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  1. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    History issue. I need help.

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Archnenna, Mar 16, 2011.

    If anyone here knows anything about American history, I'd like you to help me by answering some questions for me. In my novels there are some flashbacks that are quite important for the story and every information is valuable. I don't want to write something and then get weird glances if someone reads it. I want it to be as occurate as possible.

    So, the year is 1798 and all the questions are about the life in that year. Here they are:

    1) Were there any Japanese people in America? If yes, how was their status? I mean, were they treated with respect like any other person, or was there racism towards them? Were they able to be one of the richer people in an american town or something, or were they poor and had to work hard?

    2) Were there slaves back then?

    3) Was a black person allowed to be someone's maid?

    4) Were black people allowed to have their family treasure or something like that? This question is important because one of my character's ancestor owned a ruby jewel (called Ruby heart) which gave her her powers. If they were not, was there a way for them to save that treasure?

    5) What was people's view or magic? Was it 'allowed' or were people still considered evil and burned at the stake?

    6) Was being a hooker illegal? I saw in some movies that whores worked at bars and such. Was it like that back then?

    7) Were poor people treated with respect, or were they considered not worthy being treated with respect?

    8) Were arranged marriages allowed?

    9) What did people think or supernatural beings? Vampires, werewolves, mermaids, succubus' and such.

    10) How did people brush their teeth?

    11) My main character finds her ancestor's diary from 1798. What would that diary look like? Like a book or something alike notebook? Would pages be all yellow?

    12) What did people back then use to write?

    13) How did children treat their parents and how did parents treat their children?

    14) This might sound weird, but... When girls had periods, I know they didn't have sanitary napkins, so what did they use instead?

    15) Did people even have underwear?

    16) Were schools only for rich people?

    17) What did people think of religion? Were some people allowed not to be religious, or did they have to be by law?

    18) Let's just say there's this rich guy, the main guy in a town. Did he have the right to pick any girl he wants to marry? Like, was he allowed to pick some poor, village girl just because he was rich?

    19) Did rich people back then have big egos?


    Okay, those are the questions for history. Now one more question for something related:

    20) Let's just say I live in a house that used to be owned by a rich, famous guy. He's mentioned in history books and he's my ancestor and I live in the house because he was my family and my family lived in that house for long. Do I have to give that house to the government because a famous historical person lived there?


    That's all for now. If I have any more questions, I'll post. I hope someone can answer. Just answer what you know, it doesn't have to be everything. Any (truthful) information is wellcome.
     
  2. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    This is going to sound rude of me, but I do not intend it to be that way.

    You have asked many questions, I know some of those answers but I feel that telling you would be a great disservice to what you are writing. If I simply give you a yes or no answer I am not really explaining any history for you.

    Since you have asked so many questions, I have to assume you know very little about that time period. How can you write a book/story that evolves that time period and not know anything about it? I would think anything you wrote would seem unauthentic.

    This of course is a reasearch forum to answer questions, but the questions you ask show you have little knowledge of some pretty basic history, so if we told you- you would just have more questions. Furthermore, your questions are cultural in nature which require a whole different kind of expertise.

    I encourage you to look for sources of this information that are scholarly or educational in nature. Heck, you can even wikipedia the year 1798 and get started from there.

    Sorry, to sound harsh.
     
  3. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    Not harsh at all. But you understood me wrong: I do not write a book about that time period. There are just a few moments from that time, the book is set in present day. We haven't gotten that far in history lessons yet, if we have, I wouldn't be asking this. If you can't answer, then don't.
     
  4. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Arranges marraiges yes.

    About the "time of the month" thing, pretty sure they stuffed rags in there. Yeah, I know. Gross.

    Not being religious might make you ostracized, but no one's going to come burn you at the stake for it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson himself was more of a Daoist than a Christian so they say.

