NOW has begun to fall again here upon this frontier, great white flakes of it. I grow ever so weary of being cold, it makes it difficult to take my walks. How is a man expected to want to take another turn when he cannot feel his toes within his boots?

I often wish that I might see the faces of my dear friends as they receive my letters to them. This is why that it warmed my heart so to see these friends enjoying the reading aloud of a letter at a celebration of Twelfth Night. I am reliably inform'd that this particular letter was one of the highlights of the evening.

The bearer of the letter told me, "...it was quite fun for me as I was already well acquainted with the contents, so I was able to step back and watch as others were drawn in."

"Gents from the British end gradually made their way down to our end. The whole lot listening drew closer and closer, ladies and gents alike."

"More than once, the reader was asked to re-read a line or two whilst the listeners either put it to memory or put it to their own imagry."


On September 20, 2009 at the Koh-Koh-Mah & Foster Living History Encampment near Kokomo, Indiana, Parson John Frank Jarboe officially announced to the 18th century living history community the formation of The Purefinder Fund.

The fund which is named in honor of the late Colleen Gilbert is being established to help those in the 18th c. reenacting community who find themselves in need of assistance. Colleen Gilbert, known to many as her reenacting personae “Hester Purefinder,” was a gracious, loving and giving person. Colleen (Hester) was a true friend, helping both friends and strangers as she was able.

It is in her memory that The Purefinder Fund has been established. At the present time, The Purefinder Fund operates under
Parson John Living History, Inc. a nonprofit 501c3.

Parson John Living History, Inc. is an organization dedicated to the study and presentation of the events that shaped the world during the European settlement of the American continent and the founding of the United States of America.

Parson John Living History, Inc. is governed by a board of directors and The Purefinder Fund is administered by a committee made up of 18th c. reenactors from a 6 state area and from different reenacting groups; military, native and civilian. In addition some members of the committee are professionals who are donating their knowledge in various areas, legal, financial &c. to the formation and operation of The Purefinder Fund.

1st presentation of the year

I was invited to present to a group of young pupils today. They were very well manner'd and curious about all that I show'd them. I would give credit to their schoolmistress, Ms. Frizzell, who had prepared them well for my arrival, having learn'd a great deal about local history and the people.

Instructing the pupils in how to use an experimental new technology.

This group of students from last year was very attentive.

Showing off my sole guinea.

"You are amazing! Thank you for all that you do to keep history alive!"

-Heather Frizzell, 2nd & 3rd Grade Teacher

Dayspring Academy, Greenbrier, Tennessee

The Doctor's Daughters

Click on image to enlarge and see the glorious, hand cut details

You may, dear reader, recall the Christmas portraits I had made of the girls that I gifted to their grandparents. There was Lucy (in her straw hat), Molly, and Rose... but now I have had my little Sophie added to the group, and my portraits are complete! I received the portrait via the post yesterday.

These beautiful hand cut portraits were done by Mrs. Anne Leslie of Shadow Portraits. I recommend her highly, professional, fast, and a fantastic eye for catching the human form with scissors and paper. The three older girls were with me when we met Mrs. Leslie at New Boston, but with Sophie, she worked from a photograph that I sent her via e-mail.


I have begun the slow process of creating what is to become the 2nd Doctor... a Regency era (1790-1820) physician and surgeon. And so, I find that I will need to create a NEW self-promotional piece. I have little trouble with the design and layout of such a piece, but the writing... the writing always gets me!

To that end, I have decided to see what you, my faithful readers can come up with. What I require is promotional text that is informative and fun to read. I thought, since we we're doing the Jane Austen/Regency era, it might be fun to have the text read like a mini-Austen novel... or a piece from one AND double as promo copy for the Doctor.

If you need any Austen inspiration, check out these great blogs:

I have even gone to the trouble to get you started on your course if you should need it. You can finish the lines below to create the new promo text, or scrap it and create your very own. Feel free to post your writings in the comments section... or if you're shy, feel free to email it to me at: ahroberts4@yahoo.com

You can find the awesome (and totally NOT written by me) promo text for the 1st (18th century) Doctor here...

Mrs. Winford could scarcely contain the news, and her own excitement. So much so, that she had put on her bonnet in haste on her way to the Barton house, and tied the ribbon in a fitful knot. "There is a new Doctor coming to call." she cried.
"A new Doctor?" the widow Barton exclaimed with her two daughters, nearly in perfect harmony.
"I have learned that he will be arriving this very day," Mrs. Winford continued, catching her breath and still working at the knot, "traveled from points afar where he gave demonstrations in the art and mystery of medicine and surgery."
"And he is to come here to demonstrate his craft?" asked the widow, her face betraying her thought that such a demonstration might offend her daughter's delicate sensibilities.

A journey... Part VI

N the week that I have been a guest in the home of mr. C----- and his goode wife, there has been snow and freezing weather in great abundance. The cabin has been so cold that even with a good blaze in the hearth, I can see my breath on the opposite side of the room.

