9:35 AM


Welcome back to my blog.....Today I mailed my book proposal to a university press. When I began this, there was snow on the ground and now its in the high 80s here in August.....Keep your fingers crossed for me.
Ok, I hear ya....what is a book proposal? 
It's a plan & an outline at the same time. The sections include: an overview, table of contents, book description, promotion, competing books, chapter outline and about the author. It took me years to get my arms around this subject and only 5 months to design a table of contents that is breaks my research in chronological bite size sections. As I wrote in my cover letter to the editor, "This exercise has provided me with a road map and I feel much more confident that I can accomplish the work ahead of me."


I submitted a sample of the images I wanted to use in this book....this is Figure 22: Newspaper, Oregon News. July 11, 1856, Donnell & Saxton Forwarding & Receiving Commission Merchant, wood cut.


My working title is Arabia Steamboat Museum: Exploring American Businessmen through Ephemera. As a proposal, I needed to write a chapter outline and this is part of my chapter one
I describe steamboat Arabia’s tragic accident and the Arabia Steamboat Museum that houses the excavated artifacts, suggesting that the museum can be seen as a gateway into a time when Kansas and Nebraska were in the midst of organization. I propose a new paradigm, which interprets the artifacts from the point of view of the businessmen who made use of the side-wheeler. For example, the objects hoe, plow, corn, have little meaning until these items are connected to an occupation, and in this case it is the farmer. Now there can be a discussion on:  the farmer’s view of farming tools he found desirable to buy, innovations in farming tools, what crops were grown in this region, and how he sent his harvest to market.

Here are some photos I took when I drove to the post office to document sending off my proposal.



As I mentioned, I live on the Connecticut shoreline in a sleepy country town that is listed in the National Registry as:

"The Hadlyme Ferry Historic District contains an architecturally significant collection of well-preserved Colonial and Federal style houses that reflect the prosperity of this river landing settlement between 1790 and 1820. The site of one of only two colonial ferries still in operation on the Connecticut River, the Hadlyme Ferry Historic District is historically significant as a representative example of the type of settlement that developed around these important transportation links across this major waterway. Although a ferry had been in operation there since the late seventeenth century, the Hadlyme Ferry Historic District was settled primarily after it was officially established by the Connecticut Colony in 1769 and prospered as both a ferry landing and a small maritime port."


It hasn't changed very much  in a hundred years, there is the small country post office that closes during lunch. Years ago this post office was part of the country store, very much like it was for many 1850s post offices. I recall telling Greg Hawley abt a land dispute case where the man who owned a dry goods store testified he delivered the mail. It was a sad story because Mr. Crocker had to read the letter to the literate man that his wife was not moving to the Nebraska Territory.


It seems to be hash living anywhere in the 1850s. Here in southern Connecticut, which still is mostly wetlands and lots of mashes, people died then in great numbers from typhoid fever, cholera and the King's evil.


This is my favorite postmaster who is keeping her fingers crossed for me that I will hear something soon. There are many uncontrolable factors that could reject my proposal....they may have already committed to other authors....they may have had funding cut back....but whatever happens, I will find some press that is interested in the Arabia Steamboat Museum.