    The rich guy would probably be pressured away from marrying the girl from the poor part of town. However, he'd probably never meet her in the first place, as he'd be growing up among other people of his own socioeconomic status. It's not like they all went to school together.

    As far as whether or not rich people had big egos, that will all depend on your characterization because it varies from person to person. Some rich people are, and were back then, stuck up; however, I feel more are/were kind and intelligent people who achieved their wealth because they worked hard and saved for it, or knew how to invent something useful or start a business.

    If you need a snooty rich person, I'd recommend a spoiled heir.

    Children and parents -- if they were rich, the kids may have been raised by a nanny with little parental interaction. If they were poor, they probably all worked together on a farm or something.

    A diary from back then could range from scraps of wastepaper to fine stationary. Yes, someone finding it now would see it yellowed, crumbling at the edges etc.
     
  5. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    I just want you to go research this in the proper place so that you can write authentically..so that you can make the time period come to life in your work!
     
  6. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    I did, but whatever I wrote in google didn't give me what I wanted. That's why I asked here!

    Thank you, Mallory :)
     
  7. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    1) Were there any Japanese people in America? If yes, how was their status? I mean, were they treated with respect like any other person, or was there racism towards them? Were they able to be one of the richer people in an american town or something, or were they poor and had to work hard?

    very few non whites anywhere but the plantation south..asains entered later through the west coast at this juncture the west is unsettled..adding the japanese to a colonial setting gives the story a fish out of water element

    2) Were there slaves back then?

    only in the southern us..... at that time the carolina's, virginia,georgia slave states, slaves in new orleans but new orleans was french at that time....thomas jefferson was a slave owner.

    3) Was a black person allowed to be someone's maid?
    yes the term was 'house nigger' for the slaves that did domestic duties again only in the south

    4) Were black people allowed to have their family trea
    sure or something like that? This question is important because one of my character's ancestor owned a ruby jewel (called Ruby heart) which gave her her powers. If they were not, was there a way for them to save that treasure?

    the family unit of slaves was always in jeopardy, couple split up sold to other owners as a single unit...she would have to sew the ruby in the hem of her dress for save keeping ,

    5) What was people's view or magic? Was it 'allowed' or were people still considered evil and burned at the stake?

    population based in the puriticanal north magic a rare commidity...google salem mass.

    6) Was being a hooker illegal? I saw in some movies that whores worked at bars and such. Was it like that back then?
    not wide spread whores prolly found by the docks in port cities new york boston charleston ,s.c.

    7) Were poor people treated with respect, or were they considered not worthy being treated with respect?
    even the rich were culturally poor in a brand new country , were the poor exploited the better question..... 9 years previous the poor topple the french monarchy ...ya dig not the time 2 fug with the po' folks

    8) Were arranged marriages allowed?
    how do you think fred hooked up with wilma

    9) What did people think or supernatural beings? Vampires, werewolves, mermaids, succubus' and such.
    there were too busy trying to etch out a meger living to read stephanie myers on kindle or netflix a yugo epic
    10) How did people brush their teeth?
    the few teeth they had they brushed and used whitening strips on

    11) My main character finds her ancestor's diary from 1798. What would that diary look like? Like a book or something alike notebook? Would pages be all yellow?
    yellow to the point of being too britlle to turn

    12) What did people back then use to write?
    when not using the cell phone to text they dipped a feather end in an ink pot

    13) How did children treat their parents and how did parents treat their children?
    children should be seen not heard, mother said as she drowned the third.
    14) This miht sound weird, but... When girls had periods, I know they didn't have sanitary napkins, so what did they use instead?

