About

author3smAmy Belding Brown, a graduate of Bates College, received her Master of Fine Arts degree in January 2002, from Vermont College of Norwich University, where she worked closely with Bret Lott and Victoria Redel.  She currently lives in her native Vermont, where she writes poetry and fiction.  She is the author of Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America, published by NAL/Penguin in 2014 and Mr. Emerson’s Wife, published by St. Martin’s Press in 2005. Her publication credits also include Yankee, Good Housekeeping, American Way, The Worcester Review and other national, international, and regional magazines.  She is married and the mother of four grown children and recently became a grandmother for the first time.

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8 thoughts on “About

  1. I like your blog. I am a 17th c reenactor who is interested in both colonial and indigenous cultures of the period. I am glad people are still interested in teaching about the past.

  2. I just finished ‘The Flight of the Sparrow’ and couldn’t put it down… In between peeling potatoes for supper and frying chicken, I would take a few moments to read a few paragraphs or an entire chapter. I ignored piles of laundry on the floor while I read yet another chapter. I rejoiced when Mary had the courage to question her husband when he thought he had discerned God’s will–for her! As if she didn’t have a brain! (Gleeful idea: Mary stumbles around the room like the Strawman and sings, “If I only had a brain…”) And I secretly hoped and wished that if James were to be sent to Barbados, Mary would have joined him and they would have sailed off into the sunset to live a rich and wildly sensual life! Loved the twists, turns, and surprises in the story, but the ending left me sad–James and Mary together… not to be. Now, I need to track down ‘Mr. Emerson’s Wife’.

  3. hello: I am descended from many colonial Americans (Whitney/Belknap/Waters/White etc) My father’s grandparents lived in Millbury, MA (near a praying Indian town). I just found out from a DNA test that I have a little Native DNA. My question: Did Colonial People ever adopt Native children? I know many Natives married free people of Color but did those Native adoptees ever marry English Colonials?
    Thanks in advance. I look forward to reading your books!
    EW

    • Hi Ellen,
      When I was writing Flight of the Sparrow I was living in Grafton, MA which is next door to Millbury. Much of my research focused on that area, which was the site of the praying Indian town Hassanamesitt. After King Philip’s War, many English colonists took native children into their homes as slaves. I didn’t come across any instances of English colonists adopting native children as heirs and family members.
      That doesn’t mean it never happened, of course, but I never found evidence of it. However I do know the English sometimes married natives, especially after King Philip’s War. That happened in Grafton when the Hassanamesitts were allowed to return. There were only a handful of natives but they lived amicably as neighbors to the colonists. And I found several examples of marriages between native and colonial families. Is there any oral history or tradition in you family about natives being adopted as equals? I’m curious to know.

      • Hi Amy,

        There are not stories about adoption but there is this: We have pictures of my great grandfather Charles Dana Whitney and he looks like he could be mixed race. We thought we might have an African American ancestor. My Father has four sisters who have very dark eyes and who can get very tan vs. my Irish/English complected Father and his brother. My Aunt says when her parents passed away her mother closed up their Millbury house and she threw away a lot of pictures of Charles Dana because he looked Black!

        Well, times have changed and I was pretty delighted to look into this possible mystery ancestor but I have no African American genes, but this tiny 1% Native American genes. 1% suggests an ancestor five generations ago. I’ve been poking around Millbury area websites and have come to the conclusion that it must have been an illicit relationship.

        Thanks Amy. I look forward to reading your books.

        Ellen Whitney

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