Mr. C----- is much return'd to his health I think. He has been up and about and back to work around the cabin and even a bit in the out-of-doors. The two of us have taken care to repair some of the chinking between the logs and to stuff additional bits of wool in some of the gaps in the floor and around the window and door. It has helped little to fend off the extreme cold.

The weather has broken and the freezing temperatures subsided. The ice has begun to thaw a bit, a perfect time to make my return trip home. I fear if I am to stay much longer, mrs. C-----'s cooking will cause my cloathes to become too tight in the waist.

I will go to Bledsoe his fort tomorrow and find a companion to make the trip back with. Perhaps mr. Flynn, my neighbor, has concluded his business and will be ready to return with me.

Not a day over 260...

It has been brought to my attention that Herr Mozart has posted something in his journal regarding my birthday upon this coming Saturday! Some excellent suggestions are giv'n for what I might do to occupy myself... flip over and have a look!

In case you were curious, I was born Jan. 9th 1745, what a year! Here's to my dear old mum and my no good brother Nigel back home, pour the beer and bring out the cakes!

A journey... Part IV

HE words of Mr. Burton found their way into my dreams long before I heard them with my ears.

Rouse him, says he.

It was barely morning and I was soaked to the bone after a night with scarcely two hours of sleep strung together in small bits. The oiled canvas could only provide so much protection against the heavy rains of the night before.

Mr. Burton and Flynn were on their feet, and the Bryant brothers were down the hill having a look around at what had been the indian camp. They seemed particularly interested in some of the refuse they were finding on the ground, as they were crouching to examine it.

At some point, as I was sleeping, the natives had picked up and moved on, southward according to Burton, who had the fierce and exhausted look of a man who had been on guard all night.

With little ceremony, we gathered up and continued eastward along the trail, still assaulted by a light drizzle of rain. It was still aforenoon when we arrived at the small cabin that belonged to mr. C-----'s family. I bid the other gentlemen in the party farewell as they continued on the next few miles to Bledsoe his fort.

Mrs. C----- was elated to see me when I arrived at the door, and made such a fuss over my general condition that I could not get a word in edgewise. The state of my poor cloathing, I would surely catch my death of cold, have you ever seen such a thing dear, she would see to getting me into to dry things, had I eaten yet, I looked so thin since we last met, I surely had not eaten, look dear it's the Doctor come to see you.

The small, one room cabin was crammed full of stores for the winter months. The entire wall opposite the fire was filled with hanging corn and all manner of vegetables and herbs to dry. On the wall by the door was a great salted ham that they had already begun to carve at. Their little home was scarcely more than a spot for a bed and a table, packed so full it was, I could barely find a place to set down my blue box.

Mrs. C----- saw to it that a line was run next to the fire so that my wet cloathes and things could be hung up to dry and she gave me a rather rough and ill-fitting suit of mr. C-----'s to wear whilst mine were occupied.

A journey... Part III

cold, miserable night spent shivering. I buttoned up and rolled my blankets up to make ready. My breakfast consisted of a combination of nuts and dried fruits from my haversack.

Light sleet early on as our path begins to make a slow, gradual rise uphill. Mr. Burton, who has made this trip several times in the past, seems to be of the opinion that we can be in the vicinity of Bledsoe his Fort by nightfall. I will be pleased not to sleep outdoors again this night.

The weather gives way to a cloudy, overcast day, but warmer weather. I am just beginning to reach into my haversack for a bite of dried meat when Mr. Burton, who is at the front of the party, stops in the middle of the trail. The brothers Bryant take up their arms and leave the path to gain the cover of the trees, Mr. Flynn and I do the same.

Burton very slowly moves to a cluster of trees and lays himself out flat upon the ground. He stretches his arm out and silently gestures for the Bryant boys to join him. They look down the slope and converse quietly for a while before they gesture Flynn and I over.

We all look down the slope to espy a group of fur-clad natives that have set up a small camp just off the path. Burton's eyes are better than my own, I would never have seen them if left to my own devices.

It is not their habit to be in this area in the cold months, says Burton.

Why is it that they come to be here? asks Flynn, face red, hands shaking.

It would seem that, like us, they are traveling, says Burton.

The Bryants look eager to greet them, tightening their grip on their weapons.

What are we to do? They are eleven and we are five, says I, not excited by the prospect of running to an early grave.

It is the opinion of Burton that we should stay where we are and wait for the indians to leave in the morning. It is his fear that if we make any attempt to attack, or even to go around, that they may discover us. All members of the party agree, after some grumbling from the young brothers.

The sun sets, and rain begins to fall. We stay flat on our stomachs and carefully cover ourselves with a large oiled canvas that Burton brought with him. It does little to keep us warm, but staves off the majority of the wet.

We shall keep watch all night, in the hopes that they move on in the morning.