The Sundering of Empire – the prologue

Sundering of Empire

Book 2 – The Mallory Saga

Prologue

Mallory Town – February 1767

Reverend James Shields closed his Bible, raised his hands to the ceiling of the newly constructed church building and offered a benediction, praising God for the work He has begun in this frontier village.  With the French no longer a threat and the pacification of the native tribes in the area, Mallory Town was growing by leaps and bounds.  New settlers were arriving every month, some with plows, others with a trade and some with only the clothes on their backs, but all with the need for salvation. As he stood in the door to greet the parishioners as they left the church, he could not help but notice who was once again not in attendance and resolved to have another talk with Daniel Mallory and Liza Clarke about their wayward brother, Liam.  He knew it would be futile to confront Liam or the unmarried mother of his children, Rebecca.  His last attempt seemed only to further the distance between him and Liam.  He could recall the last words Liam spoke as he was so discourteously ushered out of Liam and Rebecca’s cabin, ‘I will worship who I will and where I will, so save your damned judgmental preaching.’  ‘Judgmental indeed’, Reverend Shields thought to himself, ‘who was this ignorant backwoodsman to jeopardize the souls of his children?  We shall see how soon he and his sinful woman come crawling, begging for forgiveness once I start sermonizing about them.’

Boston – The Green Dragon Tavern – 1767

The patrons had gathered for a pint or two and for news and rumors concerning Parliament’s views on the rights of The Crown to tax the colonies without first getting consent from them.  In 1765, Parliament passed The Stamp Act as a means to help recover the costs of The French & Indian War.  Following the lead of Virginia, many of the other colonies banded together and declared that The Stamp Act was illegal, as it was promulgated without the consent of the taxed.  Parliament repealed the act in 1766 but insisted they had the right to tax the colonies and in 1767 passed The Townshend Act which put a duty on tea, glass, lead, paper and paint.  An outraged Sam Adams, a politically active member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives slammed his mug down on the table exclaiming to all that, ‘this is just another example of Parliament and the King exercising a right that they do not possess.  Taxation of British subjects, even those in the Colonies, without representation is unconstitutional and must be rejected and repealed.’

The reaction of Parliament and King George III to this and subsequent actions in the colonies would further widen the gap between the Crown and his subjects and eventually lead to the garrisoning of more British troops to quell the unrest.  The Boston Massacre in 1770, The Boston Tea Party in 1774 and finally the Declaration of Independence in 1776 were but a portion of the fuel that fed the flames of revolution.

Mallory Town – April 1767

Rebecca tried to stifle a groan when she got up from the bed.  She was pretty certain that she was pregnant but this time seemed different than when she was carrying the twins, Jack and Caleb.  With them she didn’t have the discomfort of morning sickness but for the last week she felt ill every day when she awoke.  Not wanting to disturb or worry Liam, she hid, as best she could, the nausea and dizziness, but this morning he woke up to her groaning.  ‘Are you alright?’ Liam asked as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.  ‘Oh, I’m sorry. Yes, my dear, I’m fine,’ Rebecca answered, ‘must be a little sore from chasing the twins.  You go back to sleep for a bit.  I’ll get breakfast going.’  She got up and after checking on the twins, grabbed a bucket and headed outside to get water from the well.  About halfway there she doubled over; fell to her knees and vomited.  As she started to get up she felt a pair of hands around her helping her to get up.  ‘Oh my, Rebecca,’ said Liza with a smile on her face, ‘are you pregnant?’  ‘I believe I am, though I didn’t have the morning sickness with the twins,’ she replied.  ‘Well you were fortunate,’ Liza said, ‘every morning for a month or so with both my children.  You look a little pale.  Why don’t you sit for a minute?  I’ll fill your bucket.’