Wednesday 24 February 2016

The Embargo Act of 1807

There's an awful lot of research involved in writing a historical novel and I'm thrilled to welcome Vikki Vaught with news not only of her latest release, but of how the Embargo Act of 1807 plays a vital part in the story...
I want to thank Madame Gilfurt for having me on her blog. I’m very exciting about my recent release, Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey. This is the first book in my Honorable Rogue series. The story is set in early 19th century England & America, and I loved delving into a bit of American history for my novel. I would like to discuss some of the fascinating research I did for my book. 
I originally set this story in 1809, but after further research I discovered Thomas Jefferson convinced the U.S. congress to pass the Embargo Act of 1807, which stopped foreign trade. While Jefferson did not want to involve the U.S. in the conflict between France and England, he needed to put financial sanctions in place that could possibly hurt these countries economically. This act devastated the U.S. economy. American ships literally remained in port rotting in the harbors. Illegal trade became the only means of getting goods from foreign shores. Many of the items needed by Americans were brought in through Canada and prices sky-rocketed.
Here is some background history that led up to the embargo. Britain and France resumed their war in 1803, causing relations to become strained between any countries deciding to remain neutral. In 1806, France passed a law against trading with neutral countries, and since America did not take sides in the conflict between the two countries, the French began plundering U.S. ships. In 1807, Britain passed a bill prohibiting trade between France and neutral countries. The Royal Navy began waylaying American vessels and demanded that the ships pull into their ports before they were allowed to trade with other countries.
 The British also started boarding American vessels and began seizing sailors they deemed were deserters from the Royal Navy. This infuriated the U.S. and thousands of American sailors were unlawfully impressed into serving on British ships, leaving destitute families behind.
During the last sixteen days of Jefferson’s presidency, a bill was passed replacing the Embargo Act with the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809. While this act opened up trade again, it did not allow trade with Britain. Since my story has my heroine fleeing England on an American vessel, I needed to move it to a different year, prior to the escalating issues between the two countries. Since 1802 was the only year that England and France were not at war for more than twenty years, I decided to place my story in that year.
This was by no means the only research I did for Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey, but was certainly the most important. While this is a novel of fiction, I wanted to ensure that the happenings within the story were possible. 
I’m very excited about my new release, Miss Kathleen’s Scandalous Baron, Book 2 in my Honorable Rogue series. It is set in 1803 and is the story of Alex’s sister, Kathleen and Lord Billingsley. It is a light-hearted read with another honorable rogue. Albeit, Andrew, Baron Billingsley, is a bit scandalous. I hope you will enjoy the romance between Kathleen and Andrew as much as I enjoyed writing their love story. Happy reading!
About the Book
When the young American debutante, Miss Kathleen Hawks, arrives in town for the London season, the last thing she expects is an attraction to the scandalous Lord Billingsley. He’s the kind of aristocrat she detests, one who only cares for his pleasures.
Andrew Grainger is handsome, young and very wealthy. He loves carousing with his pack of friends from his school days. When he stumbles across the prim, yet charming Miss Hawks, he should avoid her at any cost. After all, she’s an innocent young miss, barely out of the schoolroom. But…there’s just something about her he finds irresistible.
When a chance encounter leads to scandal for the pair, they must choose to brave the Beau Monde, or give into its dictates. Is there any possibility that what appears to be a match made in Hades, could turn into a match made in heaven instead?   
Buy the Book

