New York City and my ability to gather information had disappeared with it. I worried at that point that they would want to somehow send me to New York. Coming from London to America, Philadelphia was already a small city to me; I could not even imagine being sent off to a city as small as New York.

But just as I became afraid that my information-gathering days were gone, we heard that the Congress in New York had authorized a gathering of delegates here in Philadelphia. What good fortune! In the past I had enjoyed the challenge of listening in on conversations while appearing to have no interest, and I would likely be able to accomplish even more with this new group in town.

Lost in my thoughts about my spying duties, I almost walked right past the stables. They were located next to, and slightly behind, the Sign of the White Horse tavern. A friend of Miss Mary’s owned the White Horse, and the two taverns shared the stables there. Most of the time there were plenty of spaces in the stables for the horses of guests at both taverns, but if both places were full, it could become a problem.

I walked inside, calling for my friend. Abe, how’s it going down here with the horses?

A young man about my age, but much shorter, appeared at the back of one of the stalls with a shovel in his hand.

It’s going well, Henry, it’s going well. I would rather spend my day cleaning up after a bunch of animals than people like you have to do.

I laughed. It’s not so bad. And the conversations can be quite entertaining. Besides, it smells better in the kitchen than in this place. How do you stand the stench?

What smell? It just smells like horses here! Besides, I wouldn’t want to hear all those Americans going on about their freedoms and their victories. We all know they should never have won that war, not against the greatest army and navy in the world.

I stepped closer to Abe and whispered, Remember, we’re in the minority these days, old chap. Don’t be making those sorts of comments too loudly. We are both working for women who supported the rebels in that war!

Abe growled. Yes, and look at what it got both of them. They had to bury their husbands at young ages, and now they’re both running taverns on their own. How’s that for freedom?

I know, I know. In fact, that’s why so many of the taverns in this town are run by widows. Most of those women lost their husbands during the fighting, too. But that was before our time. We couldn’t do anything one way or another during the War. But we need to keep our wits about us now, so we can help at this time. With all these new delegates coming into town this month, we should have plenty to keep us busy.

Abe nodded, and continued his work. I know, Henry, I know. I’ve been hearing some talk here at the tavern about what’s been going on this winter, and why they’re meeting here now.

I took a seat on a nearby stool, trying to take my mind off the smell that seemed to permeate the place, and let Abe continue. Apparently their little experiment at self-government isn’t going so well. The federal government is broke, the states don’t want to pay their taxes, and they want to harass each other about rivers and tariffs.

I interrupted him. Well, when they keep busy bothering each other, it certainly makes our work easier. They claim they won the War, and yet we’ve still got forts on their western border – forts that we have no intention of giving up.

Abe smiled. And now they’re starting to have problems with the Spanish, too. They wanted independence, now they’ve got it. But I don’t think anyone expects them to keep it long.

I took the conversation back to the

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