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Who Would I Write a Book About if I Had Access to All the Research in the World? OPEN BOOK BLOG HOP

'Do you like to read? Wouldn't you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the MMB Open Book Blog Hop each Wednesday and they will tell all. Every week we'll answer questions and after you've enjoyed the blog on this site we'll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.'

Welcome! If you have come from K. William's blog at I appeciate the visit. If you missed her answer to today's question, please make sure you go back and visit her blog. While you're there check out her latest release "Blue Honor."

Today's question:

If you had access to all the research in the world you would need, who is the person you would want to write a book about and why?

I am happy to answer this question because I have thought about this person for a while.

My church produces a live docudrama program every year called ‘My Living Heritage’ where we reenact the lives of people and their contributions to the world. It covers the beginnings of civilization to the late 1900’s. I was asked about six years ago to play a woman by the name of Mary Elizabeth Bowser. I got to pick between her, a woman aviator, and a bio-engineer. I chose Mary because she was a Union spy during the Civil War and who wouldn’t want to play a spy?

Mary Elizabeth Van Lew (later known as Mary Bowser) was born a slave to the house of the John Van Lew in 1839. She and his daughter, also named Elizabeth, were close and when he passed in 1843 Elizabeth dedicated her entire cash inheritance to freeing not only the slaves from her house, but those families that showed up on the trading block and would have been separated.

Soon after Mary was freed she was enrolled in a Quaker School for Negros in Philadelphia. Once she concluded her education she returned to Richmond, VA, met and married Wilson Bowser a few days before the beginning of the Civil War. She worked as a secretly paid servant in the Van Lew household and was recruited to participate a spy ring coordinated by Elizabeth Van Lew.

Posing as Ellen Bond, a dim-witted yet hard working slave girl, Mary was brought to Varina Davis, wife to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, to work during special events. Mary was highly intelligent and possessed some acting skills. It was not long before she was hired fulltime as a servant.

While she cleaned she would collect information for the Union from newsletters and missives left on the President’s desk and recite, word-for-word, conversations he and his generals would hold while she served them refreshments. She would write the information on pieces of paper and place them in hollowed out eggs. She would trade the eggs with the town baker (who was also a part of the spy ring) in the morning. He would then give it to Elizabeth Van Lew who would then deliver it to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant by smuggling it in flowers and newspapers.

Elizabeth Van Lew was told that she rendered the greatest blow with the information she gave to Lt. Gen. Grant. Soon after the end of the war she was ostracized and called a witch for her eccentric behavior, which she used to stay under the radar during the war.

If I had all the research resources in the world, I would write a book about Elizabeth Van Lew and her coordination of the spy ring. I would go into more detail on her personality and specific incidents in retrieving information from the Confederate party.

Now hop on over to PJ Fiala's blog to see who she would write a book about, but don't forget to like and share this page. If you have a question you would like me to answer, don't hesitate to leave it in the comments.

While you're at PJ Fiala's site take a look at her latest release Designing Samatha's Love and her other books HERE.

I'll race you to the next page!

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