Saturday, July 14, 2012

Viva la Revolution! Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson on the French Revolution

Happy Bastille Day everyone! Today it seems appropriate to take a break from our Celtic Festival preparations and quickly look at Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson's interest in the French Revolution, which followed so closely on the heels of American independence.

In 1793 Elizabeth sent a bundle of her poems and writings to fellow writer Annis Stockton. She wrapped them in a copy of the General Advertiser which featured a story on the recent execution of Louis XVI, which most likely was a deliberate choice. According to her biography, The Most Learned Woman in America, by Anne Ousterhout, she initially sympathized with the French people, who objected to the arbitrary rule of their King, but was shocked and saddened by the bloody violence that ensued. She felt America owed Louis XVI their gratitude for France's support during the American Revolution.

Portrait of Louis XVI (from Here)
She wrote to her close friend and confidant, Benjamin Rush:

"Gracious Heaven is this the Regneration of a new Empire? It is its Degneration! Is this Reformation? It is Deformation. Is this generous Democrats? No they are Democrats such as filld the Pandemonium that Milton Admirably Describes, With Beelzebub and Moloch presiding for Such appear to Me Robespiere and Marat...Oh my Soul revolts at them! and their proceedings!"

And in another letter to the same:

"The Execution of the King and Queen of France was accompanied with a Series of unprecedented Barbarity [and she] melted into Tears at the anectdote of the Dauphin going to Solicit mercy for his Papa."

So moved was she by the King's execution that she wrote a poem, which appears in the Yale Commonplace Book (held by the Library Company of Philadelphia), calling for the end of the guillotine, entitled "Reply to the Democratic Song of the Guillotine" to be sung to the tune of "God Save the King." Her notes call the guillotine "no maiden but a common prostitute, the scarlet whore."

Friday, July 6, 2012

Shopping at Celtic

Get ready to shop at the Celtic Heritage Festival on July 21 on the shady, historic grounds of Graeme Park in Horsham, Pennsylvania. As always, we have a fine variety of Celtic and craft vendors bringing you everything from t-shirts to jewelry, pottery, woodenware, woolens and more. As of July 6, here is what we have lined up for you:

Ancient Order of Hibernians (

The Blackthorn Stick—Sterling and brass Celtic jewelry, woodburned & composite plaques.

Celtic Tides History of Family Names—(

Chester County Book Lady—Barefoot books and gifts, Putumayo CDs, Folkmanis puppets, board games. (

Clan MacAlister Society—Clan related shirts and mugs. (

Cornish American Heritage Society—Book: Pennsylvania Slate Beckons the Cornish Quarryman to "North Americay" (

Darach Recordings—Carl Peterson CDs, swords, flags. (

Dog Gone Dog—Gourmet hot dogs, chili dogs - load them up with  your favorite toppings!

Diane DiMaggio & Sandy Cunningham—Handcrafted cloth napkins & table runners, BYOB bags, aprons, tea caddies, rice bags, baby bundles & onsies, walker bags.

Dopey Dragon Dry Goods—Beads, buttons, notions, yard goods, throws, leather, hats, feathers, fans. (

F.J. Donovan’s Fine Celtic Food—Bridies, meat pies, fish and chips.

The Friends of Graeme Park—Soft pretzels, ice cream, water ice. (

Funnel Cakes and Fried Oreos - Yummm!

Hatboro Beverage and the Friends of Graeme Park—Beer Tent (

JT’s T-Shirts—Irish t-shirts for adults and kids. (

Just Peachy Jewels—Jewelry. (

Kathleen's Celtic Gifts - Mullingar picture frames, key chains, money clips, Belleek baby mugs, Galway crystal, pewter door knockers and candle holders, Belleek anniversary ware, Scottish and Welsh flags (

RedEarthWorks—Sgraffito redware pottery. (

Reflections of Ireland—Soccer & rugby shirts, kilts, capes, caps, Celtic jewelry, gift & novelty items.

R.E. Piland, Goldsmiths - Original, handmade jewelry based on the Celtic art form. Jewelry is made in sterling silver, 14k yellow, white, and rose gold, and gemstones. (

Scentsy—Scented waxes and electric burners. (

Steven Fine—Handmade jewelry & figurines of Tagua Nut; knit shawls and scarves; stuffed alpaca animals; handmade small houses.

Tastefully Simple—Beer bread & cake mixes, spices and sauces. (

WizardsTower Beads & Gifts—Hand- carved wooden spoons & treen ware; magic wands; treasure chest; capes; wizards’/witches’ robes; traveling cloaks; ritual stoles; shawls; alter cloths; scarves; sacred object bags; Celtic/wiccan/pagan jewelry. (

Woody’s Bar-B-Q—Pulled pork & chicken, bar-b-q (215-674-5500)

First Friday Fotos: July 2012

Can the Celtic Festival really be only two weeks and one day away? It seems school just let out and the summer is already nearly half over already, although I'm sure there are those who are anxious for the more temperate days of autumn. We continue our First Friday Foto series this month with another peek at the summer kitchen and garden. Unfortunately it seems as if our gardner has gone on strike this year, so all we have to keep an eye on are the leeks, which are in full flower right now.

For views of how things looked in June, May, April, March, February and January, click the links.
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