    15) Did people even have underwear?
    more often than not they rocked the phat farm brand

    16) Were schools only for rich people?
    not primary schooling , google the oldest us public university

    17) What did people think of religion? Were some people allowed not to be religious, or did they have to be by law?
    the united states militantly non secular , no one was force to practice any religon , no mandatory laws but lots of local peer pressure

    18) Let's just say there's this rich guy, the main guy in a town. Did he have the right to pick any girl he wants to marry? Like, was he allowed to pick some poor, village girl just because he was rich?
    money has power but to answer your question did law allow the rich favor no, the rich's money was the clout
    19) Did rich people back then have big egos?
    big egos and bad teeth


    Okay, those are the questions for history. Now one more question for something related:

    20) Let's just say I live in a house that used to be owned by a rich, famous guy. He's mentioned in history books and he's my ancestor and I live in the house because he was my family and my family lived in that house for long. Do I have to give that house to the government because a famous historical person lived there?
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    No. :)
     
  9. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    This is one of the best answers I've gotten. Short, but detailed and contains the information I needed. Thank you very much for answering the questions. And thanks a lot to Mallory-

    I got everything I needed. This can be closed now.
     
  10. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    I agree with Purple Candle. A lot of these questions can be researched on line or by searching history books.

    Part of writing is research and to ask the question and simply be told the answers doesn't do you any favours. You need to read as many books as you can about that period to get a 'feel' for the period.

    Also, if you take someone else's answer without questioning it, how do you know its accurate?

    If you'd have asked one or two questions, after you'd researched and still couldn't find the answers, that would be different. But to put a list out there and hope that someone else will come up with the answers, seems to me to be a little bit lazy.

    I wouldn't have that opinion if you were asking for recollections from people who actually lived during that time. That, to me, would constitute research. This doesn't fall into that category.

    www.spartacus.com is also a good website for both British and American history and includes, in many instances, actual transcripts of speeches or letters.
     
  11. Archnenna
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    Archnenna Active Member

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    I've already said that I searched on the google, but didn't get the answers I wanted. I also said that any information is wellcome, so you didn't have to answer. I don't care about your opinion. And now I said that I have the answers. So you don't have to answer. Do not then. It's also lazy to post without reading everything, otherwise you'd know that I got what I needed and that I already searched for things, and that I asked for information. No one had to answer questions. Next time read everything before posting.


    I repeat, this topic can be closed. I don't need any more answers.
     
  12. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    .....
     
  13. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    The point was that you only think you got what you needed. If you need to know how people brushed their teeth back then, but don't bother with finding out why, your story will lack depth and credibility. Getting defensive and insulting someone who is trying to help you become a better author is not the way to go about finding what you need.
     
  14. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Closed , Bah Humbug the thread just warming up
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    exactly!... i agree with evelon's post and arathald's...

    and you should be more polite to people who are only trying to be helpful to you, not answer so rudely and in effect tell them to 'shut up'!
     
  16. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    I love the premise.....An orally fixated Japanese Vampire arrives shipwrecked on Penn's Landing , while earning his keep as a janitor in Ben Franklin's alley bonds with an escaped obessed with manners slave turned prostitute where they use a magical ruby to change the world from the shadows of Independence Hall
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    In a few minutes, I am going to give you some reputation points. I love how you came up with that in just a few minutes AND you were able to put it all in one sentence. Dude, amazing premise :cool:
     
  18. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know you said this topic is closed, but I'm goign to answer these questions anyway because the answers you were given aren't entirely accurate. BTW, Google is not the god of knowledge. If you want indepth answers, you have to try searching for them in more than one place.

    2) Were there slaves back then?
    Yes, some slaves were indentured servants at his time. To buy their way to American they often traded a number of years of service to a master. The master was expected to provide and take care of them, and once their contract was up, he was even expected to either provide a small plot of land or some money for services rendered.

    Black slaves brought over from Africa and such, were legally bought and owned by their lord. IF he wanted to mistreat them, he could. If he was displeased with their service, he could kill them because he owned that slave's life. This is one reason why slavery became popular over indentured servants.


    3) Was a black person allowed to be someone's maid?
    Yes.