Kathleen Hawks fumed all the way to her brother’s study. Alex must have talked to their mother. Again, she had allowed her emotions to overrule her actions. When she arrived at the door, her heart fluttered, but knowing she had to get this over with, she tapped on the door.
Her brother’s voice bade her enter. She purposefully turned the knob and opened the door as she inhaled and exhaled slowly to prepare herself for what she suspected would be an unpleasant conversation. “Good morning, Alex. You wanted to see me?”
Her brother moved behind his desk. “Please, take a seat.” His set features shouted his displeasure.
Once she settled back in her chair, Alex sat in the chair behind his large desk. “Kathleen, I spoke with Ma and she told me the two of you argued at breakfast. She’s concerned over your defiant attitude, and she feels I may have made a mistake regarding Mr. Jones.”
Oh, dear, when will I learn to control my tongue? “I’m sorry I was disrespectful, but she made several derogatory comments regarding my betrothed. I let my temper get the best of me.”
 Her brother’s stubborn expression did not bode well, and she waited for the proverbial axe to fall. “I agree with Ma. I want you to reconsider your betrothal to Mr. Jones. You’re only eighteen, and he’s ten years older than you. I don’t believe you are well-suited. Your temperaments are vastly different. His only concern seems to be his responsibilities at his father’s bank. You were always so playful and vivacious. You’ve changed since you began spending more time with him, and I do not like it.”
She gripped the arms on the chair. The last thing she needed to do was agitate her brother, but she couldn’t sit passively by while another member of her family spoke ill of William. “You’re wrong, Alex. So what if we have a few differing interests? We love each other and that is what is important. You gave William your permission for the marriage before we left last fall.”
Alex stared her down. “I realize that. However, I should never have given it. As you well know, I had quite a few grave issues to deal with at the time. I should have taken more time to consider a decision that involves your future happiness. I’m seriously contemplating sending him a letter telling him I am withdrawing my consent.”
She clasped her hands together to keep them from trembling. It was all she could do to remain seated. “Please, you can’t do this to me. I love William, and he loves me.” Then, throwing caution to the wind, she stood and shouted, “I. Know. My. Own. Mind!”
“Kathleen.” Alex’s flushed face resembled a storm cloud as he stood and placed his powerful hands on his desk. “I will not tolerate your disrespect, young lady. Ma is ashamed of your behavior, and so am I. When you arrive in London for the season, you either promise to take full advantage of this opportunity the Barringtons are offering you, or I will write the letter withdrawing my consent today.”
Her stomach clenched as she tried to rein in her anger. Alex was serious, and if she was to have any hope of continuing with her plans to marry William, she had to placate him. “Please, don’t write the letter. I’ll go to London, and I promise I will participate fully in the parties. I’ll even keep an open mind.”
Alex resumed his seat. “Good. That’s more like it. I do have your best interests at heart, Darlin’. I want you to be sure Mr. Jones is the right man for you. He’s the first man to show you any attention. Please take this time to be sure of your love for him. That’s all I ask.”
Whenever her very American brother grew angry, their mother’s strong Virginian upbringing took over, and his southern drawl came through. Now that he had to spend much of his time in England, he had worked hard to minimize it. 
“I suppose it can’t hurt, but I will not change my mind. Now if you will excuse me, I’ll return to my packing, so I will be ready when the duke and duchess arrive tomorrow.” She stiffened her spine, turned, and left his study.
About the Author

Vikki Vaught started her writing career when a story invaded her mind and would not leave. Ever since then, the stories keep coming and writing is now her passion. Over the last five years, she has written well over a half dozen romances and is presently working on her next, while fighting off the other future characters shouting my turn!
Vikki loves a "Happily Ever After", and she writes them in her stories. While romance is the central theme of all her books, she includes some significant historical event or place in her Regency novels.

While all her books are love stories, she has also written contemporary sweet romances as Vikki McCombie and erotic romances using the pen name of V.L. Edwards. 

For the last decade, Vikki has lived in the beautiful foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with her beloved husband, Jim, who is the most tolerant man in the world to put up with her when she is in a writing frenzy. When she is not writing or working her day job, you’ll find her curled up in a comfortable chair reading her Kindle, lost in a good book with a cup of tea at her side. 

Written content of this post copyright © Bernard Wilkin, 2016.

1 comment:

Catherine Curzon said...

Vikki writes: Thank you so much for the lovely post and for having me on your blog today. I thoroughly enjoy the research when writing historicals. I learn something new with each book I write. History has been a favorite subject of mine from grade school to present. I think we can learn so much that will help us today. Of course, we do need to learn from what worked in the past and what did not.