Skip to main content

Woven Revolution: Athena

The average person who learns about Lancaster PA, thinks of buggies and bonnets. While the Amish and Mennonite communities are quite strong in Lancaster, they are not the only Protestant groups in the community. Their English counterparts, Baptists, are alive and well.

Pennsylvania, however, was not founded by Anabaptists or Baptists, but by Quakers. In Colonial Lancaster, a group of Irish Quakers had residence. They are a small group, though little is recorded of them. Like the Anabaptists, the Quakers are pacifists, but during the American Revolution, a few Quakers opted to fight, one of them was Nathanael Greene who became a major general in the Continental Army.

Knotted Pile Sampler, 2011

Business in Lancaster


Athena MacGuire, is many things, but she is uncertain of who she is. She is an Irish Quaker in Lancaster, an unmarried woman and the owner of her own business. During the Colonial time period, women did own businesses: some ran inns, some ran millinery shops. Others were dressmakers, and still others found other occupations. Many of these women inherited businesses from deceased husbands or fathers, but many others established their own businesses without male supervision.

In farming communities like Lancaster, most women married and raised their own families or helped their husbands with shops. Though there were women owners, they were few. It wasn't that women couldn't own a business, it just was not common, culturally.

For Athena, owning her own business is a matter of life.

A Woman Contained


At the age of thirty, Athena is an old maid with little to no hope of every marrying. Though her mother, Penelope still lives, her father has died in the defense of Bunker Hill. Unlike the other two women, Athena has very personal reasons for despising the British troops.

Since 1770, Athena has run an inn in Lancaster named The Fighting Quaker. She makes her living off the inn, and when her father dies in 1775, offers space for her mother to join her. Penelope declines the offer, but remains a constant support to her daughter.

Athena's brothers, however, are an entirely different matter. The eldest of four children, Athena watches her younger brothers with a cool eye. The two eldest brothers dismiss fighting, and blame their youngest brother for their father's death. Added to their bitterness, they see Athena's inn as a constant sore in their lives and make life difficult for her.

Her brothers, however, are the least of her worries. Athena struggles with her faith. On one hand, she understands the reason she is not to fight, but on the other hand, backing away from a fight seems pointless. As she withdraws farther from her Quaker roots, the Quaker community tries to pull her back into their fold. The struggle threatens to loosen the constrains Athena has placed around herself for like Circe, she is a passionate woman who has learned the fire her tongue can bring.

She desires respect from a man who can see her worth as his equal, not his subordinate. In a world still ruled by men, even with all their freedoms, Athena, like the other two women, desire freedom of their own. The freedom to be who they were meant to be.

Through her story, Athena finds the way to unlock the cultural rules that have left her contained within a cell of her own making.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chapter Four - The Board and Council

The town center was the oldest and grayest part of the town, though, even there the buildings were still colorful with the stone buildings being blue-gray, pink-gray and lavender-gray. In the center of town, marking the absolute center of the town, was a park area with a fountain in the center, the fountain led down into an underground grotto which was currently overflowing with people not unlike the fountain above it. “Looks like it’s connected,” Ramses said. “I think Mederei said it was had healing properties.” “That would be the place to look for the tapestries.” “Mama,” a child whispered loudly. Why was it when children whispered they yelled? “Why is that man so brown?” “Shh, honey, he’s probably from the capital region.” “No, Mama, they’re black, he isn’t. He’s brown, and scary looking.” The boy, blonde haired and blue eyed like his mother, was probably from the town. It was said that on the Isle of Caergwl├ón, the darkest were those in the capital and from there, they lost their color…

Chapter Nineteen - Negotiations

And we're back! Apparently my computer was sick, needed a reboot and now I'm in the process of organizing it all over again. Ah well. 


She was annoyingly brilliant, stubborn and naive; he was equally brilliant and stubborn, but not as naive. Kiango and Mederei were too valuable to the kingdom to remain in constant battles, but that's where they often found themselves. Both trying to solve a problem to help their families, friends or kingdom, but often going about it the completely opposite ways. Both had the power and prestige related to their families, and both wielded that power in strange and unusual ways. Kiango used his influence to lead the younger members of the society, but unlike other members of the royal family, had little magic. Mederei's magical power had to remain regulated and hidden because of the rules. How much of Mederei's ability Kiango knew about though ... They would always remain in conflict with one another, but there had to be some way they c…

Chapter Twenty - Bastllyr

Sorry for the delay on publishing, but here is the next chapter in Mederei's adventures. Currently, I have finished the book (wild cheering), but I have come to the conclusion that I need to improve my battle scenes. To that end, the upcoming chapters may not be ... as high of quality as I hope. 


“Climbing up the hill we go, we go; along the merry paths we go, we go. Sunshine fading, 'ventures waiting, up we go, we go,” Mederei sang, slightly off key as they climbed. “Can't you think of a better song than that?” Caradoc grumbled, four steps ahead of her. “But it's perfect. We're climbing up the mountain to the sunshine and the god.” “You've been singing it nonstop for the past ten minutes. Come up with another song. Anything.” “It might have been me there with you; it might have been me, and my dreams coming true.” “UGH!” “You wanted another song.” “Anything but that sappy song! It gets stuck in your brain ...” They walked in silence around a series of large boulders o…