    4) Were black people allowed to have their family treasure or something like that? This question is important because one of my character's ancestor owned a ruby jewel (called Ruby heart) which gave her her powers. If they were not, was there a way for them to save that treasure?
    Black slaves were considered property. Anything they owned, their master owned. If the master wanted to sell that slave's ruby, there was nothing to stop him from doing so. If the slave didn't want it sold, she would have to hide it somehow.

    5) What was people's view or magic? Was it 'allowed' or were people still considered evil and burned at the stake?
    By this time in history, they were beyond the 'burn the witch at the stake' bit.

    If you are refering to voodoo or other non-Christian religions, the master would probably look down upon it. He could whip them and order them to stop their 'hethen' ways, but the slaves could still carry on in secret.


    6) Was being a hooker illegal? I saw in some movies that whores worked at bars and such. Was it like that back then?
    The hookers you are refering to would usually be in bars near the docks where sailors were away from women for a very long time.

    Prostitution and cathouses were looked down upon by some, but they weren't illegal. Good way to catch a social disease as well.


    7) Were poor people treated with respect, or were they considered not worthy being treated with respect?
    At this point in history, respect had more to do with what race (Irish, English, American, etc) you were and what part of the country you lived in, and less about your finances.

    8) Were arranged marriages allowed?
    Yes, there were still some arranged marriages.

    9) What did people think or supernatural beings? Vampires, werewolves, mermaids, succubus' and such.
    Again, this had more to do with what part of the country you lived in. If you were in a big city, people would laugh those things off as superstition. In a small community or village, people's imaginations are more prone to going wild.

    10) How did people brush their teeth?
    A lot of people didn't. Some people only picked their teeth with a toothpick or knife. Those that did brush their teeth, either only used a brush, or they used tooth powder. Tooth powder is what they had before toothpaste was created.

    11) My main character finds her ancestor's diary from 1798. What would that diary look like? Like a book or something alike notebook? Would pages be all yellow?
    Depends where the book was stored. If it was left in a damp, dark corner for that long it would be mildewy and eaten by mold. Probably unreadable.

    Assuming it isn't destroyed by mold, the book would have yellowed pages. The moment the person tried to open it, the pages and spine would probably disintegrate.


    12) What did people back then use to write?
    A quill and ink. Goose feathers were the most common feather used for quill pens.

    13) How did children treat their parents and how did parents treat their children?
    Misbehaving children got whipped. If they still misbehaved, they got whipped some more. If someone didn't work, they didn't eat. Families didn't have time for tomfoolery. So children were respectful towards their parents and vice versa.

    14) This might sound weird, but... When girls had periods, I know they didn't have sanitary napkins, so what did they use instead?
    They called them sanitary belts. Think of a wide piece of cloth held up by a cloth belt under your clothes.

    15) Did people even have underwear?
    Cavemen had loinclothes. Underwear is not a recent invention. Prostitutes might not wear any since it could make plying their trade slightly easier.

    16) Were schools only for rich people?
    Mostly. A poor family might struggle to send their child to college to be a doctor or some other highly respected profession.

    18) Let's just say there's this rich guy, the main guy in a town. Did he have the right to pick any girl he wants to marry? Like, was he allowed to pick some poor, village girl just because he was rich?

    Possibly, but there were customs to follow. He had to publicly court her, and he wouldn't get her if she was already engaged to another man. Favor of the father was highly valued.

    19) Did rich people back then have big egos?
    Yes, and they still do today.


    Okay, those are the questions for history. Now one more question for something related:

    20) Let's just say I live in a house that used to be owned by a rich, famous guy. He's mentioned in history books and he's my ancestor and I live in the house because he was my family and my family lived in that house for long. Do I have to give that house to the government because a famous historical person lived there?

    No, it's your house. Unless you turn it into a museum and ask for government funding, you can live there as long as you own it.
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't help asking: You do know that there are many, many sources other than Google, right? For most detailed topics, Google is a nice beginning that can point you to some books or other resources to really start your research with.

    ChickenFreak
     

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