Hi friends! I have finished stitching the "A Year of Celebrations: September" pattern by Hands On Design. This is found in the September 2014 issue of Cross Stitch & Needlework Magazine.
I finished listening to Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini on CD. What an excellent book!
The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker and Mrs. Lincoln's Rival imagines
the inner life of Julia Grant, beloved as a Civil War general’s wife
and the First Lady, yet who grappled with a profound and complex
relationship with the slave who was her namesake—until she forged a
proud identity of her own.
In 1844, Missouri belle Julia Dent
met dazzling horseman Lieutenant Ulysses S Grant. Four years passed
before their parents permitted them to wed, and the groom’s abolitionist
family refused to attend the ceremony.
Since childhood, Julia
owned as a slave another Julia, known as Jule. Jule guarded her
mistress’s closely held twin secrets: She had perilously poor vision but
was gifted with prophetic sight. So it was that Jule became Julia’s
eyes to the world.
And what a world it was, marked by gathering
clouds of war. The Grants vowed never to be separated, but as Ulysses
rose through the ranks—becoming general in chief of the Union Army—so
did the stakes of their pact. During the war, Julia would travel, often
in the company of Jule and the four Grant children, facing unreliable
transportation and certain danger to be at her husband’s side.
Julia and Jule saw two different wars. While Julia spoke out for
women—Union and Confederate—she continued to hold Jule as a slave behind
Union lines. Upon the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Jule
claimed her freedom and rose to prominence as a businesswoman in her own
right, taking the honorary title Madame. The two women’s paths
continued to cross throughout the Grants’ White House years in
Washington, DC, and later in New York City, the site of Grant’s Tomb.
Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule is the first novel to chronicle this singular relationship, bound by sight and shadow.
Stitching and praying,