The Story of An 18th Century Woman from A Prominent New England Family Who Went from A Life of Privilege to The Gallows
Bathsheba Spooner was the daughter of Timothy Ruggles, a general in the French and Indian War, president of the Stamp Act Congress, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and a leading loyalist in Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War; the epitome of upper class.
Like her father, Bathsheba was smart, strong-willed, and a staunch British loyalist. Forced to marry a man she did not love, Bathsheba withstood her husband’s abuse for years until a young Continental soldier entered her life. But when this well-heeled mother of three small children discovered she was pregnant with the soldier’s child, her thoughts quickly turned to murder.
Based on a true story, the events that follow Bathsheba’s life, her decisions, and her ultimate demise will show readers that Bathsheba Spooner was, in fact, Unlike Any Other . . .
I want to bring Invictus here,” I told him one morning a month later over breakfast. Sipping a cup of tea, I watched him. “The weather is better, and there is hardly any snow on the roads. I can get him tomorrow.” I was excited at the thought of having Invictus here. To be able to ride him again whenever I wanted to would be wonderful. I missed him so much. I was sure that having him there would make me happy.
“No,” Joshua said.
I was so lost in my reverie, I barely heard him.
I was confused. “What did you say?”
“I said no, you cannot bring the horse here.”
I was stunned to the point that I couldn’t talk. I shook my head to clear it. I stared at him, loathing that he had lied to me.
“You told me that I could bring Invictus here after we were married,” I said, slamming my cup down. “That is the one thing I asked of you, and you agreed.”
“I’ve changed my mind,” he said, continuing to eat, never once looking at me. “I don’t want to incur the expense of boarding it. It costs too much,” he said, then took a bite of egg.
“I don’t care if you changed your mind, he is my horse, and I want him here. I’m going to get him tomorrow.” I stood up.
Joshua looked at me, his demeanor calm and unruffled. “If you bring the horse here, I will sell it.”
“You son of a bitch. You’ll do nothing of the kind. You won’t touch him,” I said, seething.
“I will sell it. And if you persist in this, and if I can’t sell it, I will have it shot.”
“How dare you? What gives you the right to say such things about my property, my things?”
“You are married to me. You have no legal rights. You do not own any property. I own everything.
If you bring the horse here, I will claim it as mine, and sell it or have it shot. It is no longer yours, nor ever will be again.”
Dumbfounded, I walked into the east parlor. I paced back and forth, angry and confused. It was true that, whether I liked it or not, married women had no legal rights. I decided that perhaps for now it would be best to leave Invictus at the farm where I could visit him whenever possible.
I heard the front door close and realized Joshua had left. Suddenly tired from my emotional breakfast, I sat down and slumped forward, missing my most favorite thing in the whole world—Invictus. After a few minutes, I steeled myself and changed into a riding outfit. I told Sarah’s son, Jesse, to saddle a horse for me. I rode off to Hardwick to see my father again.
About the Author
Ed Londergan is the author of the award-winning books The Devils’ Elbow and The Long Journey Home. Having researched American history for many years, he is a frequent speaker with a focus on colonial Massachusetts. A graduate of Holy Cross, he lives in Warren, Massachusetts.
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