Early America, Genealogy, History, The Women Who Married The Orcutt Men, Theology

Danielle Mead Skjelver’s First Novel

Winner, National Historic Research & Preservation Award
Daughters of Colonial Wars
Massacre: Daughter of War


“A master storyteller … The best book I have read in twenty years!”
– Lieutenant Colonel James Munroe, United States Marine Corps

“Never in all my years of reading have I ever enjoyed or been so moved by a book!”
– Susan White McCarvill, Mohawk & French

Cover 4th Prtg

This novel tells the long forgotten story of Hannah Hawks Scott, a woman whom Joseph Anderson called the most afflicted woman in all New England. Born to a soldier in King Philip’s War, Hannah found herself caught in the inevitable clash of two cultures. Yet, she was not alone in her affliction. Drawing on many sources, the author weaves into Hannah’s story the tale of a fictional Pequot boy whose life redefines the word “massacre.” Spanning the 1637 attack on the Pequot Fort to the 1704 raid of Deerfield, Massachusetts, and through Queen Anne’s War, Massacre: Daughter of War delivers a powerful examination of the conflict between Puritan colonists and the First Nations of North America. Follow the lives of Hannah and this young boy as they endure the nightmare of war ~ each struggling for family, each struggling for home.

“We were spellbound!”
– Chaplain Dick Eisemann, United States Air Force, Lt. Col., Ret.

“A must read!”
– Linda F. Skarnulis, Regent, Trumbull-Porter Chapter
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames

“A colonial America must-read…”
– Edward Ellis, Author, In This Small Place

“Pervading the page-turner is the finest job I have ever seen to treat with fairness and credibility the viewpoints (including religious) of both the Native American Indians and the English settlers — remarkable! There are lessons for our time in this…. I don’t know when I have been so deeply moved, to the core of my being…. Nor have I read, I don’t recall, such a very satisfying book — one that takes questions that matter so greatly to me, and carries them through so lovingly, so care-fully, to amazingly healing and peaceful places of rest.”
– Judy Holy, Author, The Women Who Married The Orcutt Men

“I could not put it down… Much research went into the writing of that book …. it should be required reading for high school students…”
– Florence Crowell, Author, Images of America: Watertown
President, Watertown Historical Society

“Skjelver writes one helluva remarkable, fine book! … a WONDERFUL BOOK!”
– Richard Morgan, History Department, North Dakota State University, Ret.



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Early America, Yellowstone (Joys of a Dissertation)

Regicides in New England

While I would like to narrow my dissertation topic as quickly as possible, I have been instructed to decompress after the thesis and simply read broadly on Early Modern Europe. This is sound advice and allows me simply to enjoy History for awhile. At present, I am finishing Huizinga’s beautifully written and translated The Waning of the Middle Ages. It is taking me far longer than intended, mostly because it is so delicious that I am savoring it. For instance, Huizinga says of allegory, “medieval literature had taken it in as a waif of decadent Antiquity.”

The expectation at present is that my topic will fall somewhere in Early Modern England. My first thought, given my background in Puritan New England, is the English Civil War. I find particularly fascinating the regicides who fled England after the Restoration of the Monarchy.


Hanging in the Forbes Library, this painting depicts regicide William Goffe saving Hadley, MA, in an attack during King Philip’s War. The legend of Goffe as the ‘Angel of Hadley’ goes as follows:

Goffe “leads a successful defense of the town and then vanishes as quickly as he had appeared, never to be seen again. While the grateful townsfolk were sure the man had been sent as an angel of God to save them, supposedly the real story came out years later as the pastor of Hadley, John Russell, lay on his death bed. It was only then that he admitted to harboring the English regicides, William Goffe and Edward Whalley, both with prices upon their heads for being the ruling judges in the decision to execute King Charles I. Allegedly they were hidden in a secret room in Russell’s home, where they both eventually died. Goffe emerged only that once to warn the town of the imminent attack of the Indians.”

This succinct telling of the legend comes from the Forbes Library. There isn’t much truth to the legend, but the flight of the regicides fascinates me. Many were captured, hanged, drawn, and quartered. Others spent the rest of their lives in prison. Some, however, escaped to the Continent and to New England, where they ended their days in hiding, some under false names.