Novel: Spiritual Warfare over a Family

It’s about spiritual warfare. Just because we can’t see it going on around us right now with our physical eyes doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It does. So the genre of the novel is speculative historical fiction and family saga, based on biblical truths about the spirit world.

Will Clayton Sr. (1632-1689), a family man and early Founder of America, is a reluctant demon breaker.

The novel is finished. This is only a (gapped) summary.

Up the Delaware River, November 1677

A certain Mrs. Smith, recently widowed, and her indentured servant Sally Holcomb have troubles and mishaps. Afterwards evil things happen. Quakers are called to investigate.

Bridlington (later renamed Burlington), on Delaware River, W. Jersey, Late December 1677

Chapter 1

Up north near the Delaware R., PA side (tho’ it wasn’t called PA at that time), William Clayton (Will Sr. or WC) and older Quaker couple investigates report of witchcraft.

Day 1

Chapter 2

WC sees demons, but others don’t. WC and Friends confront Puritans on the scene. Will stays with spiritually attacked family. The Puritans return to Elizabethtown, East Jersey and complain to Puritan church authorities about Will Clayton’s interference in the investigation; an arrest warrant is issued. Older Quaker couple return home, gossiping all the way; two Dutchmen overhear her on the flatboat going back down the Delaware R.

Days 2-4

Chapter 3

Sill up north, WC visits a neighbor’s household that is also oppressed.

Days 4-5

Chapter 4

On the same days, a spiritual counterattack takes place on WC’s family back in Bridlington. Will Jr. takes off down river to a Dutch tavern or public house.

Day 4-5

Chapter 5

Clayton family stunned by aftermath of spiritual attack on WC’s family. Two Dutchmen remember Clayton name from the boat ride. Will Jr.’s mother and one of his sisters go and rescue him. Clayton mother and family is informed Will Jr. is imprisoned by Dutchmen. Mrs. Clayton and a daughter go to rescue him. They meet a Friend, James Brown.

Day 5

Chapter 6

Mother and daughter and JB go down river, still on rescue mission. Daughter may be a demon seer, though she wasn’t expecting it.

Day 5

Chapter 7

Will Sr. leaves the neighbor’s house and meets an Indian, and he leads him to his clan, which is being oppressed.

Days 5-6

Chapter 8

James Brown goes up river to tell the Claytons of the developments.

Days 5-6

Chapter 9

Will Sr. returns home and hears the latest news. he immediately takes James down river to help rescue Will Jr. and his wife and daughter.

Oldest daughter back in Bridlington and her Quaker friend are invited to a Winter Festival by worldly wise Anglicans; two girls humiliate the Quakers. Back at Clayton residence, kids visit James who had returned.

Days 5-6

Chapter 10

Mrs. Clayton and daughter and JB rescue Will Jr. from Dutch but now he’s arrested by English from the arrest warrant (see Chapter 2). Will Sr. is on scene and back at the navy’s headquarters and tells the officer that the arrest warrant is for Will Sr., not for Will Jr. Will Sr. is put in chains.

Days 6-7

Chapter 11

Will Jr., mother and daughter return upstream. Will Sr. is arrested in Jr.’s place and is taken to Elizabethtown in E. Jersey.

Day 7

Chapter 12

We zigzag between the household in Bridlington and Will Sr. on ship being transported to Elizabethtown. Will meets four slaves, being sold to New York.

Day 8

Chapter 13

We again zigzag between Will Clayton, who gets abused by the sergeant on ship, and the family back in Bridlington.

Day 9

Chapter 14

Three days later Will reaches Elizabethtown by armed escort over land. Will Sr. is arraigned and meets a friendly, well-educated Puritan lawyer. The four slaves are taken up to New York.

Day 12

Chapter 15

Will Sr. and lawyer strategize, while the family back in Bridlington is called before the church elders in a disciplinary Meeting to answer questions about all the goings on and the worldly Anglican festival.

Day 19

Chapter 16

Will Jr. and brother Joseph go up north to ask for help at Will Sr.’s trial.

Days 20-22

Chapter 17

Second week in March, 1677

The Friends are ready to go up to Elizabethtown from Bridlington, and off they go. The travelers reach Elizabethtown, and there’s a standoff between the Friends and Puritans.

The next day the trial begins.

Days: throughout the second week

Chapter 18

Third Monday in March, 1677, Elizabethtown (later renamed Elizabeth), East New Jersey

The trial begins. Verdict is unanimous: guilty, which carries mandatory execution by hanging (historical fact). Mayhem in the courtroom (Assembly Hall). Will and his allies retreat to prison compound. The Puritan town fathers lay siege to it.

The remaining content and chapters are withheld—too many spoilers.

Sorry!

REFERENCES

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Bauman, Richard. Let Your Words Be Few: Symbolism of Speaking and Silence among Seventeenth-Century Quakers. New York: Cambridge U P, 1983.

Butler, Jon. Becoming America: The Revolution before 1776. Cambridge: Harvard U P, 2000.

Burns, Patrick J. and T. H. S. Wallace, eds. The Concurrence and Unanimity of the People Called Quakers, as Evidenced by Some of Their Sermons. Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Foundations Publications, 2010 (1694).

Bryant, Carol. Abstracts of Chester County, Pennsylvania, Land Records. Vols. 1 and 2. Westminster, Maryland: Heritage, 1997 and 2006.

Calvert, Jane E. Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson. New York: Cambridge U P, 2009.

Crook, John. The Cry of the Innocent for Justice. Early English Books Online, 1662.

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—, ed. Quaker Writings: An Anthology, 1650-1920. New York: Penguin, 2010.

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Levy, Barry. Quakers and the American Family: British Settlement in the Delaware Valley. New York: Oxford U P, 1988.

Nash, Gary B. Quaker and Politics: Pennsylvania, 1681-1726. 2nd ed. Boston: Northeastern U P, 1993.

Rapaport, Diane. The Naked Quaker: True Crimes and Controversies from the Courts of Colonial New England. Beverly, Massachusetts: Commonwealth Editions, 2007.

Rosenblatt, Albert M. and Julia C. Rosenblatt, eds. Opening Statements: Law, Jurisprudence, and the Legacy of Dutch New York. Albany: State U of New York P, 2013.

Soderlund, Jean R., ed. William Penn and the Founding of Pennsylvania, 1680-1684: A Documentary History. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1983.

—. Lenape Country: Delaware Valley Society before William Penn. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2015.

Thompson, Mark L. The Contest for the Delaware Valley: Allegiance, Identity, and Empire in the Seventeenth Century. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State U P, 2013.

Steere, Douglas V., ed. Quaker Spirituality: Selected Writings. New York: Paulist P, 1984.

Tolles, Frederick B. Meeting House and Counting House: The Quaker Merchants of Colonial Philadelphia 1682-1783. New York: W. W. Norton, 1963.

Wall DiZerega, Diana and Ann-Marie Cantwell. “Imagining the Stadt Huys.” Rosenblatt and Rosenblatt. 105-16.

Weddle, Meredith Baldwin. Walking in the Way of Peace: Quaker Pacifism in the Seventeenth Century. New York: Oxford U P, 2001.

Yount, David. How the Quakers Invented America. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007.

One thought on “Novel: Spiritual Warfare over a Family

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